April 21, 2017
United is Cutting Back Polaris Amenities
United introduced its new Polaris business class product last year, complete with new lounges, new business class seats, and new in-flight amenities. Since then the rollout has been slow. United is current operating just two aircraft actually equipped with the new Polaris seats, with the third aircraft connecting San Francisco with Tokyo set to launch this June.
It looks like United is already starting to cut some of its Polaris amenities. Starting May 1, 2017, instead of putting a large and a small Saks Fifth Avenue pillow on every seat, the airline will now only be providing the larger pillow. United will also be boarding fewer mattress pads onto its flights. Mattress pads don’t come standard on every seat and have to be requested once onboard. So if you want a mattress pad after May 1, make sure you request one as soon as possible after boarding. In addition to these planned cuts, United is also facing a wine shortage because of its unexpectedly popular Polaris wine service.
Polaris is ending up costing more than United anticipated given the huge quality increase over the previous business class soft product. I got to try the new Polaris bedding on my flight to Punta Cana, and I have to say it was excessive. Each seat comes with two blankets and two pillows, in addition to the gel pillow and the mattress pad that customers can request. While it was great to have all this comfortable bedding, it took up a huge amount of space and I had to find room to stuff everything. Overall I’m actually glad they’re reducing the clutter on the seats.
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