United's Polaris lounges for London, Hong Kong, Tokyo now 2019-2020?

By David Flynn, February 6 2018
United's Polaris lounges for London, Hong Kong, Tokyo now 2019-2020?

United Airlines has pushed back the opening of its swish new Polaris business class airport lounges for London, Hong Kong and Tokyo to at least 2019, with the possibility those could slip into 2020.

The Star Alliance member previously pegged each of those lounges – which form the ground component of its new Polaris business class offering – as opening in 2018, with London tagged for the "early 2018" timeframe.

However, a spokesman for United Airlines tells Australian Business Traveller that "we will begin design for these international Polaris lounge locations in 2019."

Given that the 'design' work won't start until 2019, and based on United's tardy track record to date and the inherent complexity of dealing with airports, it's not unreasonable to expect that some of that trio could see a ribbon-cutting in 2020.

United's home base of Chicago remains the only airport with a Polaris lounge, some 20 months after the airline first launched its ambitious Polaris concept.

But it won't be lonesome for long, with the United Airlines spokesman adding that new Polaris lounges for San Francisco, Houston and the New York-adjacent Newark airports would open "this summer, and in Los Angeles this fall."

Each lounge will copy the Chicago playbook in tempting 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


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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11 Oct 2014

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Given the forced 'delay' due to seat-supply issue for new aircraft, it actually might not be such a foolish idea to delay the launch of these new lounges.

If you are an airline trying to reboot your brand with a concept such as 'Polaris', it generally provides far more 'buck' to have aircraft fitted with the Polaris product to complement your new 'Polaris' lounges, especially with high-profile international destinations.

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