United Polaris EWR-BRU: The Horror Show!

43

United Polaris Newark-Brussels Review is part of the ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip Report.


When I booked my ANA RTW ticket for 22k miles in business for only 125k MRs, I searched hard for Polaris availability. Be careful what you search for, you will get it (see Award Booking OCD = Fortnite Addiction).

Amenities Kit

Before I get into the horror movie that literally and figuratively is this flight, let me talk about the fun twist on the amenities kit. Instead of the typical airline brand kit, United partnered with the new Spider-Man movie to produce this superhero tribute.

Socks too

IFE

I scanned the IFE selection after drinking the subpar champagne. It is foreshadowing that the movie I selected, Us, would mirror my flight experience.

Champagne

I don’t expect US carriers to carry premium champagne, but is it too much to ask for proper cups?

American luxury

Seating

I can’t complain about the lie flat seat or about the pillows, especially the blue one which reminds me of my $200 Tempur-Pedic at home. What I will complain about is how many damn passengers there were in business and, as a result, the rushed service.

6L

Window Seat?

I will also complain about having a window seat where I’m not facing the window and the lamp that blocked it.

Wine

There was not a wine list, and the flight attendant did not know what kind of wine they offered. I knew I was in trouble when the choices were white or red. I made the wrong choice with whatever red I selected.

Quiet, Too Quiet

As the drama of this scary movie built, the cabin remained eerily quiet. It is impressive how quiet the 787 is compared to Airbus (see JAL 787 Dreamliner: An American Marvel: SAN-NRT).

Appetizer

The first scary scene was the appetizer. Like the Polaris lounge, United was trying to be too creative with their food. What is pomegranate acai vinaigrette? What happened to ranch (see I Found Hidden Valley)?

Dinner

The blood and gore of the film wasn’t why I lost my appetite. It was the disgusting risotto and salmon combination.

Dessert

The crescendo of terror was the dessert. I didn’t dare order the sundae after seeing what my neighbor received. It was a slaughtered mess of ice cream and whip cream.

Overall

In terms of lie-flat, long-haul flights, this was the worst I have taken. The seat itself was fine, but everything else was a horror show. The service, the food, and the drinks were all bad. Like the movie, I was left trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Does the son know?

Putting my foot down and saying this is the worst business class long-haul flight I have ever taken.

If you enjoyed United Polaris Newark Brussels Review read the entire ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip Report.

43 COMMENTS

      • Ranch is gross. That’s not salad dressing, that’s salad sauce.

        I usually don’t love my United flights even in Polaris (my 78710 BRU-EWR) had a shaky armrest which was really annoying), but this wasn’t a horror show….

        You didn’t get champ served in a flute?!??!! Your risotto was messy??? Horror show is a 6 hour delay, delayed hour by hour, with a 2am flight departure time, and a completely messed up schedule upon arrival, flight attendants giving you attitude for not having an updated printed boarding pass, (no cell reception on plane so phone wasn’t updating my seat)…. lol

        • I am willing to accept your disagreements with the bloggers assessment of his flight but I will not tolerate your dissing of a proper ranch dressing. My beloved ranch dressing is what Vegemite is to Aussies & chips (fries) w/ mayonnaise is to a Belgian. I always joke that a person visiting the US should 1) rent a huge SUV/Pick-up truck (they can’t in their own country) 2) eat a bunch of peanut butter & 3) order a salad with our American ranch dressing …. thats how you immerse yourself in culture 🙂

        • Yes!!! Anyone who makes fun of ranch is in for trouble. Montana has the best ranch, that’s the link in the article.

      • One person per seat is normal, not crowded. If they were understaffed vs. other airlines, maybe that’s a valid complaint. But with all the frequent flier upgrades, which I’m sure that YOU enjoy, Business and First are rarely going to have a single empty seat.

        But on a long list of truly petty complaints, I guess it doesn’t really stand out.

        • You don’t read the blog obviously. See last post on polaris lounge. I don’t have status on any airline. I’m a points mercenary. Stop taking everything so literally. The sky isn’t falling. The flight just sucked.

  1. what a ridiculous review — from what I can tell you received adequate service and and a passable meal, on a great hard product. This deserves at least 4 stars out of 5.
    Once on Singapore Airlines’ A380 from JFK to Frankfurt it took 2 hours into the flight until appetizers were served in business class, because there are almost 100 passengers in the cabin. That was reason to complain. (also the food was not good when it finally came. 3 hours into the flight, still not having been served the main course, I went to sleep for the remaining 3.5 hours of the flight…).

    • Oh I should just have you write my posts since my and yours are credible. This is why I love blogging. So easy to bait predictable comments.

      • well, if you write a ridiculous post, I guess that does bait predictable comments.
        I forgot to point out that you bought this flight for a ridiculously low number of points, which makes it even more ridiculous to call it a “horror show” just because you weren’t thrilled with the food.

