Earlier this year, United announced their new take on the international Business Class product, which they call United Polaris. As part of the announcement, they introduced brand new seats, with direct aisle access and fully flat beds. But there will also be changes to service elements, from new Polaris lounges to onboard soft product changes, including new Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and catering enhancements. Passengers will get slippers on all flights, and also pajamas on flights longer than 12 hours.
The new service will kick in on December 1, 2016, and will apply to flights that depart after 12:01 am local time. This means some flights in the air are already offering the soft product.
United is actively renovating lounges, and will be offering 9 Polaris lounges around the world in the first wave of the revamp. The first to open is the Polaris lounge in Chicago O’Hare, which will be available to passengers tomorrow (December 1, 2016). During the product launch, United shared some renderings of the Polaris Lounge. But these new photos show us what we can expect from Polaris lounges, in real life.
The entrance is beautiful, featuring white marble walls (which to me scream Cathay Pacific’s old lounges if the black stripes weren’t there). The huge ceiling light is actually made to look like the Chicago city grid, and the light bulbs and synced up so that they correspond to the stars that you can see from Chicago on any given day. That’s super cool!
The astrologically-inspired theme doesn’t end with the Polaris brand name and the ceiling fixture. There are what appears to be starlights ceiling fixtures in the hallways, which look awesome as well. United has commissioned artist Wolfgang Buttress for paintings and artwork, so you can expect to see them in Polaris lounges.
There will be semi-formal dining areas, as well as bar service.
Apparently, United has installed special lockers at the bar for extremely frequent travelers, who can presumably get United to stock them with specific requests. (left of image).
There will be a few shower rooms, with pressing service built into the wall. This is particularly nice if you have to quickly freshen up and get to a meeting, and is something that rarely shows up in Business Class lounges. The showers will also feature linens by Saks Fifth Avenue.
Finally, there are day beds available for those who might want to take a quick nap or recline and relax. United didn’t say how many of these will be available, but hopefully it’s not something you’ll have to fight for.
The Chicago O’Hare Polaris Lounge will be located near gate C18. Other Polaris Lounge locations coming include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow. These lounges will be available for those traveling in United Polaris (Business and First class) on long-haul international flights, or in Star Alliance First or Business Class.
What do you think of the United Polaris Lounge in Chicago O’Hare?