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United Polaris - New Business Class seats & inflight service -- 3+ years after Intro

United Polaris - New Business Class seats & inflight service -- 3+ years after Intro

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Old Feb 24, 20, 7:40 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
United website - Explore: http://view.ceros.com/united/polaris-business-class/p/1
from UA's Facebook stream
Only customers traveling in United Polaris business class or United Polaris Global First on international flights and customers in Star Alliance international first or business class cabins on flights longer than six hours will have access to the United Polaris Lounge.
Official Polaris Lounge Access Rules are here: Polaris Lounge Access Rules

United Polaris Business and Polaris First pax may access the Polaris lounge at connecting airports and their final destination within 24 hours of departure or arrival.

*A international J and F pax may only access the Polaris lounge at the departure airport. For purposes of Polaris lounge access, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, and Guam are excluded from the definition of "international."

Seat Chart.

Press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...300278706.html

NEW YORK, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With the aspiration of making weary business travel a relic of the past, United Airlines today unveiled its all-new United Polaris business class, the airline's most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience for intercontinental travelers.

Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey.

"United Polaris will change the game in international business travel with an exceptional level of relaxation and comfort throughout our customers' journeys," said Oscar Munoz, president and CEO of United. "This completely reconceived experience exemplifies the new spirit of United and the innovation, excitement and operational momentum across our airline."

Path-Breaking Design

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 will offer direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6 foot 6 inches of bed space.

Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer's personal suite will feature a "Do Not Disturb" sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

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 was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.

Sleep-Enticing Amenities

In addition to the sleep-enticing United Polaris personal suites, several other amenities were designed with our customers' sleep in mind.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, United has worked with leading luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom-designed bedding. All designed to provide the best sleep in the sky, the new bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. In addition, mattress cushions will be available upon request.

Slippers will be available on all flights, and customized United Polaris pajamas will be available by request on flights longer than 12 hours**. Flyers will also be able to request a gel-cooled pillow. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.'s Cowshed Spa.

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.

Elevated Dining Experience

Upon boarding their flight, each United Polaris customer will be welcomed with a pre-departure beverage of his or her choice and gourmet chocolate. While in the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flight menus updated seasonally, developed in partnership with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs, including Bill Kim of acclaimed Chicago restaurants Urbanbelly, bellyQ and Belly Shack.

The airline will offer an upgraded wine experience, with the highest-quality options curated exclusively by United's Master Sommelier. Inflight service will also include made-to-order signature ice cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Raising The Bar With United Polaris Business Class Lounges

United will also open an exclusive portfolio of United Polaris business class lounges in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers – that will feature custom-designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so customers can refresh and dine before boarding their planes. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be offered.

The first new United Polaris lounge will open at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Dec. 1, 2016. Lounges in eight other locations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow – will follow in 2017.

United Polaris Introduction

United will begin to 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 will first take flight 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 Polaris will serve business class customers flying the U.S. airline industry's most global route network, reaching more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries.

More information on the United Polaris business class can be found at united.com/Polaris.

[From [email][email protected] 11/15/2016]
Starting December 1, 2016, United Polaris Business Class service will replace United BusinessFirst service on international flights, and United Polaris Global First service will replace the current United Global First service.

Between 2017 to 2019 eight additional United Polaris lounges will open at EWR, HKG, IAD, IAH, LAX, LHR, NRT and SFO. We do not have the exact opening dates at this time. A scheduling announcement will be forthcoming.
** Flights with pajama service (for both directions)
SFO - ICN, PEK, PVG, HGH, XIV, TPE, AKL, HKG, CTU, SYD, TLV, SIN
EWR - NRT, PEK, DEL, BOM, HKG, PVG
ORD - NRT, PEK PVG, HKG
LAX - PVG, SYD, MEL, SIN
IAD - NRT, PEK
IAH - NRT, SYD
(from United Twitter feed https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyjFHZLW...jpg&name=large

