Flight review: United B777-300ER Polaris Business Hong Kong To San Francisco


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In this trip report we review a flight on United B777-300ER Polaris Business Hong Kong To San Francisco. We have already reviewed United’s New Polaris Business Class on the 777-300ER. My trip in United Polaris Business Class On 787-9 Dreamliner & 777-200 enabled me to experience everything except the seat. We previously reviewed the new Polaris seats separately.

The first flights offering the new United’s new Business Class, including the new Polaris seat, have now launched on the 777-300 between San Francisco and Hong Kong. We’ve reviewed when other planes and flights will launch with United’s Polaris service.

What Is So Great About United’s New Polaris Business Class?

It’s a step up from the current United BusinessFirst product offering:

  • Direct access to the aisle from every seat
  • Privacy dividers
  • Mattress pads and customized pillow selections from Saks Fifth Avenue (on a first-come, first-served basis)
  • Upgraded meal concepts (see menu below and in scroller above)
  • 3-course wine flights on night flights
  • A bloody mary cart on daytime flights
  • Special airport lounge featuring daybeds and table service

Hong Kong Polaris Airport Lounge

Currently, you have access to the HKG United Club, which isn’t overly luxury. Hong Kong will be getting a United Polaris Lounge within the next year and an Amex Centurion Lounge later in 2017.

United Polaris New Cabin Reviewed

The Polaris Cabin on the B777 is split into a front and a back cabin. The front cabin and back cabins have 8 rows each, with 4 Polaris seats in each row in a 1-2-1 layout. Upon boarding, Flight attendants kept the Polaris cabin fairly dark with blue lighting.

The seat width is 23-inch. The seat pitch is 78-inch, and the seat extends into a full flatbed with plenty of room. There are a range of storage spaces, a 16-inch touchscreen TV, two reading lights, and a “Do Not Disturb” button to let flight attendants know when you are trying to sleep.

The seat was well-designed and comfortable for a night’s sleep. Remember to request a mattress pad near the start of the flight, as these are supposed to be limited.

Best Polaris Seats On The United B777-300ER Polaris

I would advise avoiding the toilets, galley, and baby seats in economy class, which means avoiding the seats in rows 1, 8, 9, and 18. Because the seats are so enclosed. You really don’t have to avoid any particular seats. I always like windows which are letters A & L. It’s worth knowing that row 16 does not have windows, so it is to be avoided if you want a window.

Food in Polaris Business Class

United’s Polaris concept begins with a welcome drink on a tray with a truffle alongside before you depart.

Once in the air, you’ll have the option to try a trio of wines at once in a special tasting tray, along with hot nuts.

The meal service begins with a small salad, such as Thai lemongrass shrimp and an appetizer, served together on a tray. I went for the lemongrass shrimp. The greens were fresh, and the Thai lemongrass shrimp had some kick, but the presentation was bland.

The main course is the highlight of Polaris, with a choice of 4 mains on this particular flight. I went for the roasted chicken thigh for my main course, which was served with a red bean curd sauce, rice, bell pepper, bok choy, mushroom, and water chestnut, which was tasty. There was also a beef option. Other Polaris choices I have experienced include a hearty and delicious Asian Fusion Chicken Soup with Thai coconut ginger cream and Korean-inspired chicken or the Portobello and Caramelized Onion Ravioli, which was rich with a restaurant-quality sauce. United’s main course portions are larger and more filling than typical business class mains.

Afterward, a cheese plate is offered, followed by a run of the signature dessert card through the aisle, which includes custom-made ice cream sundaes and a choice of three small sweets, including a salted caramel chocolate bar and mini tiramisu.

Wines are basic Business Class fare – nothing extraordinary, and champagne is non-vintage.

On arrival, a standard breakfast is available, followed by a pair of chocolate truffles.

Other Points

You do get pajamas on this route if you request them, along with a memory foam pillow. I would request a pair at the start of the flight as they are in limited supply.

It is worth noting that although the business class is a huge improvement on the 777-300ER, United’s 3-4-3 economy section is tight and should be avoided if at all possible.

How Many Miles Will I Need To Spend To Fly In Polaris Business Class

United awards in Polaris class are (for now) still the same price as regular Business Class awards, so you should be able to fly Polaris for just 70,000 miles one way from the U.S. to Hong Kong, making them a great use of United miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards points that transfer to United miles. But when I looked, there was no low-level availability, so the only option was to book at the standard rate of 175,000 miles.

What Does United Polaris Cost

As outlined above, the cost in miles is currently just 70,000 United MileagePlus miles. If you are paying cash, expect to spend at least $5,120 USD for the round-trip flight from SFO to HKG. Currently, you can experience the full United Polaris experience on the San Francisco to Hong Kong route. I could find flights on this route for $3337 USD one way (be sure to pick non-stop on the (UA 869) Boeing 777-300ER).

United Polaris Business is comparable to Delta One and American Airlines Super Diamond Business Class, which both launched several years ago. I discuss which American Airline Business Suite is best separately.

You can also read our American Airlines Business Class review and top 10 Best Business Class airlines for long-haul travel.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.