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.