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2017 Let's Eat - Polaris First & Polaris Business

2017 Let's Eat - Polaris First & Polaris Business

Old Jan 13, 2017, 8:02 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by kirkwoodj
Sorry I missed this query. My neighbour on TATL (IAH<->LHR, can't remember which direction) had vegetarian. It looked terrible, delivered as a shrink-wrapped plastic tray


Thanks. I wonder why they cannot make a proper first/business class meal. They do not offer it on domestic but think they could do something for international...
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Old Jan 13, 2017, 8:40 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by daisyatl


Thanks. I wonder why they cannot make a proper first/business class meal. They do not offer it on domestic but think they could do something for international...
The gluten free option in Business used to be disgusting - in fact, I lucked out once with a late upgrade and they had to serve me the economy meal instead, which was much better.

I think the issue comes with lack of food service training with the FAs, who don't know what allergens are (I once had an FA try insistently try to serve bread to me, to stare in disbelief at his colleague when she told him that bread contains gluten), as well as UA's fear of cross-contamination meaning that everything has to be shrink-wrapped.

But that still doesn't explain why what is on the shrink-wrapped tray is so poor, and it's particularly strange that it's worse than what is served in economy. After all, most food in expensive restaurants is naturally gluten free, whereas it's pretty well impossible to find anything gluten free in cheap restaurants. Yet UA contrives to make it's more expensive meals disgusting whereas its cheaper ones edible.
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Old Jan 13, 2017, 10:45 am
  #48  
 
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Not sure if this was mentioned earlier in the thread, but apparently the reason for the tray with appetizer, salad, and pre-plated bread is because the #1 complaint about meals was that they took too long.

On my flight today, the bread basket was brought around as well - but the meal service was significantly faster. Doesn't matter so much for me on a 14+ hour flight, but if I were doing east coast to Europe, the extra 30 minutes is a big deal.
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Old Jan 13, 2017, 9:24 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
The UA employee ownership position / ESOP was wiped out 15 years ago in the 2002 bankruptcy.




Mode Hat On

Let's return to the thread subject, food options for Polaris First & Polaris Business flights.

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
Oh, ok.. as I posted this, I looked at the board of directors of UA and saw two of the seats were union reps so I assumed there was something going on. I would assume it doesn't matter if they have shares or not, the management has to grapple with and fear collective action especially after the two airlines merged.

I do think it's somewhat on topic if you walk in the galleys serving Polaris you will see clearly posted work rules that are often hand written with modifications, and this seems to point to actions like eliminating a cheese cart that isn't consistently served. Not that I've tried to snoop but the lavs are sometimes occupied and you have to wait, or the queue to deplane leaves you right in the middle of the galley sometimes....
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Old Jan 13, 2017, 9:58 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by cricketer
Not sure if this was mentioned earlier in the thread, but apparently the reason for the tray with appetizer, salad, and pre-plated bread is because the #1 complaint about meals was that they took too long.

On my flight today, the bread basket was brought around as well - but the meal service was significantly faster. Doesn't matter so much for me on a 14+ hour flight, but if I were doing east coast to Europe, the extra 30 minutes is a big deal.
Sounds like UA is listening. Want faster food? No problem: So, pre-plated bread joins wrapped crackers, pre-sliced cheese, pre-plated salad, yadda, yadda, yadda. Imagine the possibilities. Why not just put it all on one plastic tray and be done with it?

Judging from the FT feedback so far, take away the teddy bear and duffle bag of linens, and the net result of Polaris so far seems to be...less.
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 9:43 pm
  #51  
 
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MEL-LAX January, 2017

Traveled on Polaris on MEL-LAX earlier this month. General comments on the food:
  • Overall, a major upgrade from previous meals. Nice presentation, better quality foods and wines, and the flight attendants seemed genuinely proud of the new offerings
  • The appetizer was nice, but nothing too special
  • The Parmesan Crusted Pork (my travel companion had) looked fantastic and got rave reviews as one of the best business class meals (aside from perhaps SQ)
  • The Seared Snapper didn't look as interesting, but the flavour was fantastic, and I was really please
  • The one disappointment was the cheese plate - a single packet of crackers was inadequate given the portion of cheese, and the flight crew wasn't given extra crackers. Why not give them a full box of crackers and let them portion out the crackers along with the cheese depending on customer preference
  • The mini desserts were nice, and very tasty
  • For the mid-flight snack, I was genuinely intrigued to see Fish and Chips as an option. I was feeling like something a bit lighter, so I went for the grilled cheese and soup, but I don't think I've ever seen Fish and Chips offered on a plane before.
  • I was really impressed at the Eggs Benedict type breakfast. Eggs were poached to about a medium (impressive), and the fruit plate was very nice

