You want to be able to reach your destination on time and not feel hurried. Consider United Polaris business class when you travel overseas. You’ll be able to fly in a Polaris cabin and get a bed that is flat, lounge access, two checked bags, and many other amenities. This is what you can expect […]

You want to be able to reach your destination on time and not feel hurried. Consider United Polaris business class when you travel overseas.

You’ll be able to fly in a Polaris cabin and get a bed that is flat, lounge access, two checked bags, and many other amenities. This is what you can expect from United Polaris, and how to book it using miles or cash.

What can you expect from flying United Polaris business class

The Polaris experience can be enjoyed on select United transcontinental flights as well as long-haul international flights. What can you expect to fly United Polaris?

  • Bag allowance – Polaris travelers can carry up to two bags each (up to 70 pounds each) free of charge.

  • Premier Access – All passengers flying in the Polaris cabin get Premier Access. This includes priority checkin, access to security lines (where applicable), priority boarding, priority baggage handling, and priority security.

  • Polaris cabin seat configurations: Polaris cabin seats are available in the 1-2-1, 1-1-1 and 2-2-2 configurations. Both versions offer 75 to 78 inches of sleeping space and recline to 180 degrees. The seat width varies depending on the aircraft. It can be anywhere from 20.5 to 22 inches. Purchase a Polaris ticket and receive a free selection of seats.

  • Lounges: The Polaris Lounges offer full-meal catering, Wi-Fi and spa-like shower facilities. You can also enter the United Club if you are not able to find a Polaris lounge at your airport. United Polaris customers flying on long-haul international routes have access to Polaris lounges located at Chicago-O’Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco and Washington-Dulles.

  • Entertainment: United Private Screening provides on-demand movies, TV series and more on a large personal monitor. You can enjoy the entire selection using noise-reducing headphones.

  • Amenities: United offers Polaris passengers Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, including a pair slippers and an Away amenity set that includes skin care products from Sunday Riley, earplugs, and an eye mask. Pajamas are available for longer flights.

  • Food and beverages: You’ll receive a menu prepared by a chef when you fly in Polaris business class. A meal usually includes a starter, an entree and small snacks like ice cream. You need stainless steel silverware, cloth napkins, and glassware made from actual glass. All beverages, even alcohol, come with a complimentary beverage

Book a Polaris business-class ticket with United

Enter your travel dates, cities, number of passengers, and class of service at United.com. Select “Business or First” for Polaris from the drop-down menu.

The “Business” column should show Polaris flights. When you choose your flight options, make sure it says “United Polaris Business”, especially if you are trying to redeem MileagePlus points.

It is also difficult to display cabin information on flights with connections. To see which flights include a Polaris cabin, make sure you select the “Details” drop-down arrow.

You’ll be able to choose a seat for free after you have filled out your passenger information.

Make payment and you will be one of the lucky ones to get a lie flat seat on United Polaris business class.

United Polaris vs. United Premium Plus

United introduced the United Premium Plus cabin a few years back on its long-haul international flights as well as select domestic routes (long transcontinental flight to/from Hawaii)

These seats are located behind Polaris business-class seats and have their own mini cabin with just a few rows. The Premium Plus United seat is 19 inches in width and provides passengers with 38 inches of pitch as well as 6 inches of recline. The biggest difference between the United Polaris and Premium Plus seats is that the Premium Plus seat does not make a bed in space. While you can recline several inches, the Premium Plus seat does not provide long-haul sleep.

Similarities include the ability to check two bags free of charge, receive Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, an amenity kit, and a premium meal service with United Premium Plus. Premier Access will be available at the airport.

How to get great value

Book with United MileagePlus Miles

United Polaris seats can be expensive because of their premium on-the ground and in-flight experiences. A round-trip United Polaris flight can run into the thousands. You can get a lot of value out of the rewards you have earned by using your MileagePlus points instead cash to pay these flights.

A one-way award flight from the U.S.A to Europe would cost you just 60,000 MileagePlus points at the lowest redemption level.

Let’s suppose you can book a round trip Polaris flight from Chicago O’Hare to Frankfurt, Germany for $4,568. Because you rarely book one-way flights, let’s say the one-way cost for that flight is $2284. Add $5.60 tax to the cost of the flight and United miles value drops to 3.8 cents per miles after you redeem 60,000 miles rather than paying cash.

Book the same ticket using partner airlines’ miles

You can redeem miles from a partner program to book the same flight if you don’t own United miles or don’t have access. United is part the Star Alliance so any loyalty program member should be able to book the same flights.

You can book the exact same flight as the one in the above example for 70,000 Air Canada Aeroplan Points.

Upgrade to Polaris using PlusPoints

You can redeem PlusPoints towards an upgrade to United Polaris if you are a high-ranking United Elite member, such as a Premier Platinum, Premier 1K or Premier Platinum member.

United elite flyers receive PlusPoints at this rate:

  • Premier Platinum: 40 PlusPoints.

  • Premier1K: 281 PlusPoints. These PlusPoints include the 40 PlusPoints that are earned upon reaching Premier Platinum status, plus 20 PlusPoints each time you earn 2,000 Premier Qualifying points beyond 15,000.

You can also upgrade from economy to Polaris business on long-haul flights by using 40 PlusPoints. You’ll find that the Premier Platinum member receives this upgrade up to six times per year, while Premier 1K members get it up to eight times each year.

Only fare classes Y and B are eligible for PlusPoints upgrades from United economy to Polaris long-haul flights. Redeeming PlusPoints to upgrade to Polaris business class is more valuable than using MileagePlus miles, as miles don’t expire and PlusPoints do.

United Polaris business Class, recapped

You will be treated when flying United Polaris in a newly constructed aircraft. You will enjoy a comfortable flight on long-haul flights with the cabin featuring premium, flat-bed seats, bedding, and an in-flight meal.

You can redeem airline miles to save money and get a lot of value.

Featured photo courtesy United Airlines.

Maximizing your Rewards

A travel credit card should be able to prioritize what is most important to you. These are our top picks for the top travel credit cards for 2022.