glbltrvlr
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:28 pm

Polaris Lounge @ ORD

Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:38 pm

Took a slightly longer itinerary to check out he new United Polaris lounge at ORD today. Maintenance issues with my flight gave me an extended 4 hours to try it out. On the plus side, very nice seating areas, the buffet selection is good and a good mix of seating types. Didn't use them, but noted a number of shower rooms down one of the hallways.

On to the negatives - the ORD lounge is not sized to handle the number of passengers. With just one 777 delayed 4 hours, there were a continuous stream of people pushing luggage around looking for someplace to sit. The quadplex of single seats in the center of the lounge are great, with a pullout tray for a laptop or plate. The double seats along the window don't have this, so everyone is trying to sit sideways to use the table between the two seats.

Service was mostly good, with staff and managers circulating around picking up trash and plates. I saw one person who looked like a United executive showing someone else around who picked up my empty plate, which impressed me. Haven't changed seats yet, but if you sit at certain tables, they have a cook to order menu which looks fantastic.

The lounge is on the same level as the gates, so they can't expand sideways. If they could add a level to address the crowding problem, I think United has a real winner.
 
glbltrvlr
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Re: Polaris Lounge @ ORD

Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:34 pm

Edit: Not showers - just a dozen or so very busy restrooms. But there is a spa available.
 
glbltrvlr
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Re: Polaris Lounge @ ORD

Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:03 am

And one final comment - the cook to order menu is apparently on available at certain designated tables. There are only 4 or 5 of those, which with the overcrowding, weren't ever available. Shame, as the menu looked quite interesting.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Polaris Lounge @ ORD

Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:27 am

glbltrvlr wrote:
On to the negatives - the ORD lounge is not sized to handle the number of passengers.


One could say that about almost everything at ORD. Including the airport itself.
 
glbltrvlr
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Posts: 807
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:28 pm

Re: Polaris Lounge @ ORD

Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:19 am

IPFreely wrote:
glbltrvlr wrote:
On to the negatives - the ORD lounge is not sized to handle the number of passengers.


One could say that about almost everything at ORD. Including the airport itself.


I'm dating myself, but I can remember when United opened B&C and they played the United Rhapsody in Blue music in the BC tunnel. Favorite story was seeing former Bears coach Mike Ditka sitting by himself in an empty gate area. People were cool and respectful, but greeted him with "hi coach!" as they walked by. Those days were great - lot's of space in all the terminals. Now, between the expended security and excessive retail, there's no room to move.

I was surprised with how crowded the Polaris lounge was. Especially with the restrictions on use by those who weren't on Polaris tickets. The idea was to extend the brand by making the lounge an extension of the cabin, or vice versa. There's going to be some brand damage if they don't address the crowding.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Polaris Lounge @ ORD

Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:22 am

glbltrvlr wrote:
I'm dating myself, but I can remember when United opened B&C and they played the United Rhapsody in Blue music in the BC tunnel. Favorite story was seeing former Bears coach Mike Ditka sitting by himself in an empty gate area. People were cool and respectful, but greeted him with "hi coach!" as they walked by. Those days were great - lot's of space in all the terminals. Now, between the expended security and excessive retail, there's no room to move.


It was nice back in the early 90's when I first started flying thru O'Hare regularly. I used to be happy if my connection took me from B to C or C to B, if not and I had a long enough layover I would walk thru the tunnel anyway just to see it (and to see all the Asians photographing and filming it). Now I'm happy if I can connect to a nearby gate and if there is a seat available; more often than not there are several dozen people sitting or laying on the floor at most gates making the airport look more like a homeless camp than a world class airport.
 
glbltrvlr
Topic Author
Posts: 807
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:28 pm

Re: Polaris Lounge @ ORD

Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:15 am

IPFreely wrote:
more often than not there are several dozen people sitting or laying on the floor at most gates making the airport look more like a homeless camp than a world class airport.


I was shocked recently to see the stacks of people standing at the end of the main B concourse for the afternoon Lufthansa flight. There is no room at the gate for the number of people on that flight.

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