United Airlines 767-400s Getting New Polaris Seats

United Airlines 767-400s Getting New Polaris Seats

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By summer 2023, all United Airlines wide body jets used for long haul international flights should feature the new(ish) Polaris seats. We first learned the basics of this development in late April, but we now have more details of what exactly to expect.

United Airlines 767-400s getting new cabins

In 2016 United Airlines revealed its new Polaris business class concept, though the airline sure has been installing the new cabins at a slow pace (in fairness, this is the reality of how things are done at most airlines). As it stands, the one wide body aircraft in United’s fleet to not at all feature the new Polaris seats is the 767-400.

United’s 767-400s don’t yet have new Polaris seats

United has 16 of these planes in its fleet, and during the pandemic there had been questions about whether or not United would even keep these planes around (if they’re going to be retired, it of course doesn’t make sense to reconfigure them).

There’s an update on that front, as noted by @xJonNYC. It has been revealed that United plans to reconfigure all Boeing 767-400s with new cabins, including new Polaris business class and Premium Plus premium economy seats. In addition to new seats, these 767-400s are expected to feature refreshed lavatories, updated Panasonic inflight entertainment, and new LED lighting.

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1524508253018853377

The first plane should be reconfigured by late summer 2022, and all 16 planes should be reconfigured by spring 2023. That means that by summer 2023, all United international wide body aircraft will feature the new Polaris cabins.

United 767-400s are getting new Polaris seats

How will United’s 767-400s be reconfigured?

How will the number of seats change when United reconfigures its Boeing 767-400s? For context, currently United’s 767-400s feature a total of 240 seats, including:

  • 39 business class seats
  • 70 Economy Plus (extra legroom economy) seats
  • 131 economy class seats

Once reconfigured, United’s 767-400s will allegedly feature a total of 231 seats, including:

  • 34 Polaris (business class) seats
  • 24 Premium Plus (premium economy) seats
  • 48 Economy Plus (extra legroom economy) seats
  • 124 economy class seats

As you can see, United will “only” be losing nine total seats, representing a ~4% capacity reduction. The airline will be losing five business class seats and 22 extra legroom economy seats, but will be gaining 24 premium economy seats, plus will have a much more competitive business class product.

For what it’s worth, the airline will be using the code “76U” internally to refer to these newly reconfigured jets.

United 767-400s are getting Premium Plus seats

Bottom line

United Airlines will soon start the process of reconfiguring its fleet of 16 Boeing 767-400s, and that process should be complete by the summer of 2023. United will be installing new Polaris business class seats, as well as Premium Plus premium economy seats. This also means that within a year or so, United’s Polaris retrofit project should be complete.

It’s good to see that these jets have a bit more life left in them.

What do you make of United’s plans to reconfigure 767-400s?

Conversations (23)
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  1. DHL Guest

    UA needs to install the 'polaris' seats in the 787-8 and 9 since they are newer planes.

  2. D3kingg Diamond

    I once flew the United 767 in first class from Denver to IAH. I boarded early reclined my seat and started watching a movie . At least 200 people passed by me during boarding. Awkward.

    1. Yiannis Guest

      So next time don’t board early, what does it matter. I never get on till the end for exactly that reason.

  3. shoeguy Guest

    This was first announced last month, and nothing new. The UA 767-400ER was the workhorse of Hawaii and TATL Leisure markets, pre-pandemic, and for a time, all but 2 were stored in the desert when COVID hit. These planes are all legacy CO aircraft and have not to great dispatch reliability.

    Have a flight booked on UA from Europe later this summer and even in Polaris, am not looking forward to it. I don't buy the hype of UA having turned itself around.

    1. Yiannis Guest

      So why didn’t you book on another airline instead of complaining and being negative.

    2. shoeguy Guest

      Polaris one way, for 25K miles and $60 made it worth it.

  4. KLM11 Guest

    Story headline shows a 763, should be a 764 lol

  5. BJB Guest

    I've flown in several of these in the past year -- both up front and in Economy Plus. They're great! I think United Business is a very good product and the refits I've flown on have been very comfortable. My wife and I recently flew to London in the front row of Economy Plus in A&B with C across the aisle. They are noisier and not as smooth as 787's but I look for them when choosing routes.

  6. Steven E Guest

    Having just flown on them in their “Polaris” class I can confirm that in all my 50 years of flying business and first this is the worst carrier, nothing would persuade me to get on one of their aircraft ever again and even if it was F.O.C

  7. RF Diamond

    It's good to see UA update these 764s. However, isn't it already time for UA to select a new business class seat?

  8. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Those premium plus seats crack me up.

    They’re the EXACT same 2-2-2 configuration as the 767 business class cabin of 20 years ago.

    “Plus ça change” and all that…

    1. Speedbird Guest

      Even economy isn't 2-4-2 on the 767

  9. Never In Doubt Guest

    The 767 is one of the few long range jets (w/ a330, a340) with 2 economy seats between the aisle & window.

    Great when traveling in pairs!

    1. TravelCat2 Member

      I agree. I wish more long-haul aircraft had economy cabins that are better configured for couples. The US Airways A330-200s that AA inherited (and since retired) had a very pleasant economy class cabin. It was even comfortable for flights as long as PHL-TLV.

    2. AA70 Gold

      That really was a great feature, AA's 772s had these pre retrofit also. Configured 2-5-2 before they were densified to 3-4-3

  10. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The number of front cabin seats proposed (or leaked) is the same as on Delta's 767-400s (the only other large operator of the type) which is not surprising given that the doors are in the same place and the only way to really increase space is to configure business class as 1-1-1. 767's typically fly 9-11 hour flights at most so a super lush forward cabin just doesn't move the needle.
    The 767 has...

    The number of front cabin seats proposed (or leaked) is the same as on Delta's 767-400s (the only other large operator of the type) which is not surprising given that the doors are in the same place and the only way to really increase space is to configure business class as 1-1-1. 767's typically fly 9-11 hour flights at most so a super lush forward cabin just doesn't move the needle.
    The 767 has coach seats that are wider than ANY of American or United's 787s or 777s so I will gladly take a 767 over an AA or UA 777 or 787.

    Since there is no viable replacement for either 767 model (-300ER or 400) and Boeing, the only company likely to produce an all new aircraft, is mired in endless delays on its existing aircraft, Delta and United have clearly decided that it is better to keep their 767s as long as possible and invest whatever is necessary to keep them running for likely at least the remainder of this decade.

  11. Syd Guest

    The 767 as an aircraft family gets credit for just about nothing, when in reality the aircraft has been a reliable workhorse and a true backbone of airlines all over the place, and in many ways fulfilled exactly what the 787 gets so much credit for today - made a ton of point-to-point routes financially viable. And as Delta and United show, with good maintenance and cabin updates, these planes still can easily offer the...

    The 767 as an aircraft family gets credit for just about nothing, when in reality the aircraft has been a reliable workhorse and a true backbone of airlines all over the place, and in many ways fulfilled exactly what the 787 gets so much credit for today - made a ton of point-to-point routes financially viable. And as Delta and United show, with good maintenance and cabin updates, these planes still can easily offer the modern level of comfort nearly 45 years later.

    United refreshing 764s by mid 2023 means they're likely keeping them till 2028-2030 - and personally that makes me happy. Obviously no A350, A380, 787, but I truly enjoy flying DL and UAs 767 when I have a chance.

    1. view Guest

      Agreed until "modern level of comfort", which the 767 does not have despite new cabins. The planes are noisy as hell and does not have the air quality of 787 (or A350) which affects the passenger experience.

    2. Syd Guest

      Yeah, obviously no bells and whistles of the past 10 years, and noticeably noisier although I wouldn't say "as hell", but personally I'm still perfectly happy to do 767 transatlantic (not to mention cross-country) 6-8 hour hops in modern cabins.

    3. shoeguy Guest

      The 767 has many advantages, notably in terms of comfort, but it has a dispatch reliability problem and can take long delays on occasion and that includes the frames operated by UA.

      These specific birds, in the grander scheme of things aren't that old. Deliveries to CO began in 1999 and continued to 2002.

    4. Regis Guest

      The unsung hero of the aviation industry. For decades the workhorse of US airlines on transatlantic routes. 767's have flown more US-Europe and US-(deep) South America routes than any other frame. My favorite widebody aircraft still is today.

  12. Vickie M Guest

    Flying 767-400 in Polaris from ewr to mun tomorrow. Of course they are eventually getting updated lol. Though I do appreciate the ability to fly next to my husband and still have a window seat.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Never In Doubt Guest

The 767 is one of the few long range jets (w/ a330, a340) with 2 economy seats between the aisle & window. Great when traveling in pairs!

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Syd Guest

The 767 as an aircraft family gets credit for just about nothing, when in reality the aircraft has been a reliable workhorse and a true backbone of airlines all over the place, and in many ways fulfilled exactly what the 787 gets so much credit for today - made a ton of point-to-point routes financially viable. And as Delta and United show, with good maintenance and cabin updates, these planes still can easily offer the modern level of comfort nearly 45 years later. United refreshing 764s by mid 2023 means they're likely keeping them till 2028-2030 - and personally that makes me happy. Obviously no A350, A380, 787, but I truly enjoy flying DL and UAs 767 when I have a chance.

4
Regis Guest

The unsung hero of the aviation industry. For decades the workhorse of US airlines on transatlantic routes. 767's have flown more US-Europe and US-(deep) South America routes than any other frame. My favorite widebody aircraft still is today.

3
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