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Meeting Polaris. New United Business Class, Part 2: The Lounge.

Jake Redman June 4, 2016 4

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Polaris- The new United Business Class:
Part 1: The Seats
Part 2: The Lounge
Part 3: Menus, Service + Amenities (June 6)

We’re giddy to see there will be an exclusive United Airlines Business Class lounge for intercontinental flights. The new “Polaris” lounge will surface first at Chicago O’Hare along with the start of Polaris seating and on-board service in December 2016. Will the new exclusive-to-business class customers lounge experience live up to what’s offered by international competitors? Here’s what United promises…

United Airlines unveils the all-new United Polaris business class, featuring a re-imagined, sleep-enhancing, lounge-to-landing experience for intercontinental travelers on Thursday, June 2, 2016 in New York. (Mark Von Holden/AP Images for United Airlines)
United Airlines unveils the all-new Polaris United Airlines business class lounge for intercontinental travelers on Thursday, June 2, 2016 in New York. (Mark Von Holden/AP Images for United Airlines)


A “Full Buffet”? Really?!

Dining looks promising inside the Polaris Lounge. The promise of a full buffet sounds too good to be true for a US based airline lounge so we’re naturally skeptical but hopeful that it’s not all hype. A sit down menu by a well known chef too? C’mon now. James Beard Award winning (and long-time personal chef to Oprah) Art Smith has developed a pre-flight dining menu that might let you skip the in-flight offering and get some real sleep on board.

Mussels are on the menu inside the Polaris by United Business Class Lounge.
That’s a big plate of mussels! A full menu of meal-sized options developed by Chef Art Smith will be offered inside the Polaris United Airlines Business Class Lounge.

The Friendly Skies School of Mixology

He can’t be in every United Airlines Business Class lounge at once so Chicago-based “Mixologist” Adam Seger has developed an array of fancy drinks for you to sample when you visit. Alongside Adam’s creations United promises “premium” wine and spirits.

United Airlines Business Class lounge visitors get premium cocktails at the Polaris Lounge bar.
Adam Seger won’t be your bartender but the Chicago-based mixologist has designed some tasty premium cocktails for you inside the new United Polaris Lounge.


Polaris promises “Spa-Like” showers.

Not sure what sort of spa we’re talking about here but I’m hoping not the kind with neon in the window…and maybe a secret knock. What’s potentially promising is that the showers will be stocked with Cowshed amenities. We have no opinion on the products yet (we’ve never tried them) but Cowshed’s real-world spas look kind of awesome.


We Want These nap Kiosks at Work.

Long connections can be a real drag especially after an overnight leg. That’s why we can appreciate a quiet, private or semi-private space for power napping before the next flight. These new United Business Class lounges will sport an area secluded from the more active areas with daybeds. As an avid napper, this might be my favorite feature. Lounge

New Polaris United Business Class lounges are scheduled to  start appearing in December 2016 starting with Chicago (ORD) then LAX, SFO, IAH, ORD,EWR, IAD, NRT, HKG and LHR scheduled for 2017. We look forward to any lounge option that promises a nap and a full meal, so we’re excited to see how the Polaris Lounge rates once they’re open.


Thanks for checking out the new Polaris by United Business Class lounges with us. In part 3 of our Polaris breakdown, we’ll take a deeper look at dining (both lounge and on-board), service and amenities.

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Jake Redman

Jake Redman

Modhop Host & Founder Jake Redman brings years of global exploration and travel tips to the podcast and our videos at Modhop. Jake is also a Producer and Host for SiriusXM.

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This post currently has 4 comments.
  1. David Marquette on June 4, 2016

    the interior design certainly looks like DL Skyclubs, blue accent tiles instead of red! we know UA into copying, but would hope something original, some progress. by now DL’s look is dated, wake up UA.

  2. Ex-FNT Delta Diamond on June 4, 2016

    I would totally switch to United, except it won’t be fleet-wide until 2021! I’ll wait until 2019-ish when most routes will have the product and Delta’s business0class will be nearly 10 years hold. Serving a full mean in the club makes sense…it would allow them to eliminate food on the planes, cut weight and maybe reduce the number of flight attendants. On an overnight flight of less than 8 hours all I care about is sleep.

    • modhop on June 4, 2016

      Sounds like a solid plan. We enjoyed a pre-flight meal in the British Airways Concorde room at JFK not too long ago for that very reason…more in-flight sleep.

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