All 6 United Polaris Lounges have officially reopened
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
All six of United’s most exclusive airport lounges are now open once again.
The carrier re-opened its Polaris Lounge at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Wednesday, a United spokesperson told TPG. This 12,000-square-foot outpost originally opened in 2019, but closed shortly thereafter at the outset of the pandemic, along with United's other Polaris Lounges.
United began reopening these business-class-only lounges along with its new location at Washington Dulles (IAD), which opened on Oct. 21. That was followed by reopening the lounges at Newark (EWR), Houston (IAH), Chicago (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO).
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Polaris Lounges are United’s exclusive airport hideaways reserved for business-class flyers traveling on long-haul flights. They feature a la carte dining, a premium liquor selection, marble-clad shower suites and additional bespoke amenities, like nap rooms and phone booths.
The airline shuttered its business-class-only Polaris Lounge network when the pandemic’s onset nearly brought United’s global operation to a screeching halt.
Since then, demand for long-haul travel has slowly returned, as countries have eased entry restrictions and vaccine distribution has accelerated globally, with the U.S. reopening to global travelers on Nov. 8.
Related: Which domestic airline lounges have reopened?
United isn’t the only U.S. airline to operate an exclusive business-class lounge network. American Airlines has Flagship Lounges, which operate similarly to United’s Polaris Lounges.
American beat United to the punch with its reopening plans, having started to welcome premium passengers once again in New York-JFK and Miami in September.
That said, United is now beating American in the race to reopen the entire network, as all of the Polaris Lounges are now open. Meanwhile, American still has one Flagship Lounge (in Chicago O'Hare) that's yet to reopen.
Additional reporting by Ethan Klapper.