- Flight: UA1726
- Aircraft: B777-300ER
- Class: Domestic First/Polaris Business
- Seat: 9A
- Route: San Francisco International (SFO)-Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
- Distance: 1,967 miles
- Duration: 4hrs 25min
- Departure: 10:38PM
- Arrival: 5:03PM (18 min late)
After my incoming flight from San Diego arrived at the E gates of Terminal 1 at SFO, I had about one hour until boarding over in the G gates.
I had access to the AMEX Centurion Lounge thanks to my Platinum card. All travelers were prompted to open the AMEX mobile app and check-in online. The app then provided a QR code which was scanned by the lounge staff behind plexiglass.
There was an expansive buffet available where a staff member would plate the food you wished to have. Since it was still nine in the morning, breakfast was being served. I had an excellent egg frittata, chicken breakfast sausage, toast, and scrambled eggs with a yogurt parfait. The bar was open as well and I had a spicy Bloody Mary.
After breakfast, I made my way over to the G concourse where most of the widebodies depart from. Next to our B777 at Gate G2 was a United B787 and ANA B777.
Our bird today was a B777-300ER, registration N2352U, that was delivered brand new to United just nine months ago in Feb 2020. She was painted in the new United EvoBlue livery.
Personally, I think the new livery looks beautiful. United has a total of 24 B777-300ERs in their fleet which are used on most of their premier long-haul routes. I was very lucky to catch it on a domestic route.
Boarding began on time at 9:55AM a full 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time. First class boarded with Premier members after those who need assistance and Global Services.
There were two jet bridges available for use through doors 1L and 2L.
Each United B777-300ER has a total of 60 Polaris business class seats split between two cabins in a 1-2-1 configuration. The first cabin is rows 1-8 while the second cabin is rows 9-18.
Introduced in 2016, the United Polaris business class seat was designed by Acumen Design and PreistmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats. I love the stylish finish of the Polaris cabin which feels modern and elegant.
Every seat has direct aisle access however not all seats are equal. The odd numbered row seats are closer to the window while the even numbered seats are closer to the aisle.
Each seat measures 22″ wide. When fully flat there is a total of 6’6″ of sleep space.
I was seated in 9A, the first row of the second cabin behind the second pair of doors.
There is a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen which is touchscreen. Next to the screen is a coat hook.
Below the screen is a small storage slot perfect for wallets or phones. There is also a USB port next to it for charging devices.
The bi-fold tray table pops out from underneath the storage slot.
At the top of the table is a personal device mount.
When fully folded out the sturdy tray table is enormous.
The benefits of a bulkhead Polaris seat is that the footwells are positively massive. I had more than enough space to stretch out both of my feet.
Seat controls are located in the window armrest. In addition to the seat controls, there are button for mood lighting, “Do Not Disturb”, and lumbar support.
The right hand armrest features a literature pocket and tiny storage space.
The armrest can be depressed.
On the aisle side of the seat is a large white marble top working space.
There is also a reading light which can be flipped up.
Each seat has a medium-sized personal cubby that also contains a mirror and headphone hook.
Below the cubby is the IFE remote, universal power outlet, and headphone jack.
Each seat also has a very chic lamp.
The benefit of the odd numbered Polaris seats is that there is an incredible amount of privacy despite the lack of a door. I felt as is I was truly in my own “pod” during the flight.
The exit of the seat is slightly narrow and I had to exit the seat sideways.
Upon boarding, flight attendants in masks handed each passenger a sanitizing wipe.
At each Polaris seat there was also a pair of United branded headphones.
Boarding took about 40 minutes and by 10:35AM the cabin doors were closed. We pushed back seven minutes early at 10:38AM. There were a few planes ahead of us in line for takeoff. Enjoy!
Once in the air, I pulled up the flight map.
Service began with a round drinks. I went with a Gin & Tonic.
In the era of COVID-19, United has reduced in-flight service on all of its flights. For domestic first class flights longer than two hours and 20 minutes departing from hubs (Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco), United offers a choice between a sandwich or snack box.
Flight attendants brought out a tray offering either warmed carved chicken focaccia sandwiches or a Classic Snackbox. I went with the chicken sandwich.
Unlike my previous encounter with the carved chicken sandwich, this time it was heated an actually very yummy. The melted cheese mixed with the pesto sauce in warmed soft bread was excellent.
We had beautiful views of snow capped mountains flying over Southern Idaho and Western Wyoming.
United installed four lavatories for business class passengers on their B777-300ERs. There are two lavatories behind the cockpit and two lavatories between the first and second business class cabins.
The lavatory was stocked with Sunday Riley products including hand cream and face mist. There were also additional sanitizing wipes available.
We also had great views of Eastern Wyoming and South Dakota.
Since this flight was a few weeks before Christmas, United had loaded a variety of classic Christmas movies. I enjoyed re-watching Elf for the umpteenth time.
Halfway through the flight the flight attendants came through offering another beverage service. I switched to a whiskey and Diet Coke.
The flight attendants also came through with a snack basket that had pretzels and Stroopwafels.
The views of rolling clouds over Western Illinois were oddly mesmerizing.
As the sun set, flight attendants turned the mood lighting to a gentle yellow hue.
The sky turned to pink then red as we approached Chicago.
We made a circle around downtown and approached O’Hare from the East to land on runway 28C. Unfortunately, the thick clouds blocked out the views of the Chicago skyscrapers.
Enjoy the landing video!
We touched down at 5PM local time in Chicago and spent roughly ten minutes taxiing to the gate.
I must say this was probably my favorite domestic first class flight that I’ve flown. The fact that I was able to enjoy United’s flagship product for four hours without having to pay a premium was a great deal. The comfortable and sleek Polaris seat coupled with an open bar made for a very memorable flight.
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