A Long Haul with United, Part 2; Sydney to Los Angeles [UA842]


United Airlines has drastically changed its business class offerings. It’s not only their hard product that has improved, but also their soft product. With their new Polaris product coming to many aircraft, the 787-8 and 787-9 are the only wide-body aircraft that United has yet to install their product on. Today, I flew their 787-9 with the old Polaris business class, from Sydney to Los Angeles!

It was a long flight, clocking in at 13 hours and 7 minutes spent in the air, but I definitely could’ve stayed in there forever! The flight is operated by one of their 787-9s with the old business class product, which also means it doesn’t have any “true” premium economy class cabin. For this flight, I flew on N29971, a 2-year old Dreamliner. My journey began on December 29 in Sydney’s international terminal!

Ground Experience – 10/10

Sydney’s International terminal is just amazing. The staff are very kind, and very knowledgeable, and the airport was decorated for Christmas (although it was 4 days ago). United has their own little check-in area, and as we were flying business class, it was pretty quick from the doors of the airport to past security.

The security lines were pretty long, but it was really efficient. Earlier this week, there was a typhoon in Fiji, that stalled and was still there. My flight, was scheduled to fly over it, but as we couldn’t, we were delayed one hour so the pilots could file a new flight plan and make sure the fuel and aircraft was loaded correctly. We boarded about 30 minutes late, but were in the air around 1 hour after boarding began!

Parked at the gate, next to a United 77W headed to San Francisco

The Cabin & Seat – 10/10

Despite the aircraft having the old Polaris seats, the seat was extremely comfortable, and well-padded. The cabin was clean, and there were Saks-Fifth Avenue amenities at every seat. I happily took my seat in the forward cabin of the aircraft, 5A. The cabin was pretty full, as almost 15 people were upgraded from the upgrade list!

United’s cabin comes in a 2-2-2 configuration, with 5 rows in the forward cabin and 3 in the back one. The tray table was pretty big, and the T.V. was too! There was a remote for the T.V., but I never used it. There was also a USB port and a charging port. My seat had 2 windows, and what I believe was an amazing engine view!

Cruising over the South Pacific Ocean

Food & Beverage Service – 10/10

I’ve never had an issue with United’s food or beverage service, and this flight was no exception. The cabin crew came around with nuts and drinks almost right after we passed 10,000 feet, and once we’d reached our cruise altitude, they began with the appetizers. For this, there was shrimp and a salad. For the main course, I chose the Thai Green Chicken curry, along with rice. There was one flight attendant that really stood out, and she was the best one I’ve ever had! For dessert, I chose the sundae, which is something I look forward to every time I fly long hauls with United in business class!

There was no mid-flight snack, but there was a galley stocked with a bunch of snacks. I like the simple stuff like pringles and gummy bears, so the crew allowed me to go to the economy class galley and get something from there rather than the fancy stuff they had up front.

Breakfast was either a frittata or cereal, so I chose the cereal. It was a pretty light meal, and perfect just before landing. Drinks were available throughout the flight, and the crew came around with water or water bottles throughout the flight to make sure passengers stayed hydrated.

The curry for dinner on the flight!

Final Thoughts

I throughly enjoyed the flight, and given the chance, I would definitely fly United’s business class again! I’d give the flight a 30/30, and definitely hope to try their new Polaris product soon!

Departure from Sydney

Turning towards Los Angeles during sunrise

Taxiing to the International Terminal

United’s signature ice cream sundae!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for my next report which will come out soon about the 3 main Oceanic carriers!


Wow! Great Trip Report!

Thank you! I really enjoyed the flight!

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Nice report! Btw… that ice cream sundae looks delicious!

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Thank you! I got everything on it except for nuts :)

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