BEST FOR: Long-haul comfort and superior value
PRICE: Roundtrip business class fare started at $955
FLIGHT TIME: 5 hours 8 minutes
VERDICT: For those passengers who prefer to fly in business class but don’t want to pay the extra cost, Premium Plus offers a great value – a comfortable seat and attentive service at less than half the fare of a business class ticket. I look forward to taking this option again from United next time I fly coast-to-coast.
CHECK-IN: Since I had checked in online, all I needed to do was go to a United kiosk to drop off my golf bag and suitcase as this was a long bleisure trip. Arriving early for my 6:15 AM flight I did stop by the United Club at LAX, since at the time of my travels the new Polaris Lounge had yet to open (it premiered last month).
BOARDING: As a Platinum 1K flier, I boarded just prior to group one and found my Premium Plus seat 21B. I was offered a beverage before takeoff and had my usual water.
THE SEAT: The plane was configured with four classes: Polaris Business Class, Premium Plus, Premium Economy (with extra leg room) and basic economy. The Premium Plus cabin was arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. I had booked the aisle seat on the port side of the aircraft in the second of the three rows of seats for this section. The seat itself was quite comfortable and firm which I like. There was a footrest to complement the recline of the seat, which is always a great feature for longer flights. This was my first time trying out this seat, so at first I did struggle with some of the electronic features, but once I figured them out, operating the controls got to be quite intuitive. My biggest problem was with the placement of the plug for the headset (underneath the left arm rest). As a larger individual, I found this was not easy to access.
THE FLIGHT: The most desirable comment about any flight is always “uneventful,” which is how I would describe this flight. The breakfast options were a cheese omelet or French toast with berries (I choose the latter) and found it very satisfying. There were other food and beverage offerings mid-flight, but after a week of work and a fun weekend with friends, rest was at the top of my list of things to do. I eased back in my seat for “nap-time,” and the next thing I knew, I awoke surprisingly refreshed, no doubt due to all the Dreamliner comfort features I keep hearing about.
ARRIVAL: Although the 787 touched down early in Newark, we were not able to get a gate until just before our scheduled 2:23 arrival time. But however you measure it, a win’s a win – we did make it in “on time.”