Background:

I planned somewhat of a last minute trip for Spring Break to visit Honolulu with my parents. I booked about 2 weeks prior to departure, and saw Domestic First Class fares for approximately $600 each way on the United Polaris planes and decided to fly in First. Currently, United operates one flight per day in each direction with the nice internationally configured Polaris seats aboard the 777-300ER between Los Angeles and Honolulu. It looks like in June 2022 the plane will be swapped for the old 777-200 without the Polaris seats in a 2-4-2 “dorm style” configuration in First, which will be much less comfortable.

Flight Details:

Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL)
United Flight 1158
Aircraft; Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 5A

Pre-Flight:

I got to LAX around 7am, and the TSA PreCheck line was quite short (3 minutes) despite the airport being quite busy during this Spring Break season. Since boarding wouldn’t be for over another hour, I decided to make the trek from United’s Terminal 7 to the Tom Bradley (TBIT) International Terminal so I could visit the Grab and Go offering that the AMEX Centurion Lounge has set up. It was nice to be able to have a snack for my flight, but I would probably enjoy the traditional lounge experience more. You can check out my review for the grab and go offering here if you’re interested.

Boarding:

It began 50 minutes before departure, and they boarded from two doors. Originally, they assigned the door based on what side of the plane you were on, but it seems like once they got to later groups, they just boarded from the second door behind the first business class cabin.

The United 777-300ER features 60 seats in the Polaris cabin, with it being split up pretty evenly between 2 sections. There are 4 lavatories (2 in front, 2 in between the two sections) for the Polaris passengers.

Shortly after boarding, an attendant came by with a welcome drink of juice or water. And, the captain announced that the flight would be five hours and eighteen minutes.

Got to stay hydrated with some water!

They closed the boarding doors 10 minutes before departure, and left the gate right at the scheduled time.

The United Polaris Seat:

I’ve previously flown on this same aircraft and route to my trip to Honolulu back in September of 2021. On that trip, I was in 5L on the opposite side of the plane. The odd numbered window seats are hidden from the aisle which gives it more of a private feeling. For single travelers, you want to choose odd numbered rows along the windows for maximum privacy as these seats are positioned closer to the window and further away from the aisle. I think the Polaris cabin is quite pretty, with the nice tones of blue and grey.

United Polaris Seat

Seat: 5A

The United Polaris seat has a coat hanger, and a small storage under the TV. The tray table pushes out from under the TV, and the seat controls are to the side near your legs. I did bump the seat controls a few times lol, and accidentally hit the do not disturb button.

United Polaris Seat

Seat Controls

Closer to the aisle is a side table, as well as a cubby that can open/close. There was a power port and two USB connectors as well.

United Polaris Seat

Side Table and Cubby

The seat length in lie flat mode is 6 feet 6 inches, and the seat felt pretty comfortable for me. It could be a bit wider if there weren’t vents in between the window and the seat, so I would say the seat is a bit narrow in its current form, but still relatively comfortable.

A pillow and blanket labeled with Saks Fifth Avenue was waiting at my seat, and a pouch containing earplugs, toothpaste, toothbrush and eyeshades were provided. It had a Hawaii Turtle Bay branding previously but now it just said “Cool, Calm and Collected”. Same contents though. The Saks pillow was decent but the blanket was a bit worn and definitely had seen its better days.

Meal Service:

Since the flight left at 8:55am, breakfast was served shortly after reaching cruising altitude. It was the almost the same menu choices I had back in Sept. 2021, with the French toast being the same, but a different variation on the egg white with sausage recipe. This time, I opted for the French toast. Overall, I enjoyed the French toast, but I do wish they changed up the menu items a bit more.

United Polaris Seat

French Toast Breakfast

The fruit was fresh, and I nibbled the strawberry yogurt. The bread that was given was a bit cold and mushy, so I didn’t finish it. Ceramic cups were back which was nice; on my September flight it was plastic.

Service was attentive, and around the halfway point, they came by to ask for a round of drink orders. And, one hour before landing they served the “pie in the sky” which is a gooey cookie. I got this on my flight back in September too and it was way too sweet for my liking. So, I asked if there were any salty snacks, and the attendant offered me pretzels or a can of Pringles. I opted for the Pringles which I enjoyed!

“Famous” Pie in the Sky

Pringles!

In-Flight Entertainment:

The IFE was great, with a 16 inch screen size and high resolution. I watched the new Spider Man movie, and started an episode of Succession. The IFE was cool because for you fellow AV geeks out there, a feature called “From the Flight Deck” allowed you to listen to hear live communication from the flight deck and FAA air traffic control.

IFE Screen

A major improvement from my last flight was the WiFi. The prices went down to $10 for the whole flight, and now there is free messaging via iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

The five hour flight went by super fast, and next thing I know, we were preparing for landing.

About to land! (Above Ko’Olina on Oahu Island)

The Verdict:

It’s a real treat to find an internationally configured Polaris plane from LA to Hawaii. Normally, the planes used from the mainland to Hawaii are among the worst, so I’ll enjoy this while it lasts! The hard product on the United Polaris Seat is solid, but if I had to nitpick, I would wish that they change up the meals as they are getting a bit bland.

 

Have you flown on the United Polaris Seat on the 777-300ER? How was your flight? Comment below!

 

Safe travels,

Ty


Have any questions? I’ve also started working with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays or planning trips. Comment below or email me at takeofftotravel@gmail.com. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!