The cabin is set up in a 2-2-2 layout. If you like the window seat, you’ll be stepping over your seatmate to get there. While this wasn’t an issue for me it may not suit someone who likes to stretch their legs frequently. The lighting controls are perfect on the Dreamliner – dimmed lights for relaxing and brighter for meals. The temperature always seemed to be ideal as well.
The leather-trimmed seats were large and more comfortable than most business class seats I’ve been in recently. And they weren’t even the new Polaris seats – these are being rolled out in stages throughout 2017, so you might be lucky on your next flight. The chargers for personal devices are out in the open and convenient to use. A large common space for drinks is set between seats and there was plenty of storage space.
Outstanding – the crew manager came out and introduced himself to every passenger and the friendly staff were more than happy to stop for a chat. I even enjoyed the amusing pre-flight video.
United Polaris has really made an effort to create exceptional food. A Bloody Mary trolley was wheeled down the aisle first, followed by a seared tuna, kale and quinoa salad for the starter. The short-rib with barbecue sauce that followed was a standout and the sugarsnap peas were crisp and fresh. The signature sundae to end it all was an absolute must. There was definitely no shortage of food on this flight. The dinner was followed by digestifs and a cheese platter, and mid-flight snacks included a choice between fish and chips, tomato soup or a grilled cheese sandwich. Drinks were just as free flowing. The wine list has been curated by sommelier Doug Frost and the staff were so attentive when it came to top-ups of my Chateau Ste Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Merlot that I had to put my hand over the glass.
It was a typical business class entertainment set-up with a large screen, handset and a wide selection of movies and TV shows.
The United Polaris Business Class is an experience, and in my opinion one of the best new products in the market. The bedding is provided by Saks Fifth Avenue and is neatly folded and tied up with ribbons on your seat when you arrive. Be sure to ask for the cotton pyjamas, slippers and the Saks mattress cushion or gel memory foam pillow. It all adds up to a super-comfortable sleeping experience.
One hour: US$1-US$12.50/A$1-A$16, full flight: US$3.99-US$29.95/A$5-A$38. Prices vary dependent on flight. You can also use mileage to pay.
Skincare products from Soho House’s Cowshed Spa range, which include a lavender pillow mist.
United Airlines will be launching its upgraded business class, United Polaris, on 1 December on international flights. The new class includes sleep-enhancing amenities, improved dining options and United Polaris lounges around the world.
Each seat is custom-designed, includes a 180-degree flat-bed recline feature and “do not disturb” sign for those trying to maximise shut-eye. Each seat will have six-foot-six inches of bed space. There will be a 16-inch HD entertainment screen for each customer. Other conveniences will include lavender pillow mist, slippers, eyeshades and a gel-cooled pillow upon request.
United Polaris will update in-flight menus seasonally and partner with chefs from The Trotter Project. Other dining options include an extensive wine list curated by the airline’s master sommelier, made-to-order ice cream sundaes and a dessert cart. Flights over 12 hours will include hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese.
United Polaris lounges will open in nine locations, the first in the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Lounges will include daybeds, showers, and a restaurant serving hot meals, wines and spirits. Other lounges will open in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York, Washington, Tokyo, Hong Kong and London.