United Airlines Is Letting Customers Test New Business Class Suites With Doors

Delta Air Lines was the second airline – behind only Qatar Airways – to launch business class suites with doors into commercial service. American Airlines is going to enclosed suites with their Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321XLR new aircraft deliveries in 2024. British Airways has been putting doors on business class seats, and Air France is going to be doing the same.

United Airlines isn’t going to be left behind in this race. In fact they’ve been vetting new seats with doors for a new Polaris product, as I reported this past spring.

Now they’re inviting some top customers to see and give feedback on some final designs, as reported by aviation watchdog JonNYC.

seats pic.twitter.com/WpLlLlP8Hi

— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) September 24, 2022

three prototypes plus the current seat. One was essentially the current Polaris seat plus door, the other two were herringbone style.(at least one of the 2 later ones were the MAX10/321XLR Polaris seat, probably both.)

— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) September 24, 2022

Finishing the retrofit of existing aircraft to the current Polaris seat has taken so long it is already time for the next generation of seats.

But the Polaris seat was always just a ‘good enough’ product anyway, signed off on by penny pinching disgraced ex-CEO Jeff Smisek because they allowed the airline to cram in as many full flat aisle access seats into the same space they used for their old generation of six-abreast Diamond seats. It was an ‘efficient’ seat not a luxurious one, and not close to top of market even when introduced.

United needs a new product, and new business seats need to have doors. United will be doing that, and they seem to have made progress if they’re market-testing some final ideas with customers.

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