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After Landing: San Francisco

By The Hub team

After Landing is a travel guide series dedicated to bringing you insider tips and local recommendations on what to see and do in some of our favourite cities. Check back often for new destinations.

If you have visited San Francisco already, you will know of its charms. If you have not, then you absolutely should. To help you plan your trip, we have tapped into a few of our employees, the travel experts, to share insider tips and local recommendations on some of our favourite cities. First up, the City by the Bay.

Get to know the City by the Bay

Founded by seafaring Spaniards in the 18th century, the City by the Bay has lured settlers and visitors to its hills for centuries since. With a heady combination of the Californian climate, world-class cuisine and a carefree, cutting-edge culture, it is very easy to see why.

Your arrival

Heavy traffic and high taxi prices mean the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to cover the 13 miles from San Francisco International Airport to downtown is to take the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a direct underground/monorail that leaves every 15 minutes and takes about 30 minutes.

Where to stay

While great quality and good value hotels are dotted all across the city, the greatest concentration can be found in three main locations: around the tourist mecca of Fisherman's Wharf, on all sides of the city's main shopping district of Union Square, and along the stretch of Lombard Street just north of Cow Hollow, heading west towards Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge. All three have their merits, being close to many of the city's most popular attractions.

However, two other good neighbourhoods worth considering are in and around SoMa (South of Market) and Mission. Both combine excellent hotels with many of the city's best restaurants and bars, all within easy strolling distance.

Newark based flight attendant, Luke B., shares his tips and recommendations on what to see and do in San Francisco assets.rbl.ms

What to see and do

The following recommendations merely scratch the surface of what San Francisco has to offer, but they should definitely be on the itinerary of any first-time visitor.

The best way to cover ground in this hilly city, cable cars have been a feature since 1873 and were awarded national historic landmark status in 1964. They run on three lines, through many of the city's most popular neighbourhoods: North Beach, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, Nob Hill, Chinatown and Embarcadero. Before you get on, however, remember to buy a ticket.

'The most famous landmarks and attractions are all worth adding to your must-see list', says Christine U., Customer Service Lead. 'The sea lions at Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, the wonderfully winding Lombard Street, Chinatown… They are popular for a good reason'.

North Beach is another must-visit. Misleadingly, there is no beach there, but the Italian quarter is packed full of cafés, restaurants and hip stores. It is also close to Coit Tower, high on Telegraph Hill, which offers amazing Instagram-worthy views of the city, the bridges and the Bay.


San Francisco based flight attendant, Louise C., shares her tips on where to go and what to see in San Fran assets.rbl.ms

Access the park through Haight-Ashbury, the birthplace of America's counter-culture.

The aforementioned California Academy of Sciences is well worth visiting, especially for families. It houses an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and four-storey rainforest, all under one roof. If you need more, look no further than the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the Asian Art Museum and the Legion of Honor.

If you are after couture more than culture, make your way to Union Square, a mecca for serious shoppers. Major department stores and designer boutiques await, including the largest Bloomingdale's outside of New York City.

'A personal favourite that I accidentally discovered is the Walt Disney Family Museum in Presidio', says San Francisco-based flight attendant, Sean R. 'It houses many of the Disney family's heirlooms, many of them interactive and created by Disney Imagineers. It is an amazing and unmissable place'.

Cycling to Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge is another must-do experience. The Bridge stretches 1.7 miles across the Golden Gate and gives you amazing views across the bay, from Alcatraz to the city. You will get to explore Sausalito for a while before either cycling back or jumping on a boat back to the San Francisco Ferry Building. Another gem just across the Golden Gate Bridge is the Muir Woods National Monument. 'The magnitude of the Redwoods is breathtaking. A lovely day trip to escape the city, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy the peace that comes with a few hours of no mobile phone service', says Newark-based flight attendant, Luke B.

Finally, no visit to San Francisco can be complete without visiting the Rock: Alcatraz. Once home to some of America's most notorious criminals, the prison closed in the 1960s but is now open for cellhouse tours. Take an Alcatraz Cruises boat from Pier 33, but be sure to book ahead.