        • Also received great comments by people who don’t want them same old reviews. Please tell me what you want. No levity, no metaphors, no creativity? This isn’t Soviet blogging.

  2. In order to avoid inevitable disappointment, take your meal in the Polaris Lounge, where somewhat solid meals can be found. Proceed to get destroyed on scotch of questionable quality, or solid bourbon onboard. Start this process by enjoying a quality, Balvenie 12 (or six)in the lounge. Once you start with quality scotch, you prob won’t notice that they’ve slipped you dewars once you’re good and lit.

    Pass out a few hours into the flight while others are dealing with that vile risotto and hipster salad dressing, which is undoubtedly served on kale (I assume). This method also limits FA interaction during meals – just be sure to be persistent and try to be cool when ordering your 17th scotch — don’t want to get cut off. That would be bullshit.

    Oh yeah, don’t clap at the FAs when you want a drink. They frown upon that, generally speaking. Though it seems to work reasonably well on Asian carriers and sometimes on the ME3. United? Notsomuch.

    Godspeed. May your next flight be slightly less frightening, with more remarkable meals, named wines, high quality liquor drinks and of course a luxury branded amenity kit without children’s cartoon. Though spider man socks and sleep masks are pretty f’ing rad.

    • Not really, I thought a film based contemporaneous theme would be comical. Everyone wants a homogenous boring review. By now youd think they’d look to the usual spots for the ‘technical’ reviews. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to enjoy life.

  3. Duh. You should have expected this given that you never see UA long-haul pics from the FCQ. The primary redeeming qualities of UA long-haul business class are — it isn’t economy, the FAs speak English, and the seat is lie flat. Bring your own 2BuckChuck and McDonalds.

  4. I avoid ANY American airlines. Have very bad experience with AA, United and Delta. Your review proves I made the right choice. Other airlines might not be perfect but they are in another league. Even British Airways. I hope your next flight will be more enjoyable.

  5. Wow! You clearly have NO concept of what an air-travel horror show is. No proper cups for the free champagne? Horrors! I’d wager 99.99% of the flying public would gladly trade their horrors for yours. Pretty useless to read the whining of an effete snob like you.

  6. Hilarious article. So sorry for your horror show. I hope you never have to experience a REAL horror-show flight. Maybe you should get out more often?

  7. Agree. Flew EWR – LHR in Polaris recently. My experience was same as all previous; it sucks. Why do people pay the $$$ that United ask?

    The Polaris Lounge and the overall flight are worlds apart. Food, wine and service in the lounge are excellent. Those that work in the lounge at all levels could not do more for you.

    Onboard service is often very poor. Service with an attitude I call it, not a smile. You get better service on regional jets with United. Ok sometimes you might luck out and find the great FA on your flight.

    When you compare to LH, Swiss, LOT, and Asian Star members United come out worse all the time. Yes LH FAs can sometimes have an issue but all round service, food, and wine that the other carriers are providing is something that I would and do pay for. Glad I only use free upgrades on United. I wouldn’t even use miles let alone part with cash for the onboard Polaris experience.

    It’s time United Exec team read some of these comments for reviewers such as yourself. If I only flew business once then I would probably say that’s great but when you compare around the world then you start to make these objective judgements.

    You can still use Polaris when flying out on other Star carriers I believe.

  8. Another always-offended Millennial, who never heard the word ‘no’ or real horror, actually worked color a living. Please don’t fly UA again: opens up a seat for me.

  9. I have been flying United a long time and it has changed over the years, I did recently take a flight from SFO to FRA and returned from FCO to ORD flying Polaris Business Class. Between my wife and I we now have four of the Spiderman kits that I am not sure what to do with. Anyway, on both flight we did have great flight attendants that provided very individualized service and were actually very friendly. Sorry I don’t recall what salad dressing we had. I will say that the new Polaris Lounge at SFO was very crowded and not comfortable. The flight from FCO to ORD was on an older 767 that had been refurbished to Polaris Business Class and was not up to the standard of the 777 we flew to FRA. Overall, a good experience with the service and comfort.

  10. United really suck – I took Polaris (paid ticket) from Syd to LAX – worse seat, meal and service I have ever had. The flight attendants disappeared the entire flight after the meal (which was so bad my wife physically was sick inflight). We hit turbulence and the cart came flying down he aisle and passenger had to secure it, the flight attendants didn’t even notice – never again united

    • Lol. Funny. Nothing wrong with calling out crap. Judging by the other comments, you’d think I was criticizing dear leader. I quit responding because my sense of humor doesn’t mesh with their gray building Soviet homogenous idea of flight reviews. I hope they fly united polaris and pretend to enjoy the crap food. Maybe they can write a blog post about it. I surely won’t comment!

  11. Meow. That all looks pretty good to me! When I flew Polaris we had champagne PDBs (or was it sparkling?) in plastic cups. And I like that dressing- they’ve had it for years IIRC. I agree the ice cream/whipped cream presentation is not always appetizing since it’s freshly prepared. But it’s the taste that counts!

Leave a Reply