As the pandemic hits its first anniversary, what can you expect onboard a transcontinental flight on United in the forward cabin? This review covers United Airlines Polaris business class onboard the 787-10 Dreamliner from Los Angeles to Newark.
United Airlines 787-10 Polaris Business Class Review 
After being dropped off in Terminal 7, I proceeded to CLEAR (free for United 1K members) and was soon past security and heading down to gate 77. Business class customers on flights from LAX to both JFK and EWR receive access to the United Club.
Although airports are beginning to fill up again, most concessions remain closed in California. With numbers strongly trending in the right direction, we may see a resumption of indoor dining in Los Angeles County as soon as this weekend.
Boarding began on-time. United continues back-to-front boarding, though premium cabin guests can board at their leisure.
United Airlines 1165
Los Angeles (LAX) – Newark (EWR)
Monday, January 18
Depart: 11:00 PM
Arrive: 06:33 AM
Duration: 04hr, 33min
Distance: 2,454 miles
Aircraft: Boeing 787-10
Seat: 4D (“Polaris” Business Class)
This was my trip to Washington, DC for the inauguration and I had booked it very last minute. As a result, I still got my upgrade, but all the window seats were taken. Still, this gave me an opportunity to try one of the center seats while traveling solo.
The 787-10 business class cabin, called “Polaris” by United, features 44 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Rows 1-11, all between door 1 and 2, constitute business class. Seats are 20.5 inches (52 cm) wide and recline into a fully-flat 6’6″ (198 cm) bed. All Polaris seats include direct aisle access.
Flight attendants were cheerful and welcomed passengers onboard. Although no pre-departure beverages were offered, large water bottles were distributed shortly after takeoff.
An amenity kit was waiting at each seat which contained a dental kit, eyeshade, earplugs, and socks.
Sadly, United has removed it larger duvet from these premium transcontinental flight and now offers only a Saks Fifth Avenue throw. The blanket itself is very comfortable, but I find it far too small (and I even sleep on my wide in the fetal position). Thus, I bring my own blanket.
The goal of this redeye flight was to sleep. One upside to the pandemic is that meals are now served quickly after takeoff and on one tray, which was quite appreciated considering actual flight time was only four hours.
United Airlines offers hot sandwiches on most flights over two hours in domestic first class, but offers a larger meal on premium transcontinental routes. Dinner choices were cheese ravioli with asparagus or buffalo chicken with cauliflower risotto. I have had both dishes before and went with the chicken, which is served in a spicy sauce. The risotto compliments the dish nicely. Also on the tray: a salad, packaged bread roll, and mixed nuts.
Gelato was served for dessert and a Biscoff cookie prior to landing.
The full bar is also available and I had an Old Fashioned with dinner.
United offers noise-cancelling headphones, wi-fi, and an extensive in-flight-entertainment library of movies, TV shows, and games. I skipped all of that to go to sleep.
Prior to landing, I freshened up in the lavatory. Even during the pandemic, United has maintained its shared toiletries in the lavatory, including a Sunday Riley face mist and hand creme as well as a garment groom (like an instant cleaner) from Murchison-Hume.
We landed early in Newark.
Flying United Airlines during the pandemic remain virtually unchanged, almost a year later. Overall, the meal was tasty, flight attendants lovely, and I slept for over three hours undisturbed. I’d say United’s biggest room for improvement is bringing back the larger duvet/blanket on these routes, as the current blankets are simply far too small. It would be nice to have real glasses back as well.