Polaris Business Class: My 17 Hour Flight (United Flight 1) From SFO to SIN (On Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner)
Recently, I flew from Orlando to San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) (right at 23 hours of flying with less than 1 hour layover)! Lucky for me, my husband shared a couple of his United Global Upgrade Certificates so instead of this little blog piece being about a 17 hour flight in Economy Class it's about a 17 hour flight in Polaris Business Class. Yippee! (This story starts after the 6 hour flight from Orlando lands in San Francisco.)
When we landed at SFO our gate was not ready so there was a bit of a delay getting off the plane. Not a big deal unless you only have 45 minutes between flights and need to go to a different terminal in an airport where you don’t exactly know your way around. When I stepped off the gateway and into the terminal I heard my name being announced. OH NO! Thank goodness I have a new hip and can hustle- so off I went to the other terminal as fast as I could. There’s no telling what I looked like by the time I got on the plane - but - I made it (albeit I was the last person to board). My heart was racing a bit to say the least. But it wasn’t long before all was calm and very good!
It's just the plain truth that flights are nicer when you turn left upon boarding the plane. In United Polaris Business Class the special treatment began immediately. I did not even have a chance to take in my little area or put my backpack down before a flight attendant asked me if I’d like a glass of champagne or wine quickly before we took off. Yes, please!
My seat was a window and there was a gentleman sitting in the aisle seat so I went past him saying hi and started to settle in. Ok - the first things I noticed were the pillow, blanket and duvet cover with “Saks Fifth Avenue” embroidered on them that were on my seat. Ooh lah lah. Mama got her glass of champagne and started making her nest!
The cubby areas are spacious - I especially appreciated the one to the right of my head where you can plug in headphones and other electronics as there was enough room for my Bose headphones case and it made a good place to put my chapstick, hand lotion and pen.
The foot space in front was large enough with some extra space for my backpack and there was a little shelf on top of that area as well. Very nice.
Not long after take off there was another drink service as the menus were passed out. Good selection of entrees (beef, chicken, fish, Asian, pasta). Everyone gets all the appetizers on the menu which included some sushi and a salad. I chose the beef for dinner dinner. In all honesty, it was the best airplane meal I've ever had. The beef was very tender and the potatoes were delicious; bread was nice. (Would have been nicer if the butter was soft - but hey - we are on a plane for goodness sakes). There is a whole dessert cart which includes a choice of ice-cream and sundae toppings. After a sundae and another glass of wine it was time to go to sleep. After all, my internal clock was reading about 3:00 am. When I went to sleep the flight screen said 16.35 to go.
Wow. With the mattress cushion, seat that lays all the way back, cozy blanket and pillow - I went to sleep (and I don't normally sleep on planes) and slept well. Woke up about 5 hours later because - multiple glasses of vino (oh, and a port with the cheese selection that I forgot to mention) = bathroom. Gracious. The guy next to me is asleep. Hmm. With his seat all the way down and my short legs there is no way I can gracefully step over. So. I wait for a bit then try to gently over-exaggerate a move to get something out of my backpack in hopes it will cause him to wake. Doesn’t work. Keep waiting (remembering that he also partook in the vino) and then about 10 minutes later he gets up so I hop up too. All good. Screen says 11.38 to go. Definitely time for a movie or five.
In Polaris Business Class: During most of the flight the wine is set up and easily accessible. Also, there is a self serve snack tray with sandwiches, fruit, chips, candy, and water. Don't mind if I do! In fact, my seat mate and I start talking and decide to try the different wines (which you can get as a tasting set if you ask) and snacks so that between us we could try everything - for the sake of providing best coverage on the blog - of course!
Snacks, drinks, movies, nap, repeat. Then it's time to get refreshed before breakfast. Breakfast was tasty, also. Before we landed, the Business Class Concierge (I think that was her title) came by each guest to give a little box with truffles and ask thoughts on the flight and service.
The bottom line: The price difference in my flights (and the same flights for more recent dates) is approximately $3-4k. Is Polaris Business Class worth it? I have to say that if you're in the neighborhood of being 50 or older and are traveling for a good time; and don't have a day or two to recuperate from the flight and the time change - then yes - it's worth it because you are comfortable and are not trying to recover from a 12-hour time difference if you can get some decent sleep. Now, on my return flight I had the aisle seat. If my review had only been on that flight then I'd have no hesitation or conditions on saying flying Polaris Business Class was worth the extra money. Until there are no window seats (no moving around on someone else's schedule or feeling like you are being rude to climb over) I have to put conditions on the Yes!
Happy & Safe Travels!
A run down on United Polaris Business Class:
Come along with this southern girl on my fun travel adventures! I’m taking the tours; seeing the sites; trying out the hotels; dining at the restaurants; cruising on the cruise ships; and sharing the experiences on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my travel escapades and that they will be inspiring and helpful when planning your own fabulous adventures.