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How to fly United’s ‘real’ Polaris Business Class to and from Asia

Six Asian cities have daily flights to the USA with United's latest Polaris Business Class seats. We have the details, including the miles it'll set you back.

United Polaris Cabin (United Airlines)

If you’re an avid traveller, especially in First or Business Class, it probably hasn’t escaped your attention that the major US carriers have been catching up on their competitors in Asia and the Middle East with their cabin products in the last few years.

One of those is United’s latest ‘Polaris’ Business Class, now being rolled out on a variety of the Star Alliance carrier’s routes. This one is of particular interest to us as you can use your KrisFlyer miles to redeem a seat in this new cabin, laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access for all.

All ‘Polaris’ seats are not created equal

United refers to all of its long-haul Business Class products as ‘Polaris’. Heck it even refers to many of its domestic seats on ancient Boeing 757s this way. That causes a lot of confusion, so let’s clear it up.

‘Real’ Polaris, which is what we’re taking about here, is the very latest 1-2-1 configuration direct aisle access seats. A far cry from what United has offered before, they look like this:

United Polaris Seat (United Airlines)
Some Polaris seats are angled towards the aisle, with others facing directly forwards. (Photo: United Airlines)

As you would expect, these seats convert to fully flat beds, with bedding provided by Saks Fifth Avenue.

United Polaris Bed (United Airlines)
(Photo: United Airlines)

Unfortunately United is not flying the new Polaris seats to Singapore. It’s daily flights to Los Angeles (ending next week) and San Francisco use the Boeing 787-9, which has a far inferior 2-2-2 Business Class seat. It looks like this:

UA Premium Transcon 787 (United Airlines).jpg
(Photo: United Airlines)

Perhaps bearable if you are travelling as a couple or with a friend, but certainly not ideal for solo passengers.

In order to experience the new Polaris seat therefore, you’ll have to start your journey from another Asian city. Luckily United is flying the new product daily from several cities which aren’t too hard to get to from Singapore.

United Polaris Drinks Service (United Airlines)
(Photo: United Airlines)

Beijing to San Francisco

Flight Details
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER PEKSFO.jpg
KrisFlyer miles: 105,000
Distance: 9,516km
Flight Time: 11:50 / 12:35
Other Redemption Options
Lufthansa Lufthansa
Miles & More
67,500
United_Airlines.png United
MileagePlus
70,000
Thai_Airways Thai
Royal Orchid Plus
72,000*
Avianca_Airlines.png Avianca
Lifemiles
75,000
EVA_AIR.png EVA Air
Infinity MileageLands
87,500

* Thai Royal Orchid Plus redemptions on Star Alliance airlines must be booked as round-trip. Mileage shown is one-way.

Taipei to San Francisco

Flight Details
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER TPESFO
KrisFlyer miles: 105,000
Distance: 10,410km
Flight Time: 11:45 / 13:40
Other Redemption Options
Lufthansa Lufthansa
Miles & More
67,500
United_Airlines.png United
MileagePlus
70,000
Avianca_Airlines.png Avianca
Lifemiles
75,000
EVA_AIR.png EVA Air
Infinity MileageLands
87,500
Thai_Airways Thai
Royal Orchid Plus
96,000*

* Thai Royal Orchid Plus redemptions on Star Alliance airlines must be booked as round-trip. Mileage shown is one-way.

Hong Kong to San Francisco

Flight Details
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER HKGSFO.jpg
KrisFlyer miles: 105,000
Distance: 11,147km
Flight Time: 12:35 / 14:40
Other Redemption Options
Lufthansa Lufthansa
Miles & More
67,500
United_Airlines.png United
MileagePlus
75,000
Avianca_Airlines.png Avianca
Lifemiles
75,000
EVA_AIR.png EVA Air
Infinity MileageLands
87,500
Thai_Airways Thai
Royal Orchid Plus
96,000*

* Thai Royal Orchid Plus redemptions on Star Alliance airlines must be booked as round-trip. Mileage shown is one-way.

Check out a review of this route in Polaris, on a flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong, by One Mile at a Time.

Tokyo Narita to San Francisco

Flight Details
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER