United Polaris Business Class Review: BRU-EWR – World Travel Adventurers

Our United Polaris Business Class review covers the last leg of our return home from the Maldives, where we redeemed points for free stays at Park Hyatt Maldives and Conrad Maldives. We flew United Airlines Polaris Business Class on the B787-10 from Brussels to Newark. This flight was one segment of an award ticket from Male to Washington D.C. with flights on Etihad Business Class for the other segments of the journey home. Read our United Business Class review for details on this transatlantic flight.

*Advertiser Disclosure-World Travel Adventurers is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

United Polaris Business Class Review – WTA Score

**Our WTA score represents our own views based on our personal experience with the entity being reviewed.

Booking United Polaris Business Class with miles

We booked United Business Class with Air Canada Aeroplan miles since the airlines are partners. We booked the return home from Male to Washington D.C. for a total of 100,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles plus $207 Canadian dollars (about $167 USD at the time) per person for this one-way itinerary. The itinerary included a 4 hour 15 minute flight on Etihad Business Class from Male to Abu Dhabi, a 7 hour flight on Etihad Business Class from Abu Dhabi to Brussels, and then this 8 hour flight from Brussels to Newark on United Airlines Polaris Business Class. The retail cost for our flight home would have been $28,594.40. Our family of 4 saved $27,926.40 on this redemption!

Etihad Airways Business Class Costs

We saved over $27,000 for our one way trip back to the US!

We originally were booked from Brussels to Washington Dulles (IAD), but due to our flight being cancelled and no availability on the same flight the following day, we were rerouted to Newark and then had a final connection from Newark to Washington D.C.

Since Air Canada Aeroplan is a transfer partner of several transferable currencies, it is fairly easy to accumulate miles. You can transfer points to Aeroplan from the following programs at these ratios:  American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio), Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio), Capitol One miles (1:1 transfer ratio), and Marriott BonVoy (3:1 transfer ratio with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred).

Some of our favorite travel reward credit cards (see current offers) can earn you a valuable welcome offer that you could transfer to Aeroplan. Our top picks include the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardThe Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and the American Express® Gold Card.

Checking in for our United Business Class flight in Brussels

We had an unpleasant experience when we showed up in Brussels to check in for our final flight home. We had a 24 hour layover in Brussels which we used to visit family living nearby. When our uncle dropped us off at the airport the morning of our flight, we found out that our flight was cancelled. We had not received any advance notification and the flight crew checking people in said they also just found out themselves. We were informed that they could not rebook us until the following day, 24 hours later.

Bertaut needed to be home for a business meeting the following day, so asked the flight crew if they could figure out how to get us home sooner. He stood at the counter for at least 2 hours (not exaggerating) trying to find another way to get us home that day. He was checking availability on his phone for partner airlines while the kind desk agent was searching on her end. He finally found something that would work, but since our tickets were booked through Air Canada Aeroplan, he needed to have Air Canada change the ticket in order for it to work. He called Air Canada and waited on hold for over an hour before finally giving up and deciding to just take the flight home the following day.

United Airlines Kind Staff

Special thanks to Veronica & Houda at the BRU United Desk for their gracious help.

We received food vouchers to use at the airport for lunch and vouchers for 2 hotel rooms (since they didn’t have any rooms to accommodate 4 people). We were informed that we would receive dinner and breakfast at the hotel. So we grabbed lunch at the airport and headed to the hotel to rest before our flight the following day. We were ready to be home after 3 weeks traveling and were disappointed not to be on our last leg of the journey.

The good news is that we applied for EU 261 compensation and each received a check for 600 euros about 2 months later. We had to go back and forth with United over our claim. Since our flight departing EU was delayed/cancelled more than 4 hours and was not due to “extraordinary circumstances”, we were entitled to compensation. The airline initially tried to give us each a $100 travel fund. We declined that offer and sent the customer service agent back a highlighted copy of their terms and conditions, which demonstrated that we were eligible for EU 261. So this setback, while disappointing originally, ended up paying for a huge portion of our trip. Check out our Tiktok video about our experience, about EU261,  and when EU261 applies.

@worldtraveladventurers True story from our last vacation! #Traveltips #familytraveltips #travelers #traveltricks #travelexpert #travelprofessional #traveladdict #financetoks ♬ original sound – Luxury Family Travel Creators

The next morning we were informed that our flight had been delayed further, but thankfully only a few hours this time. We found out that we were supposed to gather our luggage the previous day when our flight had been cancelled. The gentleman checking us in said he hoped our luggage could be found and put a note in the system. Thankfully it did show up when we arrived at our final destination.

We had to show our Covid tests again during check-in and were hoping we wouldn’t run into an issue since they were now more than 3 days old due to the flight cancellation. Thankfully in our situation we were covered and did not have to get Covid tests again, which had cost $620 in the Maldives for our family. We headed to the lounge ready for a pre-flight drink and eager to be home again.

United Business Class Lounge at Brussels

We had access to the Star Alliance Diamond Lounge before our departure. The lounge had a small selection of cereals, yogurt, and pastries when we visited late in the morning. The food selection was not impressive but we had already eaten breakfast at the hotel so we were not hungry.

The drink selection included a variety of Belgian beers, which happens to be my favorite beer. So naturally I had to try the cherry wheat beer, which was delicious. There were also sodas, water, wine, and a limited selection of liquor.

The lounge was decorated in neutral tones with a large selection of potted plants, giving it a calming atmosphere. It was not crowded during our late morning visit. We stayed for a drink and then headed to the gate.

United Airlines Diamond Lounge Brussels

Star Alliance Diamond Lounge in Brussels

BRU Diamond Lounge

Brussels Airport Diamond Lounge

Diamond Lounge BRU

Breakfast selection at Diamond Lounge Brussels Airport

Boarding United Business Class

We entered the cabin and were shown to our seats. Since we had been rebooked last-minute, our seats were not all together. Some of our seats were in the last row which would have been less private being right by the galley and bathroom. Jennifer, the flight attendant offered to move us to another area in the cabin after asking one passenger if she’d mind switching seats so we could sit together, which was appreciated. Bertaut and I sat together in the middle seats in 7D and 7F. Our daughter had the window seat 7L next to us and our son was behind her in 8L.

We had become accustomed to receiving welcome drinks after flying Middle Eastern carriers Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways during this trip. However, United did not offer any welcome drinks prior to takeoff other than a bottle of water waiting in our seats. Jennifer was friendly though and chatted with our kids while we got settled into our seats. She even offered to snap a family photo for us.

United business class seating

Jennifer was friendly & great with kids

United 787 Dreamliner

United Polaris seat

United Polaris Business Class

United Polaris Business Class seats on Dreamliner B787-10

United Airlines Polaris Business Class

United Polaris Aisle Seats

United Polaris seats

United “honeymoon” seats in the middle are ideal for couples

United Business Class 787 Cabin

The United Polaris Business Class Cabin on the Boeing 787-10 has a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access for each seat. The cabin has 44 Polaris seats in 11 rows. Window seats alternate with the seats flush with the window or flush with the aisle. Middle seats also alternate with odd rows having seats right next to each other, ideal for couples. Even rows have the middle seats closer to the aisle angled outward.

When we boarded, the cabin was dark from the electronic window shades. The cabin features United’s brand colors of dark blue and grey, which makes it look even darker in the low light.

United Airlines Business Class Reviews

United 787 Business Class Cabin

787 Business Class United Seats

Middle United Polaris Business seats in even rows angle outwards

United Polaris seats are regarded as one of the best business class products available in the U.S. The seats are somewhat narrow at 20.6 inches. They fully recline to a lie-flat position, making them ideal for long-haul flights. The seats have a leather headrest while the rest of the seat has fabric upholstery. The seats have a shoulder strap seatbelt which is required to be worn during takeoff.

There is a reading light next to the seat as well as a larger ambient light on the outer wall closer to the aisle. A literature pocket and arm rest are next to the console.

United Polaris seat

United Business Class Polaris Seat

The seats have a storage compartment where the headphones are stored. It’s large enough to store a tablet, camera, small handbag, cell phone, or book. A small mirror is behind the headphones in case you need to touch up your makeup. There’s also a narrow storage area under the IFE screen that could fit a cell phone or small book but not much else. The dining tables fold out from underneath the IFE screen.

United Polaris amenities

United Polaris headphones and storage

United 787-10 Polaris business class

United Polaris dining table, IFE screen, and storage space

There’s a remote for the IFE and a power station with USB port under the storage area. It was conveniently located for charging devices during the flight.

United Business Class Polaris seats

United Polaris IFE remote and power station

United Polaris footwells

United Airlines Polaris middle seats D & F in odd rows are best for couples

The seat control panel is on the console between the two middle seats. It has buttons for the lie-flat position, takeoff position, and other reclining options. A wheel also lets you adjust the seat to whatever position you’d like. There’s also a do not disturb button that illuminates on the aisle so the flight crew know not to wake you. The lamp button illuminates the light.

United Polaris seats

Seat & light control panel

The Polaris business class pods offer a lot of privacy from other seats. While there is no door to close it off from the aisle, the way the seats are designed and configured in the cabin allows you to not see other passengers while in your seat. The cabin has overhead storage bins as well as individual air nozzles, which is a nice feature. There is also a coat hook if you want to make sure your coat doesn’t get wrinkled while flying.

Review United Airlines Polaris Business Class

United Polaris seats offer a lot of privacy even without doors

The most important feature of the United Polaris seats is the ability to recline to a fully lie-flat position. The seat measures 78 inches when fully flat. Even though we flew during the day, it was still helpful to let the kids get comfortable lying down. They were able to get cozy, which made the trip all the more enjoyable for everyone since they were well rested.

United lie-flat seats

United Polaris lie-flat seats

United Business Class Amenities

United Airlines Business Class amenities include luxurious Saks Fifth Avenue bedding with two pillows and a blanket. Team USA amenity kits were mesh drawstring bags which you could reuse more easily than typical amenity kit bags.

Inside the amenity kits were USA-themed goodies including a blue and white starred eye mask, red and white striped socks, pen, dental kit, tissues, sanitizing wipe, and Sunday Riley hand cream, lip balm, face cream, and facial cleansing wipe. We also received a bottle of water. Noise-cancelling headphones were waiting for us inside the storage compartment.

United Business Class amenities

United Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit and Saks Fifth Avenue bedding

United Airlines Polaris Business Class Review

United Polaris Amenity Kit

United Polaris Lavatory

The bathrooms were standard airplane lavatories with touchless sinks. There was a shelf with Sunday Riley hand cream and face mist as well as a garment spot cleaner and refresher mist. The bathroom was clean whenever I used it.

United Polaris lavatory

United Polaris bathroom

United Polaris amenities

United business class toiletries by Sunday Riley

United Business Class Menu

One thing that was surprising was that the flight crew did not hand out any menus, nor was a menu available digitally via the IFE screen. The flight crew simply gave us the option of mushroom-stuffed chicken, cheese ravioli, or beef short ribs, with no description of what each option would include for sides. I opted for chicken, which came with roasted potatoes and carrots. Bertaut ordered the beef which came with white rice. The kids ordered the ravioli, but we didn’t get the chance to snap a photo of their food before they dug in. Each entree was served with a salad, pretzel roll, nuts, and a small container of ice cream.

As you can see from the photos, the food presentation was not especially appealing. It was even more evident after flying Qatar Airways Qsuites and Etihad Airways earlier on this trip- two airlines that excel in food presentation. We received our drinks- a mimosa for Bertaut and a glass of champagne for me- in plastic cups. Champagne just doesn’t taste the same in a plastic cup, nor does it look as elegant.

When we asked what drinks were available, our flight attendant said “we have basically everything except tequila.” I personally enjoy looking at a menu when deciding on my drinks, because there are often cocktails that I wouldn’t have thought to order if it wasn’t presented as an option. So I just stuck to a glass of champagne and then hydrated myself with water.

United business class meal

Business Class United Airlines food

United business class meals

United Airlines meals were lacking on presentation

We received a small snack prior to landing that was described as a hamburger with fruit and a muffin. The kids were excited because what kid doesn’t like a hamburger. This was definitely not what we expected. It was basically a pastry with beef inside, and it didn’t taste like a hamburger. None of us liked it so we just ate the fruit and muffin. Overall, the food on United was disappointing for a long-haul international business class flight.

United airlines business class meal

United Business Class meal

airline meals United

United Airlines business class meal

United Business Inflight Entertainment

United Airlines Business Class Inflight Entertainment on the Dreamliner 787-10 included a selection of movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts. Movies included recent and older Hollywood hits and kid-friendly options to keep the kids entertained. The IFE screen was large at 16 inches. Besides movies, you could watch the flight interactive flight map, or opt for a split-screen to watch both at the same time.

Wifi was available for a fee. For the full flight Wifi was $20.99 or 4200 United miles. If you just needed a short amount of wifi time, you could purchase 2 hours for $10.99 or 2200 miles, or 1 hour for $6.99 or 1400 miles. The wifi worked well throughout the flight.

United Business wifi price

United Wifi prices

United business IFE screen

United IFE screens

United Airlines Service

Service on United Polaris Business Class was friendly and professional. We appreciated the flight attendant moving us so we could sit closer together at the beginning of the flight. It was also very thoughtful that she showed our kids how to operate the seats, IFE, lights, and do not disturb button in their seats. She chatted with them before the flight took off and offered to take a photo for us, which is always appreciated so we don’t have to get the tripod set up.

Although it is not the flight crew’s fault that menus are not handed out, I really missed having a menu. It not only helps me remember what I ate (when I write these reviews) but I like to carefully consider the options before deciding on my inflight dining and drinks. Perhaps menus and real glassware will make a return post-pandemic.

Last thoughts on our United Polaris Business Class Review

United Business Class Polaris is a comfortable way to fly long-haul internationally. The hard product is solid and a huge improvement over the old United Airlines Business Class. However, the food left us disappointed. We hope that post-pandemic will bring back real glassware instead of plastic cups and welcome drinks before takeoff. Although those things are minor complaints, it’s the little things that elevate an experience and make it stand out from flying economy. When compared to the Middle Eastern carriers we flew on the same vacation, United doesn’t compete. However, our flight crew was friendly and helpful and got us home safely, which in the end is what is most important.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker