Review: United’s First Polaris Lounge, Chicago O’Hare International Airport
In advance of its first-ever Polaris Lounge’s formal opening the following day, United Airlines held a media preview on Wednesday.
Located in Terminal 1, Concourse C at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the cavernous lounge (it’s 12,782 square feet or 1,187 square meters) will be open to passengers traveling in the airline’s Polaris cabin starting December 1.
Polaris, also known as the North Star, is the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor. Because Polaris appears to stand motionless in the sky while other stars of the northern sky appear to rotate around it, it makes an excellent fixed point for use in celestial navigation and has been of great importance to travelers for centuries.
Walking in from the hustle and bustle that is O’Hare, I was immediately struck by the calming atmosphere. A sculpture, “North Star Chicago,” by the English artist Wolfgang Buttress, hangs from the ceiling and features the 1,600 brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere over a map of the streets of Chicago. It makes the entrance seem far more spa-like than airport lounge-like.
Upon arrival, I was warmly greeted by one of the Polaris lounge attendants and given an information card outlining the lounge’s offerings. One of the things that quickly became apparent is how the Polaris Lounge bridges the in-lounge and in-flight experience.
Inside the lounge, seating ranges from the very private, where the seats resemble an international first-class suite, to more open banquettes and a dining area with tables and chairs.