Most people looking for the stars in SoCal head to Hollywood. But when we were in town recently, we headed the exact opposite direction and made a beeline for LAX. That’s because we were on the hunt for one particular star. The northern star, AKA Polaris. United Airlines has been making gradual but steady headway with the rollout of both the Polaris seat (now on its 787-10 Dreamliners in addition to many of its 777s and 767s) and its top-of-the-line Polaris lounges. We’ve already been to the Polaris lounges at SFO, Newark, and Chicago. And we hear great things about Polaris Houston. So when Polaris LAX opened earlier this year, we knew we had to swing by.
We found a lounge just as impressive as the other stellar Polaris lounges we’ve seen before, though with a smaller footprint. With plenty of sleek decor, amenities, and local flavor, Polaris LAX is definitely worth visiting. Read on for the full details and prepare to be starstruck!
I’m biased as a Bay Area resident, but I think San Francisco SFO offers some of the best casual plane-spotting in the country, thanks to its two set of parallel runways located relatively close to the terminal buildings. Many of the airport’s premium lounges are located on the floor above the general concourse, giving lucky lounge-goers some especially good views. As if the lounge life wasn’t already awesome enough.
Delta doesn’t have a formal hub in San Francisco. But as an endpoint of the airline’s premium transcontinental service from New York JFK, SFO is important enough to earn a Delta Sky Club. I dropped by recently and found a lot to like, from fresh decor and furniture, solid food and drink, and (most importantly) great views of the ramp and runways through floor-to-ceiling windows. Read on for an overview of what you can expect if you drop by Delta’s Sky Club at SFO.
The bar for premium airport lounges has reached stratospheric heights in recent years. In the U.S., spaces like United’s Polaris lounges and American’s Flagship First facilities now offer restaurant-quality dining. And outside of the U.S., airlines like Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, and the big Middle Eastern three offer lounges that are even more opulent. How could you top that?
How about designing an ultra-exclusive airport within an airport, built to provide complete seclusion from the rest of the traveling public? That was the idea behind The Private Suite, a recent addition at Los Angeles (LAX). For those willing to splurge for access, it offers an intensely private, luxurious, and unique experience from curb to plane. Read on for our inside look, from extravagantly-stocked suites to a one-person miniature TSA facility and a fleet of BMWs to drive you to your plane.
So far, United has opened four of its flagship Polaris lounges: Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), New York / Newark (EWR), and Houston (IAH). We visited the Chicago lounge last year before it opened, and more recently we dropped by the one at SFO. Both were seriously impressive, with amenities like restaurant-style high-quality dining, showers, and nap rooms, with a dash of local inspiration. In short, everything we’ve seen from the Polaris lounges goes above and beyond. And we’re out to review the whole set.
Our next stop was the Newark lounge, which opened earlier this summer. Newark is United’s primary east coast hub and handles huge amounts of traffic, so a Polaris lounge here was a long time coming. We swung by on a Sunday morning and put the place through its paces. And between a delicious eggs Benedict and some relaxation with views of the ramp, we had a great time. Read on for tons of photos and an in-depth review — plus our analysis of how the place fits into United’s broader lounge landscape.
If you fly often, airport lounges aren’t just an occasional treat; they’re a home away from home. However, at a lot of lounges it’s hard to do more than plonk yourself down in a chair, chow down on sugary snacks, and help yourself to free booze. Sure, sometimes that’s just what you want. But it’s not a particularly healthy way to pass the time.
To make airports a bit more livable, SAS Scandinavian Airlines has been working on a new generation of airport lounge for its passengers. We got to swing by Oslo Gardermoen Airport to explore the first of SAS’ so-called “next-gen” lounges. We found a lot of features there that were definitely out of the ordinary, like a real-deal gym, a cafe staffed with a barista, and a dining area decked out to look like mom’s kitchen. There were also some quirkier features, like a VR flight simulator and a 3D body scanner.
Read on for a photo walk-through of a lounge that’s definitely anything but ordinary!
Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter