I fly to Israel typically, and one in every of my favorite methods to get there is on the continuous United Airways flight from Newark (EWR) to Tel Aviv (TLV). United operates two flights per day to Tel Aviv from its Newark hub, however award area on both flights, especially in enterprise class, is tough to discover. I really like every part about flying Polaris, from the lounge with restaurant-style dining to fabulous showers to great Polaris seats.
Polaris is United’s updated enterprise class experience. United had been steadily upgrading premium cabins on all its international lengthy haul flights with Polaris seats in 1-2-1 configuration and all seats come with direct aisle entry. As well as to the lounge in Newark, United had also opened new Polaris lounges in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Polaris lounges are a far cry from normal United clubs. Entry is reserved for patrons flying Polaris or Star Alliance passengers in business and firstclass on international long-haul flights. United club passes that come with United Explorer card or United membership membership aren’t accepted at Polaris lounges.
Entrance to the United Polaris Lounge at Newark Airport
United Polaris Lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport
The lounge is situated in terminal C, between gates C102 and C120, not far from the security checkpoint. The lounge is large, with separate dining and work areas, quiet suites, and showers.
There’s plenty of seating in numerous configurations. What I discover really interesting is the abundance of straightforward to attain electrical retailers. There are retailers in all places, together with in between the seats in the eating space.
One of many seating areas at the United Polaris LoungeLovely trendy decor at United Polaris loungeFurther seating at United Polaris loungeYour complete lounge is adorned in numerous shades of grayAnother seating area at United Polaris loungeWork or chill out with a nice viewMore seating closer to the buffet space
I arrived at the lounge proper after 12 p.m., ready for lunch. I checked out the buffet choices however didn’t discover them notably interesting so I headed over to the restaurant-style dining room.
Chilly appetizers at United Polaris loungeThe recent drinks station at United Polaris loungeUnited Polaris Dining Room
The menu isn’t big, however there are some good options and gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are clearly marked. The portions are small, so in case you are really hungry order multiple dish.
The Dining Room Menu
I actually favored the hen soup and the roasted salmon I ordered. The food took a while to arrive nevertheless it was well worth the wait.
Lunch at United Polaris lounge
There’s a fantastic number of alcoholic beverages including some cocktails with whimsical names like Paper Aircraft and The Vitamin C.
Cocktail Menu at United Polaris Lounge
What I really like about Polaris lounge is the big shower with an enormous rainfall showerhead. There are massive fluffy Saks Fifth Avenue towels and gentle, fleece-lined slippers. Here’s a pro-tip for you, take the slippers with you and put on them on the aircraft. Not flying Polaris? Not an issue, deliver a pair of lodge slippers with for an extended flight. I all the time deliver a pair of lodge slippers with me, whether or not I’m flying financial system or enterprise.
Vainness space in the shower at United Polaris LoungeThe large bathe at United Polaris LoungeTake the slippers with you to use on this flight or for later
Further amenities, comparable to toothbrush, hair dryer, flat iron and curling iron are available from an attendant.
Next to the showers, there is a entire space dedicated to quiet suites which are principally small rooms with chaise lounges where you will get just a little shut-eye earlier than your flight. You possibly can dim the lights and take a nap, or just chill out there with an excellent e-book. Ask an attendant for a heated blanket for an extra touch of luxury.
I used to be properly fed and nicely rested once I had to say goodbye to Polaris lounge and head over to board my flight to Tel Aviv.
United Polaris Flight from Newark to Tel Aviv
United boards passengers by groups and Polaris clients board in group 1. Consider, there’s some further security screening for all Tel Aviv flights, so head to your gate a couple of minutes sooner than you often would. The Boeing 787 is a large aircraft and there are loads of passengers making an attempt to board on the similar time, so plan accordingly.
The boarding is completed by means of two aircraft doors. On the midway point the jet bridge splits into two: take left to board Polaris and right to board financial system. I’ve flown this route earlier than within the previous United BusinessFirst cabin, however this was my first time flying within the refurbished Polaris cabin.
United Polaris cabin
The cabin seems lovely and brand new. In accordance to the flight attendant I spoke with, this aircraft had solely been in service for six weeks. The lie-flat seat could be very snug and has tons of privateness. It’s a bit lacking in space for storing and the footwell felt a bit tight.
My seat in United Polaris
About half the 2 seats in the middle have a divider wall that comes down if wanted which is a nice function in case you are touring as a couple or with younger youngsters.
