United opened their first Polaris Lounge in Chicago in December 2016, which coincided with when the Polaris concept was launched. I had the chance to check out this lounge last year, and was impressed by the quality of the lounge, as it was beautiful, featured a la carte dining, and had an excellent food and drink selection as well.
United’s Chicago Polaris Lounge
At first United’s implementation of Polaris was really slow, leaving many people disappointed. For 16 months they didn’t open a single other lounge, and the pace at which they were reconfiguring planes was slow.
However, clearly this became a focus for them recently, and the airline is now making really good progress. In late April United opened their Polaris Lounge in San Francisco, and then in early June United opened their Polaris Lounge in Newark.
United’s San Francisco Polaris Lounge
We’ve known that United plans to open two more Polaris Lounges this year, in Houston and Los Angeles.
We’ve known that the Houston Polaris Lounge is expected to open this summer, though we now have an exact date. The United Polaris Lounge Houston will be opening on Friday, June 29, 2018. The lounge will be located in Terminal E, and is expected to be quite a bit smaller than the Polaris Lounges they’ve recently opened at SFO and EWR. I’ll be curious to see how the experience compares, given that Houston is a huge hub for United, so I’m not sure if they’ll offer fewer amenities, or what.
The Polaris Lounge Houston will be open to all same day United longhaul business class passengers, as well as other Star Alliance first and business class passengers traveling nonstop out of Houston to a longhaul destination. This lounge isn’t open to elite members, though.
In addition to the impressive pace at which they’re opening new lounges, United is also accelerating the pace at which they’re reconfiguring planes with Polaris seats. They plan to roll out one Polaris equipped plane every 10 days through 2020.
United’s 777-300ER with Polaris seats
This will be United’s fourth Polaris Lounge, meaning they have as many premium international lounges as American does. When the Polaris Lounge LAX opens, they’ll actually overtake American in terms of the number of premium lounges they have. American expects to open their Dallas Flagship Lounge in 2019, and their Philadelphia and London Flagship Lounges are still being developed, without a firm timeline for when they’ll open.
Anyone have plans to check out United’s Polaris Lounge Houston once it opens?
I will be travelling IAH-FRA on 3 JUL to check it out! I have BizFirst, so it should be Polaris-qualified.
I'll be traveling IAH-HNL. Is this considered long haul? It's an 8hr flight.
9AM to 7PM. You choose a two hour slot, 9-11, 11-1, etc. The 7PM-9PM is sold out.
You have to choose from several time slots. Basically all day long.
Received an email from United today advising regular members can tour the new lounge 6/27 for 2500 miles. Surely it’s after security, so a valid boarding pass would be needed too.
Nice but what's time they will open & close?
That day I am connecting from Frankfurt to Central America in Houston. I have business class in both flights which are United but the long haul is the first flight. Do you know if in that case it is still possible to access?
sweet, taking SQ IAH-MAN in August, will check it out for sure
What lounge does ANA currently use at IAH?
You can tell about your lounge access when searching flights.....short-haul international flights in a premium cabin (the seat is usually a conventional domestic first class seat) are sold as "business" (as opposed to "first). Long-haul international flights are sold as "Polaris business."
Only Polaris tickets have access to the Polaris lounge.
It's good to have another high end lounge at IAH.
Cristoffer, only flights to "southern South America" will qualify. Those include Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paolo, Brazil; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
I was hoping it would be open in time for my ANA J flight in mid-July!
What is a longhaul route out if Houston? IAH is the hub for (international) flights to Latin America. Will IAH-BOG with an B737 be longhaul or for exampel IAH-MEX?
Oh shut it, Bob.
Will they have the visitor pass for sale on opening day like the other one they opened?
No, Air Canada riffraff not allowed (thank goodness)
Hi Ben. I am travelling Air Canada business class from Houston to Toronto and then onwards from Toronto to Mumbai. Would I be able to access the Polaris lounge in Houston on this reservation? Thank you.
@ Vivek -- Unfortunately you wouldn't, since you're not traveling nonstop on a longhaul flight on a Star Alliance carrier out of Houston.