September 29, 2017
United is Restricting Access to its Polaris Lounge
United is currently building a network of Polaris lounges around the world. These are entirely different from the traditional United Club lounges (which aren’t terribly exciting). The Polaris lounges are actually worth visiting and are in line with other premium international airline lounges. I got to visit the first Polaris lounge in Chicago back in June when I was flying ANA First Class and loved the experience. There’s a great buffet, an a-la-cart menu, workstations, shower rooms, sleeping rooms etc. Lounge access was initially limited to the following passengers:
- United International First Class-Access at same-day departure, connecting, and arrival airports. May bring one guest.
- United International Business Class-Access at same-day departure, connecting, and arrival airports. Can’t bring guests.
- Star Alliance International First Class-Access at same-day departure airport. May bring one guest.
- Star Alliance International Business Class-Access at same-day departure airport. Can’t bring guests.
This meant that passengers traveling in Air Canada (a Star Alliance partner) Business Class from Chicago-Canada could access the Polaris lounge. Well, as of October 1, 2017, Air Canada Business Class passengers flying between the US and Canada will no longer be able to access the Polaris lounge. I’m guessing this is due to rampant overcrowding in the lounge. It’s proven to be very popular and is always full in the afternoon. United had to thin the ranks somehow. It’s also worth noting that United is still in the process of expanding the size of this Polaris lounge.