United Airlines will open its flagship Polaris lounge at LAX on Saturday January 12, 2019, making it the fifth member of United's upscale business class lounge network.
United confirmed the January 12 opening date overnight, with passengers set to see more of the familiar design, furnishings and features as the Polaris lounges in Chicago, San Francisco, Newark and Houston.
The Polaris Los Angeles lounge will be located at LAX Terminal 7, which is used exclusively used by United, and sits where the former Global First Lounge used to be - but has doubled the size, as the floorplan now encompasses a series of offices which the airline vacated to ensure the lounge could meet capacity demands of the west coast hub.
A United spokesman described the lounge's shape to Australian Business Traveller as a bow-tie, built around either side of the terminal’s central rotunda, so that despite the expansive footprint it still manages to have an 'intimate' feel.
Despite ticking all the Polaris boxes such as à la carte dining and spacious (and plentiful) shower suites, the Polaris LAX lounge will also sport a few local touches, most notably in the selection of wines and spirits served at the bar.
“The bar will look very different than what you see in San Francisco or in Newark," suggests Alexander Dorow, United’s Director of Premium Services.
"It really feels like you're in California, especially in Southern California, with the unique tiles that are indigenous to that area. We want the lounge to feel really ‘homey’ to our customers who call Los Angeles home.”
Dorow says the “distinctly LA” vibe will embrace a strong focus “on wine and spirits which is attributed to the California clientele, more so than any of our other hubs."
Polaris LAX lounge access
The Polaris Los Angeles lounge will be open only to business class and first class travellers on United and its Star Alliance siblings – frequent flyers bearing even the shiniest card but booked into premium economy or economy will be turned away and redirected to the less salubrious United Club.
However, as those Star Alliance airlines – among them Air New Zealand, ANA, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines - all fly out from LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal, lounge-worthy travellers are more likely to stay put at TBIT and enjoy the terminal's excellent Star Alliance business class lounge rather than trek all the way to T7 (via the airside connector) and back again.
Of course, there's also the adjoining and more private Star Alliance first class lounge with its own à la carte dishes, Champagne menu and VIP rooms.