Happy Friday again everyone and what a day! This morning we saw United’s configuration plans for the Polaris cabin in its international 777-200 fleet. While this is great news for those flying in the Polaris cabin, it’s the opposite for those flying economy. As we’ve come to expect from most carriers, a re-configured cabin means a denser economy cabin. United’s two-cabin 777-200 went from 217 economy seats to 242, and from a 3-3-3 configuration to a 3-4-3 configuration. Yikes! I would imagine that pitch will also be affected in this regard and what a pity, since I find the current international Economy Plus to be quite comfortable. But focusing again on Polaris, United has updated its tracker to show at least one retrofitted 777-200 flying this year!
Multiple new 777-300ER’s and recently a retrofitted 767-300 (the 767’s will be the most comfortable economy proposition of United’s long-haul fleet) are already flying folks in the Polaris cabin with more to come soon. United’s Polaris rollout hasn’t been smooth at all, as it faced delays with the Polaris seat manufacturer and also with Polaris Lounge openings which recently were pushed to 2018, leaving Chicago as the only airport with the only open Polaris Lounge. From this angle I don’t think many expected United to announce that Polaris retrofitted 777-200’s would be indeed flying this year. Fortunately, it will and now the focus shifts onto which route will get the first retrofitted aircraft.