Date: Wednesday October 4
Seat: 1D Polaris Business
Scheduled Push Back: 11:30 AM
Actual Push Back: 11:43 AM
I boarded through door 1L and turned right. I was in seat 1D which is a bulkhead. If traveling with someone you want to secure two seats together on odd numbered rows as the even numbered rows are staggered away from each other. If traveling alone you’d want to also get an odd numbered window seat as they are closer to the window. The bulkhead seats have the largest foot wells which provide ample space. The bulkheads are row 1 and 9.
Upon boarding we were presented with a predeparture beverage and menus were distributed. The menu had starters, entrées, desserts, an anytime section, and arrival meal section.
The amenity kit had been updated and had the Saks Fifth Avenue branding. The kit had the standard fare of a toothbrush, sleeping mask, lip balm, socks, etc.
The newly redesigned seat definitely has a better aesthetic than the old business dorm room style seats. There is a small faux marble tray for beverages which also has a small storage compartment. Below the compartment was a multi-national electrical plug and a USB port. To the right was the controller for the entertainment system.
On the opposite side are the seat controls. There is a wheel to control the recline of the seat, other seat adjustments such as lumbar, a switch for the seat lamp, and a do not disturb light.
The tray table slides out from under the entertainment system and had a flip out to hold a tablet for viewing as well.
I asked for a gel pillow which are only available upon request from a flight attendant but she forgot. I asked again later on and was given one. These pillows are definitely cool to the touch which is nice.
We pushed back at 11:43 AM and after a few minutes were told to taxi alpha, foxtrot, and hold short of runway 1L. We then crossed 1L, and 1R and came around to line up for 28L. We finally took at at 12:07 PM.
There are a few lavatories for Polaris customers. The ones in the front of the plane are the standard smaller lavatories while the ones between each Polaris cabin are a bit bigger and better for changing into pajamas. The lavatories have a updated modern look with the standard cowshed amenities.
A hot towel service was provided and our tray was set for the meal service. A beverage service followed which offered water, wine, and champagne. I asked for a Sam Adams Oktoberfest as listed on the menu, but that wasn’t catered.
Around 1:05 PM we started to hit some turbulence and flight attendants had to be seated. The service resumed at 1:15 PM and appetizers were brought out. The fruit in the salad tasted fresh and the shrimp was flavorful.
Next up was the main course of beef short rib. The beef was tender. The sauce was a bit too sweet for my liking.
After dinner was a cheese and wine course.
This was followed by an ice cream sundae cart along with assorted pastries with coffee and tea. The ice cream was served in a paper bowl due to the Polaris glass bowls cracking after repeated use. There was also a mix of vanilla ice cream and mango sorbet (which doesn’t pair well with traditional sundae toppings). The assorted pastries were apple pie, cheesecake, and a nougat based pastry.
During the flight there is a area setup with water and light snacks. You can also order tomato soup with grilled cheese as a hot option.
About one hour and thirty minutes prior to landing (9:00 PM) a breakfast service was served. I don’t understand why airlines cater this why. It’s neither breakfast time at your origin or destination. I ordered the cereal and fruit.
United launched Polaris on December 1 of 2016 before they even took delivery of a newly configured plane. Additionally, there is only one Polaris lounge in Chicago with others coming in 2018. The roll out has been clunky and lounge space is scarce with construction. However, the new hard product is phenomenal compared to the older product.