United Airlines Polaris Business Boeing 787 Review – Sydney to Houston & Melbourne to LAX Return (SYD-IAH + MEL-LAX)
I fly United constantly – but I have never had a chance to jet on their 787 in business class. That all changed three weeks ago – when I flew it THREE times transpacific in the span of one week!
I crossed from Sydney to Houston at the start of the week – and then Los Angeles to Melbourne on Wednesday and back again at the end of the week!
Shooting down to the South Pacific on United’s 787 in their Polaris Business Class was a dream. Long flights – but fantastic seats, service, and food!
Here’s my review of those trips – with an emphasis on the Sydney to Houston segment (and photos of the some of the dining options on the other two):
Boarding in Sydney was super organized and smooth.
Each seat was fitted with everything one would need for the 15+ hour flight to Houston: linens, slippers, and an amenity kit. I didn’t know where to put it all! Thankfully there was a ton of space in the overhead bins (I was in the second cabin of the 787 which was not that crowded)
United features Saks of Fifth Avenue bedding on all of its Polaris Business Class routes. On today’s flight I had a blanket, duvet, seat-pad, and two pillows. I requested a set of PJ’s and that was at my side within seconds.
The amenity kit had everything I needed for a journey that took up the better part of a day: eye shades, socks, tissues, toothbrush, tooth paste, hand cream – and even a pen for customs!
All of this was encased in a United tin – which is fairly unique for an amenity kit. Most airlines have a cosmetic bag of sorts. I always really like the tin as I re-use them for storage at home (strange but true).
Within minutes of sitting down I was also greeted with a pre-departure cocktail: Champagne please!
The Boeing 787 is United’s newest long-haul aircraft, but it’s not kitted out with the spectacular Polaris seat for some reason (Read my review of that uber-glam cabin type). Not to worry though – the seat on this aircraft is still fantastic with lots or room and functionality.
I was lucky enough to nab bulkhead seats on this flight – and the other two as well! That’s a great spot to have as the footwell is extra big – especially if you get the 6E where there’s even more space. I like to sleep on my side – so having the extra room is precious.
The seat comes equipped with a center cocktail table, charging ports, a wicked tv monitor, and some space on the upper side for keeping things like your amenity kit and water.
The seats moves into all kinds of positions – but on a flight like this – the one I appreciated the most was “Lie Flat.” The seats goes completely horizontal and becomes a heavenly bed. I put my Saks linens to good use and basically slept half way across the Pacific!
After take off – even though it was relatively early in the morning (10:15 AM) United rolled out a full bar service. What the heck – it was night time in Houston – so I was ok with that!
In an effort to adjust to the time change I ‘forced’ myself to have some libations!
This flight served a comprehensive lunch which included an appetizer, salad, main and dessert. Today’s first course was a scrumptious smoked salmon with a wasabi panna cotta – which seemed very imaginative to me!
For the main I went for the hapuka fish fillet with ricotta-pea risotto. It was tasty – but not a pretty looking dish. On the other two crossings that week I went for the salmon with lentils (delicious) on the way down – and the macadamia coconut encrusted chicken – which tasted like candy – on the way back.
I had three different breakfasts on these flights.
All of them were hearty and hit the spot. From Sydney to Houston a regular omelet with chicken sausage and baby spinach; from LAX to Melbourne United’s traditional (and savory) farmer’s omelet; and from Melbourne to LAX a frittata with a generous helping on bacon!
For dessert – the flight attendants came armed with enough sweets to placate Hansel & Gretel. They had a tower of tarts & cupcakes, a cart of sundaes with all the fixings, and a tray of delightful cheeses (which is what I went for!).
What a crash course in the delights of the 787! Polaris Business Class three times in one week was a complete treat. I'm looking forward to me next crossing!