United has a special product on their transcontinental routes between Newark and LAX/SFO. These routes are served by aircraft with flat-bed seats and this flight was no exception. Our aircraft pulled into gate 76a almost near our scheduled departure time and it was only then we started boarding. Boarding began with Global Service Members and 1K members then onto group 1 which is for business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold Members.
31 May 2022
I made my way over to my seat 3L which is a true window seat on the right side of the aircraft.
The Polaris cabin on the 777-200s has 13 rows in total with rows 1-8 in the forward cabin and rows 9-12 and 15 in the rear cabin. They skip rows 13 and 14.
The odd-numbered seats are closer to the window while the even number seats crab into the aisle some more so if you are traveling solo, go for an odd-numbered window unless it’s row 7 which is missing a window.
The amenities provided for this overnight 5-hour flight are fantastic, and I’d argue the best of the major airlines operating overnight flights.
For bedding, there was United’s signature polaris gel cooled pillows, a plush white pillow, and a blanket along with a sleep kit.
The seat features a side console which, depending on whether you have an odd-numbered or even-numbered seat, will either be closer to the aisle or further away from the aisle, respectively.
There’s also a light that can be activated by pushing in on it.
Right next to the reading light is also a storage space for smaller items and its also where you’ll find the headphones kept.
At each seat you’ll also find a water bottle. In my past experience, its been a mix: Sometimes the crew brings water to passengers during boarding and most times the bottle is already there at time of boarding. You’ll either find it on the console or in the storage cabinet.
There’s also a coat hanger directly in front which is useful.
One thing I like about United’s IFE is that is is very responsive in my experience. The new Premium Plus IFE screens are the most responsive touch screens I’ve had of most airlines but the Polaris touch screen is also very responsive.
Right below the TV there is a storage space for books or an iPad but nothing larger. It’s tall enough to fit a laptop but definitely not deep enough to hold it without coming out. Immediately below the storage you’ll see the tray table that you can push in and pull out the tray table.
To the right of the seat are the seat controls, which are super responsive and intuitive.
Below the seat is a foot cubby which is decently spacious, but far better in the bulkhead seats which on this aircraft are rows 1 and 9.
We were about an hour behind so we all boarded and we left our gate quickly to begin our taxi towards 25R.
Soon enough we began our takeoff roll.
After takeoff it was the usual turn south to heading 210 and circle around Palos Verdes to come back around and make our way towards Newark.
The crew soon came around and took our drink and meal orders. On flights like this, I instantly crash, but purely for the sake of finally doing a review of a red-eye flight, I decided to go through with a full service.
The crew was friendly, but they were all spending most of the time chatting with this passenger in seat 2G, which is fine, but at times it took away from other passengers. People were trying to get their food and sleep for those that stayed up, including me.
Dinner was a choice of a latin chicken with chimichurri sauce or Butternut Squash ravioli. It’s awesome that United offers a meal on red eye flights, but I was unhappy with this meal in particular for several reasons.
I chose the latin chicken. This is the same meal that has been available on normal domestic first class flights and all of a sudden they’ve made their way to the transcon routes. Secondly, I don’t know what kinds of fools United takes its passengers for, but the chicken used to be a clean breast piece but that’s no longer the case. Now the chicken is like scraps of chicken waste parts that are mushed together and served. While it makes the chew slightly less enjoyable, it rather shows that United is moving backward as we move past the covid-era.
They brought a domestic first class dish to a *more* premium route and simultaneously made the chicken quality *less*.
Despite this, the rice was still decently flavored.
The pretzel roll was warm, soft, and delicious.
If anyone has flown any United route in the US, they’ll be all too familiar with United’s bowl of rubber and that’s exactly what this was. So I wasn’t too disappointed since I was expecting this.
The nuts served were warm which was nice of the crew to do.
Eli’s cheesecake never disappoints and this cheesecake was no exception, but I wish they at least unpackaged it and put it on a plate just like they did in the pre-covid domestic first class days, just to make the presentation better.
The crew was quick to clear trays and then of course they went right back to chatting with the passenger in 2G.
The amenity kit contents were perfect for this 5 hour red-eye: eyemask, toothbrush and toothpaste, and earplugs. I personally don’t use the earplugs or eyemask ever, I just use the toothbrush and toothpaste since it saves me the effort of having to use my own.
From here, I put the seat in bed mode and went to sleep for a little bit. To put the seat in bed more, you just have to move the lever that looks like a volume adjuster and that will move your seat to/from bed mode.
Soon enough the sun rose.
Most people are not awake from this, but I woke up simply to show you the options you have.
If you so choose, 1.5 hours before landing, you get a plate with croissant, and yogurt. The croissant was indeed warm, flaky, and soft. The chobani yogurt was flavored so I didn’t have it since I don’t like the amount of added sugar chobani yogurts have.
As we were flying, I noticed this Jetblue A321 off in the distance probably flying a similar route we are flying or to Boston.
Soon enough we began our descent through Pennsylvania into Newark.
And here’s a look at our plane parked at the gate.
Overall the flight was great. The seat is always good, the amenities are always good, and I appreciate the amount of food that is available even on a red-eye flight, I wish they would go the full mile and make the food respectable and that would pave way for this to be undisputedly the best premium transcontinental product in the sky.