I flew with United Polaris Business Class on their new B777-300/ER from Hong Kong to San Francisco in late September. Here is my United Polaris experience.

I arrived at Hong Kong Airport (Check in Row G) 2 hours prior to my departure. There were many separate check-in lines for Polaris/1k/Global Service.

United Club - Hong Kong

Polaris Business Class passengers can use the United Club near Gate 60. This lounge will be refurbished into the Polaris Business Class Lounge in the future. The lounge has a separate First Class and Business Class area available to customers. I was allowed into the First Class area to take some pictures.

The lounge has a great view over the airport. The Business class side is more crowded compared to the First Class area which is a breeze to get around.

Menu of United First Lounge, Hong Kong

Menu of United First Lounge, Hong Kong

If you do not feel like a full meal like what's shown on the menu above, there is a buffet area which serves a light breakfast.

Congee for Breakfast at United Club

Congee for Breakfast at United Club

My flight, UA862 to San Francisco, departs from Gate 64 at HKIA. It was operated by one of the newest B777-322/ER at United, wearing registration N2846U, which is the 16th B777-300/ER United has received from Boeing. Boarding started on-time at 10:30am for an 11:15 am departure. I was one of the first to board the plane for this flight. Karina Turnbull, a United ground employee in Hong Kong since 1992, walked me to the plane and bid me farewell.

Interior Specifications

United has their B777-300/ER configured with 366 seats, of which 60 of them are United Polaris Business, 102 are United Economy Plus and 204 United Economy.

United B777-300/ER seat map

United B777-300/ER seat map

Elements
United PolarisSM Business Class
United Economy Plus®
United Economy®
Number of seats
60
102
204
Seat numbers
1A-18L
19A-27L, 28ABC, 28JKL, 29ABC, 29JKL, 39ABC, 39JKL, 40DEFG
28DEFG, 29DEFG, 30A-37L, 40ABC, 40JKL, 41A-52G

United Polaris Business Class occupies two sections on the United B777-300/ER. The first section has 28 seats and the second section has 32 seats. All seats feature individual direct aisle access, are forward facing and can turn into a 180 degree flat bed with up to 6'6" of bed space.

The individual suite-like pods were designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and Priestman Goode and are manufactured by Zodiac Aerospace.

In terms of seating, I would recommend a window seat for a single traveler and do not recommend Row 8 due to its close proximity to the galley and row 16 due to no window.

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United B777-300/ER Polaris Business Class

United Economy Plus and Economy are set out in a 3-4-3, 10 abreast configuration.

United B777-300/ER Economy Plus

United B777-300/ER Economy Plus

United B777-300/ER Economy Plus and Economy

United B777-300/ER Economy Plus and Economy

Sleep focused amenities

Back to Polaris Business cabin, each seat has two pillows (including one gel pillow and another plush one) and two blankets (one is a duvet) placed on it. There was also a United Polaris amenity kit with eye shades and coshed skin care products presented in a tin can, which i think it is something different!

Pajamas were also available for flights over 12 hours long such as my flight to San Francisco if requested.
United Polaris Business Class Amenity Kit

United Polaris Business Class Amenity Kit

United Polaris Business Class Amenity Kit

United Polaris Business Class Amenity Kit

My flight had a on-time departure at 11:15am and the flight time to San Francisco was indicated to be just under 12 hours. We cruised over Southern China and Shanghai before navigating over South Korea to avoid the typhoon activities over Japan and then finally across the Northern Pacific.

United Polaris Business Class Menu

United Polaris Business Class Menu

After takeoff, the mood lighting was turned on and the cabin felt very tranquil and relaxing. There was a great sense of privacy thanks to the curved seat divider. Drinks and warm nuts were served follow by lunch. I selected the melon prosciutto with green salad for my starter. My miso glazed salmon tasted great and was presented very nicely.

To finish the dining experience, flight attendants presented the dessert cart in front of each passenger. Apple tarts, tiramisu cakes, ice cream sundaes to your liking and cheese plates were available to choose from.

Happy times on-board United Polaris!

Happy times on-board United Polaris!

After the meal service, it was time to try out the United Polaris bedding.

The bedding, in my opinion, is a winner and one of the best Business Class beds in the sky I have ever tried.

The difference is in the gel cooled pillow (blue one), which adds additional head support. There was also a thick mattress for increased comfort. The blanket could be tucked inside the comforter to provide additional warmth during the flight.

Between the two Polaris Business Class sections, there is a beautiful self-serve bar with some fruits, snacks and cup noodles which are available at all times.

In addition to the self serve bar, there were choices of mince pot with fried rice and tomato soup with cheese bread as mid-flight snacks.

I watched several foreign movies on the entertainment screen and also used the onboard Wi-Fi. The price for one hour of Wi-Fi is $6.99 or you can have whole flight for $24.99 (good value!)

The arrival meal (breakfast) was served 1 hour 20 minutes before landing. There was three choices and I chose the congee, which I find good for my stomach.

Landing was early in San Francisco despite the two runway closure. My United Polaris flight experience was a very positive one. With the comfortable bedding, I was well rested, even on a pre-dominantly day time departure flight. I think the United Polaris Business Class represents a great improvement in every way. I can't wait to try out more flights fitted with United Polaris Seats in the future.

 

Polaris Tracker

On average, United will be adding one aircraft with Polaris seating every 10 days from now up until 2020. United currently has 33 aircraft with the Polaris seat installed. (Source: United Polaris tracker) United anticipates the addition of more than 100 aircraft (either new or retrofitted) with Polaris seating between now and end of 2020.

 

Polaris Routes Operating with the B777-300ER

  • San Francisco – Hong Kong
  • New York/Newark – Tel Aviv
  • San Francisco – Tokyo
  • San Francisco – Taipei
  • San Francisco – Beijing
  • San Francisco – Frankfurt
  • San Francisco - London Heathrow
  • New York/Newark – Tokyo

Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

After clearing immigration and customs, I followed signs and proceeded to the United Arrivals Lounge in San Francisco. The lounge opens till 2pm daily. Polaris Business Class customers have access to it. If you are transiting SFO, you can still use this lounge or the Polaris Business Class Lounge.

The lounge isn't very large in size but it was never crowded during my stay. There are 14 shower suites and there is a free pressing service. Additionally there is a hot and cold buffet breakfast spread available.

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco

United Arrivals Lounge San Francisco