Review: United 767-300 Polaris Business Class Newark to Munich

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After a couple of hours of relaxing in the Newark Polaris lounge, it was time for an 8-hour flight to Munich. It was a bit of a walk to my departure gate of C90 as it was further away from the Polaris lounge but eventually, we made it.

I’m not too sure what is United’s obsession with giving me their planes that are the most used, and in need of a serious repaint but here we have case 14,564 of a plane that needs repaint ASAP.

In any case, boarding began with people needing time to get down the jetway followed by United’s precious Global Services and 1K flyers. Even though I have gold with United and I would love to have the perks that come with GS and 1K, I don’t think I’d ever want to fly the required amount in a year to get those statuses. Boarding then continued with group one which is for Star Alliance Gold and Polaris business class passengers.

EWR-MUC
Boeing 767-300
12/8/21

Upon boarding, I turned right into the first aisle to go to my seat 5A. Now the 767 has a very odd staggered configuration in Polaris and it actually matters which aisle you go to. The crew is even there to make sure you go to the right aisle since there is a hard divider in the middle and if you make a mistake you’ll have to go around.

If you have an L or F seat, take the second aisle to get to your seat, if you have an A or D seat, take the first aisle to get to your seat.

Here is my seat of 5A, a true window seat. You’ll want to pick the odd-numbered window seats over the even-numbered ones as the odd-numbered seats have more privacy.

seat 5A

Waiting at my seat was the Polaris signature gel cooling pillow, which really works to the point I took one home on a previous Polaris flight. There’s also a plush large base layer pillow and a nice Saks 5th Avenue blanket. There used to be a duvet pre-pandemic but that is no longer the case for right now.

bedding

We’ll see all 3 of these components in action later.

A few minutes after being seated, the purser Richard came to introduce himself to everyone in the cabin, and let me tell you: He is by far the best flight attendant (FA) I have had on United in years. He greeted each of us by Mr/Mrs/Mr/etc last name and if we had status thanked us for being _____ status which I’ve typically only seen for 1K and GS flyers so this was a really nice touch by him. He even asked if everything was ok with the seat and anything was wrong at all which I’ve never been asked before.

He came around with pre-departure beverages with a choice of water or sparkling wine for which I went with sparkling wine. Honestly, I’m not too big on drinking on planes as flying is already dehydrating and I like to drink lots of water on flights, but as I was traveling with a family friend who it was his first time in Polaris, I wanted to celebrate the occasion with him.

sparkling wine

Now let’s go over the seat features.

So here along the window are the primary seat controls. For the record, the seat controls should not be that far in. Towards the front its clear how much in the seat controls are pushed in which shouldn’t be the case. Coincidentally my lamp wasn’t working which I actually use so I did bring this to Richard’s attention which he tried to fix but was unable to. He asked if I wanted a different seat but I turned that down as ultimately there were 2 other lights I could try to use and I didn’t want to hassle the crew with the inconvenience of moving seats.

seat controls

The TV is a pretty good size.

TV

Below the TV is a USB port as well as a storage compartment for phones and other smaller items.

storage

On the right, we have a counter to store items though I recommend not storing anything on the counter directly during takeoff and landing unless it has really good friction as the counter is really smooth.

counter

The cutout you see along this wall is another storage compartment. Push on the silver area to open the storage compartment and inside is a water bottle provided which I always love and a pair of headphones. They are good but I never use airline-provided headphones as I never liked over-the-head headphones.

storage

Below the storage compartment was a remote control as well as a power port and another USB. To the right of those was also the headphone jack for the provided headphones.

power port and remote

Immediately to the right of the seat and below is an armrest and a reading materials storage pocket.

book storage

And this is where you can store your feet and where your feet go when you sleep. This area is much larger in the bulkhead seats so something to keep in mind if you like lots of space to wiggle your feet.

foot cubby

Amenity kits were also given at the seat and this is what they looked like for this flight.

amenity kit

Here are the contents for this amenity kit. I would say it was pretty well stocked and looked just like their pre-covid kit barring a couple of missing cow-shed products. We have items here like an eye mask, socks, toothbrush, earplugs, hand sanitizing wipes, and the toothbrush/toothpaste that I used and disposed at the end of the flight without having to wet my own.

contents of amenity kit

Now we had a pretty on-time pushback and departure. Captain had informed us of a flight time of 7 hours and 50 minutes to Munich which sounded like the standard prescribed time.

takeoff

If you were on the right side, you would’ve had some beautiful Manhattan views, but that’s for another flight in a month.

