Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

[Rumor] More Polaris "Enhancements" coming May 1, 2018? ...

[Rumor] More Polaris "Enhancements" coming May 1, 2018? ...

    Hide Wikipost
Old May 23, 18, 11:24 pm   -   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: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Word is out on another site (not my post) regarding a company memo about the May 1 "enhancements".

POLARIS SERVICE ENHANCEMENTS
Frequently Asked Questions

1. When do the service updates go into effect?
A: The service updates are effective May 1, 2018, on all long-haul international flights.

2. Why are we making changes to our United Polaris® service?
A: Customers have positively received our United Polaris lounge, and this year we are opening more United Polaris lounges beginning this summer in San Francisco, Houston and New York/Newark and in the fall, Los Angeles. As we continue to add more lounges, we want to take into account the feedback that customers have given us — they’ve emphasized their desire to rest and relax during their journey, especially onboard. The updates to the service flow will allow us to continue providing a premium product with high-quality food, wine, amenities and more, but it’ll be delivered in a more efficient way.

3. What is the new international United Polaris meal service flow?
A: The meal service flow for both first and business class will be the same:
Pre-departure
• Pre-poured sparkling wine, orange juice and water offered from a silver tray, with other beverages available upon request.
Main meal service
• Hot towels
• Linen placement
• Pre-meal beverage cart
• Appetizer and salad cart
• Bread and beverage refills
• Entrées
• Bread and beverage refills
• Dessert and pre-plated cheese cart
• Individual water bottles with hang tags
Mid-flight service (when applicable)
• Display mid-flight snacks on console, self-service unit, fold-down trays or galley countertop.
• Heat and serve hot on-demand items (when applicable) upon customer request.
Pre-arrival service
• Hot towels
• Pre-arrival tray setup with entrée and choice of beverage
• Breads and pastries

4. Will we be able to offer other pre-departure beverages?
A: Yes, upon customer request fulfill other pre-departure beverages in accordance with each departure country’s pre-departure liquor procedures. Refer to the Flight Attendant Policies and Procedures Manual to determine if you are allowed to open beverage carts/carriers that contain alcohol on the ground.

5. Is there still a chocolate offered during pre-departure?
A: Pre-departure chocolates/dessert will be catered on the pre-arrival tray instead for customers to enjoy during or after their flight.

6. What’s changing with the Bloody Mary and wine specialty beverage carts?
A: Wines and Bloody Marys will continue to be available upon request, but the dedicated cart service will change. This was a common flight attendant suggestion for improvement. A new branded cart cover is being sourced to improve presentation in the aisle and will be available shortly after launch.

7. Can we still offer wine tastings?
A: Absolutely. Although the wine arches with the 3 tastings will not be boarded, we can continue to honor customers’ requests to sample select wines.

8. What about the United Polaris first class soup and salad course?
A: The salad and appetizer will be delivered at the same time on a tray setup, instead of having a soup course.

9. What about the turndown service?
A: We will continue to offer the turndown service upon request.

10. Will Express Dining continue to be offered?
A: Yes, Express Dining will continue to be offered and can be requested and delivered at any point during the flight.

11. Will we continue to offer the mini desserts and fruit and cheese?
A: The mini desserts will continue to be offered from the three-tier cart with the signature ice cream service. In addition, pre-plated cheese will be added to the dessert cart. To make room for the fruit and cheese on the dessert cart, the specialty tea box will be removed from the cart, although specialty teas will continue to be available from the galley.

12. Are there any updates to the mid-flight and pre-arrival services?
A: There will be a few updates to both the mid-flight and pre-arrival service.
Mid-flight service (when available) – While we’ll no longer have formal presentation of mid-flight snacks, snack provisioning levels will remain the same and will continue to be displayed near the galley as is done today. Hang tags advising the customers that mid-flight snacks are available will be added to the individual bottle waters distributed after the main meal service. Hot snack items, when available, will also be delivered upon request.
Pre-arrival service – We’re removing tray table linens to reduce trips through the aisle. The tray itself will continue to have a linen liner. The pre-departure chocolate/dessert will be catered on the pre-arrival tray for customers to enjoy during or after the flight.

13. Will there be any new service items introduced to support the new United Polaris service?
A: Yes, there are a few new elements that will be introduced, including:
Cart covers – Similar to some of our competitors, branded cart covers for both the half and full carts will be boarded for use in the aisle on both the beverage and meal tray carts. Cart covers will be available shortly after launch.
Hang tags – To be placed on individual bottle waters at the end of the main meal service to advise customers that mid-flight snacks are available.

