I’m a nervous flyer. But I was blessed or cursed with an intense love of travel.
And so I would never turn down an opportunity to try United’s Polaris business class cabin on their new route from Newark Airport, New Jersey to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. But I had to numb my anxiety first with a few drinks at the impressive United Polaris Lounge.
It is one of six aircraft operated by Chicago-based United in the US and is available to passengers before takeoff and after landing.
Named after the North Star, the Polaris cabin features seats designed by United in association with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode of London and manufactured by Zodiac Seats UK
Andrea, who admits to being a nervous aviator, had a stack of goodies waiting to make the trip more enjoyable
Andrea settles into her seat with a glass of champagne, an eight-hour flight to Palma ahead of her (left). All seats in the Polaris cabin have aisle access (right)
There’s an a la carte menu and a buffet for indulgence and, I discovered, margaritas.
I slurped my way through a trio of them while enjoying stunning views of planes taking off and disappearing into the multicolored New Jersey sunset.
The drinks worked their magic and I was in a much more relaxed mood as I was warmly welcomed aboard a Boeing 767-300, which would take just eight hours to reach Mallorca as opposed to the average 15 hours with layovers.
According to United, the Polaris suite is the result of 12,000 hours of research
The Polaris seats are “nested”, cleverly angled into each other
The left-turn Polaris cabin – named after the North Star – features seats designed by United in association with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode of London and manufactured by Zodiac Seats UK.
The seats are “nested,” cleverly angled one inside the other, giving everyone aisle access, which Ian Dryburgh, CEO of Acumen, told Web Travel as the “holy grail” of any business-class cabin design.
According to United, the Polaris suite is the result of 12,000 hours of research.
Was the time well invested? Definitive.
I’m 5ft 11″ and had plenty of legroom with the seat reclining up to a 6ft 6″ bed.
Excitedly, I took off my sneakers, put on the complimentary slippers and put my feet on the padded footrest.
We took off and New Jersey was replaced by clouds of blue and purple cotton candy as I sipped on champagne.
Then it was time to examine my United amenity kit, well thought out for long flights.
In my holdall I found lip balm, earplugs, a sleep mask, face and hand cream, a toothbrush and a very cute presentation of Mini Colgate, washcloths and tissues.
While watching Uncharted on the 16-inch High Definition Entertainment screen (left), Andrea whipped up a dinner of ras el hanout fennel flan croquettes with a creamy basil herb sauce, wild mushrooms and roasted garlic tomatoes
And for breakfast in heaven? Gruyère coconut egg; smoked turkey bacon and tomato hollandaise sauce with butter; Yoghurt with turmeric granola and blueberries and a croissant
While watching Uncharted on the 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen, I grabbed a dinner of ras el hanout fennel flan croquettes with creamy basil herb sauce, wild mushrooms and roasted garlic tomatoes, followed by vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and a brownie -pieces.
After dinner, I wrapped myself in the Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and fell asleep, vaguely registering as one of the pilots let out a warning that turbulence was coming.
I was too lazy to care.
Andrea describes United’s amenity kit (left) as well thought out for long flights. It includes lip balm, earplugs, a sleep mask, face and hand cream, a toothbrush, a “cute” mini Colgate, washcloths and tissues (right)
On the left is Andrea’s dessert on the flight to Palma – vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and brownie bits. Pictured right is her dinner on the return flight – herb-infused chicken, feta, edamame and raisin salad with grilled cucumber and macaroni and cheese, and a salad of fresh cauliflower, grapes, peach and sliced almonds
Andrea writes, “I’m 5ft 11″ and had plenty of legroom with the seat reclined to a 6ft 6″ bed.”
Polaris Suites feature Do Not Disturb signs, mood lighting, and one-touch lumbar support
The “impressive” United Polaris Lounge at Newark Airport. There, Andrea enjoyed a trio of margaritas to calm her nerves
The stunning view of Mallorca’s countryside from an airplane window (left) and a United 767-300 at Palma Airport (right)
For breakfast, I enjoyed a gourmet-worthy Gruyere coconut egg; smoked turkey bacon and tomato hollandaise sauce with butter; Yoghurt with turmeric granola and blueberries and a croissant.
And before landing, I was greeted with a warm and strong black coffee served in a cup (just how I like it as a Colombian).
Emerging well rested in the Mallorcan sun, I reflected on what my eight hours of research had told me about Polaris – that at 38,000 feet it’s about as comfortable as can be.
And with attentive staff, delicious meals, and thoughtful amenities, United’s Polaris cabin really is a great deal.
Return flights from New York/Newark to Palma de Mallorca on United Airlines start at $630 (£520) Economy Class (including tax) and $5,579 (£4,635) for Polaris Business (including tax).
United’s direct flights to Palma will be available until September 22, 2022.
United customers in the US can book flights by visiting united.com or by contacting United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) or their travel agent.
Polaris seating is available on United routes between London Heathrow and New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare, Houston, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Features of the Polaris Suite:
- Forward facing access from all aisles
- 180 degree recliner flat seats with up to 6ft 6in recliner
- “Do not disturb” signs
- mood lighting
- One touch lumbar support
- Multiple storage areas, including under ottoman storage, are available during taxi, takeoff and landing
- Multiple surfaces to work and eat
- 16 inch high definition entertainment screens with gate to gate entertainment
- Universal AC and USB outlets
- Electronic partitions between the seats in the middle of the cabin
During her stay in Mallorca Andrea stayed at Hotel Castell Son Claret. Click here for the full review.