QF744
Topic Author
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:05 pm

(Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:44 am

Here’s an interesting video interview about United’s luxury transformation with new Polaris Lounges, seats and more... and what’s next.

United Airlines’ Director of Premium Services, Alexander Dorow, who is being interviewed, also looks at what to expect from Premium Plus and new lounges coming.

https://wayfarer.travel/wayfarer-tv-uni ... formation/

It’s fair to say United has come a long way over the past 3 years from a luxury standpoint and what does everyone think the airline will do next to enhance its luxury offering?
OVER 150 FLIGHTS PER YEAR.
 
GoSharks
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:23 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:39 am

As a current United 1k, I want to see them maintain or return to what Polaris was at launch. Their food options are barely passable onboard and have been cut since the launch. Spend a few more dollars here, please. They must maintain the bedding quality and must not make cuts at the Polaris lounges because that are the competitive advantages for them right now.

The Polaris hardware roll out is on track, and it needs to keep going.
Last edited by GoSharks on Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
ericm2031
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:46 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:39 am

It took a very long time to get Polaris going but they seem to finally have caught a stride and are moving much more quickly with the lounges and retrofits. The 787's fly a lot of long and ultra-long haul but don't have Polaris seats yet nor Premium Plus. I feel like they brought out so many different things at different times that it's making it difficult for them to sell a consistent experience.

The key is to keep everything constantly updated. It all looks pretty and nice because it's new, but they have to keep it up and avoid it looking tired and old. I think the US3 all ran into this problem when the industry tanked and are still playing catch up with investments.
 
User avatar
ua900
Posts: 1528
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:14 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:02 am

QF744 wrote:
Here’s an interesting video interview about United’s luxury transformation with new Polaris Lounges, seats and more... and what’s next.

United Airlines’ Director of Premium Services, Alexander Dorow, who is being interviewed, also looks at what to expect from Premium Plus and new lounges coming.

https://wayfarer.travel/wayfarer-tv-uni ... formation/

It’s fair to say United has come a long way over the past 3 years from a luxury standpoint and what does everyone think the airline will do next to enhance its luxury offering?


Two steps forward and one step back over the past 3 years if you ask this UA MM 1K. I'll comment on Premium Plus once I fly my first real UA PP flight on March 31st on BRU-IAD, one day after it officially debuts since one can reliably speak to the prevailing service standards then.

Positive: Polaris 1-2-1 seating, Polaris lounges, return of showers (as they got eliminated from the regular UA clubs that had them they popped back up at Polaris), slightly better food and drinks aboard, outstanding food at Polaris restaurants on the ground, marginally better food in the general Polaris snack bar area than in the old Global First lounges, the small memory foam cushions in Polaris, pajamas in Polaris if flight > 12 hours, Polaris branding in general is nicer than the bland UA overall brand, nicer looking counters at the airport, regular UA clubs look nicer too

Negative: Skimping on tiny things like the non-slip part of the socks and other items in the kit that seem to get flimsier all the time, no more bloody mary and minosa carts, no more wine flights, no more Grand Marnier, Courvoisier, Crown Royal... that downright silly attempt to eliminate tomato juice, that bizarre inability for months and months to fix the sundae globes while serving the Villa Dolce paper cup ice cream from Economy in Business Class, inability to keep up with the club product of say Amex Centurion when the membership fee is comparable to UA club memberships, new UA clubs look nice but empty shelves abound, even the cheap free magazines have been axed from UA clubs, axing Rhapsody, frequent inability to provide pajamas in Polaris on return flight, e.g. SIN-SFO

My armchair advice to UA: Put some meaningless used books and decor into the UA clubs to imitate what you do in Polaris Lounges or the UA club in SF, like pictures, ship models, or something else that's a bit of a local flavor besides Hawaiian Punch. Work with airports to sponsor more local exhibitions, like the ones that are always in SF. Gives the place a nicer touch than an army of OTG iPads at EWR. Bring back US made / higher quality items in amenity kits. You want people to pay lots of extra money for flights rather than use GPUs, so why not pay someone like L'Occitane en Provence, Hermes or Porsche slightly more money to come up with something competitive? Same for the pajamas, the writing / print wears off PDQ, how much more would say Van Laack or Zimmerli have been? Little things matter, especially if you're trying to sell more seats rather than give them away.
2018: AMS | ARN | CDG | DEN | DFW | EWR | FRA | GUM | HAM | HKG | HNL | IAH | LAX | MIA | MUC | ORD | RSW | SAL | SFO | SIN | TLV | TXL | VIE | ZRH
 
tpaewr
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:01 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:25 am

