United Airlines is cutting back on pillows and mattress pads in Polaris Business Class.
As reported by Brian Sumers, the following memo went to FAs–
Amenities – effective May 01
Customers and flight attendants both reported that there are too many amenities placed on customers’ seats, which makes it difficult for them to get settled. In addition, United Polaris amenities take up a lot of storage space on the aircraft. The solution: We’re removing the small pillow to reduce the number of items staged on customers’ seats. We will continue boarding the large pillow, and the gel pillow will be available upon customer request. In addition, we’re reducing the quantities of mattress pads provisioned, which will free up space to store other items. This is possible as use of mattress pads is less than 100 percent of the quantities currently provisioned.
Sumers asks, “Is this about space? Or about cost cuts?”
It’s a fair question. I think the answer is both.
Here’s my seat coming back from Frankfurt a couple weeks ago–
Two pillows and two blankets are quite a lot. After we requested a gel pillow and mattress pad we had so much bedding that we were forced to store in the side lockers. There was no other room!
Imagine downstairs on the 747-400 or on other aircraft without this extra personal storage. There simply is not room for it.
With the large pillow already sufficient and the memory gel pillow available upon request, I do not fault United for removing the superfluous pillow.
But it must be about money as well. Remember that United’s wine consumption exceeded expectations by 300%! That could be another reason United will take its sweet time (get it?) in bringing back ice cream sundaes to premium cabins. Polaris costs are higher than projected and United is walking a fine line of trying to balance a consistent, premium product with cost concerns.
I won’t lose any sleep over the loss of a small pillow. I also noticed that though I always request a mattress pad, most do not. Therefore, I think these cutbacks are reasonable due to the lack of personal storage space in all United business class seats.
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) April 20, 2017