United pushes back worldwide Polaris airport lounge openings

By David Flynn, October 5 2017
United pushes back worldwide Polaris airport lounge openings

United Airlines has pushed back the opening of its flagship Polaris airport lounges around the world, marking another delay for the airline's upmarket lounge network intended as the upmarket ground component of its new Polaris business class seats.

Earlier this year United Airlines listed San Francisco and its near-NY hub Newark as gaining Polaris lounges by mid-2017 – albeit in 'phase one' developments with a 'phase two' slated for 2018 – with Los Angeles and London to follow before the year was out.

However, United's flagship Polaris lounge at Chicago has been the only one to lay out the welcome mat and tempt business class travellers with its tended bar, a dining area with a la carte menu, 'work pods' and even secluded day beds (below).

Read: 10 things you'll love about United's new Polaris airport lounges

In the meantime the airline's own 'Polaris lounge tracker' has down the optimism, changing the openings of San Francisco, Newark and London from "by early 2018" from this screenshot taken mid-year... 

... to a current and far more vague "starting in 2018".

Work has now begun on the San Francisco Polaris lounge, which is being built in the footprint of the now-closed United Club as well as the neighbouring (and also now-closed) Singapore Airlines and EVA Air lounges to create a massive split-level space which promises to be one of the largest Polaris lounges in United's network.

United Airlines has been approached several times for comment but has refused to share any details on its revised lounge roadmap.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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13 Jan 2015

Total posts 588

for some reason i'm not surprised


23 May 2014

Total posts 120

Really like the look of these lounges - obviously a huge investment going on. My hesitation is still around the onboard service... is it going to be indifferent, surly, rude or abrupt (as it often is today) or something else? And how consistent? Just not sure if culturally they can pull it off... but if they can offer consistently excellent service it'll be a really compelling product.

Like the hou syd a lot of hype about polaris then put on an old aircraft and the the lounge not until sometime next year. Seems strange given the hou is a major hub and going direct to hou would make a huge difference rather than lax

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