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Which Boeing Polaris (business) seats are best for couples?


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59 minutes ago, What was that? said:

Besides, he was buying the beer!

 

 

LOL....definitely would have been worth being onboard 😉

 

Yeah..you're right - it does look like a tug. I'm sure you'll hear the whole story from him. 

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On 7/1/2020 at 2:36 PM, OnTheJourney said:

 

7A and 9A? But then you have someone else in between. What about adjacent - like 7A and 8A?  

 

As to the January Barcelona....we're also doing that....the Inaugural, followed by Iberian. 

 

 

 

We had 7A and 8A last December and loved it. It was an overnight flight from Huston to Santiago, Chile. 7A is closer to the window with storage and table separating you from the aisle. The mid cabin is perfect location. 

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vnb....thanks. Awaiting word from my TA who has had several calls with the air department. As much as I hate to pay more than I can get on my own, I think I'll have Viking do this - get it done - and then see how things play out. 

 

How was it to talk together with those seats, being that it's not exactly a side-by-side situation?

Edited by OnTheJourney
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OnTheJourney,

My wife and I really like the United Polaris product. Unfortunately, the 767 is really the worst plane for couples seating. While it is really a very subjective thing, I would actually recommend two window seats one behind the other. This gives you the all important control of the window shade. Unlike a lot of the new business class seats being offered these days, the Polaris seats do not allow for a second person to share the seat during dining. On the plus side, the Polaris club lounges are over the top amazing. I'm pretty sure there is one in Newark. They offer full a-la-carte dining, an incredible whiskey selection and great wine and champagne. We always get to the Polaris Club 3 1/2 hours before flight time. 

 

Jack 

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46 minutes ago, Jack E Dawson said:

OnTheJourney,

My wife and I really like the United Polaris product. Unfortunately, the 767 is really the worst plane for couples seating. While it is really a very subjective thing, I would actually recommend two window seats one behind the other. This gives you the all important control of the window shade. Unlike a lot of the new business class seats being offered these days, the Polaris seats do not allow for a second person to share the seat during dining. On the plus side, the Polaris club lounges are over the top amazing. I'm pretty sure there is one in Newark. They offer full a-la-carte dining, an incredible whiskey selection and great wine and champagne. We always get to the Polaris Club 3 1/2 hours before flight time. 

 

Jack 

Jack, not all Polaris clubs are the same. LA was ok but Huston was pitiful. The club itself was nicely done with good furniture and lighting. The bar was ok. The buffet food was pitiful with most plates empty and the “dining room” had a long wait. The reason for this - it has around 20 tables or less for two and most of them was occupied by one person who just hanged out there. We looked forward to try Polaris but....

It seems the service and amenities varies from club to club.

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On 7/10/2020 at 9:53 PM, Jack E Dawson said:

OnTheJourney,

My wife and I really like the United Polaris product. Unfortunately, the 767 is really the worst plane for couples seating. While it is really a very subjective thing, I would actually recommend two window seats one behind the other. This gives you the all important control of the window shade. Unlike a lot of the new business class seats being offered these days, the Polaris seats do not allow for a second person to share the seat during dining. On the plus side, the Polaris club lounges are over the top amazing. I'm pretty sure there is one in Newark. They offer full a-la-carte dining, an incredible whiskey selection and great wine and champagne. We always get to the Polaris Club 3 1/2 hours before flight time. 

 

Jack 

 

Thanks for all that. You are not the first to suggest the two window seats. Have to wonder if all the seats will even be available, depending on what is done relative too distancing. Under most circumstances, I'd be REALLY looking forward to the lounge - but who knows what that will turn into as well. Not comforting to hear that United might be laying off as many as 36,000 employees - including flight attendants. Alot could happen yet before our January trip, and from where I sit it's looking like it might not be what I was hoping for. 

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4 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

Thanks for all that. You are not the first to suggest the two window seats. Have to wonder if all the seats will even be available, depending on what is done relative too distancing. Under most circumstances, I'd be REALLY looking forward to the lounge - but who knows what that will turn into as well. Not comforting to hear that United might be laying off as many as 36,000 employees - including flight attendants. Alot could happen yet before our January trip, and from where I sit it's looking like it might not be what I was hoping for. 

