Redefining luxury and comfort in the sky: United partners with Saks Fifth Avenue
Upon stepping into a United Polaris® first or business class cabin, it's easy to pick out the luxurious details of this new inflight premium service, but what one may not notice immediately is the thoughtful planning that went into designing a world-class experience with sleep at the forefront. Having conducted over 12,000 hours of sleep research involving more than 350 customers and 50 employees, we analyzed and identified what mattered most to our customers and which aspects of the experience would help promote the best sleep in the sky. From the lie-flat seats to custom bedding and sleep-focused amenities, we imagined a space that exudes comfort and luxury.
Finding the right partner
Reimagining the international premium cabin experience also meant teaming up with the right partners to bring our vision to life. The partner that came to mind, a brand that exemplifies the United Polaris experience, was none other than Saks Fifth Avenue. Having set the bar for unparalleled luxury and service in the fashion space, Saks was a natural fit.
A first of its kind, our partnership with Saks brings comfort and style to our sleep focused amenities.
"Part of Saks' mission is to connect with customers by creating experiences that reach beyond the four walls of its stores," said Kathleen Ruiz, SVP Media and Development for Hudson's Bay Company — Saks Fifth Avenue's holding company. "With that in mind, we are especially proud to be part of this first-of-its-kind collaboration with United, which allows us the perfect opportunity to extend the Saks brand and its signature service from runway to runway."
Along with partnering on our sleep-focused amenities, Saks also provided training to 26,000 flight attendants, led by SVP and Store Director John Cruz. During the training, Cruz focused on the commonalities between exceptional service in his stores and going above and beyond in the sky. From quality materials to a timeless design and sublime presentation, Cruz shared the building blocks of the Saks hospitality model and trained flight attendants on Saks' service principles.
Comfort meets functional style at 35,000 feet
Once on board, customers will enjoy plush bedding designed by Saks specifically for United Polaris. A choice between two different blankets — a quilted duvet and a lighter throw blanket — provides customers with temperature-controlled options throughout their journey. In addition to the blanket options, customers will also enjoy Saks pillows provided at their seats. The products are not only luxurious, but also highly functional. Each item underwent rigorous testing, including multiple rounds where food and beverage items were spilled on the bedding, in both a dining room and work station environment.
"When we designed the Saks Fifth Avenue bedding collection for United Polaris, which was more than a year in the making, we set out to create the most luxurious sleep experience in the sky," said Ruiz.
Saks products will be included on long-haul international flights worldwide, as well as premium transcontinental flights between New York/Newark and Los Angeles and San Francisco and all long-haul flights to Honolulu. In total, Saks products will be featured on over 120,000 United flights per year to destinations ranging from Sydney to Scotland, Dublin to Delhi and Beijing to Buenos Aires.
Around the web
We know people are taking a second look at their travel plans right now. If you're scheduled to travel March 10 – May 31, 2020 and would like to change your plans, there is no fee to do so, regardless of when you purchased your ticket or where you're traveling. This is in addition to our previous waiver, which waives all change fees – domestic and international – for tickets purchased March 3 – April 30, 2020. This is available for any of United's published nonrefundable fares. If you decide to cancel your flight, you can retain the value of your ticket to be applied to a new ticket without a fee. These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.
Eligible travelers on domestic flights and international tickets can request a refund on united.com or may call our contact centers if their flights have been severely adjusted or service to their destination suspended either due to government mandates or United schedule reductions related to COVID-19.
Certain tickets cannot be changed on united.com or the mobile app, including tickets booked through another airline (if the ticket receipt does not begin with 016). Please contact the original ticketing airline for changes.
Follow the steps below to stay up to date, change or cancel your flight.
Change your current flight:
- On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your flight information to retrieve your flight.
- Select "Change flight" and then "Edit" to make the following changes:
- Date of travel or destination
- Add a flight
- Remove a flight
- Select "Continue" and choose a new flight option
- Continue through booking to confirm your new flight
Note: The change fee will display as waived, but any difference in fare may apply.
Cancel your flight and rebook later:
- On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your reservation information to retrieve your flight
- Select "Cancel flight"
- Confirm flight cancellation
- If you have future flight credit, when you return to the reservation, select "Use Future Flight Credit" to shop for new flights and apply the credit towards a new flight.
Canceling or changing an award flight:
When you select "Cancel flight," you will have the option to cancel your award reservation and redeposit the miles or to cancel your award reservation and use those miles for another trip in the future.
*We're currently experiencing heavy traffic to united.com. If you experience an error while trying to change or cancel your flight, please try again later.
Click through the slideshow below for more detailed instructions:
Start on the United homepage:
User can select 'My Trips' on the homepage widget to find and retrieve their reservation.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 68 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 9,200 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.