Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
United Airlines Polaris Business Class Review (With Tips)
— Updated on 2 July 2023

United Airlines Polaris Business Class Review (With Tips)

— Updated on 2 July 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

BH’s United Airlines Polaris Business Class Review

After two years of navel-gazing, thumb twiddling, and making do with the odd interstate hop, I was far from travel fit.

In fact, just a few months prior, Sydney to Melbourne with a certain domestic carrier had felt like an emotionally taxing journey of Tolkien-esque proportions. So you can imagine my reservations about a long-haul flight from Australia’s east coast all the way to Los Angeles.

RELATED: United Airlines Purchase $4 Billion Worth Of Supersonic Jets

And yet somehow, the entire experience was completely painless, overwhelmingly pleasant, and over in the blink of an eye with United Airlines’ Polaris business class product.

BH had the pleasure of undertaking what we’ve since dubbed The Entourage Itinerary on the invitation of both Love Beverly Hills and United Airlines – here’s what went down during the aerial transit portion of the trip.

United Airlines Polaris Business Class Review [Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner]

On The Ground

Checking In

While this review is primarily about the flight itself, the spotlight has to be shared with United Airlines’ award-winning app. In fact, as far as consumer-facing apps go, this one sits at the top of the food chain. You’d be hard-pressed to find any personalised hub this well-considered.

In a matter of minutes, all necessary documentation for international travel can be digitised and uploaded onto the airline’s system via the Travel-Ready Centre, allowing you to breeze past the check-in desk without fumbling for vaccine certificates, entry visas, and whatnot like a boomer (my trip was during United’s Melbourne-San Francisco route restart back in June 2022).

Furthermore, aside from allowing you to track whether your flight’s on schedule as per the norm, there are handy features to make that awkward jump from airport to destination infinitely smoother, i.e. baggage tracking. So feel free to leave the AirTags at home.

The Lounge

Like most Star Alliance member airlines, United Airlines doesn’t have its own lounge in Sydney Airport’s T1 International Terminal or Melbourne Airport; the latter having previously housed Australia’s sole United-operated lounge before it was permanently closed a few years ago.

Thankfully, the Yanks make up for their lack of presence on Aussie soil – and then some – with the United Polaris Lounge in San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX).

The Polaris Lounges are unique in that they’re explicitly reserved for those who are about to board a United Airlines or Star Alliance partner’s international flight with a First Class or Business Class ticket. You can’t pay for entry with regular currency. You can’t leverage status. Hell, the airline’s employees aren’t even allowed in. The United Club, however, is a different ball game.

From the a la carte dining (side note: the cheeseburger is a must) and bar, strategically-placed seating arrangement to the much-welcome shower suites and even the bloody décor… suffice it to say, pretty much every detail was gold star, through and through.

United Airlines Polaris Lounge LAX

RELATED: United Airlines Polaris Business Class Review – 777 vs 787

Up In The Air


Here, we’re dealing with a 1-2-1 configuration with aisle access in the private pods for every traveller. Dimensions: 56 centimetres (width) x 198 centimetres (length).

Key features include the following…

  • A fully-adjustable lie-flat seat
  • Side bench
  • Plenty of storage in the cabinet (mirror on the cabinet door)
  • Conveniently-located power outlets (USB & conventional)
  • Signature amenities kit (hard pod with high-end skincare products from Sunday Riley)
  • Night lamp w/ brightness settings
  • Discrete clothes hook


Even without the help of the champagne flutes we were greeted with upon boarding – and the several glasses of Talisker 10 thrown back in the lounge beforehand – the shut-eye logged during each and every leg of this trip to Los Angeles were amongst the best I’ve experienced to date.

The secret sauce is, of course, United Airlines’ Polaris Business Class lie-flat seats. With generous dimensions measuring 52 centimetres by 198 centimetres, custom Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, plus Saks Fifth Avenue pyjamas and an extra mattress pad available upon request (read: definitely request), by the time this Boeing lands on the tarmac, you’ll feel fresh as a daisy.

Food & Drink

During my flight, between the salmon, vegetarian pasta, and lamb shoulder, I opted for the latter. The presentation was on point. The portion size was nominal. And the flavour? Mostly there.

Dessert was another choice between three: chocolate cake, ice cream, or cheese + crackers + fruit. Once again, the latter was claimed by yours truly.

Between dinner service and breakfast – a prescribed combination of what I only later discovered was egg frittata, sausages, and potatoes – a sandwich snack was offered. A nice touch to tide passengers over during those waitin’ hours.

Granted, United Airlines have made an effort to step it up, having launched this all-new menu just a few months ago. But at the end of the day, there’s no negotiating around the fact that you’re still chowing down on an in-flight meal, however, “premium” it may be. Manage expectations and enjoy them for what they are. Not for what they aren’t.

As for beverages, there’s a variation of whatever you’re after. Even seltzers.


What’s impressive is that even for someone whose occupation principally involves staying up-to-date with pop culture’s latest + greatest, as well as routinely receiving early previews of everything hitting screens both big and small, United Airlines’ entertainment catalogue still had something to offer in the way of killing time on its 40-centimetre screens. Bonus points for offering the entirety of Succession season 3, which was gleefully revisited in full during the first leg of the trip.

That being said, anyone with particular tastes or currently in the weeds with a specific series/film franchise shouldn’t abandon downloading offline content from Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, etc. Because although the entertainment catalogue may surprise you, you might not always find what you’re looking for.

In terms of onboard Wi-Fi, messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and WhatsApp are completely free to use. For everything else sans video streaming, United Airlines will readily hook you up with prices starting from US$23.99 (AU$37.67).

United Airlines Polaris Business Class Review - Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner


Perhaps I’d underestimated how relaxed the rest of the world was/is about COVID-19. Perhaps it’d been a while since the last time I’d travelled Business Class for a long-haul international flight, meaning my definition of service was a little… outdated. But the service wasn’t exactly what I’d expected.

That isn’t to say it was a negative scorecard overall; I hesitate to even call the Polaris Business Class cabin crew’s service “inattentive.” It was simply more hands-off than what was anticipated. And this is coming from a passenger who dreads being fawned over every other minute. I just would’ve liked occasionally being asked whether I needed another bottle of water or something. Which I did. Quite a few times.

Of course, I’m willing to give United Airlines the benefit of the doubt. I suspect as we collectively ease up about COVID-19, and everyone gradually becomes comfortable with closing the physical distance again, these facets of travel will return to how they were circa 2019.

The Verdict

As far as hops between Australia’s east coast to the US go, there’s a right choice and there’s a wrong choice. And it’s very clear which category United Airlines falls under.

By virtue of the check-in experience, lounges, and sleep factor alone, I’d say it’s worth the price of admission. Anyone with the requisite means should do themselves the favour and give it the old college try.

We’re giving this one a solid eight Polaris Lounge cheeseburgers out of a possible ten.

Now that you’ve read BH’s United Airlines Polaris Business Class review, learn the best way to spend 72 hours in Beverly Hills here.

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]