Big picture I think UA has done a good job recently. I will echo the sentiments above with confusion and disappointment with Polaris being reduced to PMUA business class service levels. That was pathetic with an F cabin and redic with out one.
 
questions
Posts: 1905
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:05 am

I just have this feeling...

That as airlines start to feel softness in the premium bookings and revenue...

From a global economic slowdown and impending recession...

UA flyers will experience more reductions in the nicer touches of the Polaris product...

And Polaris will never be as lux as once envisioned.
 
QF744
Topic Author
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:05 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:54 am

GoSharks wrote:
As a current United 1k, I want to see them maintain or return to what Polaris was at launch. Their food options are barely passable onboard and have been cut since the launch. Spend a few more dollars here, please. They must maintain the bedding quality and must not make cuts at the Polaris lounges because that are the competitive advantages for them right now.

The Polaris hardware roll out is on track, and it needs to keep going.


I’m guessing that might depend on the route as when I flew UA on SYD-LAX-SYD a few weeks ago, the food and wine was excellent... on that route, the competition is immense though given they compete with AA, DL, QF and VA all direct and NZ and FJ indirectly.

The Polaris Lounge at LAX is one of the best lounges because it’s not crowded and will be interesting to see if they relax the entry rules at some stage.
OVER 150 FLIGHTS PER YEAR.
 
QF744
Topic Author
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:05 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:56 am

ericm2031 wrote:
It took a very long time to get Polaris going but they seem to finally have caught a stride and are moving much more quickly with the lounges and retrofits. The 787's fly a lot of long and ultra-long haul but don't have Polaris seats yet nor Premium Plus. I feel like they brought out so many different things at different times that it's making it difficult for them to sell a consistent experience.

The key is to keep everything constantly updated. It all looks pretty and nice because it's new, but they have to keep it up and avoid it looking tired and old. I think the US3 all ran into this problem when the industry tanked and are still playing catch up with investments.


Shame they didn’t fit some of the 789s with the new Polaris seats after the product was announced... means they could be some of the last to get the seats now!
OVER 150 FLIGHTS PER YEAR.
 
QF744
Topic Author
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:05 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:59 am

ua900 wrote:
QF744 wrote:
Here’s an interesting video interview about United’s luxury transformation with new Polaris Lounges, seats and more... and what’s next.

United Airlines’ Director of Premium Services, Alexander Dorow, who is being interviewed, also looks at what to expect from Premium Plus and new lounges coming.

https://wayfarer.travel/wayfarer-tv-uni ... formation/

It’s fair to say United has come a long way over the past 3 years from a luxury standpoint and what does everyone think the airline will do next to enhance its luxury offering?


Two steps forward and one step back over the past 3 years if you ask this UA MM 1K. I'll comment on Premium Plus once I fly my first real UA PP flight on March 31st on BRU-IAD, one day after it officially debuts since one can reliably speak to the prevailing service standards then.

Positive: Polaris 1-2-1 seating, Polaris lounges, return of showers (as they got eliminated from the regular UA clubs that had them they popped back up at Polaris), slightly better food and drinks aboard, outstanding food at Polaris restaurants on the ground, marginally better food in the general Polaris snack bar area than in the old Global First lounges, the small memory foam cushions in Polaris, pajamas in Polaris if flight > 12 hours, Polaris branding in general is nicer than the bland UA overall brand, nicer looking counters at the airport, regular UA clubs look nicer too

