As I shared in my Frankfurt to San Francisco Polaris First Class review last week, the new Saks Fifth Avenue bedding on United Airlines is really nice. So nice, apparently, that customers are walking off with it at an alarming rate. Now United is asking its flight attendants to be more vigilant in ensure the bedding does not leave the aircraft.
United Polaris Bedding
When you fly in United Polaris, you are met with the following bedding amenities in your seat–
Upon request, you can also get a very comfortable cooling memory foam pillow.
In your menu, a special note is included to remove any doubt about whether you can take your blanket or pillow home as a souvenir:
The premium amenity kit and slippers are yours to keep upon landing. We hope you’ll find our other comfort items and amenities make your flight more restful, but please leave them on board when you exit the aircraft.
Apparently customers are ignoring this request.
United Asks FA to Police Cabin to Avoid Bedding Theft
A FA friend forwarded me the following internal memo–
Our customers are continuing to enjoy United Polaris service, in particular our new high-quality bedding designed by Saks Fifth Avenue. However, recently we’ve noticed some confusion about which amenities may be taken off the plane at the end of the flight. We’d like to take this opportunity to clarify the policy regarding our new bedding and ask for your help to ensure its safekeeping on board the aircraft.
You can share with customers that all pillows and blankets are to be left on the aircraft at the end of each flight, including the cooling gel memory foam pillow. Even if only a small number of these items are taken off each flight, that can quickly add up to millions of dollars across our network over the course of a year. To help ensure we are able to continue offering these high-quality products, it’s important to remind customers that these items remain on board the aircraft after every flight. We will begin communicating this policy on board soon.
We launder and re-board pillows and blankets for several cycles before the product naturally degrades from wear and tear, and we replace it.
Of course, all United Polaris customers are welcome to take their amenity kits featuring Cowshed products with them at the end of the flight. Slippers and pajamas — on flights where they are offered — are also available for customers to take with them.
We are exploring offering certain amenities for sale on the United Shop in the future.
Commentary on FA Directive
United is so diplomatic. There is no confusion. People are smart enough to know that they should not take their blanket and pillow with them, especially when it is made clear in the menu.
Interestingly, United singles out the cooling gel memory foam pillow. Just yesterday on Flyertalk I read a comment about passengers with memory foam pillows popping up inside United Clubs. These are small, easy to slip in carry-on bags, and also attractive due to the United Polaris logo on the pillowcase.
A draconian reaction would be asking FAs to collect and count all pillows at the end of each flight. But United is wise to offer additional reminders to passengers that the blanket and pillows must remain onboard.
Others have reported FAs disappearing with memory foam pillows when they retreat to the crew rest bunks. United should also ensure that even if unused by passengers, Polaris bedding is not for FA use.
I’ll admit. The thought of taking my memory foam pillow with me did cross my mind last week. Thankfully, I quickly dismissed the thought because I knew it was wrong, even though I could have easily gotten away with it. The old adage, “This is why we cannot have nice things” came to my mind then and is present in my mind now. Shame on anyone who steals — yes, steals — this bedding. Those who do will ruin it for the rest of us.