United Airlines is offering customers a new, scientific way to battle jet lag through a partnership with Timeshifter, an app that gives recommendations of the best time to see and avoid light, sleep and ingest caffeine to adjust quickly to a new time zone. Members of the airline’s MileagePlus programme receive access to a free Timeshifter jet lag plan, while Premier 1K members receive a complimentary subscription with unlimited plans.
“Timeshifter takes all the guesswork out of avoiding jet lag and instead uses science and algorithms to design a customised, step-by-step trip across time zones,” said United’s VP of loyalty and president of MileagePlus, Luc Bondar. “I was a believer the first time I used the app and I think our customers will love it too.”
Timeshifter was developed by researchers in sleep and circadian neuroscience and is aimed at customers crossing three or more time zones. The app uses an algorithm to customise plans for customers based on a number of factors, including normal sleep pattern, flight details and individual preferences, creating a personalised jet lag alleviation plan. Each plan includes:
- Instructions for when travellers should prioritise exposure to bright light or avoid it
- A sleep and napping schedule based on sleep preferences
- A plan to optimise caffeine intake for alertness and sleep
- Optional timing for taking melatonin, should travellers choose to do so
MileagePlus members will receive a free jet lag plan for a flight plan of their choosing, in addition to the complimentary trial that Timeshifter offers customers for a total of two free flight plans. MileagePlus Premier 1K members will be able to sign up for complimentary annual subscriptions for unlimited access to jet lag plans when they travel. Individual plans for the app retail at US$9.99 for a round trip plan and yearly memberships are US$24.99.