{Similar Threads:
Polaris Lounge Roadmap 2017-2018 (wiki) (thread)
Polaris lounge ORD - opened 01 Dec 2016 (wiki) (thread)
SFO Lounge changes? Which will become Polaris? Shower options?(wiki) (thread)
United Polaris-New Business Class seats & inflight service and new Polaris Lounges(wiki) (thread)}

Archive - United Polaris - New Business Class seats & inflight service {Archive}
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Old Feb 24, 20, 4:17 pm
  #406  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: YYC
Programs: UA 1K, AC E50, Marriott Titanium
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Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
If they don't want to answer the call button, the LEAST they could do is be semi-friendly when you walk up to the galley yourself. That seems to be a no brainer, and it's not difficult. I've definitely been snapped at for a very simple request, and the worst is when you ask them for something and they just don't say a word but fulfill it, reluctantly. We're paying $3000 to basically beg...
Absolutely shocks me when the FA's are non-existent throughout the flight and then begrudge a simple request. Did a TPAC round-trip last week in Polaris and most of the crew were good, but I had one bizarre interaction where I went to the galley to ask for a glass of wine mid-flight. It was a 14 hour flight, and was about half-way through the 10-hour gap between service.

The FA looked shocked that someone was asking for a glass of wine outside of designated meal times, rolled her eyes, glared at me for about 10 seconds as if I'd asked for something completely outrageous, sighed, and then finally said "uh, yeah, I guess I can try to find some." When chatting with my travel companion after the flight, they'd had a similarly bizarre interaction. Unfortunate, as the rest of the crew were friendly.

As far as service standards, UA should really be a bit more proactive about offering drinks during long flights, even if it's just a FA walking down the aisle with a tray of water glasses periodically or offering a beverage to passengers that are awake. AC isn't exactly a model airline, but at least their Onboard Service Managers seem to drive a bit more service consistency, and occasionally on overseas flights you'll get an FA walking through the aisle with a tray of water glasses and/or offering to get a drink.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 4:59 pm
  #407  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by gcashin View Post
As far as service standards, UA should really be a bit more proactive about offering drinks during long flights, even if it's just a FA walking down the aisle with a tray of water glasses periodically or offering a beverage to passengers that are awake. AC isn't exactly a model airline, but at least their Onboard Service Managers seem to drive a bit more service consistency, and occasionally on overseas flights you'll get an FA walking through the aisle with a tray of water glasses and/or offering to get a drink.
Well there's already bottled water at every seat, so there's no point having FA walk down the aisle with cups of water. And I doubt you'll get SQ-frequency of aisle roaming. I think UA just needs to train their FA to respond timely to the call button. Having said that, I rarely use the call button and just walk up to the galley to request what I want, and I've never had any attitude or issues with FA accommodating to my drink or food request--only thing I need to do is remind them my seat number.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 5:04 pm
  #408  
 
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Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
Well there's already bottled water at every seat, so there's no point having FA walk down the aisle with cups of water.
On long flights, there's absolutely a point to do multiple water service runs. 1 bottle of water often isn't enough on 8 hour flights, yet alone 14.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 5:24 pm
  #409  
 
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Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
If they don't want to answer the call button, the LEAST they could do is be semi-friendly when you walk up to the galley yourself. That seems to be a no brainer, and it's not difficult. I've definitely been snapped at for a very simple request, and the worst is when you ask them for something and they just don't say a word but fulfill it, reluctantly. We're paying $3000 to basically beg...
Bold letters - exactly what happened to me when I asked for a diet coke in the galley.

Not a word when I asked, and not a word when she gave it to me.

It's a shame. UA is investing heavily in Polaris in flight and on the ground, yet they can't control their difficult children.

Thankfully, I have other options mid/long term. I don't see myself taking this long haul again unless I absolutely have to.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 5:32 pm
  #410  
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Well this has become quite the vent thread.
Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
Having said that, I rarely use the call button and just walk up to the galley to request what I want, and I've never had any attitude or issues with FA accommodating to my drink or food request--only thing I need to do is remind them my seat number.
My experiences have been similar to yours. I generally don't use the call button on UA. I use it freely on CX, NH, BR, etc.
Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
On long flights, there's absolutely a point to do multiple water service runs. 1 bottle of water often isn't enough on 8 hour flights, yet alone 14.
Most Asian carriers don't do service runs down the aisle, but instead expect you to use the call button. Polaris is tough, b/c (1) UA FAs generally do not expect or encourage call button use, and (2) the window seats are separated from the aisle such that it can be tough to get an FAs attention if they are doing runs down the aisle. Which means I typically wind up visiting the galley to make the request in person (see above).
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Old Feb 27, 20, 1:57 pm
  #411  
RNE
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
They will be somewhat different, good is a subjective term. Many consider the older seats better for couples but they do not have all aisle access. The new all aisle access seats are more "private" but that means it is difficult for couples to talk. Many find the older seats to be more cushioned and a tad wide, while others prefer the greater seat storage space of the newer seats. There are some differences in footwell space. All depends on what matters to you.
That is good. Now, we just have to hope UA is still flying to Italy in May, given COVID-19.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 7:07 pm
  #412  
 
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Originally Posted by CommittedLurker View Post
I just wanted to share my experience on a recent Polaris flight SFO-DEL.

I already knew that the this flight still had the old style Polaris seats, so I wasn't expecting the newest seating.

I usually travel on CX to/from India, and I also used to be GS a long time ago, so I knew not to expect asian carrier levels of service on UA, but I was still extremely disappointed with the service:

1. No one asked to take my jacket after boarding. I finally just put it in the overhead bin myself after about 30 minutes.
2. No one offered us slippers or bedding, on our side of the aisle. I had my FA call button pressed for this for about 20 minutes and no one ever showed up before departure. (FYI we were delayed for 1 hour due to visa issues with a few passengers, which required them to be offloaded)
3. I finally got up myself and asked for a pair of slippers myself.
4. During the flight I pushed the call button again for the mid meal snack. Again no one showed up for 20 mins, so I went to the front galley and one of the male FA's was just playing on his cellphone.
5. After that, I learned to just get up and ask for everything. A drink, snack - whatever.

It is a real shame, because aside from the older generation seats, it's not a bad product. The Indian meals aren't bad at all.

I did receive a survey email after the flight, and I did mention all of the above, though I doubt anything will change.

There was no warmth or smile during any crew interaction, but getting up to ask for something in business class is a deal breaker for me.

But the service (or lack thereof) left me wondering, did I get a bad crew or is this how the majority of the FA's are ?
I'm in the minority when it comes to United crew. I flew United domestically since the Continental merger plus a couple of international flights. But I never use the call button and I get up and ask for whatever I want ... it's much better for my health than sitting too long. I usually enjoy their conversation, often gain good tips about my destination, learn interesting things about people who fly for a living. I have always been fascinated by an intelligent human who is a caring person at the same time ... and spends most of the flight cheerfully bringing us stuff. Interesting combination of personality attributes I think. Only occasionally have I encountered a crew that had no interest in their pax. They do stand out like sore thumbs, that's for sure. But I've never bought into the "awful UA flight attendant" stance, I just don't think it's true.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 7:49 pm
  #413  
 
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Originally Posted by jsn55 View Post
I'm in the minority when it comes to United crew. I flew United domestically since the Continental merger plus a couple of international flights. But I never use the call button and I get up and ask for whatever I want ... it's much better for my health than sitting too long. I usually enjoy their conversation, often gain good tips about my destination, learn interesting things about people who fly for a living. I have always been fascinated by an intelligent human who is a caring person at the same time ... and spends most of the flight cheerfully bringing us stuff. Interesting combination of personality attributes I think. Only occasionally have I encountered a crew that had no interest in their pax. They do stand out like sore thumbs, that's for sure. But I've never bought into the "awful UA flight attendant" stance, I just don't think it's true.
Sounds more like SQ than anything I’ve encountered on UA.
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