American Airlines’ New Casper Bedding — How Good Is It?

As of December 1, 2017, American Airlines launched a new partnership with Casper for their inflight bedding and sleepwear. Airlines trying to brand aspects of their product with companies or people that have name recognition is nothing new, whether we’re talking about a celebrity chef, a cosmetics company, etc.

I’ve been incredibly impressed by United’s Polaris bedding, which is Saks Fifth Avenue branded. The bedding is simply phenomenal, and I’d say United has the best business class bedding of any airline. At least subconsciously, United’s Saks Fifth Avenue bedding makes me think more highly of Saks Fifth Avenue.

Let that sink in for a moment — something on United improved my perception of Saks Fifth Avenue.

So I’ve been curious to check out American’s new Casper bedding, and yesterday I had my first American flight featuring the new bedding. I flew American from New York to Los Angeles in business class on their A321. Before I share my perspective, let me state that American just offers the minimal Casper bedding on this flight, since it’s just a premium domestic service.

What’s offered depends on the route, whether you’re in first or business class, etc. For example, here’s what you can expect in first class on American’s premium international flights:

However, the pillow and duvet are the same on all routes, so I’ll be sharing my thoughts on that.

As the basis of comparison, I should mention that American’s old bedding wasn’t branded. The pillow was decent enough though a bit on the small side, while the blankets just looked awful.

So, how does American’s new Casper bedding compare? Favorably… slightly… I think.

On the plus side, I liked the new pillow. It was large and plush, and a nice improvement over the old one.

What impressed me significantly less was the duvet. While it’s large, the duvet was stiff, scratchy, and just didn’t feel cozy. I’m not sure if this is just a function of the duvet still being new and not having gone through enough wash cycles, or what.

From my perspective, the reason a company would want to feature their products on a plane is to showcase how good they are. Like I said above, United’s onboard bedding makes me think more favorably of Saks Fifth Avenue. However, the duvet certainly doesn’t give me a favorable impression of Casper.

I know the problem is that bedding preferences are highly subjective. I surveyed a few friends who had experienced the new Casper bedding (including in international first class). No one felt passionately about it one way or the other — some slightly liked it, and some slightly disliked it. Meanwhile when I’ve asked people about United’s Polaris bedding, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.

The one other thing I found a bit weird is that the bedding came with a Casper card showcasing the partnership. However, it showed all the bedding that would be available in international first class. It just seems weird to show people what’s not available to them because based on this card I’d assume I could get slippers, etc. (also, the picture makes American’s international first class look significantly more spacious than it is).

If you’ve experienced American’s new Casper bedding, what did you think?

Comments

  1. I’m flying AA First from JFK-LHR in 2 weeks and I’m excited to take advantage of both the flagship dining and the new casper bedding onboard. From what I recall AA’s former first class bedding wasn’t particularly comfortable compared to other bedding I’ve experienced. I think one major issue is that when in bed mode AA’s seat is totally exposed to the aisle. Some more enclosure would probably have been a good idea on AA’s part. Hopefully this new bedding offers some improvement?

    On another note, I hope AA is serving some decent champagne in First these days. I’ve seen some menus showing Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle listed, so maybe I’ll get lucky and it will be offered.

  2. On the Polaris bedding, I flew UA business on an old 772 recently and was underwhelmed by it. No mattress pad, ok duvet, I liked the pillow and the day blanket but again the amenity kit was terrible and unpractical (who gives out a tin box that takes half your hand luggage??). Half the seats did not have slippers and service was terrible – worse than AA or DL 3 or 4 years ago. UA Polaris branding has been a failure, too much hype but terrible execution will definitely backfire.

  3. Lucky,
    I couldn’t agree more. Just flew in J from DFW-NRT.

    First of all, the fact that you have to fly to either HKG or SYD to get the pajamas and the mattress pad in J is just idiotic, in my opinion. The DFW-NRT flight is almost as long as LAX-HKG. At first, i got excited, because, as you pointed out, the package card lists everything.
    Secondly, the blanket was not cozy in the slightest. It was scratchy and stiff. Really disappointing.

  4. I experienced the first class Casper bedding on a DFW-LHR flight last month. I have to say I was impressed. The pillows are the first noticeable improvement. I didn’t mind the duvet cover. I thought it was fine, although not outstanding.
    What I did appreciate from the flight attendants was that they made up the bed when I changed into the pajamas. I wasn’t expecting that. After all, this is AA.
    However, you will find that the mattress pad is not included in the kit that is ready for you when you board. The flight attendants store them separately and have to make up the bed for you. The Casper bed setup looks and feels quite impressive. A good sleep.
    When I woke up, I dismantled the bedding myself, and found that the mattress pad is VERY heavy. At the top of a pad is a hood which hooks over the back of the seat, so it doesn’t slip when you sleep. When I lifted the pad and felt the weight, it was then apparent what made the sleep very comfortable.
    I think AA has got the bedding right in First Class, but it was the mattress pad what elevated the sleeping experience. The business class experience might be a different story.

