Polaris Business Class
This week United released the details of their new Polaris Business Class which will debut on December 1, 2016. There are two parts of this announcement. First, comes the new Business Class seat which looks pretty nice, but at first glance doesn’t seem as good as the seat American uses on their new 777 and 787 planes. This new seat will debut on new 777-300ER planes (which will also have 10 across economy seating) and will eventually be rolled out to much of the fleet by 2021. Yes you read that right. Those old 8 across business class seats are going to be around for awhile.
The second part of this announcement is a new Polaris soft product which will debut across the fleet in December as well. This change includes Polaris lounges with pre-departure meals, improved Polaris amenity kits with slippers and even pajamas on flights of 12 or more hours. If you are interested, you can tour the new product on the United website.
Qatar Doha to Las Vegas
For many years Las Vegas was not much of an international destination. The old Terminal 2 building wasn’t very good and if you were flying International then it meant you were probably going to Mexico or Canada. Of course things have now changed and with the opening of the new Terminal 3, Las Vegas has the facilities and capacity to handle more and more International flights.
With that said, Las Vegas is definitely still a second tier airport when it comes to international flights. Korean Air flies from Seoul and a number of airlines including BA, Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian and Condor fly to Europe, but that is about it for long haul. That is why it is exciting that Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker announced that the airline will launch a DOH-LAS route beginning in January.
One of the reasons Las Vegas doesn’t see a huge amount of international traffic is the low yields. It is a leisure destination and thus people don’t pay as much for a ticket. Still, there is likely to be a nice amount of demand coming from the Middle East, but it will be interesting to see how this flight does given the limited presence their U.S. partner AA has in Las Vegas.
American Airlines Dumps Gogo
The final aviation story from the past couple of days is American Airlines announcing that they are going to dump Gogo and begin using ViaSat on their new 737 MAX aircraft coming into service in 2017. The real issue is that Gogo will continue to exist on their current planes and they already use yet another provider for internet on international flights. This means they will have three distinct internet products.
The one issue with the American Airlines merger has been inconsistency. The seats are inconsistent, the fleet is inconsistent and now the internet will be. You truly never know what you are going to get and the experience can differ severely depending on what plane you fly on. With that said, faster internet will be a good thing, because the current ground to air Gogo service STINKS!
What do you think about these stories? Does it matter that AA has three internet products? Is United’s new Polaris brand going to be a winner and will Qatar’s DOH-LAS service put Sin City on the map for Middle East and other large carriers? Let us know in the comments!