Now Open: United Polaris Lounge Washington Dulles

Now Open: United Polaris Lounge Washington Dulles

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We recently learned about a new United Polaris Lounge coming to Washington Dulles, and the lounge has officially opened as of today. Woot!

United Polaris Lounge IAD now open

United Airlines has opened its Polaris Lounge at Washington Dulles Airport as of Thursday, October 21, 2021.

For those not familiar with Polaris Lounges, these are United’s premium international business class lounges, which are open to long haul Star Alliance business & first class passengers (status alone doesn’t get you into these lounges). I’d argue that they’re by far the best business class lounges offered by any US airline.

What should we expect from the new Polaris Lounge at Washington Dulles?

  • The lounge is roughly 21,000 square feet, and features seating for 355 people, including 42 seats in the dining area, 13 private restrooms, and six shower suites
  • The lounge features a library where guests can enjoy Washington DC-inspired decor, a bar area with a coffered ceiling, and an a la carte dining room behind lattice pocket doors
  • The lounge is located across from the United Club at gate C17, and is open daily from 5:30AM until 10PM
United Polaris Lounge Washington Dulles

United Airlines announced its new Polaris experience back in 2016, which included an all new business class inflight experience, as well as new lounges. Prior to the pandemic, the airline opened Polaris Lounges in ChicagoHoustonLos AngelesNewark, and San Francisco.

The lounge in Washington was the last lounge location in the United States that had been announced but wasn’t opened. The lounge was more or less complete right around the start of the pandemic, but at that point there was no benefit to opening it. I can’t wait to check out this lounge myself!

United Polaris Lounge Washington Dulles

When will other Polaris Lounges open?

Around the start of the pandemic, United Airlines closed all of its Polaris Lounges, given that demand for international travel more or less collapsed. With international travel demand slowly recovering, when should we expect Polaris Lounges to reopen?

  • The Polaris Lounges in Chicago, Houston, and Newark, will open before the end of 2021
  • The Polaris Lounges in Los Angeles and San Francisco will open by early 2022

As a point of comparison, American’s Flagship Lounges (which are comparable to Polaris Lounges) have started to reopen as of September 2021, and the plan is for them to all be reopened this fall. With the United States lifting travel restrictions for vaccinated foreigners as of November 2021, we should start to see a slow recovery in international travel demand.

United is a bit behind American when it comes to reopening its premium international lounges. Then again, United has much stricter entry requirements for accessing these lounges, and therefore there are also fewer potential eligible guests.

United Polaris Lounge Houston

Bottom line

United Airlines has opened its brand new Polaris Lounge Washington Dulles as of today, which is an exciting development for the airline. This was the only Polaris Lounge in the United States that the airline hadn’t yet opened before the pandemic, and it’s now the first to open during the pandemic.

Washington Dulles sure could use some new lounges, so this is a fantastic development, especially given how bad United’s terminal there is. As far as other lounges go, we can expect Polaris Lounges in Chicago, Houston, and Newark, to open before the end of 2021, and Polaris Lounges in Los Angeles and San Francisco to open by early 2022.

What do you make of the new Polaris Lounge Washington Dulles, and United’s general Polaris Lounge reopening schedule?

Conversations (29)
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  1. Gravelly Point Guy Guest

    So, somebody explain the logic behind building a new Polaris lounge in terminal C, when UA is in talks with Dulles to build a new midfield terminal/ concourse. Which one of the 2 is complete rubbish??

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      The current C/D concourse was “temporary” 35 years ago.

      Don’t hold your breath on it getting replaced.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      UA and Dulles are both rubbish. The passengers are the fools.

      Utilizing the mobile lounge beyond the 90s should give you enough hint right?
      Even Covid can't kill these mobile lounges.

      The only thing that they should be doing is use those cars as extra TSA checkpoints. But that's not going to happen either, since Clear is paying top dollar to jump the line.

      And just like Clear who is ripping passengers, the perimeter...

      UA and Dulles are both rubbish. The passengers are the fools.

      Utilizing the mobile lounge beyond the 90s should give you enough hint right?
      Even Covid can't kill these mobile lounges.

      The only thing that they should be doing is use those cars as extra TSA checkpoints. But that's not going to happen either, since Clear is paying top dollar to jump the line.

      And just like Clear who is ripping passengers, the perimeter rule or the Wright Amendment is also ripping us off to benefit a small group of organization.

      IAD has not aged well at all. DCA all the way.

  2. PresRDC Member

    I find it ridiculous that they could not announce a firm schedule for the other lounge reopenings. "By the end of the year" is not a schedule, it's an aspiration.

    1. PT Guest

      Have you seen the news lately? You know how hard it is to hire for service level jobs AND train people?

  3. David Guest

    Curious to see if they offer pre-pandemic service levels or something modified, like the onboard Polaris product.

