Published on : Wednesday, March 8, 2017
United Airlines was named a finalist for a Crystal Cabin Award in recognition of the airline’s United Polaris business class. The only international award for excellence in aircraft interior innovation, the Crystal Cabin Awards are the standard by which airlines, manufacturers, suppliers and engineering firms are judged on their innovations in cabin interior design.
“We had one goal when we began the process of re-envisioning our intercontinental business class experience – to give customers the most cutting-edge, sleep-conducive flight. Since our debut of United Polaris last December, we have achieved our highest-ever satisfaction scores in sleep comfort among business class passengers,” said Mark Krolick, vice president, marketing at United. “When I think back on the comprehensive research and development that went into United Polaris, it’s rewarding to see that the industry and customers have taken notice. On behalf of everyone at United, I extend my appreciation to the Crystal Cabin Award Association for considering us.”
United Polaris business class, the airline’s most significant product transformation in more than a decade, features a reimagined, sleep-enhancing experience for intercontinental travelers. In rethinking the international business class experience, United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travelers. United Polaris’ path-breaking design and sleep-enhancing focus were inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.
With a focus on providing a more tranquil journey for customers, the new cabin design, currently available on United’s 777-300ER fleet, features LED mood-lighting to complement sleep and assist with time-zone changes as well as textured and softer touch materials, which not only provide a more premium feel, but also absorb aircraft noise and other sound within the cabin.
In setting out to create a transformative business class experience, United chose to outfit its widebody fleet with a custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seat, rather than select an option already in the marketplace. Designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom, each United Polaris seat offers direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6 foot 6 inches of bed space.
Throughout the 777-300ER aircraft, the cabin interior is comprised of bespoke branding elements as well as carpets, fabrics and wall laminates – that, like the United Polaris seat, were specially designed for United, as well as redesigned lavatories which include modern finishings and farmhouse-style sinks.
United is one of three finalists in the Cabin Concepts category, which recognizes complete cabins already in existence. The winner will be announced on April 4 during the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. A record 85 innovators from 21 countries were included on this year’s previously announced awards shortlist.