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Worth $397 to upgrade to Polaris Business on Hawaii flight?

Worth $397 to upgrade to Polaris Business on Hawaii flight?

Old Jul 22, 2021, 10:34 am
  #1  
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Worth $397 to upgrade to Polaris Business on Hawaii flight?

So I just checked my reservation to Hawaii in December of this year and they did an equipment change and now my new flight from Denver-Honolulu has both Polaris Business and Premium Plus seating! I'm currently in Economy Plus but is it worth it to upgrade to either of these? Have not flown either one yet so it would be a first! I'm also bringing my wife and daughter so the cost would be X3 as I'm sure they would be none too pleased to be sitting in the back while I'm lounging up front.

Just curious what everyone's thoughts are about it. Premium Plus would be $247 and Polaris Business is $397 but this is only one way...for some reason they are not letting me upgrade my cabin for the return flight from Kauai yet.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 10:49 am
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It's not Polaris Business - it's United First w/ a nice lie-flat seat. Domestic First service should be expected, not Polaris Business (upgraded meals, lounge access, etc). Premium Economy would be nice to Maui (domestic meal and booze, the same as First) - the need for a lie-flat daytime westbound is probably not worth the cost. The value of a lie-flat seat is eastbound red-eyes, where sleep would be the goal.
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jul 22, 2021 at 11:32 am Reason: speling
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
It's not Polaris Business - it's United First w/ a nice lie-flat seat. Domestic First service should be expected, not Polaris Business (upgraded meals, lounge access, etc). Premium Economy would be nice to Maui (domestic meal and booze, the same as First) - the need for a lie-flat daytime westbound is probably not worth he cost. The value of a lie-flat seat is eastbound red-eyes, where sleep would be the goal.
It specifically says Polaris Business?

I even looked it up and this route was upgraded to a plane with Polaris Business seats as well as Premium Plus.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:05 am
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Its right on the edge timewise for me. If its 7 hours or below Id probably go for an exit row or the premium economy option. But the difference is only about $100 for 7 hours in a flat bed? Thats a no brainer. Its well worth it to go flat bed imho.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by Chris2013
It specifically says Polaris Business?

I even looked it up and this route was upgraded to a plane with Polaris Business seats as well as Premium Plus.
The seats can be the Polaris hard product (1-2-1) but service to Hawaii is domestic First Class. For some long-haul flights, United still uses the old diamond business seat, but it is called Polaris Business. Sound confusing? You are not alone. Cheers.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by Chris2013
Just curious what everyone's thoughts are about it. Premium Plus would be $247 and Polaris Business is $397 but this is only one way...for some reason they are not letting me upgrade my cabin for the return flight from Kauai yet.
My answer is no. DEN-HNL would be a daytime flight. You don't really need a lie-flat. Beside - the money could get you better food elsewhere than airline food.

Originally Posted by Chris2013
It specifically says Polaris Business?

I even looked it up and this route was upgraded to a plane with Polaris Business seats as well as Premium Plus.
IAH-OIL-TRASH is correct.

UA ordinarily designates seats based on markets. Because UA has grounded a significant number of B772 per PW engine issue, as well as various international service suspension, UA decides to use Polaris-configured planes for domestic purpose and earns some extra bucks.

So while you will indeed travel in a Polaris-configured plane, you will not get the full Polaris experience, i.e. there will be no lounge access, no Polaris dining, and else.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:23 am
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For me, it’s absolutely worth it. It’s not about food and service. I simply like the extra space and comfort.

Do you have status? If so, premium economy should be a standard seat selection for you and your family.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by kevinsac
...Do you have status? If so, premium economy should be a standard seat selection for you and your family.
Only from the West Coast - not long-haul Hawaii, which includes DEN-HNL. Premium Economy is a marketed class on those flights.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS
Its right on the edge timewise for me. If its 7 hours or below Id probably go for an exit row or the premium economy option. But the difference is only about $100 for 7 hours in a flat bed? Thats a no brainer. Its well worth it to go flat bed imho.
I have Premium Economy but cannot upgrade to Premium Plus seats without paying a difference.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:31 am
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For the DEN-HNL leg, I personally wouldn't bother but I have an ereader and iPad to occupy my time in the air. I don't sleep on the westward leg so really don't care at all about the lie-flats and the additional recline in Premium Plus generally isn't worth $250 to me. IMO, grabbing something at Smashburger or one of the other outlets in Terminal B is both cheaper and more satisfying than UA's menu.
For the eastward redeye on return, I would definitely upgrade to get some decent sleep. The true Polaris seat makes for a MUCH better sleep but even the Premium Plus recline would be an improvement over E+. The problem here is that the 2035 departure is the one using the 777-200 while my preferred departure time of 2135 uses the 767-300. In that case, I generally opt for the 767-300 to get an additional hour with the family as I can sleep okay in the recliner but your mileage may vary on that point.

