High Flyer: United Airlines Polaris Business Class on UA840

The cabin

The cabin is set up in a 2-2-2 layout. If you like the window seat, you’ll be stepping over your seatmate to get there. While this wasn’t an issue for me it may not suit someone who likes to stretch their legs frequently. The lighting controls are perfect on the Dreamliner – dimmed lights for relaxing and brighter for meals. The temperature always seemed to be ideal as well. 

 

The Seat

The leather-trimmed seats were large and more comfortable than most business class seats I’ve been in recently. And they weren’t even the new Polaris seats – these are being rolled out in stages throughout 2017, so you might be lucky on your next flight. The chargers for personal devices are out in the open and convenient to use. A large common space for drinks is set between seats and there was plenty of storage space. 

 

The Service

Outstanding – the crew manager came out and introduced himself to every passenger and the friendly staff were more than happy to stop for a chat. I even enjoyed the amusing pre-flight video. 

 

The food

United Polaris has really made an effort to create exceptional food. A Bloody Mary trolley was wheeled down the aisle first, followed by a seared tuna, kale and quinoa salad for the starter. The short-rib with barbecue sauce that followed was a standout and the sugarsnap peas were crisp and fresh. The signature sundae to end it all was an absolute must. There was definitely no shortage of food on this flight. The dinner was followed by digestifs and a cheese platter, and mid-flight snacks included a choice between fish and chips, tomato soup or a grilled cheese sandwich. Drinks were just as free flowing. The wine list has been curated by sommelier Doug Frost and the staff were so attentive when it came to top-ups of my Chateau Ste Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Merlot that I had to put my hand over the glass. 

 

The entertainment

It was a typical business class entertainment set-up with a large screen, handset and a wide selection of movies and TV shows. 

 

The highs

 
The United Polaris Business Class is an experience, and in my opinion one of the best new products in the market. The bedding is provided by Saks Fifth Avenue and is neatly folded and tied up with ribbons on your seat when you arrive. Be sure to ask for the cotton pyjamas, slippers and the Saks mattress cushion or gel memory foam pillow. It all adds up to a super-comfortable sleeping experience. 

 

Baggage

32kg

 

Loyalty program

MileagePlus

 

WiFi

One hour: US$1-US$12.50/A$1-A$16, full flight: US$3.99-US$29.95/A$5-A$38. Prices vary dependent on flight. You can also use mileage to pay.

 

Pyjamas

On request

 

Amenities kit

Skincare products from Soho House’s Cowshed Spa range, which include a lavender pillow mist.

 

 

The details

Airline: United Airlines

Flight Number: UA840

Aircraft: 787-9 Dreamliner

Route: Sydney to Los Angeles

Seating: Business Class

Flight Time: 13 hours, 45 minutes

Reviewed by: Gary Allen

united.com.

 

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Weather to go

High season in Los Angeles occurs between June and August, coinciding with summer. Los Angeles has year round warm temperatures, so for those looking to avoid crowds but still enjoy the sunny weather, autumn and spring are still attractive times to visit LA. There is a higher chance of rainfall between January and March. The Santa Ana winds blow through the Los Angeles basin commonly between October and March, increasing the danger of fire. Travellers to the area may want to keep in mind that awards season greatly affects the availability of accommodation. 

 

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