Polaris In-flight Experiences

    Hide Wikipost
Old Apr 10, 18, 8:34 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: wilp888
Wiki Link
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.
*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

Trip reports with photos:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...l#post27799060
Print Wikipost

Old Mar 22, 18, 6:49 am
  #1726  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: BA Bronze, United 1K, HH Gold, SPG Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,468
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I'm really not down with this whole "beg your FA for the published Polaris benefits" thing.

When they first started with the additional desserts, they were prominently displayed on the cart. I guess UA concluded this was a mistake (just like the wine flights and the drinks cart) because it encouraged passengers to actually partake.
When it comes to desserts, begging is a big word. When I say: "I would like ice cream with some chocolate sauce and two macarons, please", I'm not begging. I'm just asking what I want in a polite manner.

On my last seven Polaris flights (November, December, January and this past week in March), the desserts were prominently displayed on the cart. Let's hope that your experience was a one-off. That said, I'm not so happy that the macarons were "enhanced" for the US departures. United can not source them here? And, coming back from MUC they only had strawberry which is my least favorite taste. Coming back from HKG, when my wife asked for two macarons, she commented to the FA how much she likes them. Ten minutes later, he came back with a plate with three macarons for her.
StuckinITH is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 9:34 am
  #1727  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: san francisco
Programs: Chase UR, HHonors Diamond, IHG Platinum, CCarlson Gold, VirginAtl Silver
Posts: 374
Talking

Originally Posted by villox View Post
What's important is that those of us in the know keep asking, or they'll eliminate them!
THIS is the important part! We want to show UA that we appreciate all the wonderful things they do for us.

Boys and girls, if you are mature enough to travel by yourself, you are mature enough to ask the FAs for whatever you want. Huffing and eye rolling on their part are not your problem. You're the customer, they're there to take care of you. This is what they do for a living. And, no, FAs are not always in a good mood ... are you always in a good mood? As far as "chasing down" a FA for something ... don't you know that there are call buttons for this purpose? I would draw the line at a FA storing and accessing his bag from an overhead right above me more than once ... THAT would require a chat with the Purser.
jsn55 is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 9:48 am
  #1728  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: UA 1K; *G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,692
Originally Posted by jsn55 View Post
I would draw the line at a FA storing and accessing his bag from an overhead right above me more than once ... THAT would require a chat with the Purser.
What's wrong with a FA storing and accessing his/her bag from an overhead bin right above you more than once...assuming they're not asking you to get up, move, putting their bag in your seat, etc.
Where else are they supposed to store it? It's not like there's bins 'reserved' for the FA's that don't have any passenger seats underneath them.

Do you get upset if a fellow seat-mate in F or E accesses their bag more than once during an overhead right above you more than once?

Seriously?! You being a customer or not, FA's are people too! Stop treating them like they're not.
polarbears likes this.
laxmillenial is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 11:39 am
  #1729  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: AA EXP; AS 75K; WN A List; UA 1K 1MM; Marriott Ambassador; Hilton Diamond (Aspire); Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 44,669
Originally Posted by StuckinITH View Post
When it comes to desserts, begging is a big word. When I say: "I would like ice cream with some chocolate sauce and two macarons, please", I'm not begging. I'm just asking what I want in a polite manner.
If they don't offer me a choice of dessert, and the "small bites" are not on the cart or visible, then how do I even know what's available? That's my basic annoyance. UA is basically marketing a product then hiding it in order to cut costs.

Same as the hot bites. On most sUA TPACs, the FAs used to proactively offer the soup mid-flight. Now you have to call an FA or go to the galley and ask them if they have anything available.

All of this makes it feel like the FA is doing you a favor providing something that UA markets as part of the Polaris service. Sure I'll follow up if I want it badly enough (e.g., pyjamas, mattress pad, mid-flight snack), but it's deliberately poor service in the interest of cost-cutting.
FlyfromDenver likes this.
Kacee is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 12:11 pm
  #1730  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 979
Originally Posted by CO DCA View Post
Really great Polaris experience FRA - IAH. I asked for the amenities I wanted (gel pillow and slippers) and received them promptly and with excitement. Asked for the wine flight, and it was presented properly - indeed the f/a made a concerted effort to ask me which was my favorite (using the actual names of the wines he'd served) and engage with me. The service was warm and as efficient as possible. The service manager was present all the time making sure things went smoothly. My IAD - AMS flight out was also good - though I got the "I have to find them" answer about the gel pillow. While I know it's a YMMV issue, I've noticed a substantial decrease in Polaris based eye-rolling from the f/as over the last 5 months.
The issue with Polaris is the same UA had prior to the merger, IME on average, IAH and SFO crews are usually great, IAD and ORD are hit or miss, and EWR crews are bad (don't have much experience with LAX crews) , that is not to say that I haven't had bad crews from SFO or had great crews from EWR, just an average observation.
N104UA is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 12:30 pm
  #1731  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: HNL
Programs: Au: UA, Marriott, Hilton; Ex-HA Pt (now not), GE
Posts: 6,063
Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
What's wrong with a FA storing and accessing his/her bag from an overhead bin right above you more than once...assuming they're not asking you to get up, move, putting their bag in your seat, etc.
Where else are they supposed to store it? It's not like there's bins 'reserved' for the FA's that don't have any passenger seats underneath them.
...
Seriously?! You being a customer or not, FA's are people too! Stop treating them like they're not.
Agree: FA's are people. However, they are employees of a customer service organization whose role is to treat their best passengers well.

One of the things that bothers me most is when I pay $3-$5K for a seat and find that an employee uses the luggage space above me for their personal use. Sorry, but this is the antithesis of customer service.

Now, perhaps UA space planners did a bad job of providing for storage of FA luggage, or perhaps they took it all into account, but some FAs bring too much aboard so they intrude into the customer experience.

In any event, the intrusion should not happen, and it is on UA that it happens. If there is insufficient "private" storage, the FAs should store their stuff in economy and inconvenience someone who paid $500 for their seat, not someone who paid $5000. The fact that either there are no UA-issued rules or they are ignored speaks volumes for a business that should be customer-centric.

Last edited by 747FC; Mar 22, 18 at 1:19 pm Reason: spelling error/grammar
747FC is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 12:43 pm
  #1732  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus 1K; Marriott Platinum; Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,355
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Agree: FA's are people. However, they are employees of a customer service organization whose role is to treat their best passengers well.

One of the things that bothers me most is when I pay $3-$5K for a seat and find that an employee uses the luggage space above me for their personal use. Sorry, but this is the antithesis of customer service.

....

In any event, the intrusion should not happen, and it is on UA that it happens. If there is insufficient "private" storage, the FAs should store their stuff in economy and inconvenience someone who paid $500 for their seat, not someone who paid $5000. The fact that their are either no UA-issued rules (or they are ignored) speaks volumes for a business that should be customer-centric.
I've noticed that on the "better" international carriers like SQ, the crew check their luggage rather than take up precious bin space on board the aircraft. With the densification of aircraft seating, such an approach would seem even more worthwhile for UA to implement.
transportprof is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 12:50 pm
  #1733  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: UA 1K; *G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,692
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Agree: FA's are people. However, they are employees of a customer service organization whose role is to treat their best passengers well.

One of the things that bothers me most is when I pay $3-$5K for a seat and find that an employee uses the luggage space above me for their personal use. Sorry, but this is the antithesis of customer service.

Now, perhaps UA space planners did a bad job of providing for storage of FA luggage, or perhaps they took it all into account, but some FAs bring too much aboard so they intrude into the customer experience.

In any event, the intrusion should not happen, and it is on UA that it happens. If there is insufficient "private" storage, the FAs should store their stuff in economy and inconvenience someone who paid $500 for their seat, not someone who paid $5000. The fact that their are either no UA-issued rules (or they are ignored) speaks volumes for a business that should be customer-centric.
Ok. So the beef is with corporate rather than the FA. Complaining to the purser is indicative that you have a problem with that particular FA, not with corporate. That's kind of what got me irked. I view is as trying to belittle / treat someone less just for doing their job when the reason why you're complaining is out of their control. They're going to disturb someone wherever they place their bag. Just how you and I don't like our bags 30+ rows away from us, do you think a FA would if he/she's working business on the 777/787 and his/her bag is in economy?

I get your point, intrude as least as possible. But it's so difficult to implement.

Me in business on an R upgradeable W fare; $1000 to/from Sydney. I bet you there are people in Economy who pay more than that. Does that give the FA the right to disturb me since the Economy passenger paid more?

The comment above that gate bags should be checked is a good/decent solution. Wouldn't that decrease flexibility if FA's need to switch assignments randomly? I've been on a 747 and half the FA's working the flight were called off while BG5 was boarding. Then 10 minutes later, their replacements, were all switched a second time.
polarbears likes this.
laxmillenial is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 8:03 pm
  #1734  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Houston
Programs: UA GS 2MM, QFF Platinum, HH Diamond, HawaiianMiles
Posts: 6,653
I get pissed off immediately when I board (usually one of first as GS) and the space above my seat has FA luggage in it. Same reasoning as above.
NH_Clark likes this.
kirkwoodj is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 8:34 pm
  #1735  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: IAD/DCA/FLL/MIA
Programs: UA*Lifetime GS, SQ*PPS, AA*EXP, Hyatt*Globalist
Posts: 10,987
I totally agree with FA using overhead bins in the premium cabin as an issue.
I travel mostly for work, and typically have a 22" roller and a backpack to store overhead, and have experienced bin shortage in the premium cabins.
There was one flight last year from PEK to IAD, I was sitting in F, but all F bins were full with FA's shopping bags. I had to store my stuff in row 6 above the crew rest seat 6A (777-200)

Another time on the 777-200, the front cabin of the business section's overhead bins were mostly taken by FA. I was asked to store my bags above row 2 in F. During the flight, FA in F cabin told me to stay in my own cabin and scolded me that I shouldn't store my bags in F class overhead bins. It really p**ed me off. I went to the FA who told me to store my bags in the F cabin an ask her to speak to the F cabin FA. In the end, they removed the FA belongs in C to F and moved my bags to C.
polarbears and Plane-is-home like this.
UA_Flyer is offline  
Old Mar 22, 18, 10:38 pm
  #1736  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: DYKWIA, UA GS/1MM, Bonvoy Ambassador
Posts: 1,737
Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
I get your point, intrude as least as possible. But it's so difficult to implement.
No it's not. FA bags should go in the very back. FAs get off last, so it's no problem for them to pop back and get them. It's a huge problem for a passenger sitting in row 1 to have to go back to row 10 to get his bag during de-planing when the plane is still totally full.

When an FA fills up the storage in row 1 that means that every single passenger is going to have to swim upstream at least one row to get his/her bags during de-planing. Believe me, I've seen this in action. As a GS passenger, I'm often the first to settle into the First cabin and I sometimes find the ENTIRE storage filled with crew bags.. So a few FA's selfishness inconveniences 200-400 people. That's not smart and it's not good customer service.. When the FAs put their bags in the last row, nobody needs to go upstream.


Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
The comment above that gate bags should be checked is a good/decent solution. Wouldn't that decrease flexibility if FA's need to switch assignments randomly?
United's failure to schedule and plan properly is not an excuse to treat customers shabbily.
NH_Clark and Plane-is-home like this.

Last edited by porciuscato; Mar 22, 18 at 10:43 pm
porciuscato is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 4:57 am
  #1737  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 913
Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
No it's not. FA bags should go in the very back. FAs get off last, so it's no problem for them to pop back and get them. It's a huge problem for a passenger sitting in row 1 to have to go back to row 10 to get his bag during de-planing when the plane is still totally full.

When an FA fills up the storage in row 1 that means that every single passenger is going to have to swim upstream at least one row to get his/her bags during de-planing. Believe me, I've seen this in action. As a GS passenger, I'm often the first to settle into the First cabin and I sometimes find the ENTIRE storage filled with crew bags.. So a few FA's selfishness inconveniences 200-400 people. That's not smart and it's not good customer service.. When the FAs put their bags in the last row, nobody needs to go upstream.

What about during irrops when a flight gets held after boarding and they need to change the crew cause of time out?

pull 2 seats and install a FA closet.

United's failure to schedule and plan properly is not an excuse to treat customers shabbily.
jp12687 is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 7:19 am
  #1738  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,713
FWIW, I’ve had wine lists and wine flights available and normal (on the carts) on my last three Polaris flights in the last couple weeks. Two of them even had the FAs proactively offering the flights. So far, no truth to the rumors of their demise. In fact, having them being offered by FAs even counts as an improvement!
HeadInTheClouds is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 8:08 am
  #1739  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: STL
Programs: UA Platinum, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,316
Change is in the Air

Summing up the 01MAY changes (passed on by someone in the know)
-Soup course in F is gone....tray setup is the same as J, presented at once...F is dying quickly
-Turndown service in F still available upon request....no comment
-Wine tastings gone/3 tastings tray no longer boarded.....they still will "offer" customers tastings, meaning expect a growl and a choice of red or white
-Blood mary/wine cart becomes beverage cart with a branded cover....think this is similar to how DL executes their service
-Pre departure chocolate becomes a pre-arrival chocolate.....no loss here but maybe
-Mid-flight service doesn't have a formal presentation but offered on request....not sure what this means as I haven't taken a Polaris flight where there was a "formal" presentation other than snacks in the galley and having to ask for a snack from the menu.

So to sum it up we've returned to BusinessFirst circa post merger with a new name and dishware. Really a letdown in the past 6+ months with UA....Polaris will just become a term for "airline redressing tired business class product like lipstick on a pig". In 1.5 years we have 1 lounge, inconsistent service execution, continued cutbacks, and a hard product that is slowly getting rolled out. I don't blame the employees, and the overall investments to turn things around and create a superior product seem to have gone by the wayside
qukslvr619 is offline  
Old Mar 23, 18, 8:24 am
  #1740  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Houston
Programs: UA GS 2MM, QFF Platinum, HH Diamond, HawaiianMiles
Posts: 6,653
Originally Posted by qukslvr619 View Post
Summing up the 01MAY changes (passed on by someone in the know)
-Soup course in F is gone....tray setup is the same as J, presented at once...F is dying quickly
-Turndown service in F still available upon request....no comment
-Wine tastings gone/3 tastings tray no longer boarded.....they still will "offer" customers tastings, meaning expect a growl and a choice of red or white
-Blood mary/wine cart becomes beverage cart with a branded cover....think this is similar to how DL executes their service
-Pre departure chocolate becomes a pre-arrival chocolate.....no loss here but maybe
-Mid-flight service doesn't have a formal presentation but offered on request....not sure what this means as I haven't taken a Polaris flight where there was a "formal" presentation other than snacks in the galley and having to ask for a snack from the menu.

So to sum it up we've returned to BusinessFirst circa post merger with a new name and dishware. Really a letdown in the past 6+ months with UA....Polaris will just become a term for "airline redressing tired business class product like lipstick on a pig". In 1.5 years we have 1 lounge, inconsistent service execution, continued cutbacks, and a hard product that is slowly getting rolled out. I don't blame the employees, and the overall investments to turn things around and create a superior product seem to have gone by the wayside
Meh.
iluv2fly likes this.
kirkwoodj is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: