The fifth of nine planned Polaris Lounge locations opens at LAX on Saturday, January 12th. To mark the occasion, our friends at Pizza in Motion and Miles to Go included me in their invitation to tour the lounge before it opened to the public. In addition to the LAX lounge, I’ve also visited the ORD and EWR locations.
Oscar Munoz, United’s CEO was on hand along with many of the company’s executives and local officials from Los Angeles and the LAX airport authority. Located halfway down Concourse 7 (part of Terminal 7), the lounge exists in space that didn’t exist prior to construction. Challenged with limited size (in comparison to other locations) they built the space around a dome, with different zones, promoting a circular flow.
This isn’t your typical Coworkaholic lounge review, because, well it was a media event, so we didn’t experience it on a normal operational day. That said, it was incredibly exciting to learn more about the thought, research and design that went into the planning for this space.
Food, Glorious, Food
While the buffet area is smaller than the other locations I’ve been to, LAX is home to the first Polaris Lounge “Action Station”. This is a great way to offer more customized/holiday themed/seasonal food items, while also bridging the gap between snacks off the buffet and a full meal in the dining room.
The buffet spreads feel lighter than those offered at ORD and EWR…and far more “Californian”. As with each lounge, there are standards for food, wine and cocktails you’ll find at every location, with additions that represent local flare and flavors.
Space to Work, Rest & Care for Kids
A lot of lounges have a little corner for kids, and while I haven’t noticed such a space in other Polaris locations, another first at LAX is a Mother’s Room, stocked with everything a parent of little ones would need. There’s also phone booths, standard nap suites, showers and plenty of restrooms.
With less total space, there’s less of their newly tweaked workstations and more room for lounge seating. The views are also dynamite – if you are a plane geek and have a soft spot for signature LAX architecture, there’s some very instagrammable locations along the windows.
With less space also comes creative use of design. The wall of wine not only displays them but also allows for staff to quickly fetch bottles, while not taking up additional storage.
Details on the Polaris Lounge at LAX
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