  4. Ash Mekonnen Guest

    A brand new jaw dropping united club near Gate C18. Can't wait to see the service and amenities.

  5. Apso Eyot Guest

    Jeb Brooks would be delighted to hear about and visit this new lounge! He uses Dulles often. I can already hear him reviewing it in my head.

    Also, does United have any plans to open a Polaris lounge in Denver? It’s notable that it will be their last remaining hub without one after this.

    1. Towelie196 New Member

      There are only five international long haul flights from Denver on Star Alliance. One of which (Tokyo) hasn't been resumed yet, and another (Munich) that has been reduced to three times a week. While they are adding a daily next year to Munich, it just isn't enough to support a lounge.

  6. Randy Gold

    I wonder if this is really just taking over the existing UA Club at C17 and remodeling it as a Polaris lounge?

    1. Dave D Guest

      This is absolutely not a refurb of the C17 United Club. It's an entirely new 2-storey structure, built between C14 and C18. And it's stunning inside. Just wait and see.

  7. Mark Guest

    How does this capacity compare to other lounges? Just wondering how full it will be during the evening departure banks.

  8. glenn t Diamond

    Those photos of the regimented dining area shriek 'upper-scale boarding school dinner room' rather than an expensive architect designed exclusive lounge! Pretty pathetic for 2021.

    1. Mark Guest

      The reviews of the Polaris lounges have been extremely positive, even from people who are not always fans of United. I would base opinions on those reviews instead of on one photo.

    2. TravelRocks New Member

      Mark- you are correct. Million Miler on Delta, and probably have flown less than 20K miles on UA. Had been reading positive articles on Polaris lounges. Travelled to Barcelona in late 2019 and UA and DL price was very similar. Decided to book UA really just to check out Polaris Lounge at EWR. I have to give credit to UA. That was my last Intl flight before COVID, but I'd certainly select UA once again...

      Mark- you are correct. Million Miler on Delta, and probably have flown less than 20K miles on UA. Had been reading positive articles on Polaris lounges. Travelled to Barcelona in late 2019 and UA and DL price was very similar. Decided to book UA really just to check out Polaris Lounge at EWR. I have to give credit to UA. That was my last Intl flight before COVID, but I'd certainly select UA once again if pricing was similar to DL just to have another opportunity to visit Polaris lounge. (assuming it reopens with pre-covid amenities)

  9. Janet Guest

    Is there a story? All I see is a few featured comments.

  10. Margee Guest

    Nice job.
    Sounds good.

  11. David Guest

    I moved to Northern VA 11 years ago, right when the C train was opened. I was told the reason for the quarter mile walk is that a new concourse was "imminent."

    I don't think it will ever be built in our lifetime, unless UA threatens to close their Hub.

  12. John Guest

    The C/D concourses at IAD we’re opened as “temporary” 35 years ago.

    It’s good to see the Polaris lounge opening, but in general the concourses that United calls home would make Greyhound embarrassed….sharp contrast to the elegant and airy B concourse across the tarmac.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Came to say the same thing. What a grim & inconvenient place to arrive and depart from.
      Less inconvenient if you’re just connecting, but still grim.
      I’ll make almost any schedule sacrifice to fly one of the SFO-DCA nonstops rather than having to go to Dulles.

  13. flyingrohit Guest

    Per EWR VP, EWR PL will open in November

    1. UA_Flyer Guest

      There are 30 days in November.

  14. Hammer Guest

    Good to know that this lounge is opening soon, although I’d be surprised if this lounge opened before EWR reopened.

  15. henry Guest

    wasn't concourse c meant to be temporary? guess not if they are investing this much into it

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      I was having the same thought about the location. Given that the airport train station for the C Concourse is located a good walking distance from the concourse itself, I get the idea that a newer, wider concourse will be built a few hundred feet from the current concourse.

    2. Never In Doubt Guest

      Note John’s comment above. It was “temporary” 35 years ago. The train’s been there more than a decade. It’s never getting replaced.

    3. Gravelly Point Guy Guest

      So, somebody explain the logic behind building a new Polaris lounge in terminal C, when UA is in talks with Dulles to build a new midfield terminal/ concourse. Which one of the 2 is complete rubbish??

    4. Andy Chen Guest

      IAD PL is modular design, according to UA. It can be moved when the terminal is built.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Never In Doubt Guest

Note John’s comment above. It was “temporary” 35 years ago. The train’s been there more than a decade. It’s never getting replaced.

2
Mark Guest

The reviews of the Polaris lounges have been extremely positive, even from people who are not always fans of United. I would base opinions on those reviews instead of on one photo.

2
Never In Doubt Guest

Came to say the same thing. What a grim & inconvenient place to arrive and depart from. Less inconvenient if you’re just connecting, but still grim. I’ll make almost any schedule sacrifice to fly one of the SFO-DCA nonstops rather than having to go to Dulles.

1
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