United Product Updates Coming July 1: More Gel Pillows, Mayonnaise and Jerky

United sent me a package highlighting some of their product updates.

They sent a cooling gel pillow — part of what I’ve said over the past year has been the best business class bedding in the sky — because instead of making this an ‘on request’ item for Polaris business class passengers they’re going to start placing one at every seat effective July 1.

A year ago United removed the second smaller pillow from their business class product explaining at the time that “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.”

However they’re adding gel pillows to the seats because they have “proven to be one of the most popular items of United Polaris bedding,” according to a spokesperson.

The irony of their sending me a cooling gel pillow while having flight attendants ask paying business class customers not to take the pillow isn’t lost on me.

Also included in the package were a small bag of chips and beef jerky which will be available in United’s buy on board menu, along with Sir Kensington condiments which are served with United’s smoked gouda cheeseburger.

Starting July 1 they’re adding chipotle mayo to the Sir Kensington mix along with ketchup and mustard. Growing up East Coast I find mayonnaise on a burger to be an abomination.

While no ice cream sundae was included in the package (it would definitely have melted in the Austin heat pre-delivery), they’re offering Ghirardelli sundae toppings on premium transcon flights: dark chocolate mini chips, hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, and caramel mini chips.

Finally they’re going to be handing out foldable device folders onboard and in United’s clubs to facilitate watching streaming entertainment on personal devices — because like American, United is moving away from seat back video on domestic narrowbodies.

I don’t quite understand how the packaged United sunglasses in the box tie to a recent product change, however. Not even a Timbuk 3 reference, the future of their product is so bright…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It isn’t irony it’s a sales technique and you got hit by it!
    Secondly ; am HORRIFIED to hear that tablets will replace seat back screens in business class. I just did AA from PHL to GLA overnight on AA 757. I was at window seat. No direct aisle access. The tablets took 20+ mins to hand out at top of flight. This is drinks or nightcap time for those wanting to sleep!!!! Plus the tablet used TWO count them TWO wires to attach passenger to power and headphones. Result? When window passenger needs out the aisle passenger needs to disconnect BOTH wires each time to let someone past.
    Who are the idiots that think this is ok?

  2. “am HORRIFIED to hear that tablets will replace seat back screens in business class.”

    It’s only AA that’s gone this chintzy on longhaul/international 757/767 flights.

  3. When I see an airline updating something I assume the worst. Oh great, another benefit *enhanced* away.

  4. UA is such a lagging product and it’s amusing that the only comparisons are between UA and AA…

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