Negative: Skimping on tiny things like the non-slip part of the socks and other items in the kit that seem to get flimsier all the time, no more bloody mary and minosa carts, no more wine flights, no more Grand Marnier, Courvoisier, Crown Royal... that downright silly attempt to eliminate tomato juice, that bizarre inability for months and months to fix the sundae globes while serving the Villa Dolce paper cup ice cream from Economy in Business Class, inability to keep up with the club product of say Amex Centurion when the membership fee is comparable to UA club memberships, new UA clubs look nice but empty shelves abound, even the cheap free magazines have been axed from UA clubs, axing Rhapsody, frequent inability to provide pajamas in Polaris on return flight, e.g. SIN-SFO

My armchair advice to UA: Put some meaningless used books and decor into the UA clubs to imitate what you do in Polaris Lounges or the UA club in SF, like pictures, ship models, or something else that's a bit of a local flavor besides Hawaiian Punch. Work with airports to sponsor more local exhibitions, like the ones that are always in SF. Gives the place a nicer touch than an army of OTG iPads at EWR. Bring back US made / higher quality items in amenity kits. You want people to pay lots of extra money for flights rather than use GPUs, so why not pay someone like L'Occitane en Provence, Hermes or Porsche slightly more money to come up with something competitive? Same for the pajamas, the writing / print wears off PDQ, how much more would say Van Laack or Zimmerli have been? Little things matter, especially if you're trying to sell more seats rather than give them away.


Interestingly I found they have been running out of pyjamas on some of the flights I have taken recently and when they have had some they have only been S/M and joy L/XL.

I do like the new pool-style reusable plastic cups onboard now instead of single use plastic... And the wines keep getting better.

Look forward to hearing what you think of Premium Plus.
OVER 150 FLIGHTS PER YEAR.
 
stylo777
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:06 pm

being based in EU, I hardly get the chance to enjoy the lounges in the US; however, on my recent return from SFO I had a rather longish layover and went to the Polaris lounge.
first off, it was probably one of the longest lounge I've ever been to. the food options were good, not overwhelmingly great, but much better than the options one usually gets offered. in particular, the a la carte dining option was well presented. due to the length and size, the lounge offers a lot of space. with airports ripping airlines and retailers of with horendous square feet prices nowadays, it was one of the biggest striking advantages I saw. as a comparison, LH's Senator or TK's Business lounges are desperately overcrowded whenever I pay those a visit.
being quite new the shiny factor is still vital and should definately be maintained. overall, an unexpectetly great experience and the way to go for United.
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:09 pm

United is very much on an upswing, largely due to a more competent and focused c-suite, where a lot of work is being done to remediate the gaps that existed pre- and post-merger at each legacy carrier that when combined, just made the problems much worse. The bells and whistles appear to be there now with the premium offering. What absolutely needs to be a perennial focus is the service culture. Like all US carriers, it is hit and miss, but United in particular has a well earned reputation for disinterested and not always friendly front line employees, specifically the flight attendants. It is they who can make or break the service on a flight.
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:17 pm

3-3-3 in economy on a 787 for a 16 hour flight is not luxurious.
 
fun2fly
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:44 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:25 pm

QF744 wrote:
ericm2031 wrote:
It took a very long time to get Polaris going but they seem to finally have caught a stride and are moving much more quickly with the lounges and retrofits. The 787's fly a lot of long and ultra-long haul but don't have Polaris seats yet nor Premium Plus. I feel like they brought out so many different things at different times that it's making it difficult for them to sell a consistent experience.

The key is to keep everything constantly updated. It all looks pretty and nice because it's new, but they have to keep it up and avoid it looking tired and old. I think the US3 all ran into this problem when the industry tanked and are still playing catch up with investments.


Shame they didn’t fit some of the 789s with the new Polaris seats after the product was announced... means they could be some of the last to get the seats now!


789 = 13 deliveries next year will have them = 1/3 of the fleet + any retrofits by end of 2020. Agreed, the long haul 789 machine could use them, but UA did the right prioritization with the 767's, IPTE 772's and CO 772's first.
 
LHUSA
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:15 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:51 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
3-3-3 in economy on a 787 for a 16 hour flight is not luxurious.


This topic is not about economy
 
xjetflyer2001
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:20 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:58 pm

ua900 wrote:
QF744 wrote:
Here’s an interesting video interview about United’s luxury transformation with new Polaris Lounges, seats and more... and what’s next.

