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Why is there such as disconnect between PL and Polaris in-flight?

Why is there such as disconnect between PL and Polaris in-flight?

Old Mar 29, 19, 5:25 am
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingHighlander View Post
I posed a similar question further up this thread, although my perspective is that of someone just about to start flying long haul J with regularity who is comparing prices.
The 1 response I got was a guess that a large portion of people may prefer sticking with a US based carrier. Reasons unknown.

When I project my PQM/PQD numbers for the year I'm looking at around 40 domestic segments. I'll barely make UA Gold Status with that. If I decide to put 3+ long haul J trips on UA I'll cruise into Plat, possibly even 1K. I wonder if theres others like that who are aware theres better/cheaper options, but "suffer" UA to make their overall frequent flying experience/perks more worthwhile.
I always thought United prices long haul J for its managed traffic....those that have a company discount plan...and not for individual buyers. Jut gravy if any pays full rack rate.

And yes, there are many fliers that choose to consolidate all their flying onto United to achieve status levels for better overall experience. I am one of them.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 5:26 am
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
I slightly disagree. I think AC's onboard experience, presentation, pride, and FA demeanor is consistently better than UA's in J. I agree that food is variable, though.
My experience on AC is different. Up until last year, the Service Director would stop by, introduce themselves, engage me in cononversation, and offer any assistance during the flight. During my recent YYZ-FRA flight, the two FA's attending my section spent a good 15 minutes discussing the sequence in which they would take dinner orders. This raised the ire of a pax who was vexed that he was continually being passed over. There were no introductions, very little social interaction, and no ascertaining of my satisfaction with the flight at its termination, something that had always been done by the Service Director in the past. The catering was poor, a decline from the past when even a flight from the Caribbean on Premium Rouge was better. On my most recent UA flights, both TATL and TPAC, the Service Directors were much more hands on and engaging. Although they also did not personally introduce themselves to pax, they did so via the PA system. I had great FA's on these flights. Joan, on the CDG-IAD flight, an ex PAN AM FA, was the epitome of class and was extremely attentive and engaging. Katrina, on my EWR-HKG and again on my HKG-EWR flights, was equally engaging and attentive, actually apologizing to me on my last flight for not being able to converse with me for a longer period. On a recent IAD-FRA flight, seated in the former First class cabin, Michael, the FA attending me, provided service commensurate with the former cabin class. Catering was mediocre, and that is sad, and is certainly something that should be addressed to remain competitive with the Asian and MEA airlines, and those that are catered by Do & Co. I've already stopped eating the mid-flight and breakfast meals, and if the poor catering continues, may just forgo any at all aboard both AC and UA. Unlike so many, I am also not overly fond of NH's offerings. I couldn't manage more than a bite of the filet mignon on my recent ORD-HND flight, it was so tough and overcooked. The bread was stone cold and of poor quality. I know western fare is not their forté, but on routes out of North America, a greater effort should be made. Compare that to similar meals on both LX, HKG-ZRH, and BR, VIE-TPE, and it proves that beef can be properly prepared. Heck, I even had a better meal on a BR short-haul , TPE-HKG. I could go on and on, but flogging a dead horse won't bring it back to life.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 7:51 am
  #123  
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
When the customer is unconscious, UA service culture looks better.
This quote says it all. I see tee shirts.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 8:06 am
  #124  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingHighlander View Post
I posed a similar question further up this thread, although my perspective is that of someone just about to start flying long haul J with regularity who is comparing prices.
The 1 response I got was a guess that a large portion of people may prefer sticking with a US based carrier. Reasons unknown.