  5. I like the Casper bedding — used it 3 times recently.

    The pillow is the key part and Casper is much better than the previous.

    I don’t really care about the comforter, since as Lucky often mentions, it is usually too hot in the plan anyway.

  6. I just took three segments with the new Casper bedding. The pillows are a huge improvement for sure. I see what you mean about the duvet being stiff but I didn’t mind it too much.

    The issue is how little bedding they provide… I do think they should be providing two pillows and a mattress pad in business class. This is especially true where Business class is the top level of service (so, the vast majority of their longhaul network). Overall, it’s a big move in the right direction though.

  7. I recently flew with the Casper bedding in both F (DFW-LHR round trip) and J (MXP-MIA) and thought both the Casper pillow and comforter were a major improvement over AA’s previous product. I found the larger comforter to be a significant improvement as it covered my whole body (I’m 6’3″) and was a bit warmer than the old comforter. My only wish is that AA made the mattress pad available in both F and J!

  8. I tried the new bedding for years first time just last night in LAX-MIA. Agreed much higher quality bedding than previous and on lay-flat seats would be good. But the fullness of the pillow was a bit of an issue in a standard recliner seat (plane was a 738). When put behind your head, you’re almost leaning forward due to the limited recline of the seat. Window seat might have been a bit better since you have the wall to lean against but you’ll still have lumbar issues.

    I ended up putting the pillow on my lap to rest my arms on and simply used the movable headrest to lean my head against.

    Duvet was great – loved the longer size since I’m 6’3”.

  9. Just did JFK-EZE-JFK on the 77W in J and agree……the pillow is better but the blanket fabric is not good……it is indeed scratchy feeling and I can’t believe someone actually approved and signed off on something with this feeling.

  10. Flew LAX-LHR and back over the holidays. On the return segment, I got the old combo. Flight attendant was not helpful and had to suffer with bad pillow and Casper envy, which isn’t all that cool besides the branding and a thick pillow. But Beware! Double check before the door shuts.

  11. I’ve had the Casper bedding on several TPAC flights in J. I agree that the duvet is not that impressive, although I’d say it’s not significantly worse than the old duvets and probably will become softer with more wash cycles. The pillow is a noticeable improvement. I also like the slippers (which are sturdy and don’t feel flimsy), and I appreciate the front pocket on the pajamas. Overall, I’d say it’s an improvement.

  12. I’ve done Flagship First on the 77W MIA-EZE after the introduction of the Casper bedding, and it was phenomenal. The mattress pad made a huge difference. When flying longhaul J for work, the new Casper bedding makes it more likely that I’ll consider using upgrade instruments to fly F.

  13. I flew HKG-LAX in J a few days ago, first time with the new bedding. The pillow and duvet are fine, but it’s the mattress pad which blew me away. Thicker and more plush than what you get on CX or LH in F. Which makes sense given that Casper is primarily a foam mattress company.

    The slippers are nicer too than the old ones. Didn’t use the pajamas.

  14. Just flew DFW to HKG with a return 2 days later HKG to LAX both in J; had the Casper bedding both ways and was happily impressed. Agree the blanket was not great, but the padding and pillow were better than before and added some extra comfort especially on the 16 hour leg to HKG. Didn’t see the bedding up in 1st class though.

  15. I recently flew MIA-LHR in F and think the new Casper bedding is an improvement over what AA had before except for the pajamas. I found the pants of the new ones to be a bit too short for me (I’m 6′) perhaps due to the cuff. As for the bedding, the mattress pad made for quite a comfortable sleep. I’ve read that many dislike the blanket but the weight appealed to me as it is quite more heavy than the old ones.

    @Andrew C. the champagne in F on my flights between MIA-LHR in November and December was 2006 vintage Philipponnat Clos des Goisses and was quite nice.

  16. Next week flying LAX-NRT on 772 in J. Will be interested to see how it compares to the old F (LAX-HKG) bedding. Although flight leaves before noon, so probably won’t sleep much.

  17. If I was Saks, I’d be pissed that I was associated with a half-hearted, poorly provisioned, misleading roll-out that is Polaris

  18. Can’t be worse than the piece of cloth that had a “Westin Heavenly” tag and disposable pillow in business on a daytime Hawaiian Delta 767 flight.

  19. The pillow might be an improvement, however the mattress pad bunches up and the duvet is scratchy and thin. Overall a downgrade from what I guess they were testing on long hauls a few months prior to the official roll out. Casper and AA should both be embarrassed!!!

  20. Not anywhere close to Westin Heavenly bedding.

    Casper is alright. Just did 4 segements to China in J on the 787. I thought it was fine and maybe one step up. I agree with others I wish they provide the mattress pad in both J and F. Especially when J is the highest cabin.

  21. On a 10 point scale, maybe 1 point better than what it replaced (from a 4 to a 5). Quite unremarkable and not sure I’d bother branding it if I was Casper. Experience was based on a JFK-LHR flight in J. Still a long way to go if they want to impress on bedding. Will say the pillow was the only thing that increased my score. The “duvet” was just as useless as the old one. I find the thin and scratchy comments to be spot on.

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