Note you need to look at the plane configuration to make sure it's the 777-200 with the 1-2-1 layout but that's the only plane going to HNL that offers Premium Plus seating. If it doesn't offer Premium Plus, you're flying on the 767-300 with the old domestic first class recliners.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by Kmxu
The seats can be the Polaris hard product (1-2-1) but service to Hawaii is domestic First Class. For some long-haul flights, United still uses the old diamond business seat, but it is called Polaris Business. Sound confusing? You are not alone. Cheers.
That makes more sense...well shucks I was hoping for the full experience if I was going to pay $1200...

Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe
For the DEN-HNL leg, I personally wouldn't bother but I have an ereader and iPad to occupy my time in the air. I don't sleep on the westward leg so really don't care at all about the lie-flats and the additional recline in Premium Plus generally isn't worth $250 to me. IMO, grabbing something at Smashburger or one of the other outlets in Terminal B is both cheaper and more satisfying than UA's menu.
For the eastward redeye on return, I would definitely upgrade to get some decent sleep. The true Polaris seat makes for a MUCH better sleep but even the Premium Plus recline would be an improvement over E+. The problem here is that the 2035 departure is the one using the 777-200 while my preferred departure time of 2135 uses the 767-300. In that case, I generally opt for the 767-300 to get an additional hour with the family as I can sleep okay in the recliner but your mileage may vary on that point.

Note you need to look at the plane configuration to make sure it's the 777-200 with the 1-2-1 layout but that's the only plane going to HNL that offers Premium Plus seating. If it doesn't offer Premium Plus, you're flying on the 767-300 with the old domestic first class recliners.
It is a 777-200 but on the return flight from Kauai it is something completely different.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 22, 2021 at 11:39 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by Chris2013
It specifically says Polaris Business?

I even looked it up and this route was upgraded to a plane with Polaris Business seats as well as Premium Plus.
While it is a flight with Polaris seats (and Premium Plus) it is being sold as a domestic flight (not being marketed as a Polaris flight)



Notice in the last column it is label United First

While the same plane used on a Polaris route is labeled Polaris Business


Same seat but in normal times the Polaris Business has numerous additional benefits -- lounge, better meals, better bedding, ... however at the moment the difference is less.

As to if you should spend the extra is a very personal choice. The PremiumPlus is a slightly wider seat, more leg space and a bit more recline. It will be a more comfortable seat than the rest of economy and you will feel less crowded. The economy seats on the 772 are quite tight.

The lie-flat seat is lie-flat. It can be converted to a bed and more individual space and privacy. The meal will be domestic F quality and the blanket and pillow will be domestic level -- not Polaris Business.. While you may not use the lie-flat, the seat space is significantly larger.

How much do you want to splurge on the way to Hawaii -- all the seats will get you there. Are the funds better used for a dinner or tour experience in Hawaii? -- your decision.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 22, 2021 at 11:41 am
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:35 am
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Personally, I dont care about Polaris (international) vs domestic first class service. Most of the time, there is no service anyway

Id pick based on the seat type.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by kevinsac
... Do you have status? If so, premium economy should be a standard seat selection for you and your family.
No, if the flight is marketing PremiumPlus, which this flight is -- there is no free access to PremiumPlus seats for elites.
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Old Jul 22, 2021, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by Chris2013
It specifically says Polaris Business?

I even looked it up and this route was upgraded to a plane with Polaris Business seats as well as Premium Plus.
When you buy a domestic ticket on a Polaris-equipped plane, it will say "United First", not "Polaris Business" (like one would get to Europe or Asia). You will get a domestic First experience in a nice seat, not a Polaris Business experience. Do not read up on Polaris Business and expect it (beyond the seat itself). I got to be behind a family who approached the United Club lounge desk complaining about the Polaris Lounge at San Francisco being closed only to find out their Polaris seat to Hawaii didn't even get them United Club access. They were confused, also - and obviously disappointed.
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