On the inaugural flight, the Polaris cabin certainly felt new and luxe. Each of the 44 business-class seats have direct aisle access. My seat—3L—also had a view of the window, which was equipped with the Dreamliner’s automatic tinting function instead of a manual window shade. I felt well cared for as soon as I stepped on the plane. The flight attendants greeted all Polaris passengers by name, offered a welcome drink, and then helped us settle in for the evening flight.
In addition to the business-class seats, the 787s flying on the Amman route also have 21 comfortable seats in United’s Premium Plus cabin (the airline’s premium economy product), 54 seats in Economy Plus, and 199 in Economy.
Not long after take-off at 9 p.m., dinner was served. On its Jordan route, United is offering halal meal options. I ordered the fried miso tofu with red quinoa, which was hearty and delicious. Other options included seared swordfish in basil cream sauce, herb-roasted chicken breast with lemon-thyme demi-glace, and khatta meetha kaddu with lemon lentil dal. The flight attendant set up my tray table with a tablecloth and tray of real dishware. For dessert, I opted for a selection of three delectable cheeses and another glass of wine, a delicious Spanish white.
After dinner, I put my seat into lie-flat mode and snuggled in for a few hours of sleep. Each Polaris seat feels spacious and is six feet, six inches long in lie-flat mode, so it’s easy to get comfortable. Every business-class passenger gets bedding by Saks Fifth Avenue, which includes a fluffy pillow, a smaller gel pillow, and a duvet. Extra perks are also offered by request, including a mattress pad, set of pajamas, and fleece-lined slippers—all of which make the seat feel especially cozy. Once I got my bed set up, I fell right asleep until breakfast. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for the evening in Amman (the route’s east-bound leg lands at 4 p.m. local time).
The chance to take a U.S. airline to Jordan will make traveling the bucket-list-worthy country more accessible and easy to reach for most American travelers. “Capitals tend to be the first place that travelers visit when they journey to a new country for the first time,” Ethan Goldridge, the deputy assistant secretary of state, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, said at the route launch. “This new flight between Washington and Amman will provide Jordanians and Americans alike with new opportunities to experience the richness of our two capitals and serve as a gateway to the rest of our magnificent countries.”
The Amman route is one of many new flight launches coming this summer for United, in what is “going to be the largest transatlantic expansion ever,” Quayle said. The airline is growing by 25 percent, adding six new transatlantic routes and resuming 18. “This flight starts off what is a multi-week journey of adding capacity across the Atlantic Ocean, where United will become the single largest airline in the world across the Atlantic.” As part of this expansion plan, three of the routes out of New York-Newark will be to destinations not currently served by any other U.S. airline: Bergen, Norway, starting on May 20; Palma de Mallorca in Spain’s Balearic Islands starting on June 2; and Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands beginning June 9.