To make room for more premium class Polaris seats, United Airlines will reconfigure more economy class cabins to ten-abreast seating than previously announced.
United Airlines Polaris class cabins are billed as representing “a new era in premium air travel,” but for those passengers not fortunate enough to enjoy the custom designed lay-flat seats with private cubicles inflight, that new era will likely feel a bit cramped. As United retires the last of its Boeing 747 jumbo jets in favor of Polaris-equipped Boeing 777 aircraft, economy class passengers will, in many cases, find themselves with much less elbow room. While the new Polaris cabin keep a similar footprint as the first and business class cabins it replaces, United is taking the opportunity to squeeze in a few extra economy cabin seats as it retools equipment with the new Polaris seats.
In March of 2016, the airline announced that it would reconfigure 19 of the 777s with economy seats in rows of ten-abreast rather that the previous configuration of nine-abreast seating. The move, which was intended to make way for new Polaris class seats, was, at the time, only to involve equipment used for domestic trips within the US. Now, however, the Los Angeles Times reports that United will begin introducing 777 aircraft with ten-abreast economy class rows regularly on long-haul international flights as well.
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[Correction: Fly book previously reported Boeing 777’s as Dreamliners]