HELP! What Should I Fly? United Polaris vs. EVA Air Business Class: New vs. Best?

30

Join over 6,000 people who are subscribed to receive a once daily email with all of our posts. Never miss out! Click here to subscribe.
Learn how to maximize your points & miles! Join Our Facebook Group!

United Polaris or EVA Royal Laurel Business Class

United Polaris or EVA Royal Laurel Business Class

I am in the middle of booking a last minute trip from hell. So many things have gone wrong with award space disappearing and points not transferring that I am half considering giving up the miles/points hobby. 🙂 Just kidding….sort of. Anyway that is a story for another day, but right now I need to book something to Taipei.

While I would love to fly International First Class on an Asian carrier, the space isn’t there for my dates and I already have confirmed space on Korean Air for the return in first class. In other words, I can slum it in business for the trip out considering I don’t have much choice and I’ll get some pampering coming back. #FirstWorldProblems

To make my “problems” worse, I can’t decide how I am going to fly out to Asia. Should I fly United and their brand newish 777-300ER Polaris product or EVA Air and its 777-300ER Royal Laurel product

EVA vs. United

EVA’s very nice business class seat.

Before I go any further, I should mention that I have flown EVA’s business class from Taipei to Los Angeles before on this plane. It is probably the best business class product I have ever flown. Their seat is a standard reverse herringbone (think Cathay Pacific) which is nice, but their soft product is exceptional. Great food, fantastic service and decent in flight entertainment. Oh and that starry sky. <3

On the other side, I haven’t had a chance to try out United’s Polaris hard or soft product. United flies their new 777-300ER from San Francisco to Taipei, meaning I could experience it. Not world class or luxury by any stretch, but those seats look pretty awesome, especially if you can get an odd row window which is detached from the aisle. One drawback is the Polaris lounge in SFO would open shortly after I fly out. Ouch.

The starry sky! Some other carriers have it too. Does United?

Both products seem to aim high (they both give pajamas in business class, decent bedding, etc.), but I have flown United enough in the past to have serious doubts about how the service will be. Fool me once shame on you fool, me 3,4,5,6,7 times shame on ME. Plus United keeps cutting back Polaris service, so who knows what I’ll experience?!?

A Tough Choice

Assuming the cost is the same (which it basically is) would you fly what is widely considered one of the best business class products around or would you choose United’s new product just to experience it? I’m torn and I need to make my decision quickly. Help!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


This post may contain referral, affiliate or sponsor links that provide Miles to Memories compensation. Thank you for your support.

30 COMMENTS

  1. As a blogger looking to post a trip report, you should obviously try something new and fly UA. However, as a sane person who wants to enjoy a 16 hour flight, you should obviously fly EVA. As I’m not a blogger, I would go EVA without a doubt.

    • My thoughts exactly. EVA is amazing, United is not.

      I do wish MTM wouldn’t trick their readers by having the “notify” box already checked. It’s disrespectful.

  2. Polaris has been so slow to materialize, I’m almost convinced it doesn’t exist!?! Given all the hype, anything short of a stellar experience might be disappointing. Definitely first world problems Shawn!

  3. In response to WR, does the world really need another blog post on UA’s sad and mostly-aborted attempt at offering a world-class business class product with Polaris? Take EVA instead and actually enjoy the flight.

  4. Welcome to my hometown-Taipei. I fly EVA business as well and I don’t want to go wrong with a long distance flight. Have you order “lobster” from their Menu before and sip Macha Latte? Those are my favorite food to order on EVA. I’ve heard nice things about United’s Polaris but it’s the food and service that I would still go with EVA. Hope you made decision soon and share with us.

  5. I’ve flown the TPE-SFO route in Polaris. The seat was fantastic, and I liked the all-flight snack menu, but the VGML meals were bad and the flight attendants were less than stellar (although I guess for United that’s par for the course). One of the crew caught me off guard near the end of the flight and asked me why I was flying in J that day – “because I looked to be the same age as her high school son”.

    The flight wasn’t bad, but I would have taken an EVA flight over that any day. Save your Polaris review for a TATL where the crew interaction is minimal and the seat/privacy matters more.

  6. I flew both at the end of last year. SFO-AKL on Polaris was underwhelming at the time and it sounds like it’s gotten worse since. BKK-TPE-JFK on EVA Air was amazing, so I’d go for that.

  7. Even United first now so bad. Food almost inedible except for things like nuts, ice cream that they don’t prepare. On the other hand, people maybe interested in the United review.

  8. the best you can hope for on polaris is the seats, even that’s a 50-50.

    food, wine, service attitude, entertainment, wifi, onboard shopping, lounge (home base) all pointing towards Eva.

  9. As someone who just flew EVA from Lax-Bkk (4/8) and returned last Saturday (4/21), I would recommend EVA. Service and food was outstanding on all flights.

  10. Had the same problem a few weeks back. I flew SFO-TPE Polaris and saved 15k points. While the soft product not as great as the Asian carriers. The hard product was great. Though no PJs. Had a decent flight crew that kept the wine flowing. The cheese plate is actually one of the best I’ve had on flight. Food is okay. Much better than on AA.

  11. I agree with the above comments. EVA will likely be superior in all aspects. I flew them two week ago in J in and out of SFO. The soft and hard product are hard to beat. But if you want to give us a review of the Polaris flight, it may help others. Or save that flight for another day and just enjoy this one on EVA!

  12. I fly United primarily. They’re the only airline I have any status with and as such it’s hard to get any upgrades with any other carrier on my work trips. I’m familiar with their 2-4-2 business class (yuck), their 2-2-2 business class (both 777 and 787, better but still not as good), and their new 777-300ER Polaris Business. Even got to take my family of four (2 and 5 year olds included) in the “parallel” Polaris business, they didn’t know how good they had it!

    Odd window seat in new Polaris is quite nice, very secluded. There’s a good amount of space, and I’ve had good experience from the FAs, even got a business card from a very nice Purser.

    I liked the soft product, make sure you ask for all the things: PJs, cooling pillow, mattress pad. I unfortunately don’t have anything to compare it to (been eyeing ANA and EVA for some time, based out of NRT here)

    Oh, and on the 787 I was on a couple weeks back the glass bowls for the sundae are back!

  13. I’d choose UA Polaris. The amenities are just as good as EVA, the food, at least the Western choices, would be better than EVA or any Asian carrier, and the new seat is also great. I flew EVA TPE-BKK-LHR in Royal Laurel. It was good, but not great. Yeah, I got the Rimowa kit, but so what. I did not like the food and IFE movies were limited. The cabin was kept too hot to sleep. So, all in all, I’d opt for UA. I’d also look forward to your review on this as consider that UA is still well short of Polaris-outfitted aircraft and many people do read the Polaris reviews as there are not many of them.

  14. I would probably not go to this extreme but even EVA coach would be better than anything on United. Now if you are saying business class vs business class I would take EVA over United even if EVA had stops vs a direct flight on United. United would be my last choice for any type of travel.

  15. Hands down, EVA! Great airline, always ahead of the game (first airline to do Premium Economy), Hello Kitty planes and really why risk at best mediocre flight when you can have the best???

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here