2022 Let's Eat - Polaris Business

Old Dec 31, 21, 9:10 pm
  #1  
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2022 Let's Eat - Polaris Business

Current UA in-flight dining guidance is here:
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...g-changes.html

This thread is for the following all flights marketed as Polaris Business. In general, this includes
  • Most Trans-Atlantic flights
  • Trans-Pacific flights (except to/from Guam)
  • South American flights to Brazil, Argentina, and Chile only.
Don't forget to post the date and route information along with the meal information!

Here's United's official page on this category of Polaris dining:
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/inflight/dining/business.html

For the curious folks, the 2021 thread is here:
2021 Let's Eat - Polaris Business

With that, Let's Eat 2022!
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Old Jan 2, 22, 8:58 pm
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LHR - SFO - January

Started off well on first flight of the year, despite equipment change and MX delay. SFO based crew were outstanding, and the meal was the best since the pandemic began.

PDB Sparkling Wine or Water, refill offered
Water bottles distributed after takeoff
Drinks before meal service (rare), no carts in aisle, and Purser and Galley FAs even pulled the mixed nuts in plastic tubs from each tray to serve with the beverage.

Purser described all entrees in detail:
- Chicken stuffed with porcini mushroom, served with stewed apricot and sweet potato relish, couscous with sliced almonds (was excellent)
- Beef tenderloin with bearnaise sauce, asparagus, potato wedges
- Ricotta cannelloni in marinara sauce

Served with warm packaged Viking rye bread, mesclun and mango side salad with honey mustard dressing.

Ice cream was Belgian chocolate chip (a change!), and was placed down after the main tray - perfect temperature.

Chardonnay was a 2017 Schug Carneros, Champagne was Lanson, Pinot Noir was a 2018 Etude. All were good and poured at seat with bottle. Other wines not seen.

Constant refills and fresh water bottles throughout flight.

Pre-arrival was same old Hamburger Wellington or Couscous/Vegetable plate.
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Old Jan 2, 22, 9:10 pm
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Gee, maybe "New Year, New Service Resolve"? My December 30 LHR-SFO crew provided no PDB, no entree description (didn't know when asked "I think it's a breast, maybe mushrooms"), No water passed out, but crew definitely checked out. LAziest crew I've ever seen TATL on UA or CO. By far. Meals exactly the same, down to the dressing, except ice cream cup instead of cookie and rice instead of wedges.Wine poured in galley.
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Old Jan 3, 22, 9:15 am
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LHR-IAH on Jan 1, 2022

N PDB offered. FA asked, "Beef, chicken, or pasta?" I asked whether there was any further description. He said he didn't have one. Later on I heard a different FA actually describe the meals to a different passenger, though not in anywhere near as much detail as quoted above. After takeoff, I fell asleep. The FA shook me to wake me up for the meal. ... Heaven forbid I my sleep got in the way of his trying to plop trays down as fast as possible prior to hiding in the galley. As we've come to expect, on the same tray were nuts, salad, the entree, bread, and dessert. I'll agree with the above that the Belgian chocolate was an improvement.

Prior to landing was teh same "cheeseburger" or couscous.

On the whole, this was not an impressive performance on the part of United.
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Old Jan 3, 22, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
After takeoff, I fell asleep. The FA shook me to wake me up for the meal. ... Heaven forbid I my sleep got in the way of his trying to plop trays down as fast as possible prior to hiding in the galley.
Was the Do not Disturb on?
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Old Jan 3, 22, 10:10 am
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Xyzzy and IAH-OIL-TRASH ... did you have LHR based or SFO/IAH based crews? When I thanked the Purser and Galley FA for everything they did, we were talking and they explained flying with a mixed-base LHR/SFO crew on their outbound, which caused some tension because the LHR crew members in the front galley wanted a completely different approach to service than they did ... I.e. no PDB, single tray, refills in galley, etc. Apparently the LHR base members are very upset about additional workload with PDBs, etc, while reduced crew staffing remains.

I flew out SWISS First, so was bracing myself for the return on UA, but was really pleasantly surprised.
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Old Jan 3, 22, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Was the Do not Disturb on?
I'm nt sure. I often find that it's on because my knee hits the button and turns it on. On this flight I found that it was unintentionally on a few hours later. I have no idea when it was turned on. I guess I can understand them waking me up if they've already served everyone else, but I was one of the first to be served.

Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
Xyzzy and IAH-OIL-TRASH ... did you have LHR based or SFO/IAH based crews? When I thanked the Purser and Galley FA for everything they did, we were talking and they explained flying with a mixed-base LHR/SFO crew on their outbound, which caused some tension because the LHR crew members in the front galley wanted a completely different approach to service than they did ... I.e. no PDB, single tray, refills in galley, etc. Apparently the LHR base members are very upset about additional workload with PDBs, etc, while reduced crew staffing remains.

I flew out SWISS First, so was bracing myself for the return on UA, but was really pleasantly surprised.
ne of the FAs on my flight was IAH based. I have no idea about the rest.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 3, 22 at 12:18 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jan 3, 22, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
Xyzzy and IAH-OIL-TRASH ... did you have LHR based or SFO/IAH based crews? When I thanked the Purser and Galley FA for everything they did, we were talking and they explained flying with a mixed-base LHR/SFO crew on their outbound, which caused some tension because the LHR crew members in the front galley wanted a completely different approach to service than they did ... I.e. no PDB, single tray, refills in galley, etc. Apparently the LHR base members are very upset about additional workload with PDBs, etc, while reduced crew staffing remains.

I flew out SWISS First, so was bracing myself for the return on UA, but was really pleasantly surprised.
Just my two cents, but I find this very hard to believe. I've flown to LHR so much on UA before and during the pandemic and have always found the LHR-based crews to be the best in the system. Most are proactive, attentive, and generally outshine US-based crew members.

That's not to say I have not had excellent crews from SFO as well (I certainly have), but it just seems strange to me and leads me to doubt what the FA said was actually true.

I appreciate that LHR-based crews have always, IME, taken the time to describe the menu options, never just "beef, fish, or pasta?" like the EWR or IAH ex-Con folks.
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Old Jan 3, 22, 2:38 pm
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UA 944 ORD-FRA 2 Jan

No predeparture beverage. Bottle of water found in cubby with headphones. The small J cabin on a B788 approx 80% full. I believe several pax were non-revs as a couple of FAs were very chatty with them. Friendly but not overly engaging to the rest of us otherwise.

The usual beef, fish (salmon), or pasta. I had the beef as I typically do, it was somewhat chewy and fatty though well cooked. Neither the beef or the veggies and potatoes were very hot when served. Salad was not chilled. Roll was hard, caramel gelato ice cream cup was mush.

Breakfast was a choice of french toast dish or tomato kale quiche with sausages. I had the quiche which was rather uninspiring and bland though the warm tomato sauce did improve it. Fruit was fresh, so at least there was that.


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Old Jan 3, 22, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
Xyzzy and IAH-OIL-TRASH ... did you have LHR based or SFO/IAH based crews? When I thanked the Purser and Galley FA for everything they did, we were talking and they explained flying with a mixed-base LHR/SFO crew on their outbound, which caused some tension because the LHR crew members in the front galley wanted a completely different approach to service than they did ... I.e. no PDB, single tray, refills in galley, etc. Apparently the LHR base members are very upset about additional workload with PDBs, etc, while reduced crew staffing remains.

I flew out SWISS First, so was bracing myself for the return on UA, but was really pleasantly surprised.
Not much in way of crew British accents LHR-SFO. Purser spoke American
My IAD-LHR crew was led by British purser who was great. I told him I was skipping meal and he (un-asked) immediately got me a matress pad (or whatever they're called). We had PDBs and he exhibited a bit of British dry humor in his PA announcements. I'm guessing service might be independent of base and more on individuals. As I reflect on last couple of weeks, l can understand if some FAs are really scared of getting Covid. When I was in London, the thought of getting Covid was always on my mind because if I didn't pass the 2-day UK arrival test or 1 day US departure test, I'd be stuck in a London hotel room for at least 10 days.

