Ice Cream Sundaes & Saks Fifth Ave. Sheets: Inside United Airlines' Polaris Business Class
1/5 Comfort is key
United have done well to ensure utmost comfort for flyers. First, there are the incredibly comfortable and generously sized seats that extend to become a flat bed at the touch of the button—one of our travel companions, who is at the much taller end of the spectrum, had no trouble lying down for a snooze.
But what really takes the cake is the beautifully soft custom bedding created by luxury New York retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, which comes neatly stacked and tied with a ribbon.
If you came straight from a meeting to the airport with no time to change, no problem. Polaris business class passengers can request a set of cosy pajamas from cabin crew.
2/5 Thoughtful touches
There are a lot of considerate little details that place Polaris business class a cut above, from the marble tabletop to the cylindrical frosted lamp that offers a warm glow to your private nook.
Also next to the seat is a surprisingly large compartment which houses headphones, a toiletries kit by UK-based beauty brand, Cowshed, and sleeping aids including an eye mask and ear plugs—ultimately keeping your space neat and unluttered.
3/5 Inflight delights
A menu—featuring options for all meals to be taken during the flight—is handed out to Polaris passengers before take-off. Once you've made your selection, cabin crew will place your order so you can sit back, relax and simply look forward to mealtime.
United offers a well-balanced menu with plenty of options to please even the pickiest of eaters. Lunch and dinner start with a refreshing appetiser, often a salad that's impressively fresh and crisp, followed by mains that range from hearty meat dishes to vegetarian delights and soul-satisfying Asian-inspired cuisine.
Of course, it would be Un-American to skip dessert, and United pulls out all the stops for its Polaris passengers with a dessert trolley that features cakes, cheese platters and a signature sundae station, where you can select all of your favourite toppings.
Feeling peckish is often inevitable on long-haul flights. Luckily, United offers a variety of snacks from classic cup noodles to comfort food like a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup for dunking.
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4/5 Stay entertained
Boredom is not an issue for Polaris passengers, with 16-inch high-definition entertainment screens and onboard paid Wi-Fi to keep you entertained. While the Wi-Fi is great for emails, social media and keeping touch with loved ones on the ground, it's not quite at the level where it can support streaming on YouTube or Netflix.
But not to worry, United's entertainment system has plenty of titles to choose from, from newly released box office hits to iconic Hollywood classics.
5/5 Access to United Airlines' Polaris Lounge
At 28,120sqft covering two floors, the Polaris Lounge at San Francisco International Airport is impressive to say the least. The first floor has a library-like setting with tones of navy, wood and marble. It's the perfect place to get some work down or simply enjoy some quiet time before your flight.
Upstairs, there is a manned bar for a pre-flight champagne or cocktail, along with multiple seating arrangements from a coffee table-style setting to dining tables and sectioned off individual pods. A large buffet area is stocked all day long, and made-to-order specialities are served in The Dining Room.
To freshen up, there are spacious showers as well as daybeds—perfect for a power nap. Currently, there are Polaris Lounges at Chicago O’Hare, Houston Intercontinental, New York/Newark, with an additional lounge opening at LAX in fall 2018. Over the next few years, United plans to open Polaris Lounges at Washington Dulles, Hong Kong, London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita.
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