Date: Tuesday January 9
Seat: 5L Polaris Business
Scheduled Push Back: 10:55 AM
Actual Push Back: 11:14 AM
I boarded through door 1L, walked across the plane, and turned right. I was in seat 5L which is a window seat. Resting on the seat was the Polaris Saks Fifth Avenue bedding. I was immediately confronted with a problem.. Where do I put all this stuff?! Since you are allegedly not allowed to stow anything near your seat for taxi, takeoff, and landing I ended up stashing it in the overhead compartment for the time being. My first impression of the seat was that it was quite comfortable. By default the seat is reclined a considerable amount which makes it feel very relaxing.
Although all ‘A’ and ‘L’ seats appear to be window seats the odd numbered seats are those that sit closest to the window and parallel to the wall. The even numbered seats sit diagonally to the wall and are closer to the aisle.
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.
Being the classy adult that I am, I opted for some apple juice.
After drinks were served the flight attendants came around and handed out chocolates that came in a black box with the Polaris logo.
One of the chocolates was caramel filled and the other was cherry flavored. I didn’t care for either too much but it was a nice touch!
Once I became aware that the flight was delayed due to a “missing passenger” I took a deeper look around the seat. Directly in front of me was a nice sized in flight entertainment monitor. Below it was a small compartment for storage and to the right of that was a USB charger. Below that was the tray table. I found the tray table very impressive since it not only slid backwards but also slid laterally once extended to a certain point. Below this was a very deep foot rest cubbie.
To the right of me were the seat controls. There was a button for “do not disturb” mode, a light, lumbar support, the foot rest, and a slider for flatbed mode. Behind this little control panel was a nice area where you could store watch bottles or a laptop, which is unique to this window seat.
To the left of me was this faux marble counter and above that was the in flight entertainment headphone jack, a universal electrical socket, a USB socket, and the in flight entertainment controller.
Additionally there was a storage area where the noise cancelling headphones and amenity kit were stored. This storage area could also be used to hold water bottles or anything you’d like. I will say that it was somewhat hard to open. I didn’t bother to try the headphones since I brought my own noise cancelling headphones but the headphones looked like they would get the job done.
To the left of the storage area was a narrow reading light.
The amenity kit for this flight was quite cool. Since United recently retired the 747 they’re been distributing 747 related soft product. The container was a bright blue metallic tin (on my flight back I got one in a different shade of blue) and contained the usual United amenities including: ear plugs, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, mini ink pen, facial tissues, Cowshed chamomile towellete, Cowshed hand cream, Cowshed lip balm, Cowshed pillow mist, United 747 eye mask, and finally United 747 socks! I only ended up using the eye mask and it was quite good for a free mask. I even used it several times during my Japan trip when I needed to block out light while sleeping.
After 20 minutes we pushed back from the gate, taxi’ed for takeoff, and took off. We proceeded to fly up the coast of California which provided some very pretty views from the right side of the plane. Once we reached cruising altitude we hit moderate turbulence for a good 30 minutes or so which delayed the meal service. Eventually they came around with hot towels and took drink orders. As usual, I asked for apple juice. Shortly afterwards they asked us to pull out our tray table and draped a table cloth on top. A few minutes later they came around with a tray that contained the appetizer I asked for as well as eating utensils and bread. I got the seared tuna with the kale and quinoa salad as well as the cabbage and bok choy salad.
I didn’t find either of the very appetizing but that is ok because I was more excited for the entree, spicy chicken. This was a chicken dish with thai style coconut curry and udon noodles. It was very good for airplane food!
After I was finished with the meal the flight attendants came around asking if we were interested in a cheese and wine to which I declined. I had eaten before the flight at the American Express Centurion Lounge and simply couldn’t feed myself anymore. A few minutes later the proceeded to wheel a desert cart with pastries and an ice cream sundae station. Again, I decided to decline but I caught a glimpse of another person’s sundae and it looked delicious. An hour or so after dinner concluded the cabin lights were dimmed and everyone went to sleep or at least tried to.
At this point I took the Saks Fifth Avenue bedding out from the overhead compartment and tried to get some rest. I have to say that the pillow and the accompanied blanker were FANTASTIC. It was incredibly comfortable and I imagine if I were truly tired I could drift right off to sleep. I wish I could take the pillow and blanket with me!
Otherwise, the majority of the flight was quite uneventful. About an hour and a half before our scheduled landing meal service began again. Like the dinner service it began with a hot towel and a drink order. The tray table was set and out came my breakfast, pork katsu with fresh fruit, chobani yogurt, and seaweed salad on the side. The pork katsu was mediocre but the fresh fruit was surprisingly edible!
Although the Polaris lounge had not yet opened in SFO, this flight was a very enjoyable experience. Luckily, it is one of the Polaris flights that had both the new Polaris soft and hard products. On my flight back from Japan through HND I did not have the new Polaris hard product and the difference was staggering so if you are flying Polaris make sure to fly the 77W to NRT!