United Airlines testing Polaris, economy amenity improvements

Jan 23, 2020

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Last year, United Airlines rolled out new pajamas in business class — while I’m no apparel expert, the new PJs don’t feel as well made, though the carrier has still been boarding only a handful per flight. Generally, if you’re on a flight with pajamas, it’s best to ask for a set as soon as you board, since the crew often does run out.

Beginning Feb. 1, United will be boarding one set of pajamas for each and every Polaris customer, so you don’t need to worry about the carrier running out — for now, only on flights between Chicago (ORD) and Tokyo (NRT), though if the trial is a success, the airline could expand the new provisioning to all of its pajama-equipped flights. For flights between Chicago and Tokyo, flight attendants are instructed to offer pajamas to business-class flyers before takeoff, or after departure if there isn’t time.

Additionally, on the same Chicago-Tokyo flights, and on the return leg as well, the crew will offer eyeshades, ear plugs and dental kits to all economy flyers. Flight attendants will be making the rounds with those amenities after takeoff, before the main meal service. The move follows recent service improvements from Delta, which include welcome cocktails and an upgraded meal service on certain coach flights.

While this is clearly a positive change, especially in economy, lately I’ve been bringing my own sleepwear, instead of using the set United hands out. While the carrier is using the same manufacturer as before, I find United’s previous Polaris pajamas to be considerably higher-end, with longer-lasting materials and pockets in the pants. They’re more tastefully designed, as well — the latest version sports a huge “POLARIS” logo on the back.

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