Review: NH SFO-NRT First Class

I was pretty excited for this flight. I read amazing things about ANA (and JAL) first class. I booked this round trip first class flight using Virgin Atlantic miles which was an excellent deal (especially since there was a transfer bonus using American Express Membership Rewards at the time). I left the United Polaris Lounge and arrived at the gate to get a print out of my boarding pass.

Continue reading “Review: NH SFO-NRT First Class”

Review: San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront

I tried once before to stay at this hotel before a flight and the rates were 450+ per night which is insane. When I saw this hotel for 150 inclusive of taxes, I booked right away! I’ve always had my eye on this hotel. Apart of the convenience of being an airport hotel, it was recently remodeled with the new Marriott look. Boy was this hotel stunning! Continue reading “Review: San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront”

Review: UA Polaris Lounge SFO

United opened their first Polaris lounge in December of 2016. However, they failed to open any in 2017. Additionally, the roll out of the new Polaris seats have been slow as well. In the time it took United to open two Polaris lounges, American opened several Flagship lounges. In terms of business class lounges the Polaris lounge is a step above Americans Flagship lounge as it offers sit down meal service (Americans Flagship Dining isn’t open to business class customers). Both American and United business class lounge offerings are above Delta which doesn’t have a dedicated business class lounge (though Skyclubs are generally better than standard Admirals and United Club offerings). Anyway, the time has finally come! United will be officially opening their second Polaris lounge on Monday April 30th. United hosted a media event on Wednesday April 25, and auctioned off tickets to attend a pre-opening event on Friday April 27. For 2,500 miles, it seemed like a good offer!

Continue reading “Review: UA Polaris Lounge SFO”

Review: UA SFO-NRT Polaris Business

Date: Tuesday January 9
Flight: 837
Aircraft: 777-300ER
Origin: SFO
Destination: NRT
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.

Continue reading “Review: UA SFO-NRT Polaris Business”

Review: UA LHR-SFO Polaris First

Date: Tuesday October 24
Flight: 949
Aircraft: 777-200
Origin: LHR
Destination: SFO
Seat: 1K Polaris First
Scheduled Push Back: 12:15 PM
Actual Push Back: 12:10 PM

Originally, I was scheduled to fly Turkish Airlines from Manchester to San Francisco via an overnight in Istanbul. I had my Turkish Visa before Turkey stopped issuing tourist visas for US citizens and was all set. However, due to some last minute plans, I needed to be home on Tuesday rather than Wednesday afternoon. There were no options out of Manchester so I looked at options from London. United had saver space in business and first on their non-stop flights. Saver space between the US and Europe is always challenging to find. Finding space between the US west coast and Europe is almost non-existent. United charges 57.5K one way between Europe and the US in business and 80K in first. Unfortunately, this aircraft had the dreaded 2-4-2 business class configuration and only middle seats were available. I already paid 70K for the original Turkish flights and decided to spring the extra 10K for first. The first class seat provided more space, direct aisle access, and access to the United Global First lounge in London.

Continue reading “Review: UA LHR-SFO Polaris First”

Review: UA SFO Arrivals Lounge

This was a lounge I wanted to visit for some time. The access requirements are that you must be coming off a long haul international flight in business or first and land between 6 AM and 12:30 PM. Essentially this is catered to mostly United flights as partner flights get in later than 12:30 PM (at least Asian flights).

Continue reading “Review: UA SFO Arrivals Lounge”

Review: UA TPE-SFO Polaris Business

Date: Sunday October 15
Flight: 872
Aircraft: 777-300ER
Origin: TPE
Destination: SFO
Seat: 1D Polaris Business
Scheduled Push Back: 9:50 AM
Actual Push Back: 9:46 AM

This flight was originally serviced by a 747-400 and I had seats on the upper deck. I then noticed the aircraft was swapped to the new 77W a few weeks later. While I was sad I wouldn’t fly the upper deck of the 747 one more time, I was excited to fly the new Polaris hard product.

Continue reading “Review: UA TPE-SFO Polaris Business”

Review: UA SFO-NRT Polaris Business

Date: Wednesday October 4
Flight: 837
Aircraft: B777-300ER
Origin: SFO
Destination: NRT
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.

Continue reading “Review: UA SFO-NRT Polaris Business”

Review: KE ICN-SFO First

Date: Friday June 30
Flight: 025
Aircraft: B777-300ER
Origin: ICN
Destination: SFO
Seat: 1J First
Scheduled Push Back: 8:00 PM
Actual Push Back: 9:13 PM

I deplaned my KE MNL-ICN flight and was hoping for some type of ground experience including an escort through immigration and to the First Class Lounge as the flight was running late. After all, this was a first class to first class connection. However, that wasn’t in the cards for me today.

Continue reading “Review: KE ICN-SFO First”