And a few seats haven’t any divider and as an alternative have a wide armrest in the middle.
On the seat, I had a daily pillow, a gel pillow, a cover and a smaller blanket. The amenity package in a small metallic canister was tucked away with the headphones. Shortly after I sat down, I requested the flight attendant to deliver me a pair of pajamas and a mattress pad.
United Polaris Amenity package
The large home windows on this Dreamliner plane which you’ll be able to dim with a push of a button are actually cool. I lately flew Emirates from New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP) on an Airbus, and I couldn’t assist but examine the 2. I need to say, the A380 felt rather a lot quieter as there was far much less engine noise.
This new plane also has a premium financial system cabin — United calls it Premium Plus — and from my cursory look, the seats seemed very good with an excellent amount of legroom. They’re barely wider than common financial system seats and have a footrest. Award charges for premium financial system have been outrageous, but when there’s a superb money fare, this won’t be a nasty choice for the lengthy 10-hour flight. On this aircraft, the seat configuration in Premium Plus was 2-3-2 and Three-3-3 in common financial system.
Take a look at our guide to the totally different courses of service if you would like to know extra concerning the differences between firstclass, business class, premium financial system, home first, and financial system.
Food and Service in United Polaris
United Polaris Menu
Dinner was served about an hour after takeoff. The flight attendant passed round plated appetizers (salad and duck breast) and bread and our entrees got here shortly thereafter.
I chose the brief rib and, whereas it wasn’t probably the most delicious meal I’ve had on an airplane, it was tasty and completely tender.
A dessert cart followed – they provided ice cream sundaes, small pastries and cheese and crackers. I was by no means provided tea or espresso after dinner. I do know I might have requested, but it might’ve been good to have it provided.
The mid-flight snacks have been laid out in the galley. There was fruit, small luggage of chips, pretzels and small pastries.
Breakfast was served about an hour before arrival in Tel Aviv. We had a selection of an omelette or cereal. I selected omelette and it got here with a aspect of fruit, a container of yogurt and a croissant.
General, the service was prompt and courteous. All flight attendants have been friendly and environment friendly.
The inflight entertainment system had a really responsive display and the image appeared good and crisp. Nevertheless, the number of films and TV exhibits wasn’t large. I found a whole season of Buddies, my favorite TV show, so I used to be pleased.
For anybody who’s slept by way of meal service and regretted it later, you possibly can select a “wake me up for meals” choice on the TV display.
How I Booked my United Polaris Flight to Tel Aviv
As I discussed earlier, it’s very rare to discover award area on the non-stop Newark to Tel Aviv route. It was pure luck that on the time once I was on the lookout for award tickets to Israel in June of 2018 I found availability on this flight.
My different stroke of excellent luck came when I found award area all the best way to Tel Aviv from my residence airport of Cleveland, OH. United could possibly be very stingy with saver degree home award area.
Saver degree award area to Israel often value 75,000 United MileagePlus miles. Before I clicked the e-book button, I made a decision to verify the identical flight on Singapore Airlines. My fortunate streak continued and I discovered the same flight on Singapore’s website, which can also be pretty uncommon.
The same flight booked with KrisFlyer miles was solely 69,000 KrisFlyer miles. United isn’t very beneficiant with its companions when it comes to releasing award area by itself non-stop international routes, but I used to be fortunate.
Unfortunately, Singapore had just lately modified their companion award chart and the identical flight will now value 76,500 miles. United can also be shifting toward dynamic award pricing, so I’d by no means discover the identical award once more for any affordable amount of factors.
Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv Israel
How I Earned Miles for My Newark to Tel Aviv Flight in United Polaris
I booked the flight by transferring precisely 69,000 Chase Final Rewards factors to KrisFlyer. I earned the factors with Chase Ink Most popular Card — which comes with a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Final Rewards factors. Before I transferred the factors I referred to as Singapore to verify availability since it’s so uncommon to discover enterprise class area on this route. I all the time call to verify that the agents can see the same availability before shifting my versatile points to an airline program as a result of the switch is one-way only. The factors switch took about 24 hours.
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This was a really pleasurable and clean flight. I’m glad I discovered this award once I did and booked it earlier than United adopted the dangerous example of different carriers (I’m taking a look at you, Delta) and moved to dynamic award pricing. We also don’t know if United goes to release the same quantity of award area to partners sooner or later and how many miles United is going to cost for this flight.
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