OTJ,

I share your concerns, we are also scheduled to depart our cruise in January on the 20th. After our April 2020 Empires of the Mediterranean cruise was cancelled, I'm not sure I can take another disappointment. At this point I put the odds of it happening at 50/50. On the positive side, I do believe that a vaccine will be ready before the end of the year, most likely the Oxford/Astrazeneca 2-dose collaboration (China and Russia may actually be first but that won't help us). The question is, will the distribution side of the equation be solved in time. In an unprecedented move, the UK, USA and a number of other countries are actually funding full production of this vaccine RIGHT NOW even though Phase 3 human testing only began last month. Bottom line, when clinical trials are completed in September and if they are successful, there should be somewhere around 300M doses immediately available with about a total of 1.2B doses available around the beginning of the year. Of course there is the issue of who gets the vaccine first. It is clear to me that the order should be frontline health care workers, cruise line aficionados and SEC football players, in that order. 

I also share your concern for the 36K United employees who may lose their jobs. These are wonderful people who have also been at the frontline of this health crises. Before retiring in 2015, it was my good fortune to serve as director of international sales for my company. This afforded me the opportunity to experience many truly great international airlines. While United was never in the top 5 when it came to equipment, they were always number 1 in service based on my 35 years of international travel. No, they are not perfect and not everyone is an angel, but in my experience, their front line workers are an incredible group of caring professionals. They will carry on in the best tradition. 

OTJ, I like your style. Let's hope we are all setting sail in January. 

Jack

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Jack...great post. Thanks for the kind words. I completely agree with you as to a 50/50 chance of these international cruises resuming in January. It surely won't do much to encourage other countries to begin accepting US travelers if we don't start to get the virus numbers under control here. It's starting to feel more unsettling than it did back in late May when the numbers had started to show improvement. Can't help but wonder if at least phases of the reopening have been done too quickly, but moreso it comes down to each individual's willingness (or not) to protect themselves and others by continuing to mask and social distance. Then, of course, there is the whole political issue surrounding all of it. Tough situation. Take care. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like to finalize these flights just to have one less thing to worry about, but, as is typical, haven't heard from my TA for the past 3 weeks despite emailing her back on the 17th and now again today. Guess I'll have to call. She's very nice and helpful, but, ya know??  Sometimes a little prompter service would be appreciated. 

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9 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

I'd like to finalize these flights just to have one less thing to worry about, but, as is typical, haven't heard from my TA for the past 3 weeks despite emailing her back on the 17th and now again today. Guess I'll have to call. She's very nice and helpful, but, ya know??  Sometimes a little prompter service would be appreciated. 

 

If, as you state this level of service is typical, you need to find a new TA.  Our TA usually gets back to me the same day...always within 24 hours.  She's working from home right now and her level of service has not diminished at all.

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Lew....unfortunately it can be typical to not here back from this agent for days / weeks. Given that we're in the middle of these flight questions, though, I was hoping to stay on top of it so as to arrive at a definite decision. Yesterday I checked the flights again and there are now only 7 remaining groups (out of the total 12) of 2 business class seats (not the Polaris format - but rather the more traditional arrangement with two seats together on either side and one in the middle). It hasn't changed much, but still, a group of 2 seats together is now gone that was open the last time I checked. It's not like having rows and rows of economy seats to choose from. This is why I like to book my own flights and done. Then I know what I have. I realize the airline can change seating but I've personally never had it happen at least for long haul. So my TA has been in contact with several different Viking air agents over the past few months, but now it's been a few weeks since we've moved forwardl. I'd just like to get it booked and over with. Hate to pay signfiicantly more, but it's surely the safest way to do it given the circumstances and possibility of the plans going south. 

 

My agent is just one of the AAA reps at the local office, and that's ok since sometimes they do come up with extra 'perks' and so forth, but it has turned into basically using her to complete bookings that are in her name (and so I can't really do much with them otherwise) and taking care of the paperwork, etc. It wouldn't say this is an agent whom I've ever relied on overly so for certain kinds of advice and/or suggestions. That doesn't seem to be her thing. Our previous agent with AAA was a bit more helpful in that regard. We got assigned to the one we have now after our other guy retired. I really have learned to do most trip research / planning myself and then just use her for whatever aspect of it might require her assistance - the booking, payments, etc. Perhaps some of you have what I guess you'd call a 'closer' and more advisory type relationship with your TA. I've never really sensed that with AAA. Other than the typical newsletter that comes out every so often from the AAA office with travel ideas, etc., I very seldom get any specific suggestions or ideas from the TA. Guess I've gotten used to that over the years. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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She did call me back today and said she'd contact Viking again either today yet or tomorrow. AAA of late has been doing these webinars so she's involved with presenting and organizing those. Signed up for one tonight to learn about the "Rocky Mountaineer"!!  My sister-in-law, who is pinnacle level with Royal Caribbean, just bought a travel trailer and bought a campsite nearby. They (obviously) love cruising, but aren't sure they'll enjoy whatever changes come along. I suspect camping  /motorhomes, etc. will become more popular as this thing goes on. Something to consider. 

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@OnTheJourney...

 

I've approached our local AAA office a few times thinking it would be nice to do business locally, but their pricing just couldn't compare with my TA.  My TA prices fares at about an 11% discount when she can...if she can't she gives us a pretty healthy OBC.

 

We were cruising in the Med a few years ago when Princess was a bit confused about amenities we were supposed to get.  After going about as far up the chain of command as possible onboard, I emailed my TA.  She contacted Princess and the issue was resolved within a couple of days.  Only a responsive TA would be able to assist in that kind of situation.

 

Our flights to Europe via Viking Air in October have changed three times.  No more one-stop from BTV to FCO.  We're now routed through Zurich.  A lot of phone time for a trip that most likely will not happen.

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On 7/29/2020 at 5:25 PM, OnTheJourney said:

She did call me back today and said she'd contact Viking again either today yet or tomorrow. AAA of late has been doing these webinars so she's involved with presenting and organizing those. Signed up for one tonight to learn about the "Rocky Mountaineer"!!  My sister-in-law, who is pinnacle level with Royal Caribbean, just bought a travel trailer and bought a campsite nearby. They (obviously) love cruising, but aren't sure they'll enjoy whatever changes come along. I suspect camping  /motorhomes, etc. will become more popular as this thing goes on. Something to consider. 

  • Hi - would love to sign up for Rocky Mountaineer webinar. Have always wanted to do Canadian Rockies. This would have been a good time if the border weren't closed 😎
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The webinar was great. My TA hosted it but the presentation was done by one of RM's staff. It really made me want to go! Fantastic photos during the presentation. That area has been on my list for a long time and, with no excuses, I've just not gotten around to going yet. The route that appeals to me most is their 13-day grand circle. Hate to book anything new for next year since I'm not sure what's happening with all the trips from this year (a tale familiar to all of us, right?)  

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On 7/1/2020 at 5:56 PM, BSinPNS said:

Good idea to book your seats now, but airline equipment may change by February as the August schedules are just now firming up.  Check back often.  

I agree....there will be too many changes to determine any of this for sure yet.  Even during normal times we found that planes changed.  We found the most difficult thing in F L or A D was hearing each  other.  We found the only way to communicate was to get up and stand by each others seats, or do the onscreen communication...which is a real pain.  

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we were booked on the iberian explorer in january 2021 with an extension in london.  we rolled that over with our cancelled april 2020 cruise and put it all towards  oct 2021  venice to athens.  who knows if that will go or if we feel comfortable virus-wise...

 

 and since it's a voucher, i have to hope it:

1. sails

2. or if pushed back further, we will have enough brains to remember to GO.  yikes.🙃

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On 8/2/2020 at 9:48 PM, xeena said:

we were booked on the iberian explorer in january 2021🙃

 

That's what we're booked on. I'm very hesitant to do anything with it as of yet being that it's also linked with the Chairman's cruise immediately before, which goes from Rome to Barcelona. Have been so looking forward to both cruises ever since we were offered it. I even managed to get the same cabin for both sailings so no need to leave the ship the night before the Iberian starts. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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who knows if Europe will even allow US residents in.  wonder what viking does if ships can sail but US passengers not allowed into various countries.  what a mess.

 

even though we're now booked for oct 21 i am still wary.  time will tell.

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11 minutes ago, xeena said:

 what a mess.

 

 

This pretty well sums it up!  I agree completely - if things continue as they are, a US passport won't impress too many countries. Why would they want to let us in?  I would certainly hope Oct. '21 would be fine! Think of how many trips all of us have moved to next year. At some point, I'm simply going. I refuse to give up travel. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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we have a holland america trip to norway in june '21....at least i can get deposit back and don't have to decide anything as final payment is not till february.  that trip may go bye-bye....and hopefully HAL will still be in business and be able to refund the deposit!

 

but Amsterdam may still not allow US citizens entry, and if you can't fly in you surely can't sail out

 

....i have become accustomed to "wait and see"....and i have no patience. learning that skill now!

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4 hours ago, xeena said:

 

 

....i have become accustomed to "wait and see"....and i have no patience. learning that skill now!

 

I have lots of patience, but the number of unknown variables associated with all of this is maddening. I like to plan trips in pretty much detail months (sometimes even longer) in advance and so this sort of indecision and feeling of being completely powerless just drives me crazy. 

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