As travelers return to the skies and competitors like American Airlines and Delta Air Lines restore pre-pandemic service elements to their longhaul premium products, United Airlines will trial a new Polaris service flow on select flights next month.

United Airlines Plans New Polaris Service Trial In February

Starting on February 1, 2022, United Airlines will test out a number of small changes to its longhaul Polaris business class product. Those include:

  • A new three-step main meal service in Polaris:

    • Step 1 – Pre-meal beverage/cocktail snack/lay table linen

      • via cart

    • Step 2 – Main meal tray with plated entrée

      • hand-delivered

    • Step 3 – Dessert

      • hand-delivered

  • Digital menu cards available on the United app

The trial will run from February 1-28, 2022 on the following routes:

  • Frankfurt (FRA) ⇄

    • Chicago (ORD)

    • Houston (IAH)

    • Newark (EWR)

    • Washington (IAD)

  • London (LHR) ⇄

    • Chicago (ORD)

A memo reviewed by Live and Let’s Fly notes that the new service will strike a “balance” between efficiency and a “personal customer experience” onboard:

As more customers return to the skies, we know service onboard our aircraft will become busier, especially in our Polaris cabin. To strike the perfect balance between efficiency and providing a personal customer experience on board, we’ll be testing a re-engineered three-step main meal service flow on select markets in our Polaris cabin.

This new three-step service elevates the onboard dining experience for our customers, while maintaining an efficient service by reducing the number of carts and service steps when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Wider rollout or additional changes will be based upon flight attendant feedback during the February trial.

I asked United when we might expect to see things like appetizers and cheese plates back and a spokesperson told me:

“We are continuing to monitor and evaluate our service and making gradual adjustments to ensure we are providing the highest quality products in a way that puts the health and safety of our customers and employees at the forefront of our service.”


This is certainly a step in the right direction, though it is also time to bring back the bread basket, appetizers, and multiple dessert options, such as the ice cream sundae, crackers/cheese, and petit fours. But we’ll take what we can get and restoring the linen along with digital menus and a three-course service is certainly a step in the right direction.

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