The first thing I do before flying is always look up an airline review so I hope my United Polaris review is helpful to you and will help you decide to fly with them or not.
When you are spending serious $ to fly (or even using your points) it is always great to look up United Polaris reviews to know what the quality of the product you are getting will be like.
If you are wondering if United Polaris business class price is worth it, keep reading. In this review, I will rate every aspect of United Polaris business class to see if the bang for buck is really there!
*United business class review SPOILER* – Would I fly with them again? If you don’t want to read to the end of the review, then yes, I would fly with United Polaris again if the price is right. They did some things great (like the seat and airport lounge) but some other aspects 0f my experience flying with them was a little hit and miss (like the food and the service…)
United Polaris Review 797-9 – Is United Polaris worth it and would I fly with them again?
What is United Polaris?
United Polaris is United’s new business class product.
Instead of calling it “Business Class” they call their offering “Polaris”. This can be a bit confusing for new United customers (as it was for us) as things like check in were not labeled as “Business Class” as you will read below.
Some of the United planes (like ours) do not have a “First Class” option so Polaris is United’s first and business class offering on some routes.
When we first got to check in, we weren’t sure exactly where to go because there was no “Business Class” check in area or signs saying “Business Class”. The sign simply said “Premier Access” as pictured below. Maybe if you are familiar with the United Product this would be a no brainer to you but we were left scratching our heads.
We asked one of the United Staff where business class go and he pointed in front of us, to a place where you have to get your own bag tag. We thought this was a bit different for business class….
Another staff member came over to us and asked if we had X amount of points to which we replied “no but we are flying United Polaris business class”. She ushered us over to the check in counter which meant that we did not in fact have to get our own bag tags.
The lady at check in was very friendly but when we put our bags on the counter she said they were over 50 pounds so we needed to pay $400 extra in baggage fees.
We argued that you are allowed 2 bags each of 70 pounds each for the flight we booked from Denver to Munich. Arguing for bag weight made me feel like I was on a cheap Wizz Air flight. I was prepared to do the “eskimo” like I had done on many a Ryan Air flight and wear all my jackets to avoid the $400 extra in baggage fees but really did not want to on a business class flight!
I won the 70 pound bag battle but the war wasn’t over. One of my bags was 80 pounds, the other was about 30 pounds. I thought I could pool bag weight but it turns out that this is not the case. Staff told me that I must now transfer 10 pounds to the other bag.
It is never nice to have undies flying around the airport floor but I do understand the health and safety weight limits.
I can’t say I would rate the check in experience well but the ladies were nice, singing along to the 90s music that played in the airport as my undies flew across the floor, so I will up the rating from 1 to a 2 for staff morale.
Check in rating – 2/10
Security & United Polaris Lounge Denver
At Denver International Airport there is a fast security track for business class and first class passengers which I loved. I hate security lines with a passion.
We did not go into the dedicated “Polaris Lounge” as it was too far away from our departure gate but ended up in the United Business Lounge right next to our gate.
Note: If you are flying Polaris business class with United on an international route you will have access to the United business class lounge. This does seem obvious but you actually don’t get access to a airport lounge in United if you are flying a domestic route which I find stingy AF.
It is always worthwhile to get to the airport a few hours before your departure to enjoy the lounge. We ended up with only about 1 – 1.5 hours inside the lounge and we could’ve stayed longer.
The Business Class lounge was better than expected. There were two levels inside with 2 really nice bars in the lounge as well a small buffet of tasty hot food including spicy sausage, mac & cheese, pasta and chicken among other things. There was also a salad station with cheese and biscuits, hot soup and various sandwiches.
Most of the food was a pretty good quality. I can’t say this for every Business Class Lounge. You would be surprised that the First Class Concord Lounge in London is pretty darn ordinary.
United business lounge rating – 9/10
Boarding and Departure
We flew a United 787 Polaris from Denver to Munich.
Departure was strange. Usually business class boards second after first class. On our flight there was no first class section so naturally we expected business class to be boarding first.
Strangely, there seemed to be some pre-booked early boarding first then business class after.
I also noticed at the departure gate you can request an upgrade on your flight. There is a board that lets you know if your upgrade has been granted. Something to remember for next time.
The flight was slow to take off which usually I wouldn’t comment on but it had us running for our connecting flight.
We got champagne upon boarding which was nice. Strangely, I don’t remember a safety video or demonstration playing.
Departure rating – 7/10
Polaris United Seats
I thought the United Business Class product was very nice when I saw it and I actually liked it better than other business class products I have tried including British Airlines and Singapore Airlines. No surprise it’s nowhere near as good as Emirates First Class product which is amazing.
The seats were spacious and had a lot of privacy. Unfortunately, the cleanliness factor was not as food as I hoped. A previous guests trash and a cupcake were found in my seat when arriving.
We were traveling as a couple and what we didn’t realize is that every second row has “couples seating” together.
We were sitting in row 2F & 2D which being the second row were seated apart. We were a little disappointed we hadn’t noticed this when booking.
It is very cleaver seating model as if you are traveling as a solo person as you have a lot more privacy.
Another thing I will mention about being in the first few rows is that there is no stowage in 1FD as well as 2FD (they are permanently closed off) so you have to store your bags and jackets elsewhere.
