I have not been paid by any entity in any way (financially, benefits) to write the following post.
After enjoying a night in Paris, it was time to take flight back to the States, and I was excited to be flying the increasingly rare United
Global Polaris First Class. These less attractive legacy United birds are the first to get retrofitted with the new Polaris Business Class seat, United’s flagship premium product.
The need to get these specific B777s retrofitted lies in the horrendous 2-4-2
Premium Economy “Business” class product that someone, somewhere in an executive boardroom saw these seats and thought “that’s a great idea!”
After spending time in the First Class section of the Star Alliance Lounge Paris, I collected my bags and made my way to the gate in order to be among the first to board.
The food offerings weren’t exactly “first class,” but it was definitely better than nothing.
With United Polaris First getting that pre-boarding access, I got to the gate early and boarded, settling into my seat for the flight to the Bay Area.
Provisions like the Saks Fifth duvet and pillows were offered, but I had moved them and stored them in the spacious compartments offered at the suite. I took a look at the menu to see what was in store for me in this “elevated” Polaris dining experience.
Since this was a morning flight, the offerings were all breakfast and brunch items. The flight attendants serving the first class cabin came around and asked for my order first thanks to my Premier 1K status with United’s MileagePlus program. Also, I got this flight for 80,000 MileagePlus miles, which isn’t really a steal, but I was consulted by the FlyerTalk community to spend the extra 10,000 miles to fly Polaris First vs Air Canada’s Business Class to Toronto, which would’ve been 70,000 award miles.
I then took some time to admire the Singapore Airlines A380 that was getting ready to jet on to Singapore!
Soon enough, we pushed back and were on our way to the United States. On the taxi I was able to get some pics of the ramp, including another United B777 that had just landed.
Finally we got to the runway, lined up, and those massive Pratt & Whitney engines lifting us up into the skies over France!
Shortly after takeoff, the breakfast/brunch service began with the starters, which included fresh citrus and chilled oatmeal.
The oatmeal was actually quite good, containing mango, giving it the perfect touch of sweetness! This was followed by the entree.
I chose the steak and eggs as my entree, and I will say that there were great and not so great aspects about this meal. The eggs were perfect, just fluffy and quite frankly could’ve been restaurant quality. The steak itself was cooked perfectly, but just didn’t taste as well as I expected. Overall, I wish the flight would’ve been later, since I just wasn’t impressed with the options that were offered.
Thankfully, sunshine or dusk, sundaes are a constant! After gobbling this sweet treat, I went to the lavatory to freshen up as the flight attendant made the suite into a bed. I had been feeling under the weather due to something I ate while in Germany, and I wanted to rest up before getting to San Francisco so I could enjoy United’s San Francisco Polaris Lounge again!
For those of you that enjoy the wine lists, here they are!
Flying way ahead of schedule, I woke up right about an hour and a half before touchdown. The flight attendants quickly set my table for the pre-arrival meal service! The choices were either chicken or fruit, veggie and cheese plate. I chose the former, and I am very happy I did!
Everything on the tray was phenomenal and tasted perfect. It was a refreshing meal that I personally would have preferred as the main meal vs the arrival service! Alas, our time in the sky was coming to a close, and after freshening up in the lavatory one last time, the pilots lined us up with one of the runways in San Francisco and brought this journey to a close!
United Polaris First class was a great product to have flown! It was a very competitive business class offering, but was nowhere near the levels of Lufthansa’s First Class. The food could have been better, and although the service was very warm and friendly by an excellent crew, they just weren’t as proactive as you’d expect in a true first class. Since this trip (June 2018), United has phased out Polaris First Class, retrofitting these older legacy United B777-200ERs with the new Polaris Business Class seat, which is a major upgrade from that disastrous 2-4-2 seating, but a step below all the space offered by the legacy United First Suite.
All in all, I am happy to have experienced this product one last time before it is officially, 100% gone!
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