Polaris In-flight Experiences

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Old Apr 10, 18, 8:34 am   -   Wikipost
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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
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Old Sep 25, 18, 9:27 am
  #1846  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 118
My experience on Sept 3

Hi All,

We few United on a 767-400 from EWR to Zurich. On balance it was a good experience. Here are the observations of myself and a compantion:

1. EWR Airport - there's loads of construction. Leave yourself extra time and be prepared to walk with your luggage. Even if you were just there a few weeks ago, the traffic patterns and closures may have changed things (I know one of the parking lots by the Airtrain recently closed for example).

2. Polaris Lounge: Almost excellent. I got the same "we ran out of champagne and only have prosecco because of the long weekend" excuse others have reported. United - up your game. Either stock champagne or don't but having your bartenders make excuses (as has been reported elsewhere) does not make you look good. The cocktails made for us at the bar were excellent. Service was excellent and the food was mostly good. However the bread I had was stale and hard. We did not eat in the dining room and instead ate from the buffet. THe lounge gets very crowded after about 3:30 pm as has been reported here.

3. The "old" 767-400 business class seat: gosh when people say these things are narrow, they weren't kidding. This is the narrowest business class seat I have ever experienced (I have avoided British Air's flying coffins) and I want to stress, neither I nor my companion are big people. We are small to average height and slightly below average weight. Also I did not find the seat particularly comfortable, even with the mattress pad which the purser retrieved for me upon request. In addition, there is no individual air vents on this old bird and I found I was fairly warm on occasion throughout the flight. I did not use a blanket. With the help of benedryl and some pre-flight cocktails (see above) and some "white" wine (see below) I got some sleep which is a massive achievement for me.

4. Food on the flight: The food was a mixed bag, but the service was odd. From an airline that was touting their "wine flights" earlier before abandoning it, I got a confused look from my flight attendant when we asked what the wine choices were. His response "uh, red or white." No kidding, I could have told anyone that. As to the food, the appetizer was the best we have ever experienced on a plane. The seared tuna appetizer was actually "delicious." My entree was the fish which I thought was very good. My companion did not like the chicken which was spicy saying it was "spongey thigh meat." Desserts were also very good.

5. Our flights were on time though boarding was a bit of a mess. We got to the gate (which was far from the lounge) only to wait in line, and wait, and wait, before being told that catering was taking a while and we would board soon.

Flight landed on time (even though we left late) and was relatively smooth.
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Old Sep 25, 18, 9:39 am
  #1847  
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Originally Posted by 1984SW View Post
I really don't care for the tins:

(a) Take up too much space if I try to put it in my carry-on bag (which is usually just a computer bag)

(b) Don't really have a re-purpose use for the tins off the plane. I use the various pouches to carry computer/phone cords & accessories in my computer bag and at home.
I wonder if they hope people don't take them and, even opened, the tin would be easier to recycle? It is one of those "fun to look at but not very useful" type for me.

I definitely prefer bags that I can use. I miss the old mesh kind that had multiple compartments inside and outside and a loop to hang it. The last 2 Polaris ones weren't so useful.
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Old Sep 25, 18, 12:23 pm
  #1848  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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I hope they do away with the tins. It was nice while it lasted but its time for refresh. I've got quite a stack of them in the closet and the last one I got I just gave away to a woman and her husband I was chatting with at a gate at SFO. They thought it was quite the novelty and had never seen one before. On any given flight now you see people just leaving them behind.

I'm betting UA will keep them though- stamped tins have got to be super cheap to produce.
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Old Sep 25, 18, 3:46 pm
  #1849  
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Second time this year I've boarded and found the Polaris J bins over my row already full... of FA bags. FA says, "Why don't you go put your bags on the other side of the cabin? Looks like there is a lot of space over there. Follow me..."

Seriously, why doesn't the FA put her bags over there?
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Old Sep 25, 18, 4:05 pm
  #1850  
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
On any given flight now you see people just leaving them behind.
I've left the amenity kit behind at least my last four UA long-haul flights.

