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United Airlines Polaris Business Boeing 787 Review – Sydney to Houston & Melbourne to LAX Return (SYD-IAH + MEL-LAX)

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

 United Boeing 787 Flying Sydney To Houston    Photo: Calvin Wood

United Boeing 787 Flying Sydney To Houston   Photo: Calvin Wood

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)

  Saks Fifth Avenue  Bedding - United Polaris Business Class    Photo: Calvin Wood

Saks Fifth Avenue Bedding - United Polaris Business Class   Photo: Calvin Wood

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.

 United Polaris Business Class Amenity Kit    Photo: Calvin Wood

United Polaris Business Class Amenity Kit   Photo: Calvin Wood

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).

 United Business Class Amenity Kit    Photo: Calvin  Wood

United Business Class Amenity Kit   Photo: Calvin  Wood

Within minutes of sitting down I was also greeted with a pre-departure cocktail:  Champagne please!

 Pre-Departure Beverage - United Business Class    Photo: Calvin Wood

Pre-Departure Beverage - United Business Class   Photo: Calvin Wood

Seats

 Polaris Business Class Seat - United Boeing 787    Photo: Calvin Wood

Polaris Business Class Seat - United Boeing 787   Photo: Calvin Wood

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.  

 Bulkhead Footwell -United B787 Business Class - 6E    Photo: Calvin Wood

Bulkhead Footwell -United B787 Business Class - 6E   Photo: Calvin Wood

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.

 Video - B787 United Polaris Business Class   Photo: Calvin Wood

Video - B787 United Polaris Business Class  Photo: Calvin Wood

 Cocktail Table - United Business Class - B 787    Photo: Calvin Wood

Cocktail Table - United Business Class - B 787   Photo: Calvin Wood

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.

 Seat Controls - United Business Class Boeing 787    Photo: Calvin Wood

Seat Controls - United Business Class Boeing 787   Photo: Calvin Wood

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!

 Seat in Bed Position - United Boeing 787 Sydney to Houston  Photo: Calvin Wood

Seat in Bed Position - United Boeing 787 Sydney to Houston Photo: Calvin Wood

 Bed Made Up - Polaris Business Class - United 787    Photo: Calvin Wood

Bed Made Up - Polaris Business Class - United 787   Photo: Calvin Wood

 United Has PJ's in Business Class!   Photo: Calvin Wood

United Has PJ's in Business Class!  Photo: Calvin Wood

Dining

 Beverage Service After Take-Off - United Polaris Business Class   Photo: Calvin Wood

Beverage Service After Take-Off - United Polaris Business Class  Photo: Calvin Wood

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!  

 Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Panna Cotta - Sydney to Houston on United     Photo: Calvin Wood

Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Panna Cotta - Sydney to Houston on United    Photo: Calvin Wood

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!   

 Prosciutto Appetizer - Melbourne to LAX  - United Airlines    Photo: Calvin Wood

Prosciutto Appetizer - Melbourne to LAX  - United Airlines   Photo: Calvin Wood

 Business Class Appetizer - LAX-Melbourne - United    Photo: Calvin Wood

Business Class Appetizer - LAX-Melbourne - United   Photo: Calvin Wood

 Salad - United Business Class Melbourne to LAX    Photo: Calvin Wood

Salad - United Business Class Melbourne to LAX   Photo: Calvin Wood

 Salad United Business Class Sydney to Houston    Photo: Calvin Wood

Salad United Business Class Sydney to Houston   Photo: Calvin Wood

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.

 Hapuka Fish With Pea Risotto - United Business Class Sydney to Houston    Photo: Calvin Wood

Hapuka Fish With Pea Risotto - United Business Class Sydney to Houston   Photo: Calvin Wood

 Salmon & Lentil Main - United Business - LAX to Melbourne    Photo: Calvin Wood

Salmon & Lentil Main - United Business - LAX to Melbourne   Photo: Calvin Wood

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!

 Breakfast Sydney To Houston - United Polaris Business    Photo: Calvin Wood

Breakfast Sydney To Houston - United Polaris Business   Photo: Calvin Wood

 United Business Class Breakfast - LAX to Melbourne    Photo: Calvin Wood

United Business Class Breakfast - LAX to Melbourne   Photo: Calvin Wood

 Breakfast Frittata & Bacon - United Business Melbourne to LAX    Photo: Calvin Wood

Breakfast Frittata & Bacon - United Business Melbourne to LAX   Photo: Calvin Wood

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!). 

 Dessert Tower - United Business Class 787    Photo: Calvin Wood

Dessert Tower - United Business Class 787   Photo: Calvin Wood

 Cheese Course - United Polaris Class    Photo: Calvin Wood

Cheese Course - United Polaris Class   Photo: Calvin Wood

My Verdict

 United Polaris Business Class Boeing 787   Photo: Calvin Wood

United Polaris Business Class Boeing 787  Photo: Calvin Wood

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!

 Enjoying a Scotch Over the Pacific - United Polaris Business Class    Photo: Calvin Wood

Enjoying a Scotch Over the Pacific - United Polaris Business Class   Photo: Calvin Wood

United Airlines Club Lounge Review – Terminal A Newark (EWR)

United Airlines Club Lounge Review – Terminal A Newark (EWR)

Lufthansa Senator Lounge Review Newark – EWR

Lufthansa Senator Lounge Review Newark – EWR