A couple months ago, United announced their plans to roll out their new Polaris Business class. I was able to experience United Polaris from Los Angeles to Shanghai. Being a Delta Diamond Medallion, I’ve had my share of flying on Delta One, and I was curious how much different it would be.
Pro Tip: You can stay in Shanghai for 144 hours without needing a Chinese Visa. You must have another final destination besides Shanghai on your itinerary. For example, LAX to Shanghai to Bangkok.
United Polaris Bussiness Class Pre-Flight Boarding
The plane I flew on was a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, it had a 2-2-2 seating in business class. When I fly long haul flights, I enjoy the window seats to prevent anyone from waking me up. The window had an adjustable dim button to block the sun.
I was greeted with premier Saks Fifth Avenue duvet, day blanket, mattress cushion and a large and small pillow. Per request, you can also ask for pajamas if you want to slip into something more comfortable on your long haul flight.
The amenity kit came with your standard items you expect when flying first class internationally. Inside the amenity kit was a pair of socks, a sleep mask, tissue paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, Cowshed lotion with facial mist bottle, ear plugs, hair comb and a pair of mints.
I was disappointed in the headset they provided. For being a business class seat, I felt I got a used main cabin headset. The earpieces were poorly cushioned and after wearing them for awhile, they started to hurt my head and ears. And they weren’t noise-canceling either! Luckily, I had some of my DJ Pioneer headphones in my backpack for a backup.
United Polaris Bussiness Class In-flight Service
Shortly after I sat down, I was greeted by the flight attendant with a glass of champagne and chocolate truffle. The champagne was crisp and dry and made me want a second glass.
Before my main course was served, I was given a chance to wine taste 3 of their 8 bottles they had to offer. They had a selection for people who liked white wine as well, but I chose the reds.
The pre-course meal consisted of a salad with kale, mesclun, roasted fennel, bell pepper, pomegranate seeds topped with a light vinegar dressing. In addition, smoke duck slices paired with cranberry pumpkin seed farro salad, brined carrot. and whole-grain mustard.
The main course was a braised short rib with Carolina stone-ground grits, fava bean, shiitake mushroom, cherry tomato, and shallot. The meat was slow roasted and tender.
I have a big sweet tooth and I’m glad they had a lot of options to choose from in their dessert menu. I started with their cheese platter and ended with a strawberry sundae and a mini apple pie. Don’t judge me.
Other anytime a la carte menu consisted of:
-Fresh seasonal fruits
-Sweet and Salty Snacks
-Roasted Turkey Cheddar Wrap
-Pepper jack and hummus sandwich
-Mushroom chicken with green onion and Thai-style rice
-Tomato basil soup with aged cheddar grilled cheese sandwich
-Instant noodle soup
United Polaris Bussiness Class Sleepy Time
As much as I was enjoying this beautiful view, my food coma was settling in and I was getting sleepy by the minute.
Even in business class, the slippers run a bit small. I am a size 13. It didn’t bother me too much, though, as the slippers were very padded and comfortable.
To my surprise, I was able to stretch out and fit my feet all the way in the hole (I’m 6’5). Unlike Delta One, where I find my toes smashed when I recline the seat into a bed.
The Bald Thoughts
It’s refreshing to experience new business class products from other airlines. The United Polaris experience was enjoyable but lacked any major differences from Delta One to make me want to shift allegiance from Delta to United. It felt like the old United Global First but just repackaged and marketed as United Polaris. United is definitely on to something, and I am interested if any other changes will come about after customers’ feedback.