14. Will we be changing the domestic meal service procedures to align with the new United Polaris service (e.g. pre-poured pre-departure beverages)?
A: We will continue listening to the feedback of our customers and our flight attendants and will adjust our processes where necessary to deliver the best service for our customers.
Some key points:

- Return of the salad/appetizer cart, although I suspect it's just going to be the meal cart with a fancy cover, to reduce the number of galley trips with hand-run trays
- Beverage carts coming back to the aisle (similar to DL and the former 3-cabin sUA business class service) with branded cart covers
- Soup is gone in Polaris First (so no more differentiation; the product isn't expected to last the full year, anyway)
- Wine tasting arches are gone
- No bloody mary carts (already announced)
- Hot bites will stay
- Bread refills to be offered (return of the bread basket?)
- Pre-departure chocolates returned to the pre-arrival tray

In many ways, this is going to look like the former three-cabin BusinessFirst service with nicer linens and serviceware. Overall, not the sweeping change (or depth of cuts) I was expecting. No word on provisioning of the other items (gel pillows, mattress pads, slippers, PJs, etc.)
Print Wikipost

Old Feb 8, 18, 7:46 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 12
[Rumor] More Polaris "Enhancements" coming May 1, 2018? ...

Just heard from a friend that effective May 1 Polaris service will no longer include Bloody Mary/Mimosa Carts and Wine Carts. There are other "enhancements" coming as well (to be announced later). With all of the "enhancements" since the Polaris launch United is basically back to the old United Business service with a nicer duvet. UA spent a lot of money on overpromising and underdelivering Polaris. At this point I think Polaris should be rebranded as "White Dwarf".
54321 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 7:48 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,058
The Bloody Mary/Mimosa cart was dumb in the first place. Do you mean wine flights and not “carts”? I can’t imagine them not bringing the wine/water/beverages cart out and instead running back and forth to the galley.
Collierkr likes this.
JVPhoto is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 7:57 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Programs: UA PM, DL PM, Bonvoy Titanium, HH Gold
Posts: 1,228
I don't understand why they didn't just keep the drink cart that was used pre-Polaris. It was much simpler and more efficient. At least IMHO.
DawgmanOH is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 7:58 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New England
Programs: United 1K, Delta PM, Marriott Titanium, HH Gold, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 6,257
Originally Posted by 54321 View Post
Just heard from a friend that effective May 1 Polaris service will no longer include Bloody Mary/Mimosa Carts and Wine Carts. There are other "enhancements" coming as well (to be announced later). With all of the "enhancements" since the Polaris launch United is basically back to the old United Business service with a nicer duvet. UA spent a lot of money on overpromising and underdelivering Polaris. At this point I think Polaris should be rebranded as "White Dwarf".
at least with the old BusinessFirst we had salads that were properly portioned with real dressing options...
demkr is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:02 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: DAY
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; Marriott LT Plat Premier (+AMB); Amex MR; Chase UR; Hertz PC; Global Entry
Posts: 7,313
Not surprising...typical United.

Has anyone confirmed that the "Hot Bites" service is gone? It was removed from the menu, but I haven't been on United in awhile to confirm if it is just off the menu, or not loaded on board at all.
EWR764 likes this.
goodeats21 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:03 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New England
Programs: United 1K, Delta PM, Marriott Titanium, HH Gold, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 6,257
Why can't this airline ever stick with anything? The constant cutbacks and bait and switch are becoming too much.
demkr is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:16 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago
Programs: United 1K
Posts: 465
Looking at several trips coming up and despite all these "enhancements" the prices are going up (way up).
uber1K_Flyer is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:20 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Floating around
Programs: UA 1K (1MM), DL Silver (1MM), Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 8,093
Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Not surprising...typical United.

Has anyone confirmed that the "Hot Bites" service is gone? It was removed from the menu, but I haven't been on United in awhile to confirm if it is just off the menu, or not loaded on board at all.
I flew 1.5 weeks ago and the "Hot Bites" was offered and on the menu. But the grilled cheese was changed to something really disgusting (like a 3 or 4 cheese grilled cheese with a whole lot of cheese that I don't like). The tomato soup was still very good.

-RM
RobOnLI is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:21 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: DAY
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; Marriott LT Plat Premier (+AMB); Amex MR; Chase UR; Hertz PC; Global Entry
Posts: 7,313
Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
I flew 1.5 weeks ago and the "Hot Bites" was offered and on the menu. But the grilled cheese was changed to something really disgusting (like a 3 or 4 cheese grilled cheese with a whole lot of cheese that I don't like). The tomato soup was still very good.

-RM
Thanks.

Do recall if it was Jan or Feb? There was some reporting in the "Let's Eat" thread that as of Feb. 1, it was off the menu.
goodeats21 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:39 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 33,338
Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Thanks.

Do recall if it was Jan or Feb? There was some reporting in the "Let's Eat" thread that as of Feb. 1, it was off the menu.
Seriously? The entire hot bites concept is gone? So we're back to cold snacks in a basket dumped in the galley for everyone to pick over?

Great, another couple cuts and I will take my paid business tickets back to ANA, or even Air Canada which has a Polaris-like seat in their 787s because it seems Polaris is going the way of domestic first.

So with the value proposition of domestic first now based off the "big seat and snack" concept of Spirit Airlines, what exactly is the current value proposition of Polaris when the seat is certainly not unique, and the rest of the amenities are either gone or going, and parts of the hard product (mattress, pajamas, gel pillow, etc) are either not boarded, or need to be fought over by multiple customers?

Absolutely ridiculous.
bocastephen is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:49 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 4,402
Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Thanks.

Do recall if it was Jan or Feb? There was some reporting in the "Let's Eat" thread that as of Feb. 1, it was off the menu.
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Seriously? The entire hot bites concept is gone? So we're back to cold snacks in a basket dumped in the galley for everyone to pick over?

Great, another couple cuts and I will take my paid business tickets back to ANA, or even Air Canada which has a Polaris-like seat in their 787s because it seems Polaris is going the way of domestic first.

So with the value proposition of domestic first now based off the "big seat and snack" concept of Spirit Airlines, what exactly is the current value proposition of Polaris when the seat is certainly not unique, and the rest of the amenities are either gone or going, and parts of the hard product (mattress, pajamas, gel pillow, etc) are either not boarded, or need to be fought over by multiple customers?

Absolutely ridiculous.
The menu has replaced the 'hot bites' with a more vague offering of 'comfort food'. I would think most comfort food is hot, but you never know, could turn into oreos. No confirmed reports I believe that there is actually no hot snack available.
fumje is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:50 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: UA 1K, National Executive Elite, Marriott Gold, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 49
I have a 15 hour EWR-PVG next week. If hot bites are indeed gone, that's a downgrade from the mid flight hot noodle soup service they had on TPACs prior to the Polaris rollout.

It seems pretty likely to me that Kirby's influence has been all over these recent "death by a thousand cuts". But with each cut, UA pushes me closer and closer to DL.
FlyingNone, KansasMike and Kacee like this.
LC757 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:51 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: STL
Programs: UA Platinum, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,288
Originally Posted by 54321 View Post
Just heard from a friend that effective May 1 Polaris service will no longer include Bloody Mary/Mimosa Carts and Wine Carts. There are other "enhancements" coming as well (to be announced later). With all of the "enhancements" since the Polaris launch United is basically back to the old United Business service with a nicer duvet. UA spent a lot of money on overpromising and underdelivering Polaris. At this point I think Polaris should be rebranded as "White Dwarf".
I'm not disputing what you heard, but do you know if it was just on that they were condensing the carts or removing the bloody mary/mimosas/wine from certain shorter length flights?
qukslvr619 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 8:56 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: DAY
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; Marriott LT Plat Premier (+AMB); Amex MR; Chase UR; Hertz PC; Global Entry
Posts: 7,313
Originally Posted by fumje View Post
The menu has replaced the 'hot bites' with a more vague offering of 'comfort food'. I would think most comfort food is hot, but you never know, could turn into oreos. No confirmed reports I believe that there is actually no hot snack available.
Correct. Someone posted a menu that didn't list "Hot Bites" at all. Not even with the generic "ask flight attendant for today's selection".

So I don't know if the actual items are no longer offered, if they have been downgraded, or if this is just more dumbing down of the menu, so they can load whatever they feel like (or whatever was on clearance / about to spoil / etc).

But regardless, it is becoming obvious United is in slash mode again.
goodeats21 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 18, 9:02 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: DCA
Programs: United 1K 2MM, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,582
I flew NRT-ORD on 1 February. No hot bites. There was a basket (like a domestic first basket) by the exit.
Miles Ahead is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread