Ever since the launch of United’s Polaris business class in 2016, the airline has been focused on elevating the onboard sleep experience.
From plush pillows to crisp white mattress pads, United’s biz product has long excelled for travelers looking to catch some sleep before a big meeting or a family trip.
Now, seven years later, the airline is back with perhaps its biggest refresh yet to the Polaris experience. While details have slowly been trickling out over the past few weeks, the airline is officially ready to take the wraps off of “Polaris 2.0.”
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.
So, here’s what you can expect on your next long-haul United business-class flight.
All-new sleep amenities
United positions Polaris as giving you “the best sleep in the sky,” and these latest upgrades are undoubtedly focused on helping you drift off during your next flight.
It starts with new sleep-focused amenities from Saks Fifth Avenue, the official provider of bedding for United since 2016.
The new Saks bedding will be packaged in a reusable bag that’s washed between flights and eliminates the single-use plastic coverings on the duvet and day blanket.
More from TPG: Best credit cards for airport lounge access
Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter
Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts
Speaking of the signature duvet, the airline is refreshing this blanket with new patterns, and it’s also launching a new limited-edition day blanket in partnership with fashion designer Claude Kameni.
This new day blanket looks significantly more comfortable than the old one that it replaces. It’ll be available through early 2024, and I can’t wait to try it out on an upcoming Polaris flight.
In addition to the new day blanket and packaging, the airline will continue to provide all travelers with a large plush pillow and a cool gel pillow.
It wasn’t immediately clear if mattress pads, fleece-lined slippers and pajamas will continue to be available on select long-haul flights, and we reached out to United for clarification. We’ll update this story when we hear back.
Revamped amenity kits
It’s official: United is ditching Away in favor of Therabody.
The carrier is launching new Polaris amenity kits, and they only scratch the surface of the carrier’s new tie-up with famed wellness brand Therabody.
The amenity kits themselves feature TheraFace eye serum, TheraFace face spray, TheraFace cleansing towelette and TheraFace hand cream, as well as some typical essentials, such as a bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, ear plugs, socks and a pen.
While I loved the hard-shell design of the previous Away amenity kits, these new Therabody kits double as belt bags that are starting to catch on with some flyers.
In fact, United has been slowly phasing in these new kits, and I even got to try one out on a recent flight from Tel Aviv to Newark. I personally liked the scent of the face spray and hand cream, but I still prefer the durability of the Away kits.
United’s partnership with Therabody isn’t just limited to the aircraft. In the coming months, you’ll soon start seeing Therabody products in all of the airline’s Polaris business-class lounges.
Dubbed “Reset Suites,” United is building out dedicated spaces in each of its business-class-only lounges that’ll be outfitted with Therabody wellness products, such as the Therabody Lounger, RecoveryAir JetBoots and the Theragun.
I’ve been using the Theragun for years to aid in muscle circulation after workouts and long-haul flights. I’m looking forward to trying out Therabody’s full suite of products the next time I pass through a Polaris lounge.
The airline says that every lounge will offer at least one semi-private room, with Reset Suites opening in Newark and San Francisco in late October, followed by Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles later this fall.
United didn’t say whether it was adding new space to its Polaris lounges for these Reset Suites or if it was repurposing existing spaces, but we’ll update the story with more details as we get them.
If you enjoy using these products in the Polaris lounge, United is launching a new offer to earn up to six MileagePlus miles per dollar spent on eligible Therabody purchases at www.united.com/therabody.
United’s long-awaited Polaris refresh is finally here, and it brings some exciting upgrades to the onboard “soft product” — all of the amenities that aren’t physically attached to the aircraft.
The revamped sleep amenities should help make it easier to fall asleep, while the refreshed amenity kits are only the beginning of what’s poised to be a far-reaching partnership with popular wellness brand Therabody.
Aside from the sleep essentials and amenity kits, United is also teasing some recent catering upgrades as part of its big Polaris refresh. This includes stocking more than 20 new wine, beer and liquor brands, with brands like Justin Justification and Bell’s taking flight later this year.
The carrier says that it’s “in the midst of an ongoing journey to elevate the Polaris food and beverage offerings onboard,” which is exciting news for any Polaris flyer who’s flown with the airline since the pandemic and experienced its sub-par catering options.
While United’s splashy announcement covers the Polaris amenities, the rumor mill has been swirling around when the airline will finally unveil a new seat, or “hard product,” for its business-class cabins. Rumor has it that the final touches are nearly complete, so I wouldn’t be surprised if an announcement were imminent.
Until then, rest assured you’ll have a comfortable night’s sleep when flying in United Polaris.