Oh! I did not realize that the 789 order were planned replacements for 767s!
I was under the impression that all the new orders, and the 78-10 were incremental fleet growth- and that seemed like a lot of seats added to the sky in relatively short time. (At least to me, but I consider myself far less aviation savvy than others)
I will say this about my flight to Geneva Saturday night, 6pm departure: the Polaris Lounge was PACKED! My friend and I could not find 2 soft seats together- so we had to sit at a cocktail table.
So, since my first time there, soon after opening and thinking how huge it was, yet very restricted, today it is now full...with a few folks even waiting for one of the very swanky bathroom lights to go from red to green!
What will happen when every single WB departing having been fitted with 48-60 Polaris seats, plus additional summer flights?
As far as I know they aren't planned replacements for any 767s at this time. What Kirby stated was UA may replace some 763s with a potential future 788 order.
As far as the Polaris lounge at EWR what is the end result your hoping for a half empty lounge? From all your post over the years on this site I think its safe to assume you are either a Platinum, 1K or GS passengers and as an employee I appreciate your business but as often as you've traveled with UA you had to know to expect a crowd in the time leading up to GVA's departure. EWR has one of the largest Polaris Lounges at over 27,000 square feet. I've been in the EWR lounge several times (as a paying passenger not a non rev, non revs are not allowed in any Polaris Lounges) and yes it does get busy and crowded during the evening rush but I didn't see it as a negative. What I saw was UA is finally doing something right. In my soon to be 24 years with UA I've never seen UA pay so much attention to try and get something right as they have with these Polaris Lounges, so much so they stopped all construction and went back to the drawing board after realizing ORD's Polaris Lounge was way to small. However that being said there is only so much square footage UA can devote to one particular space at an airport even a space as important as the Polaris Lounge. In UA's network EWR is the largest business market followed closely by SFO, there is demand for business travel UA isn't about to reduce the overall number of business class seats in these markets but at the same time there I think they have devoted as much space as they reasonably can to Polaris Lounges at these airports.
First, I actually didn’t mean to be critical of the EWR Polaris Lounge. It was meant purely as and observation and ultimately a question. My first 5 or 6 times at the EWR PL (Polaris Lounge) it was comfortably full of people.
I’m NOT surprised at all it now gets packed because you are 100% correct, United did a spectacular job designing and implementing it, the club is gorgeous and luxurious down to the smallest detail and best yet speaks strongly to the new revitalized UNITED brand (in many ways more than the livery does). Yes, it is huge, but it is clearly working almost better than intended. Premium international fliers I know all rave about it. I’m very happy for UNITED, it is great that HQ decided to spare nothing and do something as great, and special as the PL.
Yes, I am GS, and a 3 mm flier. That took me 24 years!
My concern for UA is: as HUGE and amazing as the EWR PL is, and even under the strictest of entry rules, obviously (although I have yet to read a 3rd party article about it - other than TPG) it must be helping to draw premium fliers back. That’s a great thing.
I simply was thinking about 2-3 years from now with more and bigger Polaris cabins coming; more international routes like Prague, Naples, Cape Town etc, the high J 763s and more 787-10’s, United might need to build a second floor above PL with a spiral staircase! - just a thought!
I went to a packed United (quite swanky) cocktail party in downtown Manhattan 10 days ago, and a couple of very senior UA executives spoke. They discussed openly that events like the one I was at is going to be just one of many things UA will be doing in Manhattan. Targeting the growth of downtown Manhattan, Hudson Yards and all the new skyscrapers on the NJ side of the Hudson and the close proximity of EWR, well, the opportunity for premium business travelers are virtually endless (and these people do not take public transit, they take black cars, and by road EWR is much closer!). Events like the one I attended cost a fraction of what traditional “advertising” costs, but are far more effective. Getting to have a one-to-one conversation with someone who is the Director of MP or GS or the VP of UA planning for EWR/NYC was fascinating at least and being able to say to the right person “the public lavatories at EWR are horrible and why” felt great- not an email with someone who thanks me for my business, but an accessible executive was amazing. You can’t beat the personal touch with an ad. They struck me as very smart and not as clueless as they are so often accused of.
As for EWR UNITED Clubs. They are not asleep at the switch at all. They know it sucks and they have a long term fix. They just aren’t “Jeannie” and blink their eyes and fix it. A new large UC at EWR TC is underway on the roof top of the concourse with gates 120 though 138. I’m sure it will take a lot of time as everything does- but the “pop-ups” are temporary and I begged for outdoor seating!
As someone who loves branding, especially aviation, when big ideas are being approved and implemented and watching consumer behavior react, it will be so interesting to look back 5+ years from now and see if and how UNITED’s brand perceptions will be impacted. If a “Worst to First Part Deux” book will be written.