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Polaris

Is United Questioning Amenity Kits in Polaris?

Is United Questioning Amenity Kits in Polaris?
Joe Cortez

FlyerTalkers who recently spent time in United’s Polaris class of service are receiving surveys from the airline asking about their experience. Passengers are concerned that the questions may be used as justification to cut the kits from the airline’s premium service.

Is United Airlines looking for a reason to cut amenity kits from their flagship premium product, United Polaris? Some FlyerTalkers are concerned that their responses to an airline survey could be the justification leaders need to drop them entirely. On the FlyerTalk forums, members are debating the motivations behind United’s latest move.

The concern began when FlyerTalker seat38a posted about receiving the survey. When asked: “What did you think of the amenity kit on your last Polaris flight?” they became suspicious.

“I got the distinct impression the question were designed to see how Polaris passengers would feel about amenity kits being axed,” seat38a wrote.

Other forum members were quick to share their experiences getting the same survey, complete with screenshots. Opinions were mixed on the future of United’s amenity kits. While some thought they were a luxury touch for the airline’s luxury product, others were less optimistic that they would remain in the future.

“So, in theory, I think the amenity kits are great to have,” writes FlyerTalker superEGO. “But if we’re being honest, most of the stuff in there goes unused. Personally, I always use the tissue, lip balm, and socks, and I take the bag itself since I get so much secondary use out of them.”

“I see this as a precursor to an a la carte system like (I think) they do on transcons,” MBSMillionMiler opined about the future of amenity kits. “A basket of eye shades, a basket of lip balm, etc. Less waste, people take what they need, and ultimately, UA looks cheaper than ever.”

“I think competitive pressure will prevent them from doing away with the kit entirely,” FlyerTalker Kacee writes. “Pretty much everyone except [Singapore Airlines] offers a kit these days.”

According to United’s website, current amenity kits on long-haul international flights include a “signature padded eye mask, earplugs, skincare products from Sunday Riley, cozy socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and a tissue pack.” FlyerTalk reached out to United about the future of the amenity kits, but did not receive a response as of press time.

 

[Image: United]

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. Dan Weber

    July 17, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Amenity kits are a complete waste. I never use them. The only item I want are the eye shades which I bring with me. I fly internationally once a month.

  2. BiPlane

    July 19, 2019 at 6:16 am

    As a recent Polaris customer I responded to the survey. Rather than giving me the impression United is using the survey to justify eliminating the kits altogether, the multiple questions on different combinations of items seemed an attempt to winnow out those that flyers didn’t find useful. Trying to position Polaris as a premium product, then eliminating a component airlines use to differentiate premium service is unlikely to me. Maybe an attempt to dampen criticism from some on the wasteful nature of these kits.

  3. likesto2travel

    July 26, 2019 at 5:31 am

    We collect and donate our amenity kits to our local homeless shelter, Covenant House Texas. They are very thankful for the kits as they not only provide so many useful items for the homeless but something to keep them in. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a bin at the exit to donate them if passengers didn’t want to keep them. They can even just donate the unused portions.

  4. chongcao

    July 29, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I can see the argument from both side. If you always travel in premium class, those amenity bag does become boring. I frequently use tooth paste, dental kit and socks from the bag. But I never use the lip balm or cosmetic stuff. I found the airline eye shades to be a mix bag. Some airlines are very good (e.g. AA, QR and CX..), some are bad (CA, BA…).

    However, if you fly premium class rarely or once twice a year, the amenity bag is absolutely attractive and says about the airline. The Emirates amenity bag shout ‘luxury’ ‘premium’ directly at you. For occasion flyers, it is indeed a way of brand communication from the airline. And even at uninteresting airline and absolutely trashy amenity bags, occasional premium flyer would find them very alluring as you can not get them in coach.

    So, I think airline should continue giving out amenity bag, but to be more design concerned. I remember once airlines are giving amenity bags that can be used as laptop/tablet cover. That is very clever and reduced wastage significantly. Also I support of reducing the contents within amenity bag, to reduce wastage of those cosmetics. My favorite amenity bag is from Qantas few years back. A very well designed hard shell bag with the aboriginal art inspired pattern. It has been used by me for years which can be used as travel adapter bag, or liquid bag holder…Its size is perfect for headphones, tablets…

    A well designed amenity bag that can be used for other purpose goes a long way.

  5. kklems

    July 30, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    It would seem they could use the amenity kits as a way to generate revenue. Why not allow merchants to supply the trial sized products for free in exchange for being put in the kit. Maybe include a card with info on how to order the full size product with a revenue share for each click through that results in a purchase. Win for United, lets companies get products into consumers hands.

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