When I project my PQM/PQD numbers for the year I'm looking at around 40 domestic segments. I'll barely make UA Gold Status with that. If I decide to put 3+ long haul J trips on UA I'll cruise into Plat, possibly even 1K. I wonder if theres others like that who are aware theres better/cheaper options, but "suffer" UA to make their overall frequent flying experience/perks more worthwhile.
If you are always flying front cabin on OPM, yes, it can be difficult to understand why so many people people choose UA. But in addition to the US airline/safety point, if you do a lot of domestic flying, being a UA elite gives you the possibility of CPUs, E+, etc. -- and the MP program is generally better than most of the others.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 9:15 am
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by seenitall View Post
If you are always flying front cabin on OPM, yes, it can be difficult to understand why so many people people choose UA. But in addition to the US airline/safety point, if you do a lot of domestic flying, being a UA elite gives you the possibility of CPUs, E+, etc. -- and the MP program is generally better than most of the others.
To clairfy my earlier post, my domestic flying is indeed concentrated on UA, and UA is my company's contracted airline. But I'm still able to achieve 1K whilst saving significant money for my budget by flying partner airlines on long-haul J flights.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 10:31 am
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
I really think the fact that they leave you alone and don't tempt you with extra service or snacks is a big selling point for people who just want to arrive well rested.
United will never win the pax who want a great soft product and book UA JV partners J/F. What demand does this leave? Schedule snd sleep. They have like tripled down on the pillows, blankets, mattress, slippers, pajamas, etc.
Then offer their $3 PJs on all Polaris flights ...
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Old Mar 29, 19, 11:39 am
  #127  
 
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I wonder if part of the problem/experience is the result of several factors in modern road warrior travel. First, food (and restaurant meals) in the U.S. has gotten markedly better over the last several decades. I remember my parents telling me of the meals served in the 1940's, 50's and 60's as being very limited in choice (steak, baked potato, peas and apple pie was voted as "America's favorite meal" in the late 50's). Dining out was a comparatively rare experience--unless you were single or rich, it was pretty much limited to special occasions and you ate every bite on the plate. Meals experienced in the dining cars of long-distance trains and in planes were considered novel, elegant and exotic. In addition to variety and quality of meals eaten both at home and in restaurants increasing, now you don't even have to leave your home for a restaurant meal due to the expansion of delivery services beyond pizza with the advent of UberEats and DoorDash. Also, there has been a continual increase in the variety and quality of food served in most airports, allowing one to eat on the ground or order something to go for the plane. As for frequency or travel, correct me if I am wrong (and I know my fellow FT'ers will!), but with the globalization of commerce I suspect there are many more persons who step onto a plane 50+ times a year (or whatever threshold you want to use for frequent flyer), as well making 10+ TATL or TPAC trips a year, thus further diminishing the novelty of air travel and the chances of being "surprised and delighted." Don't get me wrong: I believe that the "Business Class Reimagined" Polaris was overhyped, is inconsistent and has underdelivered (and I scratch my head why more "enhancements" further cutting the product continue), but I suspect the factors outlined above have altered our expectations and left us more disappointed. (And I am not even comparing UA to Asian carriers, the ME3 or LH--I believe cultural factors, economics and expectations are markedly different and will never be overcome). On the bright side, the Polaris lounges have to rank among the best business class lounges anywhere.

Last edited by BeanTownBoy; Apr 2, 19 at 11:03 pm
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:18 pm
  #128  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
I always thought United prices long haul J for its managed traffic....those that have a company discount plan...and not for individual buyers. Jut gravy if any pays full rack rate.
That is certainly a big part of the disconnect. Those $10k fares probably look a lot more palatable with a 40% discount.
Originally Posted by ordogg View Post
Then offer their $3 PJs on all Polaris flights ...
Very few airlines offer PJs in business class. This is hardly the point on which to criticize United compared to the competition.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:24 pm
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Very few airlines offer PJs in business class. This is hardly the point on which to criticize United compared to the competition.
United can't have it both ways. They certainly don't have to provide PJs but then they should not claim they do. They make all this advertising or marketing about Polaris but yet the totality what they advertise is only available inconsistently or sporadically. Polaris was exciting for the first two or three months it really lasted, but now seems not to exceed, or indeed match, ndeed, the pmUA or pmCO product in quality.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:29 pm
  #130  
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Originally Posted by ani90 View Post
United can't have it both ways. They certainly don't have to provide PJs but then they should not claim they do. They make all this advertising or marketing about Polaris but yet the totality what they advertise is only available inconsistently or sporadically. Polaris was exciting for the first two or three months it really lasted, but now seems not to exceed, or indeed match, ndeed, the pmUA or pmCO product in quality.
Exactly what are you whining about - the fact that PJs are limited to flights with an average block time of 12 hours (which I understood OP to be referencing), or the failure to provision on certain flights recently (which I would agree is rather pathetic)?
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Old Mar 29, 19, 3:06 pm
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Exactly what are you whining about
i am not whining at all - you should comment on the subject and not on the poster.