There are also no benefits to be seated in the first two rows in terms of getting your first choice of meal. Despite being seated in row 2, my husband did not get his first choice of meal. If you don’t get your first choice of meal in United, you receive a $25 voucher towards your next flight which is nice and all, but still annoying.
On top of your seat is bedding, a memory foam pillow as well as a pretty (and warm) blanket. There is a second pillow inside the bedding.
There is also a nook where you can put some of your personal items. Inside you will find a water bottle and noise cancelling headphones.
I found the seats a little hard to work out. I sat there clicking around for a while trying to work out how you make them into a flat bed and I noticed other people clicking around confused too.
There is a big button that goes forward and back that makes this happen. I’m not sure what the other buttons are for. They seem to be to adjust your seat but they didn’t seem to make any difference.
I made my seat into a bed about half way through the flight and had a comfortable sleep. You are required to make up the bed yourself but it was very easy.
Seating rating – 8/10
When you arrive you will find a decent sized water bottle, a set of noise cancelling headphones and a fanny pack of amenities including socks, moisturiser, lip moisturiser, tissues, hand cream, under eye cream, and a make up removal wipe.
At first I thought the fanny pack was a cool idea but I tried to put it on later and it’s not actually useable.
For flights like ours (around 10 hours) no pyjamas are provided and slippers are available at the front of the business class cabin. The hostess was kind enough to offer us an additional pair of slippers to take home with us at the end of the flight.
I did read that pyjamas are provided for flights which are over 14 hours in duration.
Amenity rating – 8/10
The bathroom was the same size as an economy bathroom so very small. There were also no additional products provided in the bathrooms like razors etc.
I did spill some red wine on my pants during the flight and noticed there was some spot removal spray in the bathroom for spills which proved very handy and saved my pants from stains. This improved the crappy bathroom rating slightly.
Bathroom rating – 5/10
The entertainment onboard United I thought was very good. I really enjoy a good episode of reality tv and found lots of options onboard for my taste of TV. There were also lots of movies, music and other performances to watch such as live concerts.
There is usually onboard wifi but there was an announcement at the start of the flight that it would not be working for the duration our flight which was a bummer.
Entertainment rating – 9/10
I thought the menu (see below) on United Polaris was decent. It included a choice of appetiser, main and a desert cart.
I requested the Lemongrass chicken for my main meal and the hostess asked me if I had a second choice as not everyone would get their first choice of meal.
I requested the grilled salmon for my second choice and she said “I was going to suggest the pork”. I replied “I don’t like schnitzel” to which the hostess didn’t seem impressed.
Turns out the salmon was a popular choice as it was my husband’s first choice and he received (surprise, surprise) the pork schnitzel instead. I was a little miffed about this as we booked the second row of the plane so our first choice of meal wasn’t out. They did offer him a $25 voucher for a future United flight in lieu of his first choice of meal but I still found it quite annoying.
I was feeling quite happy that I got my first choice of meal – the Lemongrass chicken – when I realised that it was almost uneatable. The taste was really basic. I can’t say I would recommend it at all.
My husband stated that the pork schnitzel was actually really good so maybe I shouldn’t have been feeling so aggrieved that he didn’t get his first choice of meal after-all.
I noticed the girls behind us pre-ordered their meals – the salmon – the most popular choice of meal, which is a really smart idea if you want to guarantee your first preference.
The main course was followed by a desert cart with a choice of an ice cream sundae, coffee cake and a cheese platter.
I got the ice cream sundae which came with a choice of toppings. I got the hot fudge, nuts, chocolate chips and cream toppings. It was actually really good – I would recommend it.
My husband was bold enough to request both the ice cream sundae and the cheese platter. I was a little jealous.
I have to say the deserts on United were really good. Much better than the other meals served.
After a good nights sleep, breakfast was served in the morning.
I ordered the steel-cut oatmeal. I wouldn’t recommend it. It looks better than it tastes in reality. It was extremely sweet.
My husband commented that his breakfast was not much better and pretty basic – the potatoes were hard and the eggs were tasteless. He hardly ate it, only the fruit.
Food rating – 7/10
I thought there was a good variety of drinks on board. Interestingly, and something to consider if you like your grog, is that only beer and wine are available in economy. Worth upgrading? Maybe. Spirits are served in business class so you can get a good whisky or vodka etc if you wish.
I mainly stuck to red wine and also tried a mixer drink, which wasn’t bad but at little on the sweet side which was surprising as it was only 100 calories.
Below is a list of some of the wines onboard. I tried the North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon and it was just okay. Nothing special and I dumped in all over my pants half way through the flight.
Drink rating – 8/10
I thought the service onboard was a bit hit and miss. When they made up our table the lady threw the table cloth basically at me and the staff seemed a little miffed if you asked them for anything.
On the other hand, I did have a nice attendant come and have a chat with me about my accent which I thought was very friendly.
Service rating – 7/10
Overall United Business Class Score – 7/10
I added the 10 categories up and got an average score of 7/10 for United Polaris business class. I would say this score is fair. There were some things that I thought were done very well, for example, the seating, airport lounge and entertainment onboard but some aspects that were in need of a bit of improvement like the check in, service and some aspects of the food.
Would I fly with them again? Yes I would but the price would have to be right as the product isn’t perfect.
Have you flown with United business class? Did you find my united Polaris business class review accurate or did you have another experience? Let me know in the comments below.