When most people get aboard an airliner, the first thing on their mind is to fall asleep as fast as possible, time travel, and wake up in another place. Airliners know this, and try to make sleep as comfortable as possible – at least for first-class passengers. Nevermind the rabble back in steerage, they’re on their own. To help improve the in-flight sleep experience, many airlines have begun partnering with some of the biggest names in sleep products and home goods to provide top-quality bedding, pillows, and other sleep aids to passengers. One airline, though, has discovered that this generous gesture might have gone too far. It turns out that passengers on United Airlines like the airline’s fancy bedding a little too much, so much so that they’ve been stealing it in droves. Will this change the airline’s policy of providing top-shelf sheets to top tier passengers?

A United Airlines flight attendant leaked an internal company memo to air travel blog Live and Let’s Fly which directs flight attendants to remind travelers not to take the Saks Fifth Avenue bedding with them. According to the memo, even if just a few passengers each flight steal the sheets, that can add up to millions of dollars worth each year:

We’ve noticed some confusion about which amenities may be taken off the plane at the end of the flight. We’d like to take this opportunity to clarify the policy regarding our new bedding and ask for your help to ensure its safekeeping on board the aircraft. You can share with customers that all pillows and blankets are to be left on the aircraft at the end of each flight, including the cooling gel memory foam pillow. Even if only a small number of these items are taken off each flight, that can quickly add up to millions of dollars across our network over the course of a year.

The Saks Fifth Avenue bedding package provided by United has been one of their biggest draws for their Polaris program, a business-class package of perks and amenities for all those people who are better than you. It just goes to show you: money can’t buy manners. Although it can buy Saks Fifth Avenue bedding at the end of a flight – United will now offer the bedding for sale to help alleviate the theft problem.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Contact him at [email protected]

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