Where to eat and drink

In a city renowned for its gastronomic inventiveness, you will eat well wherever you roam. That said, there are certain culinary experiences that should be on the list of every first-time visitor to San Francisco.

Eating burritos in the Mission at Taqueria El Farolito or La Taqueria is a must. Though don't eat at both in the same visit, as they're on the large side. Head to Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, where local chefs shop for some of the city's freshest, finest produce. For seafood fans, head to the Fisherman's Wharf for the chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl at the legendary Boudin Bakery. Refuel with an espresso at Caffe Trieste, where Francis Ford Coppola wrote The Godfather, or with a cold glass of America's first craft beer, the local Anchor Steam. To stay ahead of the culinary curve, order a few slices of millionaire's bacon, just so you can say you have had it.

But, if you want three specific insider options, follow this advice:

'Ristorante Franchino on Columbus Avenue is a great family-run Italian restaurant you have to visit', says Cleveland-based Boeing 737 captain Gary B. 'The food and ambience are exceptional. I have made it my staple restaurant every time I have been in the city for the last 15-plus years, which tells you how good it is. Particularly the tiramisu!'

'One of my absolute favourites is The House in North Beach', says San Francisco-based flight attendant Rebecca M. 'The food is Asian American with simple, yummy ingredients. The sea bass is amazing, as are the deep fried salmon rolls'.

'Fish in Sausalito is worth the journey', says San Francisco-based flight attendant Mallory C.

'The drive (or cycle) over the Golden Gate Bridge is stunning, with the gorgeous San Francisco skyline behind you. Then you get to enjoy some of the freshest fish in the Bay Area, eaten on picnic tables and overlooking the marina in Sausalito. Don't leave without ordering the fish tacos. But be warned, Fish is cash only'.

San Francisco focus: Time to wine and dine

Two of America's—indeed the world's—greatest wine regions lie just north of San Francisco, in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Ideally, you will be adding a couple of days on at the end of your visit to explore the vineyards at leisure. But if that is not possible, you don't even need to leave the city to experience the best grapes Northern California has to offer. A growing number of neighbourhood wine bars and tasting rooms bring the experience to you, offering the very best local vintages with small plates of seasonal bites. Fig & Thistle, Bluxome Street Winery and Tank18 are just three places getting it spectacularly right.

Best time to visit

While summer guarantees sun, it also brings the crowds and higher prices. The shoulder seasons of March to May and late August to November are still warm and slightly quieter, making excellent alternatives.

Getting there

United Airlines offers flights to San Francisco from many cities throughout the U.S. For more information and to book your trip, go to United.com or download our convenient United app.While you are there, share your adventures on social media with the hashtag #MyUnitedJourney.

Family friendly cities: City fun in NYC

By UK/IE Hub Team

New York City may not seem like the likely choice when considering where to go for your family holiday, but there is more than enough to explore in a weekend getaway. New York City is full of wondrous activities for the whole family.

New York Skyline at Sunset assets.rbl.ms

Super-tall, super-cool sky scrapers

Kids always 'ooh' and 'aah' when they see tall buildings. Manhattan's are tall enough that even adults will express the same sentiment. The two worth the trip to the top for the views are the Empire State Building, the world's tallest building when it opened in 1931, and One World Trade Center, the current height leader in the Western Hemisphere. Taking a lift up to observatories in both buildings are free for kids under six, and the views are well worth it. Then there is the Statue of Liberty, accessible via ferry from Manhattan's Battery Park. She is not nearly as tall, but her message of welcoming immigrants to a free land, reinforced inside Ellis Island's National Museum of Immigration, is as relevant as ever. It is advisable to purchase tickets well in advance for these experiences.

Museum fun for all ages

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Met may not be as exciting for many younger kids, but there are many Manhattan museums that are fun for all ages. The massive American Museum of Natural History made famous by 'Night at the Museum', features 40 halls devoted to everything from mammals and meteorites to amphibians and dinosaurs. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum lets visitors tour an aircraft carrier, nuclear sub, space shuttle, Concorde jet, military planes and helicopters—all retired from military service. Even more kid-friendly are the Children's Museum of the Arts where kids create side-by-side with working artists, and the five-storey Children's Museum of Manhattan where youngsters learn, create, play and dance. All of the above-mentioned museums are located on Manhattan's West Side.

Upward view of the Brooklyn Bridge between buildings. assets.rbl.ms

Brooklyn Bridge & a free ferry ride

Walking on the pedestrian/bike promenade level of the Brooklyn Bridge is an Instagrammable treat—above the car traffic, with an unobstructed view of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. It is only 1.3 miles across, so most kids have ample energy for the walk. Another free thrill is found less than a mile from the bridge in Lower Manhattan—the Staten Island Ferry, which departs every 20 to 30 minutes. The one-hour round trip journey gets close to the Statue of Liberty on its path across New York Harbour.

Climb, skate and bowl at the piers

Chelsea Piers is a paradise for sports-minded kids. Numerous sports facilities are available for drop-in visitors of all ages at this Manhattan sports and entertainment complex, which has taken over piers once used by cruise ships. You and your kids can bowl, climb a rock wall, take swings in the batting cages, skate at Sky Rink (Manhattan's only year-round ice rink), or tee off at the putting green or driving range. Yes, there is a driving range right in the heart of Manhattan, where you can crush the ball 200 yards straight out over the Hudson River.

Grassy area in Central Park in the summer. assets.rbl.ms

Playtime in the park

Central Park comes alive in the summer and on holiday weekends, when free Shakespeare performances and concerts are plentiful. Daily options at the park include 21 playgrounds, a carousel, rowboat rentals and a zoo. The most popular summer activity is to bike or roller skate around the park, and this year, the experience will be even better with the announcement that all park roads except those that are easily crossed on footbridges, will be banned to traffic 24/7 starting on June 27. Bike rentals are available in the park and nearby.

If you go

United Airlines offers numerous daily flights to Newark International Airport and New York City's LaGuardia Airport from many cities. MileagePlus Rewards can help cover your hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your Big Apple family getaway.

Family friendly cities: Showtime in Los Angeles

By UK/IE Hub Team

Los Angeles has been at the heart of the entertainment industry for a century, but it is also an entertaining place for families to visit. Once you and the family tire of Hollywood-themed museums and rides, you can head to the beach or to Griffith Park for some hiking or a visit to the zoo.

The studio experience

Universal Studios Hollywood leads studio tram tours that go past sets including the old mansion in 'Psycho' and Wisteria Lane in 'Desperate Housewives'—but also offers much more. Like three newer Universal Studios theme parks that have opened in Orlando, Osaka and Singapore, the original Hollywood location is packed with 3-D, 4-D (motion-simulation) and old-school rides based on movies and TV shows such as 'Despicable Me,' 'Harry Potter' and 'The Fast & The Furious.' Live shows, carnival games and shops also keep families entertained.

Hollywood history

There are several ways to get a taste of the place where films and television began. One is to admire the world's largest collection of showbiz memorabilia at the Hollywood Museum. Another is to take a guided tour at one of the major studios—Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros. or Sony Pictures—to see the lots and sets where countless films and shows are made. Yet another is to join a live audience (free) for the taping of a show such as 'The Voice' or 'Wheel of Fortune'. One more is to visit Madame Tussauds Hollywood to gaze at more than 100 lifelike wax figures of celebrities from Charlie Chaplin to Jennifer Lawrence—and on the same block, walk on the footprints and handprints that many stars have imprinted on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Beach lounging

Los Angeles-area beaches are almost all wide, sandy and inviting, especially between Santa Monica and Redondo Beach. Those two beach towns, in fact, are arguably the best for families. Each has a large pier geared to family fun: 12 amusement-park rides on Santa Monica Pier and mini-submarine rides and a huge games arcade on the Redondo Pier. At each pier area, you can also rent skates or bikes—including tandems, kids' bikes and child trailers—to cruise the paved multiuse path alongside the beach. That flat path hugs the sand almost the entire way—20 miles altogether—including one segment where you are right underneath planes taking off from Los Angeles International Airport.

