The first thing you need to know about United Polaris Business Class is that it is not available to all cities, or on every model of airplane. You will have to carefully search before booking a flight to make sure you are getting this latest and greatest upgrade to the United Business Class service. Most of the seats will be found on the 777 models, with a few 767s having been retrofitted to create the new Polaris class.
Mood lighting is becoming more of a thing on upgraded airplanes, including First Class and Business Class seats. United continues this approach with blue lighting which some describe as “aggressive.” There can be as many as 60 Polaris seats on a 777, configured with 28 in the front cabin and 28 in the rear cabin.
As a general rule, you have to be more particular in your seat selection on the 777s than the 767s, in part because the 767s have a 1-1-1 seating layout so things are pretty clear cut depending on what your preferences are, but you will always have access to an aisle. The 777s have a 1-2-1 configuration, and unless you do some reading you might find yourself with less leg room or a less private seat.
One unique feature of the Polaris seats is United has a 5 year license on the design of the seats, which means you will not find them anywhere else for at least 5 years. If you are a huge fan of the seat design we’ll expect you to be a loyal United customer for the next half decade.
To begin with, you have a 16 inch entertainment touch screen for viewing. Around you there will be personal lamps, storage cabinets, and side tables to put your loose items. Your seat can be adjusted using an intuitively designed control wheel, making your seat comfortable at almost every angle.
Below the screen you will find a convenient compartment to place the remote or your smartphone. On the side of the TV there is a USB charging port, making it easy to charge your mobile devices while keeping an eye on them as you watch your favorite programs. The entertainment selection is wide and varied, so if you decide to stay awake during your flight you will not suffer from boredom. There are also noise cancelling headphones available, but this is one area where Polaris can improve. The higher quality Business Class offerings from other airlines offer Bose noise cancelling headphones, but if you are not picky the Polaris model will do fine.
On one side panel there are several useful plug-ins, including a headphone jack, a universal electric power outlet, and another USB charging port. The organization is simple, giving you everything you need to maximize the use of your mobile electronic gadgets. One of the best features outside of the cabin is an LED “Do Not Disturb” sign that you can activate from a button on your seat.
When it is time for you to take a nap, the Polaris bedding is from Saks Fifth Avenue. You are provided with a pillow, blanket, and comforter to make you cozy no matter what your covering preferences may be. The amenities package has all the expected items, including toothpaste, toothbrush, and something to help you smell nice.
Generally, reviews about food on planes tend to be fairly standard – the beef, chicken, vegan offerings, and the general quality of the food. But the new Polaris food service is all about timing, which is not ideal to say the least. One reason is that there are so many offerings on the menu that it takes longer to decide what you want. Multiply that by 60 other Polaris Business Class flyers, and you can see the problem. You do have the option to have your entire meal brought to you at the beginning of the flight, which is something to consider if you prefer to avoid waiting for as long as 2 hours after takeoff to eat.
Overall, you are definitely in the upper class of United seat offerings when you choose Polaris. A single, round trip ticket from Newark to Heathrow will cost about $8500 on a 767, so you need to make sure that either the company is paying for it or you will want to use the full range of services available during your flight. The above comments about the food service may have seemed a bit over the top, but when you are paying about $4200 to get to your destination, you shouldn’t have to wait.
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Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker