Last month, I wrote about the amazing time I had flying seat 1A on a United 747. I mostly focused on the 747 and the awesome view from my seat, which may have left some of you wondering about my experience with United’s so-called “Polaris Global First.” It’s a cabin class that won’t exist for much longer, as United is phasing out long-haul first class as part of its long-awaited Polaris rollout.
Well I’m back with an in-depth review of the Polaris Global First seat, service, food, features, and more. Did the experience leave me delighted or disappointed? Should you be rushing to try Polaris Global First out before it’s gone for good? Read on to find out.
Our seat on the ride of a lifetime – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter
Groundbreaking. Iconic. Gigantic. Gorgeous. There’s a lot of words you could use to describe the 747-400, but as of 2017 there’s a new word that gets added to the list: disappearing. Most airlines are rushing to retire the aging beauty. A few airlines, like British Airways, plan to keep the Queen of the Skies around for a while longer. But in general, if you want to make sure you get one more flight on the aircraft that — for many of us — is the ultimate AvGeek icon, you should make it happen soon.
A ride on a 747 is special, no matter where you’re sitting. However, it’s extra awesome if you’re in the first few rows of the main deck, which give you a one-of-a-kind partially forward facing view. You can actually see the runway ahead of you as you take off and land! We made sure to include a ride on a United 747 in seat 1A as part of a recent around-the-world Star Alliance tour, and from an AvGeek perspective, it was the flight of a lifetime. We took plenty of photos and videos for your viewing pleasure — read on to re-live the magic with us.
A view that should be on every AvGeek’s bucket list – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter
Welcoming their new 777-300ER â€“ Photo: United
It’s not every day that an airline welcomes a new aircraft into its fleet, especially when theÂ plane hasÂ theÂ entire airline’s high expectations on its shoulders. But that’s exactly the situationÂ withÂ United’sÂ new fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs, outfitted with the long-awaited Polaris premium cabin. The first of the fleet, christened the “New Spirit of United,” will start carrying passengers this month.
Are you curious whether the Polaris seat and the “New Spirit of United” will match the hype? Well get excited: AirlineReporter will be onboard the previewÂ flight of the United 777-300ER and the Polaris seat this comingÂ Monday, the 13th.Â We’ll give youÂ a glimpse ofÂ the sleek new Polaris-branded lounge atÂ Chicago O’Hare before the brand-new 77WÂ flies us to San Francisco in style. We’ll also be providingÂ updates on Monday viaÂ Twitter.
BelowÂ we’re giving you the lowdown on theÂ 777-300ER debut, a primer onÂ Polaris, and pro tips on how you can experience bothÂ for yourself.Â Excited? Read on!
Will you be smiling that much when you fly Basic Economy? â€” Photo:Â United Airlines
Even though the vast majority of my flying is in economy, itâ€™s sometimes hard for me to know exactly what economy class isÂ anymore. In the good old days, it reliably meant aÂ seat with enoughÂ legroom, a drink, a snack, and my fair share of space in the cargo hold. But under pressure from ultra-low-cost carriers, U.S. legacy airlines have chipped away at what they offer travelers seated aft of the wing.
That trend took a major jump forward — or, depending on your perspective, backwards — with the introduction of new no-frills “Basic Economyâ€ fares that doÂ the bare minimum to get you from Point A to Point B. Delta announcedÂ the rollout of its Basic Economy in select markets in late 2014, and has expanded it to other routes since then. United unveiledÂ its own basic product late last year. Earlier this week,Â American shared that its own Basic Economy fares will be going on sale in February, starting withÂ ten markets.
Is this new category of barebones fares good news for price-sensitive flyers? Or is it a new circle of hell in the sky? Read on for more onÂ Basic Economy and what it means for you.