United: No Little Pillow for You!

Apr 21, 2017

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First it was the sundae — now they’re taking away our pillows. Well, one of our pillows. Welcome to #Pillowgate.

As my good friend Brian Sumers reports:

Note that this change only affects international United Polaris flights — passengers traveling on domestic p.s. flights previously only received the larger pillow.

From lounge to landing, we want customers seated in United Polaris business class to truly enjoy their experience. We’ve been listening to the feedback our customers are sharing, so we have removed the small pillow and are reducing the number of mattress pads to help our customers settle into their seats. We will continue to offer all other Saks Fifth Avenue luxury bedding including blankets, the large pillow and the gel pillow (available upon customer request).

The above statement seems to imply that this only applies to business class — in which case passengers traveling in Polaris first would still be entitled to a large pillow and a small pillow, in addition to the optional gel pillow that business-class travelers can request as well. (We’ve reached out to United for clarification.) So if the second non-gel pillow is important to you, this could be a very good reason to choose first class over biz.

Update: United has clarified that business and first-class passengers receive the same bedding, including “one large Saks Fifth Avenue pillow, one duvet and one throw blanket and the gel pillow.”

Now, all joking aside, I think this is a change for the better. There’s always been too much “stuff” to deal with in Polaris, and even United’s brand-new 777-300ER biz seats don’t have enough room to store all the bedding placed at each seat before boarding. Also, I’ve been on a handful of Polaris legs so far, and I’ve only seen a couple other passengers use the mattress pads, though I’ve requested one (and a gel pillow) every time I’ve flown. And limited quantities will still be available — just be sure to request one right away to avoid missing out.

What do you make of this latest United announcement?

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