United Airlines unveils new business class

United Airlines has unveiled United Polaris business class, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience for intercontinental travelers, the company said.

United chose to outfit its widebody fleet with a custom seat, designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom. Each United Polaris seat will offer direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and bed space.

In rethinking the international business class experience, United said it conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travelers. United Polaris´ design and was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other inflight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

United will introduce United Polaris on Dec. 1, 2016, with the new inflight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and the new United Polaris lounge in Chicago. The United Polaris business class seat be introduced in December on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, as well as on Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 retrofits.

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,000 flights a day to 336 airports across six continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated more than 1.5 million flights carrying more than 140 million customers.