United upgrades business class with Therabody, Saks Fifth Avenue

The airline wants to help high flyers become sweet dreamers with its latest refresh of bedding and amenities.

By David Flynn, October 4 2023
United upgrades business class with Therabody, Saks Fifth Avenue

 United Airlines made relaxation and sleep a cornerstone of the Polaris business class experience when it launched in 2016.

That wasn’t just about the Saks Fifth bedding kit, which comprised a mattress topper, a duvet and two pillows, one of which was a compact cooling gel pillow.

It also extended to the ‘quiet rooms’ at the Polaris lounges where you can nestle into a curved lounge (also boasting a comfy Saks Fifth Avenue pillow) for a power nap before your flight or between flights.

Now United is finessing its forty winks focus, with not only a refresh of the Saks Fifth Avenue product but inflight and lounge collaborations with wellness partner Therabody.

United cites a recent survey where 83% of international travellers say catching up on sleep is “important” on those long-haul flights (something we could have told them without the expense of a survey).

Some of the new Polaris sleep kit has already popped up on the Star Alliance member’s international routes, including Sydney, including the Therabody amenity kit and a brightly patterned Saks day blanket, which like the duvet and large pillow are now made from 100% recycled plastic.

Thoughtful presented in a nifty little belt bag which can be used again and again after your flight, the new Polaris Therabody kit includes a collection of TheraFace skincare products such as

  • eye serum with niacinamide, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 and allantoin, to reduce puffiness, enhance hydration, soothe the delicate eye area and improve the skin's barrier function.
  • face spray with hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, calendula flower extract, aloe leaf juice and glycerin to help soothe, hydrate and protect the skin
  • cleansing face towelette with vitamin B5 and E, calendula flower extract, aloe leaf juice and glycerin
  • hand cream with niacinamide, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, sweet almond oil and Vitamin B5. 

Bottles of the hand cream and face spray are also stocked in the washrooms of the Polaris business class cabins.

The Polaris Therabody kit also includes standard items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, ear plugs, socks and a pen, while passengers also find slippers at their seat.

To be honest, there’s so much piled onto the Polaris seat ahead of a long overnight flight that the first thing every passenger does it to relocate the bulk of it into the overhead bin simply so that can sit down.

But most will hang onto the gel pillow – a brilliant touch which remains from the original Polaris formula – and the lightweight day blanket.

And the new day blanket definitely catches the eye, with a sharp pattern by Cameroon-born US fashion designer Claude Kameni.

The blanket is made from 100% recycled plastic and will be a relatively ‘limited edition’ available through to early 2024.

United will also be setting up Therabody Reset Suites across its Polaris lounge network, beginning with the New York/Newark and San Francisco lounges in late October and Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington to follow.

It’s expected every Polaris lounge will offer “at least one semi-private room”, United says, each outfitted with Therabody wellness technology including a Therabody Lounger, which combines sound and vibration therapy for full body relaxation.

Other tech-forward wellness devices will include a Theragun massager and RecoveryAir JetBoots to support circulation, lymphatic drainage and muscle recovery and aid in decreased swelling and stiffness.

07 May 2019

Total posts 11

If only the USA legacy airlines could have happy staff, both on the ground and in the air, I would actually consider travelling with them. Management have made them so sad that they are both lazy and rude for the most part. That needs to change before I'd consider them a good option for TransPac flights. Use only if desperate.
Qantas were heading this way but recent signs show some hope for the future.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 Jan 2023

Total posts 3

Recently flew UA to SFO and onwards to AMS (and back) and think they have a good product. The gel pillow is great, more airlines should have different type of pillows, and the seats provide a lot of privacy and personal space. I can partly agree with D747, the service can be a bit better - especially the food experience. We had only friendly and chatty staff on our flights, but they seemed a bit lazy in their service (not as proactive and visible as say SQ).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Mar 2018

Total posts 8

Agree with Jagermeester the hard product is really good. However, I do find it strange that they recognise and market that sleep and relaxing is a customer priority - yet don't carry enough mattress toppers or PJ's on the long haul flights for all Business passengers. I understand its probably a cost saving exercise. but if you are in Business and miss out when 2/3rd of the others do get them doesn't say Good customer Service to me. 

Top tip if ask for the them when you board. or you miss out. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 179

Agree with all of the above. Not a bad hard product but after flying in J Mel - SFO - LAS recently the international crew on both long haul flights seemed the unhappiest air crew i have encountered. The domestic leg the crew were allot happier. Bedding was great but the food and wine were sub Qantas IMO.

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