United’s Chicago Polaris Lounge Was Just Named Best in the U.S.

by Sam Roecker
United Polaris Lounge Chicago O'Hare Entrance. Source: United

United Polaris Lounge Chicago O’Hare Entrance. Image by United Airlines.

United, which once operated lounges renowned for pretzel snack mix, now operates the best airport lounge in the U.S., at least according to more than 20 million airline customers.
United’s Chicago O’Hare Polaris Lounge won Best Business Class Lounge in the Passenger’s Choice World Airline Awards, the culmination of a poll of global airline customers.
United Polaris Lounge Chicago O'Hare Bar. Source: United

United’s best: The Polaris Lounge Chicago O’Hare Bar. Image by United Airlines.

The lounge opened in 2016 and quickly surpassed every other offering in Chicago. Polaris introduced a  lot of firsts at O’Hare, including spa services, a-la-carte dining and craft cocktails. Among the other unique features of the Polaris Lounge:
  • United Polaris custom scent
  • Curated music playlist
  • Subtle mood lighting
  • Signature entryway lighting

United has since opened Polaris lounges at Houston Intercontinental (IAH)Newark (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO).

United Polaris Lounge Chicago Dining

United Polaris Lounge Dining Area. Image by United Airlines.

United’s International Service From Chicago (ORD)

Unlike United Clubs, The Polaris Clubs are reserved for those sitting premium. Elites on economy tickets aren’t admitted.

Polaris passengers and Star Alliance business and first class passengers can access the Polaris lounge. United operates 15-20 longhaul flights from Chicago (ORD), depending on the season, including:

  • Nine cities in Europe
  • Four cities in Asia
  • One city in South America

North American Winners for Passenger’s Other Choice Awards

Air Canada
  • Best Airline in North America
  • Best Business Class in North America
  • Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America
Alaska Airlines
  • Best Regional Airline in North America
  • Best Airline Staff in North America
  • Best Cabin Crew in the USA
American Airlines
  • Best First Class in North America
Delta Air Lines
  • Best Business Class Seat in North America (Delta One Suite)
Southwest Airlines
  • Best Low-Cost Airline in the United States
Star Alliance
  • World’s Best Airline Alliance
  • Best Airline Alliance Lounge in North America (Los Angeles)
  • Best Low-Cost Airline in North America

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John July 20, 2018 - 9:13 pm

Good luck getting a seat — let alone a table — at the ORD Polaris. It has been a zoo in my experience.

Sam Roecker July 21, 2018 - 9:20 am

Thanks for your comment, John. Agreed, it can be quite hectic before the midday Asian flights and evening European flights. Have you been since they expanded the seating? It’s definitely helped a bit.

USBusinessTraveller July 20, 2018 - 10:07 pm

Well seeing as the new Polaris lounge at SFO is even better than ORD that all bodes well for next year’s awards.

And strange as it seems I still prefer the United Club at London Heathrow over ORD Polaris, though SFO has overtaken it. The Heathrow UC (and it’s huge acclaim) was undoubtedly the catalyst to build good international business class lounges in the US.

Sam Roecker July 21, 2018 - 9:19 am

Thanks for your comment! Agreed, the United Club @ LHR is truly a gem. Happy flying,

– S


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