United is set to welcome guests to the newest Polaris Lounge in its network at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Saturday, available specifically for passengers travelling in its new Polaris business class cabin.
The Polaris Lounge, located in Terminal 7 between Gates 73 and 75A, comes as United wraps up its US$573 million renovation of the terminal, which also includes a new United Club lounge with access to the more exclusive The Private Suite. Terminal 7 also recently saw the opening of a cut-through road that allows travellers to avoid LAX’s “horseshoe” road that leads around the terminals.
At more than 14,000 sqft and offering seating for about 120 people, the LAX Polaris Lounge is among the smaller Polaris facilities United has introduced – its San Francisco lounge, for example, offers 28,000 sqft of space and can accommodate about 440 people.
That being said, it offers many of the same facilities as the other lounges of its kind, notably shower suites, which feature Soho House & Co’s Cowshed Spa amenities…
…private daybeds with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding…
…and a culinary offerings that include an international buffet…
…as well as a table service dining experience at The Dining Room.
Food and beverage is more Los Angeles-inspired than United’s other Polaris lounges, featuring a menu developed by local chef Tritia Gestuvo. Among the dishes offered are: almond-crusted fish and chips, chilaquiles, Korean bulgogi arancini, freshly crafted sandwiches on La Brea Bakery bread, street tacos, and house-made cinnamon churros. The airline’s ever-popular burger and fries is also available.
On the drinks side, the lounge has a manned bar that focuses particularly on Los Angeles’s cocktail culture. Signature drinks include the Let’s Rumble (Cruso Spiced Rum, lemon, pear puree and home-made syrup), and the On Sunset (Casa Noble Tequila, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal and agave nectar).
There’s also an impress wine wall in the lounge showcasing a wide selection of different bottles.
Though the lounge shares its overall design with the other Polaris Lounges – notably a sleek, modern look with dark woods, grey and white marble, and navy blue accents – the LAX space has been given a subtle Californian touch displaying artwork from local artists such as Rema Ghuloum, Chris Trueman and Ruth Pastine.
Speaking about the new lounge, United’s California president, Janet Lamkin, said: “Los Angeles is one of United’s most important gateways, particularly to Asia and Australia, and this lounge provides our customers with a best-in-class experience before they board their flights, especially for those customers with late-night departures and early-morning arrivals.”
The LAX Polaris Lounge is the fifth facility of its kind to open its doors. United opened a number of such lounges at its US hubs last year, notably at San Francisco, New York/Newark, and Houston. It also has a Polaris Lounge at Chicago, which was the first to open.
Business Traveller Asia-Pacific conducted a review of the United Polaris Lounge in San Francisco International (SFO) in September, having flown on the airline’s Polaris product on its route to Hong Kong – the first international route to get the new seats back in March 2017.
United has also previously stated it plans to open Polaris Lounges at Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong in 2019, followed by London in 2020 – though it’s worth noting the facilities in Asia likely will not be full-sized lounges.
United’s managing director for Greater China and Korea, Walter Dias, has previously hinted to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific at the possibility of its existing United Club Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport being redesigned to offer a dedicated Polaris space within the lounge, rather than developing an entirely new, separate facility for its Polaris passengers.