I don't care whether there are PJs or not. It is just another example of the false advertising and dwindling standards with Polaris - there are several others in this thread already - several have commented on the lack of PJs for all customers on PJ eligible flights. If UA says a limited supply of PJs may be available on flights over XXX hours then that would be okay.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 3:30 pm
  #132  
 
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Originally Posted by ani90 View Post
It is just another example of the false advertising and dwindling standards with Polaris - there are several others in this thread already - several have commented on the lack of PJs for all customers on PJ eligible flights. If UA says a limited supply of PJs may be available on flights over XXX hours then that would be okay.
To be fair to United, they haven't changed their policy on PJ availability since inception, as far as I know. It's flights over 12 hours average block time.
There was a brief disruption as their supply temporarily ran out, so some flights were not provisioned with PJs during that time.
If one happened to be on such a flight with no PJs, one could complain to UA and they'd offer compensation amounting to MANY times the supposed $3 value that has been mentioned.

This is one facet where I praise UA, not condemn them.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 4:16 pm
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
To be fair to United, they haven't changed their policy on PJ availability since inception, as far as I know. It's flights over 12 hours average block time.
I thought the original policy was for flights over 10 hours? Or was that for mattress pads?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 29, 19 at 4:33 pm Reason: repaired quote
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Old Mar 30, 19, 2:57 am
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by BeanTownBoy View Post
I thought the original policy was for flights over 10 hours? Or was that for mattress pads?
The only thing I know is that they have mattress pads on flights less than 10 hours. Not too many per flight so it's better to request them early.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 7:06 am
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by Boofer View Post
Here's my perspective. I've been UA 1K for 8 of the past 10 years and I'm closing in on Million Miler status. But these are my last several long-hauls:

US to Brazil - Azul FLL-VCP instead of United
Australia to US - JAL SYD-NRT-DFW
Australia to US - Air New Zealand - SYD-AKL-LAX-ORD and return
Australia to US - Qantas SYD-DFW, return on Cathay ORD-HKG-SIN, then Qantas SIN-SYD (the Oneworld Circle the Pacific J fares are hard to beat)
Australia to US - Air Canada SYD-YVR-ORD and return
Australia to US - United SYD-SFO-ORD and return IAD-LAX-SYD
Australia to Colombia - United SYD-LAX then Avianca LAX-BOG; return Copa CTG-PTY-LAX then United LAX-SYD
US to Australia - Air New Zealand IAH-AKL-SYD

So you can see that I've been voting with my spend. I find the service on UA inconsistent. It's not universally terrible, but it's not universally great. Most of all, however, United always seems to have the highest prices on these routes, and that's what I've never been able to understand. UA's hard and soft J products simply do not warrant a premium fare. On all of these non-UA trips, the product and service have been at least as good and in many cases better than UA, with fares that are as much as 30%-40% lower or more. Azul, by the way, has an excellent hard and soft product, and the fare was under $4000 round trip when UA via IAD, ORD, or IAH were over $9,000. I know there are a lot of AC naysayers, but their product and service are just as good as UA, with fares consistently 15-20% lower between the US and Australia, convenient connections at YVR. NZ and JL are simply better than UA all around, and very frequently offer lower J fares than UA on the same routing. Can anyone explain why UA can seemingly get away with charging inflated fares for an inferior product?
I presume you are looking at market/spot pricing and not corporate/contract rates for the J/C product? If you take 15-20% off the spot fares you are looking at then you may get a better idea at what UA is yielding in the market net of their corporate mix to fill the cabin. It's not that UA has a good J product, it's that they have a decent corporate/govt. book with discounts etc. to fill the planes. So on the whole, they are not getting more, if any IMO, but they can charge quite a bit on the last mediocre seat as a result.
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