Yesterday, we had a layover in Chicago O’Hare Airport on our way to Europe. Since we were flying Business Class on United Airlines, we got to experience the airline’s new Polaris Lounge that’s located near Gate C18.
In December, 2016, United Airlines replaced its BusinessFirst and Global First service with the new United Polaris business class and first class service on all international flights. New United Polaris lounges — exclusively for international travelers flying in business or first class — are part of the Polaris re-branding effort.
While the Polaris lounge at Chicago O’Hare is the first, United says it will open eight additional lounges during the next few years. Other airports slated for Polaris lounges include Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles International, Newark, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles, Hong Kong, London-Heathrow and Tokyo -Narita.
When we entered the United Polaris Lounge in Chicago we immediately noticed the spacious check-in area, and the lighting fixture with tiny blue pin-lights. The lighting is a nod to the Polaris (or, more commonly known as the North Star) – the point in the nighttime sky that travelers have long used as their guide.
The United Polaris lounge has numerous work cubicles for business travelers trying to catch up during international travel.
Our flight layover in Chicago was during peak time in the club — between 4:45 to 5:45 pm — as many are waiting for their evening flights to Europe.
While many of the seating areas were full, we finally found two seats at the bar.
There is a wide selection of complimentary beverages in the United Polaris Lounge in Chicago. Rather than being self-serve like many international business class lounges, friendly bartenders and servers take your order in the Polaris lounge. You can also offer food from a menu, or visit a buffet.
Due to our relatively short visit, we stuck to having a drink.
We took time to check out the bathrooms — which are unisex and located down a dark “star-lit” hallway. An attendant helps direct you to an open bathroom.
Each bathroom is comfortably over-sized, with plenty of space for resting your carry-on luggage. There is a toilet, sink and a small bench, all helpful for changing clothes and/or refreshing yourself after a long flight.
There are also shower facilities, sleeping rooms and conference rooms in the United Polaris Lounge.
So, if you are flying Polaris class on a United flight, there is a strong incentive to connect through Chicago. (In addition to the excellent city view from the window of United Airlines flight on approach into Chicago O’Hare Airport.)
Have you visited the Polaris lounge at Chicago O’Hare Airport?