Disclosure: The MasterMiles Co. & its contributors may receive a referral bonus or commission from links posted on this site. All posts and opinions are those of the authors alone.
After arriving at Chicago O’Hare from Vancouver, we had a good 5 hours before our flight to London. Some time was spent wandering around O’Hare but ultimately the goal was to check out the United Polaris lounge located over at Terminal 1 Concourse C.
In the United States, Polaris lounges also exist in LA, Houston, Newark, and San Francisco. Future expansions include Washington D.C., London Heathrow, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Access to Polaris lounges is granted to passengers with an international United/Star Alliance first or business class ticket. Note that at ORD, there are also United Club lounges for passengers with United status or are Star Alliance Gold members.
After heading in through the entrance, a variety of different types of seating present themselves from individual work stations with a pull-out table, to seats along the wall.
To the right of this main stretch of seats was the buffet station which featured hot foods such as sliders, ravioli, a rice and beans dish, and steamed vegetables. Cold options included pasta salad, fruits, snack mix, along with some cheese and bread. Desserts were also available, though I didn’t delve too deep into them.
Continuing further into the mid-section of the lounge brings you to the bar, where custom cocktails and drinks can be ordered.
Tucked at the back of the Polaris lounge consists of a sit down a la carte style dining room.
Bathrooms are along a corridor near the entrance and are individual all-gender bathrooms.
With a later departure and quite a few passengers wishing to catch a shower or nap before departure, I wasn’t able to get photos of the shower rooms and daybeds, though they are available for use.
As our 9:15 pm departure was rounding the corner, I checked the flight info board only to be met with the dread as our flight had mechanical issues. After inquiring with the United staff, they let me know that our flight had been delayed in hopes of finishing repairs. Eventually they called it in for the night and started issuing everyone hotel and meal vouchers. The Chicago to London flight would be rescheduled for 9:15 am the following day. Luckily I had been sitting near the concierge area before people just started to hear the news.
United has done well in offering passengers the option of having a grab and go buffet or having a sit-down dining experience for passengers on long layovers. There was never any shortage of seating space during my visit in the late afternoon on a Friday, or Saturday morning. When inquiring about the possibility of changing our flights, the staff genuinely attempted to the best of their ability, but all other European bound flights had already departed or were fully booked. With more United Polaris lounges on the way, I look forward to them being on the top of the list of lounges to visit before boarding my next flight.
From a young age, Colin’s family travelled together from Japan to Thailand as well as take the occasional family road trip. This led to an interest in global affairs and an international exchange to the United States where he made friends from all around the world. When walking down the airplane aisle to the back of the plane, he always dreamed of a day where he would be able to sit at the front in the premium seats. After stumbling upon the points and miles community, he is now proud to be seated among those he marvelled at as a child.