Update: My apologies for not fact checking this more carefully, as apparently United’s Premium Service transcon flights don’t qualify as Polaris. They just get the bedding, but the rest of the experience hasn’t been changed. Sorry!
As most of you probably know, United’s new Polaris product is debuting today, which is the name for their new premium cabin experience. While United is introducing a new seat to go along with Polaris, unfortunately it’ll be several more weeks before the first plane with the new seats is flying, and several more years until most of the longhaul fleet features the product.
There’s no denying that United is doing a brilliant job marketing their new Polaris product, and really making it look like they’re reinventing business class.
I hope to have my own review of United Polaris soon, though in the meantime I figured I’d share what a friend just sent me, as he flew a premium transcontinental flight today, which also gets the new service (as I’ve updated above, unfortunately it seems these flights just get the new blankets and pillows, and don’t otherwise get new service).
He’s a very frequent flyer with United, though didn’t even realize today was the switchover day for Polaris. So he was kind enough to share some photos and thoughts on the experience.
Here’s what he told me:
- Little has changed; the food has officially changed, but is really the same stuff
- The salad is now kale instead of lettuce and has cauliflower in it (why?) and raisins, but no fruit
- The appetizer is classic prosciutto melon plus a piece of mediocre cheese
- The mains are the same pig, new lipstick
- No changes have been made to sundaes and cookies
- The amenity kit is nice to have on a domestic flight and has decent contents for business class, though is pretty small, and has mediocre quality packaging
- The blanket is obviously a decent quality and size, though possibly a bit too warm
- The pillow is high quality and very good
- Nothing else has changed
Again, this is based on a single transcon flight he took, so I’m sure others will have experiences to share. But given that it’s “day one,” I figured this was worth passing on.
Here are his picture of the bedding:
Here’s the amenity kit:
Here’s the bear they’re giving out to celebrate the new product:
Here’s the menu:
And here’s the food:
It’s nice to see a firsthand report. Like I said from the beginning, I think the biggest improvement here will be when United installs a new seat, which is long overdue, given that they have eight seats per row in business class on their legacy United 777s.
Furthermore, the new Polaris Lounges look like a great improvement over the current United Clubs, as does the new bedding.
The rest of the changes seem minor, though United has done a great job marketing them. United is advertising things like bottled water to go, bloody mary and mimosa service, and wine tastings. In theory these aren’t exactly reasons to choose an airline, and most of those are things you could get before anyway if you asked.
There’s no doubt there are some other minor improvements, but in terms of the soft product I think what United deserves the most credit for is how well they’ve marketed it.
Has anyone else flying United Polaris today, and if so, what was your experience like?