United Airlines’ Director of Premium Services, Alexander Dorow, who is being interviewed, also looks at what to expect from Premium Plus and new lounges coming.

https://wayfarer.travel/wayfarer-tv-uni ... formation/

It’s fair to say United has come a long way over the past 3 years from a luxury standpoint and what does everyone think the airline will do next to enhance its luxury offering?


Two steps forward and one step back over the past 3 years if you ask this UA MM 1K. I'll comment on Premium Plus once I fly my first real UA PP flight on March 31st on BRU-IAD, one day after it officially debuts since one can reliably speak to the prevailing service standards then.

Positive: Polaris 1-2-1 seating, Polaris lounges, return of showers (as they got eliminated from the regular UA clubs that had them they popped back up at Polaris), slightly better food and drinks aboard, outstanding food at Polaris restaurants on the ground, marginally better food in the general Polaris snack bar area than in the old Global First lounges, the small memory foam cushions in Polaris, pajamas in Polaris if flight > 12 hours, Polaris branding in general is nicer than the bland UA overall brand, nicer looking counters at the airport, regular UA clubs look nicer too

Negative: Skimping on tiny things like the non-slip part of the socks and other items in the kit that seem to get flimsier all the time, no more bloody mary and minosa carts, no more wine flights, no more Grand Marnier, Courvoisier, Crown Royal... that downright silly attempt to eliminate tomato juice, that bizarre inability for months and months to fix the sundae globes while serving the Villa Dolce paper cup ice cream from Economy in Business Class, inability to keep up with the club product of say Amex Centurion when the membership fee is comparable to UA club memberships, new UA clubs look nice but empty shelves abound, even the cheap free magazines have been axed from UA clubs, axing Rhapsody, frequent inability to provide pajamas in Polaris on return flight, e.g. SIN-SFO

My armchair advice to UA: Put some meaningless used books and decor into the UA clubs to imitate what you do in Polaris Lounges or the UA club in SF, like pictures, ship models, or something else that's a bit of a local flavor besides Hawaiian Punch. Work with airports to sponsor more local exhibitions, like the ones that are always in SF. Gives the place a nicer touch than an army of OTG iPads at EWR. Bring back US made / higher quality items in amenity kits. You want people to pay lots of extra money for flights rather than use GPUs, so why not pay someone like L'Occitane en Provence, Hermes or Porsche slightly more money to come up with something competitive? Same for the pajamas, the writing / print wears off PDQ, how much more would say Van Laack or Zimmerli have been? Little things matter, especially if you're trying to sell more seats rather than give them away.


I'm sure you already have, but if not, send this into United
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 2678
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:39 pm

Hopefully at least the B789s get a W cabin (which would likely drop the seat count to about 240 there), but would it cut into J revenue, given how UA deploys the B789 mostly on ultra-long haul? I have a hard time seeing how the B788s can get a W cabin without destroying a case to keep the B763s being reconfigured to 167 seats, as W would probably drop the B788 below 200 seats or put it right at 200 seats. UA did right to equip the B78X with a true W.
 
User avatar
DL747400
Posts: 644
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:04 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:39 pm

This is a fantastic 7.5 minute commercial for UA's premium services, both on the ground and in the air. It lays a roadmap for where UA would like to go. But aside from a few ground locations and a relatively small percentage of their fleet, they are not there just yet.

One point made in the video with which I strongly agree is premium passengers will actually arrange their schedules and connections in order to spend more time in a good lounge, either prior to departure or on an intentionally longer connection. AMEN! Someone finally "gets it." A really good lounge can indeed be a destination which travelers will seek out while on the way to somewhere else. Good, spacious showers and comfortable quite/rest areas are critical elements, but I also love what they've done with their hot and cold buffets.
From First to Worst: The history of Airliners.net.

All posts reflect my opinions, not those of my employer or any other company.
 
airbazar
Posts: 9502
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:24 pm

Their premium economy class still sucks giant rocks.
 
LHUSA
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:15 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:47 pm

airbazar wrote:
Their premium economy class still sucks giant rocks.


Quite eloquent you are. But Premium Plus service hasn’t even started yet, so on what are you basing your observations? Clearly you’re just a troll
 
AAtakeMeAway
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:59 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:22 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
3-3-3 in economy on a 787 for a 16 hour flight is not luxurious.


