Review: United Polaris Houston – Tokyo (Narita)

We were among the last people to board the United 777-200 bound for Tokyo or should I say Continental 777-200, since these planes haven’t really changed hard product wise. I knew well ahead of time that this plane was not yet refurbished with the new Polaris seats given the 2-2-2 configuration I kept seeing on the United website so there was no real point in my getting there early to take pictures of a cabin which I’ve reviewed multiple times.

The crew onboard this flight were extremely pleasant and helpful. The inflight experience manager came by and introduced himself, while confirming that they had loaded the Asian Vegetarian Meals we had ordered. He also proactively offered each of us a cooling gel pillow and pajamas and brought them out right away. Here is the amenity menu offered on the new Polaris. Be sure to grab the gel pillow beforehand because the FA told me they disappear really fast.

Here is the food and beverage menu on this flight:

Service on this flight began with some chocolate and United’s oddly shaped, yet stylish, plastic cups with Diet Coke. I think they got rid of those cups now because I didn’t see it on a more recent United flight. Amenity kits and slippers were already at our seats by the time we had arrived.

The captain came on at this point to inform of us an on time departure from Houston and that he expected a completely smooth 13 hour ride over to Tokyo. I decided to start catching up on my movies because I was sure I would fall asleep after lunch. I chose to watch the Accountant on this flight, which was quite funny at times. United’s IFE isn’t industry leading, but it is certainly solid when it comes to selection.

About 2 hours into the flight, the lunch service began with some warm nuts and my drink of choice (Diet Coke). The entree for the AVML meal was a steamed rice dish with lentils, which was fairly good for inflight food while the appetizer was a salad alongside some tomatoes and mozzarella. The salad was definitely better than most I’ve eaten given that it wasn’t made up of lettuce exclusively.

I finished off the meal with some apple pie and caramel ice cream, which certainly went well together. United was having issues with their ice cream bowls at the time so we ended up getting rock hard ice cream, which I had to wait for a long time to melt.

Despite this being a morning departure from Houston, I fell asleep for a good 9 hours and woke up just as we were flying over the last of the Aleutian islands.

I watched a few episodes of Westworld until it was time for the afternoon snack or late breakfast. I don’t understand which it was because they had a some eggs as the main dish alongside a chocolate chip cookie. I’m not really a fan of scrambled eggs or omelettes so I ended up just passing on the snack before landing,

The rest of the flight was pretty eventless, before we knew it this flight was over and we were in the Land of the Rising Sun! Unfortunately, things weren’t that simple because of the ridiculously long immigration lines at Narita, but hey its Japan and there isn’t the problem of pushing or shoving in the line. Stay tuned to hear about my time in Tokyo.


Bottom Line:

United Polaris (with the old Continental BusinessFirst seat) was not the best experience in the sky, but it is certainly nothing to complain about. The United BusinessFirst seat was never a problem while flying with family, but it is a annoying when you are alone and sitting next to a stranger. While service on this particular flight was outstanding, the quality of the meal was average at best. The lack of the ice cream sundae service kind of hurt it in my mind. I really do United sorts that mess out because I always thought that was the best part about the meal service. The new United bedding by Saks 5th Avenue, pajamas, and cool gel pillows are all awesome additions and cabin temperature was always maintained at a cool temperature. I definitely don’t mind flying United at all though I might still prefer AA with regard to the seat.


Japan Trip Report Index:

United Business Class DFW – IAH 

United Clubs @ DFW & IAH

United Polaris Houston – Tokyo (Narita)

Coming Soon……

Narita Express (Narita – Tokyo Station)

Ascott Marunouchi Tokyo

Focal Point: Tokyo in the Rain