In a letter to Employees United has announced a few changes coming to its business class service. It comes as no surprise that the company will be reducing the service and making some cuts. Since United launched Polaris in 2016, it has not left the service alone, and the company has over time made a whole series of cuts to all aspects of its Polaris service.
Polaris Service Changes
The new changes will be coming into force effective February 1, 2019.
- Business Class entrees will be plated in advance and served up. This will reduce flight attendant workload so United can eliminate one flight attendant from Business class. Pre-plated entrees will sure look delicious.
- United is also reducing the number of flight attendants in economy by one.
- United will check out what the competitors are doing, and if they fly with fewer flight attendants so will United. Clearly United aspires to cater (no pun intended) to the lowest common denominator- yet again United misses the chance to make itself better than the competition.
The changes are pretty sad; there seems to be no desire or inclination on the part of United to differentiate and offer a better product or service. All they are interested in is cutting costs and competing at the lowest level.
United Logic (kind of)
In a letter to employees, United justified the changes by using the kind of beautiful circular logic that Joseph Heller would have been proud to include in his seminal novel Catch 22. According to United based on CUSTOMER feedback, they decided to cut the number of flights attendants in business class since this would speed up meal service. By that reasoning, only one flight attendant serving meals in economy would be able to cater to the 200+ passengers much quicker than the 6 or 8 normally on board.
The second wonderful piece of reasoning united uses goes as follows: by cutting the number of flight attendants in Business, United reduces costs. This reduction, in turn, makes the company more profitable. The increased profitability means United can grow, which means they can then hire more flight attendants. Once you have read the above a couple of times and drank a gallon of coffee to get your head around it is blatantly clear that United is treating staff and travelers like idiots and trying to hide a cost-cutting exercise behind a large pile of waffle!
To say the news is disappointing is an understatement, we had high hopes for United when it launched Polaris in 2016 and offered a truly premium service. Since then the company has slowly but surely eaten away at the little perks and benefits that made it a standout product. It is only a matter of time before even more is removed from what was once a great hard and soft product. At least those who flew Polaris in the early days got to experience what the true Polaris was like!