If they did single-tray to minimize trips through aisle, I guess I wouldn't hold it against them (currently), but not having a clue as to what the meal description might be beyond "beef, chicken, or pasta" is not "Covidable"
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Old Jan 3, 22, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Just my two cents, but I find this very hard to believe. I've flown to LHR so much on UA before and during the pandemic and have always found the LHR-based crews to be the best in the system. Most are proactive, attentive, and generally outshine US-based crew members.

That's not to say I have not had excellent crews from SFO as well (I certainly have), but it just seems strange to me and leads me to doubt what the FA said was actually true.

I appreciate that LHR-based crews have always, IME, taken the time to describe the menu options, never just "beef, fish, or pasta?" like the EWR or IAH ex-Con folks.
Agree with this, also as someone who has been back and forth to LHR many times over the pandemic. The British crew I've had these past 20 months or so have poured wine at the seat, described the meals in detail, and have generally been pleasant and proficient. I've gotten to the point where I breathe a sigh of relief as I board if I hear British accents. The few American FAs I've had have varied, most just okay, but I had one doozy - a male FA based in IAH - on my last flight. Threw everything down, refilled nothing, had an "I'm doing you a favor" attitude, and even had the audacity to scold me as I was exiting the lav for using the forward lav just as "service" was beginning. I could possibly understand this (also if framed as a request and not a berating) if this happened as I was entering the lav. But, when leaving? I had entered about 90 seconds prior to the exit, as soon as the seatbelt sign was off, and at that point he was still chatting in his jumpseat with another FA. "Service" had not yet begun. His British counterpart looked mortified when he scolded me and discreetly came over to apologize afterward.

Anyway, don't want to take this OT by starting a lav conversation, but the scolding was indicative of the overall service, which was really only the 2 meals as he disappeared the entire rest of the flight.
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Old Jan 3, 22, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Marno View Post
Agree with this, also as someone who has been back and forth to LHR many times over the pandemic. The British crew I've had these past 20 months or so have poured wine at the seat, described the meals in detail, and have generally been pleasant and proficient. I've gotten to the point where I breathe a sigh of relief as I board if I hear British accents. The few American FAs I've had have varied, most just okay, but I had one doozy - a male FA based in IAH - on my last flight. Threw everything down, refilled nothing, had an "I'm doing you a favor" attitude, and even had the audacity to scold me as I was exiting the lav for using the forward lav just as "service" was beginning. I could possibly understand this (also if framed as a request and not a berating) if this happened as I was entering the lav. But, when leaving? I had entered about 90 seconds prior to the exit, as soon as the seatbelt sign was off, and at that point he was still chatting in his jumpseat with another FA. "Service" had not yet begun. His British counterpart looked mortified when he scolded me and discreetly came over to apologize afterward.

Anyway, don't want to take this OT by starting a lav conversation, but the scolding was indicative of the overall service, which was really only the 2 meals as he disappeared the entire rest of the flight.
I would like to use the term "idiot" but that wouldn't be fair to idiots nor within FT rules, so I shant.

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Old Jan 3, 22, 5:46 pm
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Let's return to the thread title subject. There are other threads for crew comparisons.

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Old Jan 8, 22, 12:27 pm
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January 2022

Standard COVID-era beef tenderloin. Champagne PDB with refills. Pre-dinner drink and nuts service. Great to see the Polaris glassware back at least. No proper dessert ex-Japan (just a pre-packaged brownie). Pre-arrival meal was the standard omelet or a Japanese grilled fish dish. The very senior crew provided absolutely fantastic service in an otherwise completely empty 787-9 J cabin - they said they wanted to make it a memorable flight and they certainly did!

Apologies in advance for the less-than-stellar photo quality.

-FlyerBeek




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Old Jan 8, 22, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
Xyzzy and IAH-OIL-TRASH ... did you have LHR based or SFO/IAH based crews? When I thanked the Purser and Galley FA for everything they did, we were talking and they explained flying with a mixed-base LHR/SFO crew on their outbound, which caused some tension because the LHR crew members in the front galley wanted a completely different approach to service than they did ... I.e. no PDB, single tray, refills in galley, etc. Apparently the LHR base members are very upset about additional workload with PDBs, etc, while reduced crew staffing remains.
I just had (different) LHR based crews twice, and the service was the best I’ve had in a long time including PDBs…
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