I don’t think it’s supposed to be.
 
kiowa
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:37 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:35 pm

It looks like a very nice product. I had a very hard time listening to the United guy and his continuous upspeak though.
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Posts: 2678
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:59 am

LHUSA wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Their premium economy class still sucks giant rocks.


Quite eloquent you are. But Premium Plus service hasn’t even started yet, so on what are you basing your observations? Clearly you’re just a troll


Unless he has flown the B78X, which does have a true W section (21 W seats in a 2-3-2 arrangement).
 
LHUSA
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:15 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:23 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
LHUSA wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Their premium economy class still sucks giant rocks.


Quite eloquent you are. But Premium Plus service hasn’t even started yet, so on what are you basing your observations? Clearly you’re just a troll


Unless he has flown the B78X, which does have a true W section (21 W seats in a 2-3-2 arrangement).


The seats are flying in some aircraft, but not the elevated service elements. That starts at the end of the month on international routes. The seats itself is essentially identified to AA/DL versions.
 
CriticalPoint
Posts: 531
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:17 am

Ziyulu wrote:
3-3-3 in economy on a 787 for a 16 hour flight is not luxurious.


Then buy first class
 
questions
Posts: 1905
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:30 am

CriticalPoint wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
3-3-3 in economy on a 787 for a 16 hour flight is not luxurious.


Then buy first class


UA does not offer first class on the 787.
 
airbazar
Posts: 9502
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:15 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
LHUSA wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Their premium economy class still sucks giant rocks.


Quite eloquent you are. But Premium Plus service hasn’t even started yet, so on what are you basing your observations? Clearly you’re just a troll


Unless he has flown the B78X, which does have a true W section (21 W seats in a 2-3-2 arrangement).


I haven't and I'm not a troll. I was referring to their Economy Plus that they've been selling as Premium Economy for years.
I'm glad to see that they are finally catching up to the rest of the world's top airlines. It does not make them a luxury airline however, it just means they are now just as good as all the others.
 
B737900ER
Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:26 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:16 pm

airbazar wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
LHUSA wrote:

Quite eloquent you are. But Premium Plus service hasn’t even started yet, so on what are you basing your observations? Clearly you’re just a troll


Unless he has flown the B78X, which does have a true W section (21 W seats in a 2-3-2 arrangement).


I haven't and I'm not a troll. I was referring to their Economy Plus that they've been selling as Premium Economy for years.
I'm glad to see that they are finally catching up to the rest of the world's top airlines. It does not make them a luxury airline however, it just means they are now just as good as all the others.

They have never marketed or sold or tried to pass off economy plus as premium economy. Ever.
 
traindoc
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:35 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:48 pm

My wife and I spent 4 hours in the Polaris lounge at SFO on Thursday. UA has done a great job! The lounge is almost on par with the LH Senator lounges at MUC and FRA.
 
LHUSA
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:15 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:49 pm

B737900ER wrote:
airbazar wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:

Unless he has flown the B78X, which does have a true W section (21 W seats in a 2-3-2 arrangement).


I haven't and I'm not a troll. I was referring to their Economy Plus that they've been selling as Premium Economy for years.
I'm glad to see that they are finally catching up to the rest of the world's top airlines. It does not make them a luxury airline however, it just means they are now just as good as all the others.

They have never marketed or sold or tried to pass off economy plus as premium economy. Ever.


Ding ding ding!
 
dcajet
Posts: 3833
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:31 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:14 pm

Is it me or this is just a well executed 7.5 minutes infomercial for the Australian market/traveler? While not denying how much United has improved over the past couple of years, the whole infomercial seems more of a declaration of where they plan to be. It is certainly not the reality today - for 80% of the fleet. In any case, well done and glad to see United on this road.
"Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten"
 
LAXLHR
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:07 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:49 pm

QF744 wrote:
Here’s an interesting video interview about United’s luxury transformation with new Polaris Lounges, seats and more... and what’s next.

United Airlines’ Director of Premium Services, Alexander Dorow, who is being interviewed, also looks at what to expect from Premium Plus and new lounges coming.

https://wayfarer.travel/wayfarer-tv-uni ... formation/

It’s fair to say United has come a long way over the past 3 years from a luxury standpoint and what does everyone think the airline will do next to enhance its luxury offering?


OMG no, I would not call it "LUXURIOUS" by any stretch. Very Premium, sure!.

I would say UA is #1 for overall Premium levels (at times)
DL (even though I can't stand them ;-) #1 for service on the ground and #1 in the air (for the most part). Premium seat offering is not great - mostly older generation but acceptable of course, and that blue seat covering makes me want to vomit!
AA #1 overall for F and J seating configs - Service can be great, but we all know its hit and miss. Food can be very good in F and ok to very good in J depending upon the route.

Anyway the above is not really a rant, just my personal observation. Good for UA, at least they are trying!!
BA JM EA GK PA VS AA SN HP CO W7 WN NW DL QQ UA AC US LH LX OS JL QF QR PG MH CX U2 EK 9W UK TP VY VN PC LO OK OZ UL SQ LA

707 727 L10 732-NG 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 787 DC8 DC9 DC10 M80 M11 100 AB3 310 318 319 320 321 332 333 342 343 380
 
fun2fly
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:44 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:56 pm

dcajet wrote:
Is it me or this is just a well executed 7.5 minutes infomercial for the Australian market/traveler? While not denying how much United has improved over the past couple of years, the whole infomercial seems more of a declaration of where they plan to be. It is certainly not the reality today - for 80% of the fleet. In any case, well done and glad to see United on this road.


It's better than 20%. 36% (56/153) with Polaris and 26% (40/153) with PE. In the next 5 weeks, add in 4 new 78J's, 2x 77W's retrofitted with PE, 3-4 772's and 1-2 767's pushing it to over 40% Polaris and 33% PE. By the end of the year with new deliveries (2x77W & 2 78J's in Q4) and retrofits, I'd guess 60+%.
 
DarthLobster
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:40 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:04 pm

Nothing about Polaris or anything UA has done since the merger can be called “rapid”.
 
GoSharks
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:23 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:22 pm

traindoc wrote:
My wife and I spent 4 hours in the Polaris lounge at SFO on Thursday. UA has done a great job! The lounge is almost on par with the LH Senator lounges at MUC and FRA.

What? The LH SEN lounges are not even in the same league as the Polaris lounges. Polaris is clearly a step above them in terms of space and dining.
 
QF744
Topic Author
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:05 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:20 am

traindoc wrote:
My wife and I spent 4 hours in the Polaris lounge at SFO on Thursday. UA has done a great job! The lounge is almost on par with the LH Senator lounges at MUC and FRA.


I’ve heard great things about the new SFO Polaris Lounge... how does it compare to the old spacious F Lounge?
OVER 150 FLIGHTS PER YEAR.
 
QF744
Topic Author
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:05 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:46 am

fun2fly wrote:
dcajet wrote:
Is it me or this is just a well executed 7.5 minutes infomercial for the Australian market/traveler? While not denying how much United has improved over the past couple of years, the whole infomercial seems more of a declaration of where they plan to be. It is certainly not the reality today - for 80% of the fleet. In any case, well done and glad to see United on this road.


It's better than 20%. 36% (56/153) with Polaris and 26% (40/153) with PE. In the next 5 weeks, add in 4 new 78J's, 2x 77W's retrofitted with PE, 3-4 772's and 1-2 767's pushing it to over 40% Polaris and 33% PE. By the end of the year with new deliveries (2x77W & 2 78J's in Q4) and retrofits, I'd guess 60+%.


That’s a pretty high percentage of the fleet done very quickly though. You’d imagine 80% by the end of next year?
OVER 150 FLIGHTS PER YEAR.
 
fun2fly
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:44 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:44 pm

QF744 wrote:
fun2fly wrote:
dcajet wrote:
Is it me or this is just a well executed 7.5 minutes infomercial for the Australian market/traveler? While not denying how much United has improved over the past couple of years, the whole infomercial seems more of a declaration of where they plan to be. It is certainly not the reality today - for 80% of the fleet. In any case, well done and glad to see United on this road.


It's better than 20%. 36% (56/153) with Polaris and 26% (40/153) with PE. In the next 5 weeks, add in 4 new 78J's, 2x 77W's retrofitted with PE, 3-4 772's and 1-2 767's pushing it to over 40% Polaris and 33% PE. By the end of the year with new deliveries (2x77W & 2 78J's in Q4) and retrofits, I'd guess 60+%.


That’s a pretty high percentage of the fleet done very quickly though. You’d imagine 80% by the end of next year?


I may be remembering this incorrectly, but I thought was UA's goal to be done by the end of 2020. If not, for sure the 80% you mention would be feasible.
 
speedbird2263
Posts: 167
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:07 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:01 pm

kiowa wrote:
It looks like a very nice product. I had a very hard time listening to the United guy and his continuous upspeak though.


I thought it was just me, nitpicking I guess but for a spokesperson it's not becoming.
Straight'n Up 'N Fly Right Son
 
airbazar
Posts: 9502
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:31 pm

B737900ER wrote:
airbazar wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:

Unless he has flown the B78X, which does have a true W section (21 W seats in a 2-3-2 arrangement).


I haven't and I'm not a troll. I was referring to their Economy Plus that they've been selling as Premium Economy for years.
I'm glad to see that they are finally catching up to the rest of the world's top airlines. It does not make them a luxury airline however, it just means they are now just as good as all the others.

They have never marketed or sold or tried to pass off economy plus as premium economy. Ever.

So much so that this new product has been described by many as United finally getting a "real premium economy."
Premium Economy is everything between Economy and Business class. It is different things to different airlines and for United and other North American carriers this has been the case for nearly 2 decades their version of premium economy. They had no need to go with the more luxurious version of premium economy because they are predominantly domestic carriers. United's EconomyPlus is merely a marketing name for their premium economy product..
https://crankyflier.com/2014/05/01/the- ... eck-is-it/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premium_economy
It even had it's own marketing slogan and campaign when it was launched in 1999. It was definitely advertised as their premium economy product under the brand name of EconomyPlus. Back in those days, what is now widely known as Premium Economy was still very rare and each airline created its own product under its own branding name. Not even SQ was able to sell it on their ULH A340 routes and eventually discontinued it.
 
kiowa
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:37 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:06 pm

speedbird2263 wrote:
kiowa wrote:
It looks like a very nice product. I had a very hard time listening to the United guy and his continuous upspeak though.


I thought it was just me, nitpicking I guess but for a spokesperson it's not becoming.



No, not just you, I think upspeak is not professional and is the "valley girl" talk of today. It belongs on brainless talkshows not in business.
 
flyer56
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:46 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:11 pm

QF744 wrote:
traindoc wrote:
My wife and I spent 4 hours in the Polaris lounge at SFO on Thursday. UA has done a great job! The lounge is almost on par with the LH Senator lounges at MUC and FRA.


I’ve heard great things about the new SFO Polaris Lounge... how does it compare to the old spacious F Lounge?


Far bigger. The Polaris lounge incorporates the old UA, SQ and BR lounges plus additional space. It is really huge. Fortunately it is divided up into sections among the two floors so it does not feel like a public hall.
 
GoSharks
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:23 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:28 pm

QF744 wrote:
traindoc wrote:
My wife and I spent 4 hours in the Polaris lounge at SFO on Thursday. UA has done a great job! The lounge is almost on par with the LH Senator lounges at MUC and FRA.


I’ve heard great things about the new SFO Polaris Lounge... how does it compare to the old spacious F Lounge?

Polaris is much better.
 
blooc350
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:10 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Adding "luxury" to anything United is like saying rap is "classy". Nice Polaris product tho
 
N649DL
Posts: 489
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:09 pm

Polaris Lounges are probably the best airport clubs in the US (domestic carriers) but the hard product installation is very, very slow. The issue is installing direct isle access seating and retiring the sCO J seat.
 
United1
Posts: 3803
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:31 pm

N649DL wrote:
Polaris Lounges are probably the best airport clubs in the US (domestic carriers) but the hard product installation is very, very slow. The issue is installing direct isle access seating and retiring the sCO J seat.


