Transcon Meals Better Than Polaris?

Old Sep 16, 19, 3:35 pm
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Transcon Meals Better Than Polaris?

Moderator: Could not find a similar thread (and didn't know if it fit into "Let's Eat"), so please feel free to merge or kill.

Flew BOS-SFO in F today and had an excellent breakfast (cheese quiche with chicken sausage) that was immaculately presented on a plate! (Service was great as well.) It occurred to me that consistently I have better meals on this city pair than in Polaris. Anyone else have the same experience/conclusion? Sorry for no pics, but I think those who have had both experiences will definitely have an opinion!
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Old Sep 16, 19, 3:39 pm
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Yes!

Meals on EWR-SFO/LAX in p.s. business are much better than the stuff they feed me in Polaris. I blame SFO catering, as most my flights are to Asia via SFO.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 4:13 pm
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I also find p.s. catering better than Polaris. Sad!
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Old Sep 16, 19, 4:22 pm
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Because the Polaris (I know Polaris hasn’t been around that long but it carried over) menu has not changed in a decade at least out of SFO. Almost always a short rib, a chicken, a seafood, and the cheese ravioli. And prearrival is almost always an omelette. I always though united prepaid 20 years for the same food out of sfo.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 4:56 pm
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PS in economy is great too.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 6:38 pm
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The plating is the flight attendants, not catering. I have wondered if the née-p.s. routes are more desirable and get better attendants, because my experience is they tend to have better crews.

For Polaris, usually I find meals better to-US (catered by outstation) than ex-US.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:15 pm
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I fly Polaris out of EWR mostly and tend to love the food. The Spicy Chicken noodle dish is a favorite.

I enjoy the return meal from HKG much less
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:44 pm
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I was impressed with the cheese ravioli MCO - SFO last week. It's not a p.s. flight but it's over 5 hours so I guess it gets different catering. Had an ice cream sundae as well that really hit the spot. My recent experienced in Polaris the food was better than short haul domestic first (buffalo mac and cheese or chicken salad), but not as good as the MCO - SFO catering last week.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:58 pm
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Just flew BOS-SFO last Thursday. The food was catered out of BOS...not sure why all the comments about SFO catering.

The food wasn't bad. We had a choice of the quiche, pancakes, or Rice Krispies. I am not a quiche fan, but had it, and it wasn't bad. 90 minutes out we got the snack basket, and a choice of a turkey wrap or a hummus sandwich. The wrap wasn't bad, and the snack basket had a few more choices than the typical domestic basket. The dinner the night before (SFO-BOS)was beef ribs, chicken or 4 cheese ravioli.

Was the food better than Polaris? Not in my opinion. Not bad, but not better.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:02 pm
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I find the service and plating generally pretty good on transcon 752s. On 781s EWR-SFO, it’s usually been horrific (4 hour meal service, over cooked entrees, no PDB, no refills) because of staffing shortages.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:11 am
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I agree with the OP's post, but wonder whether it's also tied up with the clash between expectations and reality. As a customer, I expect a lot from a very expensive premium international service - the premium in price over economy is huge and it's two classes up. But with a TCON, it's one class up and generally the premium price over economy is much less. But, it should be much easier to create a more premium ambience in a smaller cabin than in the huge flying dormitories that are business class nowadays. The FAs have large numbers of customers to look after and, eastbound certainly, there's massive pressure just to get on with it so that people can get to sleep. In those circumstance, even if the food were identical, it would seem worse on the longer flight.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 6:15 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
I agree with the OP's post, but wonder whether it's also tied up with the clash between expectations and reality. As a customer, I expect a lot from a very expensive premium international service - the premium in price over economy is huge and it's two classes up. But with a TCON, it's one class up and generally the premium price over economy is much less. But, it should be much easier to create a more premium ambience in a smaller cabin than in the huge flying dormitories that are business class nowadays. The FAs have large numbers of customers to look after and, eastbound certainly, there's massive pressure just to get on with it so that people can get to sleep. In those circumstance, even if the food were identical, it would seem worse on the longer flight.
This. Since the cutback of FAs on international service, it is no contest - on average, I find that the level of personal attention on a UA transcon in F is superior to the level of service in Polaris. Polaris FAs try, but they are shackled by short staff and steadily degraded soft product quality.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 6:29 am
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Hey mods, can we change the last word of this thread to actually read Polaris instead of Polrais? It'll make it easier to search for in the future when we want to complain about the fancy foods being served, or not served!
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Old Sep 17, 19, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
I agree with the OP's post, but wonder whether it's also tied up with the clash between expectations and reality. As a customer, I expect a lot from a very expensive premium international service - the premium in price over economy is huge and it's two classes up. But with a TCON, it's one class up and generally the premium price over economy is much less. But, it should be much easier to create a more premium ambience in a smaller cabin than in the huge flying dormitories that are business class nowadays. The FAs have large numbers of customers to look after and, eastbound certainly, there's massive pressure just to get on with it so that people can get to sleep. In those circumstance, even if the food were identical, it would seem worse on the longer flight.
Yes, that makes sense. In this case, however, I would add that yesterday's transcon meal lived up to the hype: the presentation was great (it was on a plate--not a casserole, properly sauced, and actually looked like something you would find in a UA ad or on the website) and it was very tasty (something you would actually order and be pleased with in a restaurant).
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Old Sep 17, 19, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by thejaredhuang View Post
PS in economy is great too.
I guess if you consider a meal better than no meal.
I find the meals to be inedible. I keep forgetting to ask for a BoB meal instead.

I've only ever been upgraded on a ps flight once but I do recall that the presentation was better than most Polaris flights.
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