Yesterday afternoon I took Austrian Airlines’ Business Class from Vienna to Amsterdam where I got in a great 2 hour nap and try some of the best food you can get within the Star Alliance network:
I landed in Amsterdam at around 7:30pm, from where I took a 20 minute train to Amsterdam Zuid to meet up with Rik (one of my co-monsooner and YPT guides on my Extreme South America trip) for a quick beer discussing a potential trip to Afghanistan next year.
We last saw each other in Amsterdam 2 years ago!
At around 9:30 we parted ways and I headed back on the 9:35pm train towards Den Haag (aka The Hague) where I would meet up with Maureen, a monsooner whom I had first met at a café while in Paramaribo, saw me again the last time I was in Amsterdam and had kindly offerred me a couch to crash on during my layover here in The Netherlands.
I arrived into Den Haag Central Station at around 10:10pm.
I then got really lazy and took an Uber to Maureen’s flat to finally rest my weary legs and catch up with her.
We also last saw each other 2 years ago in Amsterdam!
We eventually turned it a little past 11:30 after which I got in my first real extended rest on the trip, ironically on my last night in Europe.
Saying premature goodbyes to Maureen after waking up at around 7:30am, I then took an Uber to Schipol International Airport. I totally underestimated the airport’s extremely thorough security process; I almost missed my flight even when I got to skip the lines (perks you get flying business class)!
Flying United Polaris Business/First Class (2-1-2)
Amsterdam to NYC
I finally settled into my seat 1A on my first time flying United Airline’s highly marketed Polaris Business Class. The amount of miles to acquire this was 10,000 less than usual via United.com (60,000 miles total), which I accumulated rather quickly through — and transferred over — from my Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.
I could see why I was getting such a bargain.
Although your space is efficient, the hard product United Polaris offers when the seats are arranged in a 2-1-2 formation (a lot of them are trying to retrofit their aircraft to accommodate the more desirable and roomy 1-1-1- formation) are extremely cramped. It ultimately still can feel as comfortable as any other international business class if you’re not planning to do any work on the flight, as there is hardly any space to put your stuff unlike the generous desk space you’d get on ANA’s Business Class products.
Their free baggies is nicely designed but contains the usual amenities of socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleansers, earplugs, eye mask, and tissues:
Point in case on how cramped things can get. Although they offer the welcome champagne, water and chocolates, you’re sharing a very small space with the guy next to you. If you both ordered the same thing, good luck not drinking from the other guy’s glass.
Their food options are thorough with 4 courses of generous offerings of salad, bread baskets, cheese, dessert wine, and a varied assortment of small bites:
After a 1 hour dinner, I got in a solid 4 hours of sleep thanks to comfy bedding they offer from Saks 5th Avenue:
About an hour before landing they serve a single course of a complete breakfast:
I landed on time at 11:30am, with another monsoon in the books.
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- At time of posting in Den Haag, The Netherlands, it was 9 °C - Humidity: 83% | Wind Speed: 21km/hr | Cloud Cover: cloudy