Review: Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles LAX
Review: United 757-300 First Class Los Angeles to Washington Dulles (Updates First Class Service)
Review: United Polaris Lounge Washington Dulles IAD
Review: United 777-300ER Polaris Business Class Newark to Delhi
Review: Air India Domestic Business Class Lounge Delhi DEL
Review: Air India A320Neo Business Class Delhi to Pune
Review: United 787-9 Polaris Business Class Mumbai to Newark
Review: United 767-300 Business Newark to Los Angeles
After a few hours in Newark’s splendid Polaris Lounge, it was now time for a 14-hour flight to Delhi.
The gate had a temperature check for India-bound flights. With lots of people on this aircraft, lines became long, but thankfully they had a separate group 1 lane for even the temp check. Once that was done we could line up and board.
8 January 2022
Once on board, the crew member at the door handed each passenger an alcohol swab like they do on all United flights. From there, I made my way over to seat 9L, which, on this aircraft, is by far my favorite seat in United’s entire fleet.
9L is at the front of the rear business class cabin, which is 8 rows in itself. In total there are 60 seats in the entire business class cabin. The forward cabin has 36 seats (rows 1-8), the rear cabin has 24 seats (rows 9-12, 15-18). Note that United emits rows 13 and 14.
I find the seat to be decently comfortable for the long flight. But slowly bit by bit, the Polaris seats definitely start to show their age. These birds have been around since 2016 so they aren’t exactly new by any means, but they are far from worn.
At our seat waiting for us was a Saks fifth avenue pillow, the signature gel-cooling pillow, amenity kit, and a Saks fifth blanket.
Once on board, the FA Francine introduced herself and said she would be taking care of me today. She offered the standard India-route meal choices of Vegetarian, salmon, or chicken and I went with the chicken. Francine was awesome and she’s been with United for 37 years!!
Once everyone was on board, the lights were dimmed and set into the Polaris mood lighting more for the flight.
From there, we had a slightly behind schedule pushback and made our way to runway 22R for departure, which is the designated runway for EWR-coded “full length” departures.
Soon enough we were lined up with runway 22R and it was time to go.
After a decently long takeoff roll, we were up in the air.
Since I was sitting on the right side, this means I would definitely be treated to views of Manhattan.
And here’s a look at Upper Manhattan.
And from there once we hit 10,000, the double chimes sounded and the crew got to work.
Now within 30 minutes of takeoff, dinner was brought out in a single tray. Even the champagne and the nuts whereas on my Newark to Munich flight last month, the crew actually took the time to segregate the nuts and champagne into its own separate starter course.
But oh well let’s get to the meal itself, here is the paltry portion of chicken I was given for this meal.
I decided to have the champagne and nuts on its own.
Look at that main. It’s just boiled zucchini and carrots thrown into a casserole dish and the chicken is smaller than my palm. There’s not even any carbs to act as a filler. The chicken was overcooked but that’s fine as proteins in general are hard to heat in a plane, but everything was bland and tasteless. And I know well that altitude contributes to this, but it didn’t even taste like an attempt was made. Having had the salmon on a previous flight, choose that option instead.
The salad was fine but its the same standard salad we’ve seen as always on United.
I don’t understand why they heat the bread inside of the plastic wrap. Yes it gets hot but it gets very soggy too after a while. Whatever germs the crew thinks they’ll spread handling the bread with their hands will get killed in the oven.
The cookie is the biggest slap in the face for a Polaris dessert. No cake, no ice cream, no bars, nothing: just a basic cookie.
Overall this is easily one of the worst meals I’ve ever had in Polaris. United really needs to step up its game when other airlines have brought back full service. Covid as an excuse will not work anymore when other airlines with far thinner profit margins do a much better job with food than United. I’m still hungry after that meal!!
After dinner I decided to change into PJ’s.
United offers slippers and pajamas on flights over 12 hours but they are on-demand and usually only have enough for 1/3 to 1/2 of the business class cabin so ask fast before they run out. They are ultra-comfortable and I always take them home after flights.
I asked Francine for a pair and she immediately brought it out for me. They have 2 sizes and they run large, so even for me I’m 5′ 10″ and I would always go for the S/M size PJ’s.
Here’s a look at the business cabin after hours and sleeping.
After some hours of sleeping, I was treated to some fantastic views. United’s India routes from EWR always fly over Scandinavia and they are a sight to see in the winter time.
Let’s have a brief look at the amenity kit contents.
The kit was well stocked with many items like socks, eyeshades, cleansing creams and paper towels, and napkins. I always make use of the toothbrush and toothpaste in flight.
The ceiling decor is in a pretty UA theme as well. It definitely hurts to see the galley table empty with what previously used to be full of mid-flight goodies prior to the pandemic.
After waking up I asked Francine for the mid-flight snack as I was really hungry. She brought me a ham and cheese sandwich.
It wasn’t gourmet by any means but it hit the spot. I hate to say it, but spoiler alert: this might be my favorite thing I had all flight long which is sad.
I had a long chat with Francine about the crazy schedule she’s had the past few days including doing a Delhi roundtrip right before this one, getting back into Newark from Delhi the morning of this flight, and then being on this flight the same evening back to Delhi!!
At this point my eyes were glued out my window.
I was so hungry I asked for another sandwich. She didn’t have one in her galley so she went up front to the forward galley and brought me one from there.
A very special individual was working this flight that I didn’t realize. United’s international purser supervisor from the Newark base was working this flight to assess India service. He gave me good insight on what to expect about UA’s service trajectory and I was somewhat happy with the news I got.views
She also asked if I wanted grilled cheese which I didn’t know they currently had and I said sure. Exercise would come anyways after so I wasn’t too worried.
Francine even came back to my seat later and offered me a grilled cheese to which I said of course! I really appreciated the constant flow of food once she realized I was trying to eat more.
Below you see Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Finally it was time for breakfast. The choices were French toast or oatmeal and both sounded equally unimaginative. I mean look at this:
The bread was nicely heated and lightly crispy which is perfect but the sauce was way too sweet and goopy; A really low effort breakfast if you ask me.
The fruits were crisp and fresh.
The croissant was warm and flaky but I had one bite and I was done. It really wasn;t anything exciting or anything I wanted to fill my stomach on.
Thankfully the yogurt was plain greek yogurt unlike the Sugarbomb flavored Chobani yogurts United usually gives on its flights.
Overall, another really low quality meal.
After food I changed back into my normal clothes and packed. Francine came around and thanked all the GS and 1K travelers for flying with them again. The purser Garrett came and thanked me for flying United as well and for the chat which I thought was a nice touch.
We were descending well into foggy Delhi, which is usually foggy at night during the winter.
Finally we had a smooth touchdown and a 5 min taxi to the gate.
We parked next to other western buddies like an Air Canada 787 from Toronto, and right next to a United 787 that had just come from Chicago.
And United kicked their absolutely blue Polaris mood lighting that they use on the ground on their 77Ws.
Overall, the flight was great, the seat was great, the amenities were great, and the crew was awesome. But unfortunately, the food was very disappointing for both the meals. The best food item was the middle school lunch sandwich for appetizers. Overall, this is still the most efficient way to get from the US to India, and United’s route network is unmatched for reasons like this. For work travel, this beats having to connect anywhere else even if there are better airlines. United’s seat and business class amenities are still amazing and United still has among the best business class bedding in the world. The food is the thing that still just needs work.