Trips

Review: United Polaris Business Class 777-300ER Newark to Tel Aviv

an airplane with rows of seats and monitors

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Cockpit photos, dogs in cabin, pilates, and Miles – it was quite the flagship flight

Having flown United’s Polaris for the first time roughly 6 months prior, on the 772 from GRU to ORD, I was eager to check out how their flagship experience would compare from Newark to Tel Aviv.

In a few words: It did not disappoint.

If you’re just catching up on this trip report, we routed via New York and checked out not just the Intercontinental Barclay, but also the uber lux and aspirational St Regis NYC for a night in order to position for the direct flight to Israel. While the Barclay is a great hotel, the St Regis is an experience I will never forget and provided an incredible experience for my family. Totally worth the points.

Booking the tickets

Israel has long been a bucket list destination for my family, and one that we have planned and cancelled due to security concerns several times before committing to going this year. After visiting, even as rockets were fired into the country the day we left, I wouldn’t hesitate visiting again.

When award space open for three people aboard United’s 77W from EWR to TLV we hopped on it, booking 2 tickets with United via my dad’s United silver account, and one via my Singapore Airlines account. We managed to book 1A,D,G

a map of a plane with seats and numbers

If you want more information on this, how we booked, found space, etc – read this article which gets into it with more detail. We funded my parents accounts instantly with United miles transferred direct from Chase, and the Singapore miles were funded by Citi, Amex, and Chase accounts into mine. The bulk were transferred in less than 12 hours, the rest 24 hours.

  • 69k Singapore miles + $20
  • 75k United miles + $10

We accumulated points for these transfers primarily with these cards

Trip Details:

  • When: April 2019
  • Where: Newark to Tel Aviv
  • Flight: UA 90
  • Duration: 10h25m
  • Points Used: 69k Singapore + $20
  • Seat: 1A

Arrival:

We arrived at Newark’s Terminal C with a few hours to spare thinking we could enjoy the flagship Polaris lounge. The airport was absolutely vacant and we zoomed through security.

a group of people in a large airport

The Polaris Lounge Newark.

Wow, what a lounge, and an incredible time to visit. It was basically empty. We toasted some champagne, split a few items to eat at their sit down dining room, clocked some pics, and then casually sauntered over to our Polaris business class flight. You can read our full review here.

Boarding Process

We were one of the first in line and boarded through the forward door. The biggest difference between United’s Polaris Business Class on the 772 and this 777-300ER is the mini cabin and main cabin are flipped. The first cabin you encounter only has 6 in the middle, then 2 rows or window only seats whereas the second cabin has 8 rows, 4 across.

Seats

Bulkhead seats in either cabin are the best as the footwells are larger due to the fact they don’t have to squeeze underneath another seat. For single travelers, the window bulkhead seats are the best, and for couples, give the middle bulkhead a go.

For singles traveling alone, or just prefer privacy, the odd numbered window seats are amazingly private.

Each has its own little aisle separating it from the cabin aisle.

You can see this on the seatmap that the odd numbered rows set a bit inside whereas the even are angled to the aisle. Contrary, if you are traveling alone in the middle, I’d recommend the even numbered rows that give you more space between eachother, even though they’re closer to the aisle.

a map of a plane with seats and numbers

You can see from the 772, the seats are very close together on the odd rows

a stuffed monkey on a bed

The seat itself was quite comfortable and provided a good amount of storage. I say only good because, while it had a large cabinet and under footrest storage, there isn’t much of a storage compartment that can only be accessed by you when in bed mode and sleeping.

The IFE is nice and touch screen. I find the touch screen much easier to use than the handheld. You can see there is a small phone or magazine storage compartment and a usb port.

 

Food:

Since we departed at nearly 11pm and I had eaten in the lounge, I opted for just a hot fudge sundae and then a light breakfast. They also put out snacks during the flight, juice, wine, water.

Here’s a look at the menu. I was tempted to have the Burrata ravioli.

a blue screen with text on it

Amenity Kit and Pajamas

Even though the route between Newark and Tel Aviv isn’t long enough to qualify for pajamas, they do provide them if you ask for them, which I did. The amenity kit is quite nice too…I loved the improved eyemask.

Bed:

I think United offers some of best, if not the absolute best, business class bedding. All from Saks. All super duper comfy, and you get a sheet, comforter, and two pillows. If for no other reason, I’d look forward to this flight again just for the bedding.

a stuffed animal on a bed

A dog in cabin:

The oddest thing I’ve seen on an international flight. A non-service animal just out and about. In fact, it just slept on the armrest in front of the cabin. I’m not sure how the passenger managed this as I’d love to fly with my dog like this, but aside from seeing the dog, I’d never known it was on the plane. Very well behaved, but odd that the two guys who had the dog were traveling together, but opted for seats further from one another.

Overall:

This was a wonderful way to fly, and a pretty darn good deal at 75k United or 69K Singapore miles. The lounge experience is on par, or better, than most any International business class lounge, and United’s Polaris product holds up a second time. It’s a very solid business class.

Is it a contender for the best in the world? Nah, but compared to the cramped cabins still occupying the forward cabin of most United planes, where you have to still step over people, this true Polaris is great.

I’ve flown the best that AA has to offer, yet to try out Delta One Suites, but I’d choose United over the AA seats that wiggle any day, and the bedding is just flat out great. I’m a reverse herringbone fan and love the extra storage compartments the Cirrus seats on Cathay, EVA, and AA provide, but were just nitpicking here, United has a product it can be very proud to fly.

a man sitting in a cockpit


Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Doha

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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