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This Wednesday, I attended a media preview of United’s brand-new San Francisco (SFO) Polaris Lounge — it’ll be the second to launch when it opens to the public on Monday.
Following our tour of the lounge, we had a chance to check out the airline’s first retrofit 777-200, which Mr. JT Genter managed to review earlier this week. UA reps took that opportunity to showcase the various Polaris amenities, including the very-slightly refreshed (read: 747 logo-less) amenity kit below:
While United is eliminating drink cart service on May 1 — including the slick wine tasting “arc” — the airline will be significantly boosting its stock of one popular amenity: the cooling gel pillow.
Come July 1, passengers will find the gel pillow waiting at their seat, eliminating the need to request one from a flight attendant. And while I’ve never had trouble getting one even halfway through a flight, apparently the airline does run out on occasion — as with the pajamas you can request on longer flights, the gel pillows have been available on a first come, first served basis. (But unlike those PJs, gel pillows have to stay on the plane.)
Personally, I always ask for one of these pillows, so I certainly won’t object to having it waiting at my seat. Of course it does add to the bulk, so I’m sure some passengers will have something to say about there being too much “stuff,” but it’s easy enough to toss the extra bedding up into the overhead bin if you don’t plan to use it right away.
While the Polaris rollout has been embarrassingly sluggish, things are finally beginning to ramp up — and quickly. United has committed to introducing a new (or retrofitted) Polaris-equipped aircraft every 10 days from now through 2020, and the carrier will soon roll out its fancy new lounges at a steady clip.
For more on recent Polaris developments, see:
- The World’s Largest United Polaris Lounge: By the Numbers
- Polaris Redemption: United’s Retrofitted 777-200 From DC to Frankfurt
- United to Eliminate Drink Carts From Polaris Cabins
- An Update on United Polaris Business Class, One Year After Launch
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