Overall a great experience. I'd remarked that the food was much better than my last trip to Australia earlier in the year, and the FA said they'd been getting great feedback on the new food offerings. Hope they keep it up and don't try to roll back some of the upgrades on the food/wine again.
Attached Images      
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 9:44 pm
  #52  
 
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MEL-LAX a few more photos

A few more photos of the appetizer, cheese plate (the only disappointment), and the breakfast (fantastic).
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 9:56 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by gcashin
Traveled on Polaris on MEL-LAX earlier this month. General comments on the food:
  • Overall, a major upgrade from previous meals. Nice presentation, better quality foods and wines, and the flight attendants seemed genuinely proud of the new offerings
  • The appetizer was nice, but nothing too special
  • The Parmesan Crusted Pork (my travel companion had) looked fantastic and got rave reviews as one of the best business class meals (aside from perhaps SQ)
  • The Seared Snapper didn't look as interesting, but the flavour was fantastic, and I was really please
  • The one disappointment was the cheese plate - a single packet of crackers was inadequate given the portion of cheese, and the flight crew wasn't given extra crackers. Why not give them a full box of crackers and let them portion out the crackers along with the cheese depending on customer preference
  • The mini desserts were nice, and very tasty
  • For the mid-flight snack, I was genuinely intrigued to see Fish and Chips as an option. I was feeling like something a bit lighter, so I went for the grilled cheese and soup, but I don't think I've ever seen Fish and Chips offered on a plane before.
  • I was really impressed at the Eggs Benedict type breakfast. Eggs were poached to about a medium (impressive), and the fruit plate was very nice

Overall a great experience. I'd remarked that the food was much better than my last trip to Australia earlier in the year, and the FA said they'd been getting great feedback on the new food offerings. Hope they keep it up and don't try to roll back some of the upgrades on the food/wine again.
They should not be giving packaged crackers at all in int'l J, especially on a 15 hour flight -- this isn't a Lunchable that you're sending your kids to summer camp with for lunch. Should be crostini or some sort of herbed crackers, IMO.
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 10:10 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by nycflyer222
They should not be giving packaged crackers at all in int'l J, especially on a 15 hour flight -- this isn't a Lunchable that you're sending your kids to summer camp with for lunch. Should be crostini or some sort of herbed crackers, IMO.
Don't you DARE disparage Arnott's bickies of any kind!
(Otherwise yes I agree that packaged crackers are a disgrace)
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 10:13 pm
  #55  
 
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Poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on an airplane - what could go wrong?

I do wonder what the fish and chips was like though.
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 10:36 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by kirkwoodj
Don't you DARE disparage Arnott's bickies of any kind!
(Otherwise yes I agree that packaged crackers are a disgrace)
They should try crostini. Seriously. A "Polaris p.s." would be great if they want to continue winning NY/LA service. I think everyone is sick of the beef short rib they've been serving since the dawn of time.
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 10:37 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Will Dearborn
Poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on an airplane - what could go wrong?
I'm kind of curious what it tastes like. Strikes me as incredibly ambitious - do they even have the facilities to poach an egg onboard? To be fair, the picture looks a little more like sunny side up and then a cold container for 12 hours.
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 10:43 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by findark
I'm kind of curious what it tastes like. Strikes me as incredibly ambitious - do they even have the facilities to poach an egg onboard? To be fair, the picture looks a little more like sunny side up and then a cold container for 12 hours.
The poached eggs looked like they were cooked in a muffin-tin type setup where it looks like they would be cooked in a steam oven. I found them to be very tasty - not necessarily a true poached egg, but very similar in style, and they managed to get them to a medium, with the yolk being slightly runny, which was very impressive. The hollandaise was a bit sparse, but tasty.

Definitely more ambitious than the typical omelette, and I thought it was well executed given the challenges of preparing poached eggs on an aircraft.
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 11:00 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by gcashin
A few more photos of the appetizer, cheese plate (the only disappointment), and the breakfast (fantastic).
The appetizer and cheese plates look like pre-Polaris plates.
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Old Jan 14, 2017, 11:01 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by gcashin
The poached eggs looked like they were cooked in a muffin-tin type setup where it looks like they would be cooked in a steam oven. I found them to be very tasty - not necessarily a true poached egg, but very similar in style, and they managed to get them to a medium, with the yolk being slightly runny, which was very impressive. The hollandaise was a bit sparse, but tasty.

Definitely more ambitious than the typical omelette, and I thought it was well executed given the challenges of preparing poached eggs on an aircraft.
Food looks excellent on your flight.
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