United Polaris new business worth it?

Old Jan 13, 20, 7:22 pm
  #1  
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United Polaris new business worth it?

I saw there are two new Polaris seats available for dates I want. Iím skeptical when it comes to USA airlines, what are your thoughts on it? Is it worth using my miles for their new Polaris business seats? Or foreign airlines are better?
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Old Jan 13, 20, 7:30 pm
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Hard product (seat) comparison depends on the foreign airline you're considering, there's a huge range of them. Generally the new Polaris seat is better than the foreign airlines, but not always.

Soft product (service) also depends on which foreign airline you're comparing to. Generally the foreign airlines are better than United, but not always.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 7:44 pm
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I'd say United has closed the gap/beaten many foreign airlines in terms of hard product. The new polaris seat offers all aisle access, which is not the case for swiss (5 across) or lufthansa (6 across or 4 across upstairs) and i believe the seat is more comfortable than swiss, lufthansa, or SAS. Singapore business class seats are larger but ANA seems to be in the ballpark although i've only seen them, not flown in them.

In terms of soft product, i've had business class meals in united, swiss, lufthansa, and SAS in the last year and frankly just didn't see that much difference. The "foreign airlines are vastly superior" is IMHO turned unto urban legend. Lots of cost cuts have come into play with foreign airlines. The wines on foreign airlines are slightly better but nothing to write home about. I thought the meals on the european carriers were not that much better quality-wise. They were definitely different, which i think helps drive the "always fly foreign airlines if you can" crowd, especially if you fly a lot and are "fortunate" enough to be familiar with united's meal offerings. Exception to this as i understand it, although have not experienced myself, is EVA...but only if you are connecting anyway

I think the polaris lounge is much much better than foreign lounges in the US...you can only use polaris lounge on arrival if you are on united metal.

Of course, scoring First Class on foreign metal is a different story, but i just don't think the gap between US and foreign carriers in business is enough to worry about it. pick what works for you in terms of destination, schedule, and award availability and enjoy it.

Last edited by boolean64; Jan 13, 20 at 7:59 pm
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Old Jan 13, 20, 7:47 pm
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Who are you comparing to, on what route?

In general, if you can get a saver award on UA metal, on a guaranteed Polaris route, it's a good use of UA miles.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Who are you comparing to, on what route?

In general, if you can get a saver award on UA metal, on a guaranteed Polaris route, it's a good use of UA miles.
I'm debating this with Air France A330 new business seats or SWISS. I'm traveling as couple so I am not too worried about aisle access.
Yeah 60k miles for UA but I am pondering LifeMiles too due to transfer bonuses I took advantage of.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by flybie View Post
I'm debating this with Air France A330 new business seats or SWISS. I'm traveling as couple so I am not too worried about aisle access.
Yeah 60k miles for UA but I am pondering LifeMiles too due to transfer bonuses I took advantage of.
Consistent with the norm, the Polaris seat is hands down the best hard product of the three, and United's soft product is likely to be the weakest. With the latest cuts, it tends to be thoroughly mediocre but in my opinion also perfectly tolerable.

I would spend the UA miles if it's a transfer-in just to get rid of them.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 8:07 pm
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I would pick United over Swiss. You have to pay to select seats on Swiss even in business class. The food is alright, npt as good as it used to be years ago. Limited entertainment and smaller TV sceeens.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 8:08 pm
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I would pick UA Polaris seat > AF A330 > LX any aircraft, but I value sleep and privacy. If you value food more, then AF might be a better choice. If you value lounge and ground experience, maybe UA slightly better with sit-down dining option and AF being worst because of CDG (lounges are fine, just the airport sucks). In any case I would pick UA/AF over LX, only because I find LX seat, food, and service all mediocre.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 8:44 pm
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Two specific thoughts on LX... i also found the business class on their 777 to be gigantic. you walk onboard and see a sea of business class seats. Then you are seated in the back of that sea and watch the meal cart slowly inch towards you. Just left a bad taste in my mouth. Second comment is ORD-specific. The Swiss lounge in T5 was absolutely nothing to write home about. Very small (far fewer seats in the lounge than there are business class seats on the plane, tiny restrooms) and food was i thought not as good as polaris.

I obviously wouldn't avoid Swiss, but all else being equal i'd choose united. Know nothing about AF, but would imagine the comments upthread are right about it likely having the best food.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Consistent with the norm, the Polaris seat is hands down the best hard product of the three, and United's soft product is likely to be the weakest.
It depends on which AF 330. Their neo is the exact same seat as UA Polaris (Optima). But I would actually rate UA soft product higher and CDG is a parade of horrors (yeah, I wasn't so impressed with AF).

LX 77W is not a bad product. I basically consider it a wash with UA (though you need to know how to game seat selection).
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Old Jan 13, 20, 9:10 pm
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I find the food on BA, LH and AF to be much, much better than UA. UAís seat is slightly better, but Iím fine with all of them. The Polaris lounge is great - where they exist. AF and BA pre-boarding dining are almost as good - where they exist (like IAD).

Also, I donít mind CDG Terminal 2 (AF), but Terminal 1 (Star Alliance) is bad. Only AF has an arrivals lounge at CDG.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
It depends on which AF 330. Their neo is the exact same seat as UA Polaris (Optima). But I would actually rate UA soft product higher and CDG is a parade of horrors (yeah, I wasn't so impressed with AF).
AF doesn't have any A330neo in its fleet or in order. Their A350 are equipped with the Polaris-equivalent Optima seats. The new AF A330 seats are same as the KL A330 seats.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
AF doesn't have any A330neo in its fleet or in order. Their A350 are equipped with the Polaris-equivalent Optima seats. The new AF A330 seats are same as the KL A330 seats.
Ah right, thanks. I was thinking of the 350 order they took over from Joon.

New 330 business class looks an awful lot like the LH J seat.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 11:08 pm
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Thanks all for the input. How likely United swaps aircraft these days?
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Old Jan 13, 20, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by flybie View Post
Thanks all for the input. How likely United swaps aircraft these days?
Depends on the route. Whatís your origin and destination airport?
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