United Schedules Polaris Business Class On Another Los Angeles Route (Temporarily)

a room with rows of seats and monitors

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United’s Polaris Business Class cabin (the real cabin, not the fake one) is undoubtedly a considerably better Business Class product than the airline has offered in the past, but the rollout of the new product has been painfully slow.

Fortunately, with the delivery of its new 787-10 aircraft and an improved refurbishment schedule, we’re starting to see United offer its best Business Class cabin on more and more routes, and the latest route to get Polaris Business Class is one out of Los Angeles.

Between 7 December 2019 and 31 January 2020 United will swap a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner on its Los Angeles – Shanghai route.

A quick look at ExpertFlyer shows that the 787-9 offers United old Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 layout…

a screenshot of a computer

a row of seats in an airplane

…while the replacement 787-10 offers the new all-aisle-access cabin:

a screenshot of a computer

a seat in an airplane
New United Polaris Business Class – Image United Airlines

Although for the time being the new Dreamliner is only scheduled to operate this route for a little under 2 months, this is still a big upgrade for the LAX – Shanghai route and there’s always a chance that a further schedule update will see Polaris Business Class service extended past January.

Here’s what the schedule on the route will look like:

UA198 LAX 12:40 – 1835+1 day PVG (Mon & Wed-Sun 787-10 service)
UA198 LAX 12:40 – 1835+1 day PVG (Tue 787-9 service)

UA199 PVG 20:25 – 1540 LAX (Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun 787-10 service)
UA199 PVG 20:25 – 1540 LAX (Wed 787-9 service)

Sadly, the news isn’t all good.

Despite being a bigger aircraft than the 787-9, the new 787-10 Dreamliner offers considerably fewer Business Class seats than the older aircraft (44 vs 48) so while the quality of the cabin on offer will be going up considerably, the chances of upgrades clearing or Business Class awards being released just got a little slimmer.

What You Need To Know About United’s New 787-10 Dreamliner

United’s San Francisco – Shanghai Route Change

The Los Angeles – Shanghai route isn’t the only route on which United scheduled new 787-10 Dreamliner service over the weekend – San Francisco will be seeing 787-10 service too.

From 1 February 2020 United will be replacing one of the two daily 777 services that it operates between San Francisco and Shanghai with a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner (this may even be the same aircraft scheduled to operate between LA and Shanghai for the preceding two months).

Here what the schedule will look like from 2 February 2020:

UA857 SFO 1315 – 1845+1 day PVG (Daily 787-10 service)
UA891 SFO 1435 – 2015+1 day PVG (Daily 777 service)

UA890 PVG 0015 – 1920-1 day SFO (Daily 777 service)
UA858 PVG 1330 – 0830 SFO (Daily 787-10 service)

This news isn’t quite as big as the news for the Los Angeles route as the 777 which is being replaced by the new Dreamliner also offers a true Polaris Business Class cabin…

a screenshot of a computer

United Airlines Polaris Business Class
New United Polaris Business Class – Image United Airlines

…but it does mean that this route will also be seeing a drop in Business Class capacity.

While the 777-200ER offers up to 49 Business Class seats the Dreamliner offers just 44 so, as with the LAX-PVG route, we can probably expect cleared upgrades and Business Class awards to become a little scarcer.

Bottom Line

There’s good and bad news mixed in together here. On the one hand, the LA – Shanghai route will be getting a significant improvement in the Business Class for a little under two months while, on the other hand, both the LA and San Francisco routes to Shanghai will be offering fewer Business Class seats…and that’s not good for those of us looking to upgrade or to book award travel.

[HT: Routes Online]


  1. They need the better hard product pronto. 4 carriers, 5 flights daily on this route, and with the 787-9 United is the only carrier without direct aisle access for all seats in J.

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