They were a bit slow at the start but UA picked up quite a lot of speed retrofitting aircraft this winter. There are currently 6 aircraft getting the Polaris mod in XMN and HKG and 57 additional aircraft already have Polaris. All indications are they should be done by the end of 2020...four years to retrofit the entire widebody international fleet at any major airline is fairly fast.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
N649DL
Posts: 489
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:39 am

United1 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Polaris Lounges are probably the best airport clubs in the US (domestic carriers) but the hard product installation is very, very slow. The issue is installing direct isle access seating and retiring the sCO J seat.


They were a bit slow at the start but UA picked up quite a lot of speed retrofitting aircraft this winter. There are currently 6 aircraft getting the Polaris mod in XMN and HKG and 57 additional aircraft already have Polaris. All indications are they should be done by the end of 2020...four years to retrofit the entire widebody international fleet at any major airline is fairly fast.


Even the 787s? I thought only the -10's were going to get the new seat and the 788 and 789 are stuck with the old J seat for now.
 
United1
Posts: 3803
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:34 am

N649DL wrote:
United1 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
Polaris Lounges are probably the best airport clubs in the US (domestic carriers) but the hard product installation is very, very slow. The issue is installing direct isle access seating and retiring the sCO J seat.


They were a bit slow at the start but UA picked up quite a lot of speed retrofitting aircraft this winter. There are currently 6 aircraft getting the Polaris mod in XMN and HKG and 57 additional aircraft already have Polaris. All indications are they should be done by the end of 2020...four years to retrofit the entire widebody international fleet at any major airline is fairly fast.


Even the 787s? I thought only the -10's were going to get the new seat and the 788 and 789 are stuck with the old J seat for now.


789/788s start getting Polaris and PE later this year.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
B737900ER
Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:26 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:50 pm

airbazar wrote:
B737900ER wrote:
airbazar wrote:

I haven't and I'm not a troll. I was referring to their Economy Plus that they've been selling as Premium Economy for years.
I'm glad to see that they are finally catching up to the rest of the world's top airlines. It does not make them a luxury airline however, it just means they are now just as good as all the others.

They have never marketed or sold or tried to pass off economy plus as premium economy. Ever.

So much so that this new product has been described by many as United finally getting a "real premium economy."
Premium Economy is everything between Economy and Business class. It is different things to different airlines and for United and other North American carriers this has been the case for nearly 2 decades their version of premium economy. They had no need to go with the more luxurious version of premium economy because they are predominantly domestic carriers. United's EconomyPlus is merely a marketing name for their premium economy product..
https://crankyflier.com/2014/05/01/the- ... eck-is-it/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premium_economy
It even had it's own marketing slogan and campaign when it was launched in 1999. It was definitely advertised as their premium economy product under the brand name of EconomyPlus. Back in those days, what is now widely known as Premium Economy was still very rare and each airline created its own product under its own branding name. Not even SQ was able to sell it on their ULH A340 routes and eventually discontinued it.


Back in 1999 there was no premium economy as there is today. Please keep it in context. United has never passed off economy plus as what premium economy is now. Economy plus has always been extra leg room. Nothing more. United has never advertised it as anything more. And economy plus was never ever a marketing name for premium economy.
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1682
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:28 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
3-3-3 in economy on a 787 for a 16 hour flight is not luxurious.


Luxurious economy? That's a bit oxymoronic. You are having a different discussion to everyone else in this thread.
 
N649DL
Posts: 489
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: (Video) United’s rapid luxury transformation

Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:48 pm

United1 wrote:
N649DL wrote:
United1 wrote:

They were a bit slow at the start but UA picked up quite a lot of speed retrofitting aircraft this winter. There are currently 6 aircraft getting the Polaris mod in XMN and HKG and 57 additional aircraft already have Polaris. All indications are they should be done by the end of 2020...four years to retrofit the entire widebody international fleet at any major airline is fairly fast.


Even the 787s? I thought only the -10's were going to get the new seat and the 788 and 789 are stuck with the old J seat for now.


789/788s start getting Polaris and PE later this year.


Nice. I recall in 2016 they made it known that the 787-8/9 weren't going to get the new seats (or really lax timeline for it). They also kept delivering 787 after the Polaris release with the old seats which was disappointing.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos