By Laurie Heifetz
Keeping kosher has now taken to a new level flying United Airlines to Tel Aviv from Newark. Fresh-food provider Fresko is the meal partner on the flight. Fresh bagels, cheese omelets, kale-quinoa burgers, blintzes, chicken marsala, rugelach, and black-and-white cookies are some of the selections. The kashrus is under the strict rabbinical supervision of the Star-K and Tartikov. The kosher snack choices on Polaris (business class) and United Premium Plus flights now include Deep River Potato Chips, Cheez-It® crackers, Drizzilicious Cinnamon Swirl crisps, Madi K’s Almonds, and M&M’S®.
Royal Wine is providing in-flight beverage options, including Herzog Lineage Cabernet Sauvignon and Herzog Lineage Sauvignon.
Due to Covid-19, the Polaris Lounge is temporarily closed. The United Club is still open. Kosher wine is one of the selections, and kosher packaged snacks, such as potato chips, pretzels, and Oreos, as well as wrapped fruit, are available upon request.
Charlean Gmunder, United’s vice president of catering operations, stated, “We will continue to embrace suggestions, as well as seek out ways to create the best possible on-board dining experience for everyone we proudly serve.”
What fun I had flying to and from Israel on United Airlines. The Polaris lounge at Newark-Liberty International Airport, available to Polaris Business Class customers, is out of this world! My experience in one of the 10 sleep suites was so relaxing. The sound of flowing water was my favorite choice on the headphones. Even though I chose not to sleep on the daybed, the experience did more for me than meditation or yoga has in the past.
The rainfall shower with an adjustable nozzle and Sunday Riley skincare products was also amazing in a private shower suite, with its own bathroom. So, if you land in Newark in the morning, you can go to a business meeting in New York relaxed and ready to go! A valet can even steam clothes, upon request.
The kosher Recanati Upper Galilee Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is a great choice in the lounge. According to Polaris EWR operations manager, Daniel Shabat: “Red-violet in the glass, this wine has tones of black cherry, cocoa, and freshly, ground coffee.” For those who prefer white wine, go with the Recanati Sauvignon Blanc.
I flew Premium Plus class from Newark to Tel Aviv, which meant more space and leg room than Economy. I only had one person next to me, a pleasant, young man who was going to coach Ultimate Frisbee in Israel. In the middle seats, there was a family of four. I received a gray, vinyl in-flight amenities kit containing an eye mask, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, and Sunday Riley skincare products.
While in the Tel Aviv airport, United Polaris customers can access the Dan Hotel VIP Lounge. There is an OU Mehadrin kosher buffet with selections such as corn salad and hummus. There are no shower or sleep suites.
On the way back, I flew United’s Polaris Business Class. There’s nothing like it! There was a divider between me and the next person, which could go up or down. The coolest thing is that my chair totally reclined, and it became a bed, when I was ready to go to sleep. How relaxing was that!
United provided a blue, vinyl, in-flight amenities kit containing slippers, socks, more Sunday Riley sample-size products than in Premium Plus, along with a toothbrush and toothpaste. The international Polaris amenity kits have included “Star Wars” and “Spider-Man” themes. Even pajamas are available upon request.
United Airlines did not pay for the author’s flight, but did cover the upgrades to Polaris Premium Plus and Polaris Business Class.