If you’re flying with United Airlines, some of the perks you may have expected from Polaris have been cut or are scaled back – though the airline notes that these are not “cuts” per se, but changes made based on customer feedback.
Since United’s rollout of Polaris business class in 2016, the highly lauded upgrade to standard business class has seen a number of perks scaled back or cut entirely. And that may come as a point of frustration to travelers who are paying upwards of $5,000 per round trip ticket in Polaris.
The airline maintains that the cuts are not a negative thing – it’s actually based on reported experiences.
“Changes and adjustments are an expected part of any big product rollout,” a United spokesperson told SF Gate, “and that’s what we are seeing here. There is no impact on the customer experience. As a matter of fact these changes come as a result of customer feedback.”
The five major changes since the program was launched are:
- The rollout of Polaris seats is taking longer than expected; currently only about 20 percent of United’s long-haul fleet has them – meaning that if you book a Polaris ticket, you’ll likely not get the Polaris experience.
- Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and wine flights on carts have been discontinued because passengers were getting too tipsy. The drinks are available on request now. Also, the chocolate cookie that came with the welcome champagne is gone, but replaced with more desserts on the menu.
- Starting in February, business class will lose one flight attendant per flight.
- The massive comfort package of pillows and a blanket, duvets, amenity kits, and more have been switched to request-only because customers didn’t have space to store everything. But one of the pillows has been upgrade to a gel pillow.
- Snacks are no longer displayed on a rolling cart, they have to be picked from a hang-tag menu on a bottle of water. Also, meals will now be pre-plated instead of assembled in the galley.
[Photo: PRNewsfoto/United Airlines]