I did keep the Rimowa kit from my last BR flight
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Old Sep 25, 18, 5:01 pm
  #1851  
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I agree the tins need to go. Having the 747 tins was a nice move because it was for a special occasion.
The current tins are cheap just like the Olympic tube kit from two years ago. Having done four Polaris flights this month, here is my observations: Food quality has gone down to PMUA level. Just bring back the PMCO catering instead of the fancy marketing stuff.Mid-flight snack options have been reducedServices has been improved but still inconsistent Gel pillow is a great addition
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Old Sep 25, 18, 9:36 pm
  #1852  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Seriously, why doesn't the FA put her bags over there?
You really need to ask? Remember the following simple truism and most aspects of United service will start to make sense: "On United, employees always come first; customers always come last."
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Old Sep 26, 18, 1:00 am
  #1853  
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
I agree the tins need to go. Having the 747 tins was a nice move because it was for a special occasion.
The current tins are cheap just like the Olympic tube kit from two years ago. Having done four Polaris flights this month, here is my observations: Food quality has gone down to PMUA level. Just bring back the PMCO catering instead of the fancy marketing stuff.Mid-flight snack options have been reducedServices has been improved but still inconsistent Gel pillow is a great addition
It is kind of stupid that they spend millions on the cabin and Polaris lounge and then try to save a few dollars with food and the amenity kit to ruin the experience.
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Old Sep 26, 18, 1:52 am
  #1854  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by o2bmmw View Post
However the bread I had was stale and hard.
I've long suspected -in order to save some money- United dispaches a van during the day at various hub locations around the USA to collect free bread discarded by various bakeries, making the average age of any bread served by United in their lounges and on their planes about 4 to 7 days old.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 7:07 pm
  #1855  
 
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Second time this year I've boarded and found the Polaris J bins over my row already full... of FA bags. FA says, "Why don't you go put your bags on the other side of the cabin? Looks like there is a lot of space over there. Follow me..."

Seriously, why doesn't the FA put her bags over there?
Do you recall the type of plane and row location? Thanks.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 12:42 am
  #1856  
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Originally Posted by o2bmmw View Post

4. Food on the flight: The food was a mixed bag, but the service was odd. From an airline that was touting their "wine flights" earlier before abandoning it, I got a confused look from my flight attendant when we asked what the wine choices were. His response "uh, red or white." No kidding, I could have told anyone that. As to the food, the appetizer was the best we have ever experienced on a plane. The seared tuna appetizer was actually "delicious." My entree was the fish which I thought was very good. My companion did not like the chicken which was spicy saying it was "spongey thigh meat." Desserts were also very good.
Welcome to J on UA. On every other airline I've flown on in J, the FAs would either know what wines they were offering, or apologize and find out when asked. Not on UA.

When Polaris service first started, I had hope for UA's service. No more. It's back to where is slipped to post merger. A few exemplary FAs providing outstanding service, a few FA's truly appalling, and the vast middle just going through the motions most days.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 1:02 am
  #1857  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
Just bring back the PMCO catering instead of the fancy marketing stuff.Mid-flight snack options have been reducedServices has been improved but still inconsistent Gel pillow is a great addition
This. Meals have become maddening. CO did a good job & served generally edible steaks & other entrees. I want to rip up my menu every time I see short ribs.

09/26 SFO-SIN.
I've frequented this (& LAX) route since non-stop Singapore service was announce. It has mostly been pretty good, but this flight was awful. Awful food, awful wines, chips between meals (I don't eat chips) & FAs annoyed with being expected to do their jobs. This is the first time in a long while that I have not received a thank you at the end of the flight. The purser was just too tired. He just walked by & waved at pax.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 9:55 am
  #1858  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Sept. 27, UA 78 NRT-EWR, 777-300

My fourth flight on the new Polaris cabin this year. I still don't know the design concept on the seat controls. I like the older controls where I can adjust back and leg rest levels independently. The new controls had to accommodate moving the seat forward before the back can recline, but the controls are not clearly marked. Forward facing single seats by the windows are nice, with 2-1/2 windows and plenty of privacy.

Flight crew was NRT based Asian FAs (most from former TPE Station), almost like flying on an Asian Airline, not one Caucasian FA. Very good in flight service. Tenderloin main course was good, although I could always use more sauce on UA meals. Mid-flight snacks had nothing substantial, no sandwiches or instant boodles.

EWR Polaris Lounge was OK, I had to wait 5 minutes before anyone came to seat me at the dining area, slow service. At least there is no waiting list for dining room, unlike SFO where I had to wait 15-20 minutes.
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Old Oct 3, 18, 7:54 pm
  #1859  
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The bedding in my opinion; is a winner and one of the best Business Class bed in the sky I have ever tried.
https://samchui.com/2018/10/03/unite...class-hkg-sfo/
That's high praise coming from Sam.. (Not that I disagree.)
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Old Oct 4, 18, 9:35 am
  #1860  
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I wonder if they hope people don't take them and, even opened, the tin would be easier to recycle? It is one of those "fun to look at but not very useful" type for me.

I definitely prefer bags that I can use. I miss the old mesh kind that had multiple compartments inside and outside and a loop to hang it. The last 2 Polaris ones weren't so useful.
Just got off a flight and the tin is gone. It is yet another type of bag now - not the book and not the one following the book. I have not seen this one before but I also don't fly international that often. Seems a little more practical than the book and the other one.
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