This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you’ve seen one Polaris Lounge, you’ve seen them all — with each preview event, I’ve been getting a feeling of déjà vu. I know this bar, and this shower room, and this view.

And that’s by design — all of United’s Polaris Lounges are meant to feel consistent and familiar. If you most frequently visit the Chicago (ORD) location, you should feel at home in Houston (IAH), too.

Many of the drinks are the same. The a-la-carte menus have similar entrees. You’ll find the same amenities in the bathroom — the same well-equipped shower rooms.

So rather than run through every little amenity and cocktail option, with United’s latest location at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), I’m going to focus on what sets this Polaris Lounge apart from the rest.

First, the layout — this particular Polaris Lounge replaced what was once United’s Global First Lounge, just above the main gate area at LAX’s Terminal 7.

It’s oddly shaped — a bit like a bowtie. There’s a middle rotunda of sorts separating the bar and main seating area from the restrooms, dining and other amenities.

That’s also where you’ll find the buffet:

It’s not a wide passageway, so you may bump into a guest or two picking out some items to munch on, unless you walk around the other way.

Next, the overall size — it’s not enormous. A 12,122-square-foot house? Huge! A 12,122-square-foot airport lounge? Apparently not so much.

During United’s arguably overcrowded media event, the space felt cramped. With 100 or so passengers ahead of a couple of Australia-bound evening flights, it might get a little cozy in there.

There are 140 seats in total, but just a dozen of those fancy pod-like workstations — compared with a seemingly endless collection at Newark (EWR) and SFO.

And then there’s the private dining room — again, it’s small. Too small. There are just eight tables there, with a total of 16 seats.

If you’re planning to have a sit-down meal, you’re going to want to get there early — you might even need to add your name to a waitlist on busier nights.

I definitely recommend grabbing a table at the dining room if you can, though — the menu looks great.

There are a few items I haven’t seen elsewhere, too — the LA fish and chips, for example, and the street taco trio.

Though I’m told they’re actually available at all Polaris Lounges, another amenity I haven’t spotted before is the wellness room, where parents can nurse, change diapers and more.

Finally, the views — each location offers decent plane spotting, but I especially love the variety of aircraft at LAX. And, since the lounge spans the width of Terminal 7, you can walk across to the nap room to see a different selection of aircraft, too.

As with the other locations in Chicago (ORD)Houston (IAH)Newark (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO), Polaris Lounge access is restricted to passengers traveling in the following cabins:

Note that access is restricted to long-haul intercontinental travel — if you’re flying between the US and Canada, Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean, you won’t be able to get in.

United’s LAX Polaris Lounge begins welcoming flyers this Saturday, January 12. It’ll be open from 6:45am until 10:15pm every day, located just up the elevator (or a flight of stairs) between gates 73 and 75A.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.