United Testing Express ‘Sleeper Service’ on Select Polaris Flights

Mar 29, 2019

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First-time business-class flyers typically want to be wined and dined, sampling the wines and partaking in each course in the hope of making the most of their premium-cabin redemption. But, for regulars, maximizing sleep is the top priority, especially on a short redeye from the East Coast to Europe.

With these road warriors in mind, a United Airlines representative told TPG, that the carrier will test beginning next month a new “sleeper service” on select flights to Europe. Polaris business-class customers flying from Washington Dulles (IAD) on transatlantic flights departing at or after 10:00pm will receive all of the usual food and beverage items, but with a speedier presentation.

First, a salad, appetizer, entree and bread will arrive on one tray shortly after takeoff. Then, dessert will be served after the main meal, but directly from the galley, rather than with the usual multi-tiered cart. The goal is for the meal service to wrap much more quickly, so passengers can maximize their sleep.

United's current multi-course service begins with an appetizer, salad and bread. Photo by Zach Honig.
United’s current multi-course service begins with an appetizer, salad and bread. Photo by Zach Honig/TPG.

United will be testing this new service for the entire month of April, beginning this coming Monday, April 1. Flights featuring this include:

  • UA126 Washington 10:00pm Departure → Dublin (DUB) 10:00am Arrival
  • UA924 Washington 10:15pm Departure → London (LHR) 10:30am Arrival
  • UA932 Washington 10:20pm Departure → Frankfurt (FRA) 12:10pm Arrival

While flyers will receive the exact same menu items as they would on a normal flight, United’s planning to notify travelers of the service flow change in advance. If the test is a success, the carrier’s sleeper service could roll out to redeye flights around the world soon.

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