takeoff

Finally, we disappeared into the clouds.

climb

Within about 20 minutes of takeoff, Richard came around asking for our choice of drink, for which I asked for champagne and sparkling water. The champagne on this flight was Nicholas Feuilatte which is a nice offer for this flight.  I will add while Richard didn’t necessarily smile as much as the other crew members, his service and approach were very warm, very welcoming, and made me feel right at home.

champagne and sparkling water

Another 20 minutes after that was dinner. Dinner was a choice between salmon, beef, and pasta. I chose the salmon. Dinner was served all on one tray and I wish they’d go back to pre-pandemic multiple course offerings.

dinner

The salad was dry and rubbery as their salads from the US always are but the vinaigrette made the salad enjoyable.

salad

The salmon was not very good on the other hand. It was a tad overcooked which isn’t a big deal as fish is always hard to cook on a plane, but it was bland as ever. The sauce on top did nothing whatsoever and I had to empty the entire salt and pepper shakers onto the salmon. The vegetables underneath were crunchy and cooked, but also bland.

dinner

Overall the main dish was pretty poor in my opinion.

dessert

Dessert was a single cardboard tube of ice cream. While the ice cream was good, this is such a downgrade from what the pre-pandemic offering used to be.

Even the nuts are served with dinner in a plastic cup rather than with the first drink service. This is such a simple change to implement.

nuts

After the dinner service, the trays were collected and lights were dimmed. At this point, I noticed some dim lights outside my window and knew exactly what I was looking at. The picture below is awful for sure but I did the best I could given my iPhone. This is the reason I chose to sit on the left side, to witness this. It was definitely a cool sight to see and one I hope to see again soon.

northern lights

On the bulkhead stand in front of row one was a snack basket that was set up for the flight. Again, a serious downgrade from the pre-pandemic snack offering of different wines, cheese plates, packaged snacks like these, fresh fruits, dessert pastries, etc. Ultimately this flight was short enough that it didn’t matter to me. I needed to get as much work done as possible so I could sleep.

mid flight snack

And finally here is what the bed looks like in bed mode. We have the base layer pillow for height, the gel cooling pillow, and the blanket which was sufficient enough for me here.

bed setup

I told Richard to wake me up for breakfast as I am a deep sleeper. Surely enough, 2.5 hours after I went to sleep, Richard gave me the most gentle wake up I could have ever expected my goodness.

A few minutes after he came back and asked me if I wanted the quiche or the french toast and I went with the quiche. Now this looks much better than dinner, and it looks pretty much like a standard pre-arrival offering that they used to have even pre-covid.

breakfast

The quiche was soft, enjoyable, tasty, and gooey in every good way possible. The quiche had egg, of course, spinach, and feta cheese, so it was a great combo. The zesty marinara sauce was a good addon to the quiche as well.  The sausage was also really good and did not taste like a typical breakfast freezer sausage.

quiche and sausage

The croissant wasn’t soft so I only managed a bite or 2 but it was still quite warm and enjoyable.

croissant

Fresh fruit is always a plus and they tasted fresh.

fresh fruits

I didn’t eat the yogurt as it had too much added sugar but the orange juice was also a good start to the day.

orange juice

Richard was excellent yet again. Many more people woke up after me and he kept offering breakfast to people as they were waking up. I was given my breakfast with an hour and 10 min to go in the flight, and I finished eating in 15 minutes. He took my tray and continued to give others breakfast even after that! People even got their breakfast with 35 minutes to go at which point most FAs would’ve said “nope, time to land”, so kudos to him for doing that.

He came by my seat and asked if I wanted anything else and I just asked for hot water as I always like to do pre-arrival and after a meal.

Shortly after, Richard collected everything then came by thanking each passenger for flying United and wished us all a good trip.

For the rest of the flight, it was just views to enjoy.

views

 

It was actually snowing so once we passed low enough into the clouds we had quite a snowy approach into Munich.

We touched down right on time into a dark and snowy Munich.

arrival
arrival
arrival
arrival
arrival

Overall, this was a good flight. The crew was excellent, the seats were good, and the service was good. But that’s about where the good stops. The food needs serious work. Many of the Polaris aspects that make it a Polaris flight were visibly not there. And when American Airlines has restored their full pre-pandemic service, United has no excuses to be cheap like it is being right now. So if you are trying to fly Polaris for the experience, nows is not the time to do it, but if you are just looking for a comfortable ride across the Atlantic and need sleep, this will do the trick just fine.

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