Disneyland

It is a tribute to Walt Disney's vision that iconic rides that delighted kids in 1955 when he opened Disneyland are more popular than ever. You can still scream alongside your kids on the Matterhorn Bobsled rollercoaster in Fantasyland, still rumble through tunnels on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontiertown and still snap photos of your kids' startled expressions when Disney characters offer handshakes. Once families get their fill of 20th-century thrills, they can go next door to Disneyland's 21st-century neighbour, Disney California Adventure Park, where updated attractions await, like the loud, dark, scary ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Both Disney parks are 40 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport.

The View at Griffith

On a wooded road high above the lights of L.A., Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone showed off their dance moves in 'La La Land.' That road is in Griffith Park, and so is the Griffith Park Observatory, the site of another dance scene in the movie. The park was a romantic spot for the fictitious Sebastian and Mia, but it is a fun spot for families. The observatory offers planetarium shows ($3-$7), plus free space talks, exhibits and public telescope use until 10 p.m. Also in the park are the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum of the American West, a train museum, a mini-train, an equestrian centre, pony rides, the HOLLYWOOD sign and 53 miles of hiking trails.

If you go

United Airlines offers flights to Los Angeles from numerous cities throughout the U.S. and abroad, and MileagePlus® Rewards can help pay for your car rental and hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your L.A. family getaway.

Family-friendly cities: San Francisco from bay to breakers

By UK/IE Hub Team

Bordered on three sides by water, San Francisco is a city where most of the best places for families to visit are on the bay or the ocean—whether on a beach, in a boat or at a waterfront attraction.

Play on the bay

The entire six-mile-long waterfront on San Francisco Bay is a succession of family-friendly attractions—from AT&T Park where Giants players smash "splash hits" (home runs) into the bay, to the historic Fort Point beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Thousands flock to Fisherman's Wharf and adjacent Pier 39, where the Aquarium of the Bay and the Maritime National Historical Park's floating ships are the highlights. A few piers to the south is the Exploratorium, a hands-on museum of science, art and human perception geared towards curious kids. And a slightly longer walk to the north brings you to kite-flying fields, a windsurfing beach and the House of Air—an indoor "adrenaline park" with trampolines and climbing walls for ages as young as 3 to 6.

Cruise in the bay

The waterfront is also where you can depart on any of several boat trips. These include leisurely bay cruises that take you out to the Golden Gate and past Alcatraz, plus one high-speed option (May to October) that kids adore: the RocketBoat, which literally finishes with a splash. The most popular boat ride, however, is the short trip to the notorious prison island, Alcatraz, where tour choices include a self-guided day trip, a guided behind-the-scenes tour, a guided night tour and a combo tour that also stops at Angel Island—where you can hike or take a tram around the large island's perimeter.

Cross the Gate

The best way to cross the world's most photogenic bridge is not by car. It is on the pedestrian pavement on a bike or on foot. Walking across the Golden Gate is easy. Start at the Welcome Centre, take some selfies, then begin the walk. Biking the bridge on your own or with a guided group is nearly as popular, with most rental locations clustered around Fisherman's Wharf (Blazing Saddles alone has six). You start out with three miles of mostly easy pedalling along the bay, then climb to the iconic span, cross it, and continue on down to picturesque Sausalito where you can take a ferry back to the city. The views are constant.

Hit the beach

Ocean Beach is 3.5 miles long and up to two football fields wide, so it is never crowded, and Baker Beach is blessed with a Golden Gate Bridge view. Both are superb for sandcastle building and big-wave watching, though rip currents make swimming perilous. Between these beaches lies the Coastal Trail, a magical three-mile round trip hike that follows a bluff high above crashing waves and the open sea below. Start hiking at the Lands End Lookout Visitor Centre—and check out the Sutro Baths ruins just below. The 100-acre San Francisco Zoo is also an option.

Explore the park

Golden Gate Park stretches four miles from the two restored windmills at Ocean Beach to the middle of the city, but most of its family-friendly delights are walking distance apart. The most impressive of these is the California Academy of Sciences—an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum rolled into one. Tickets are $26-$36 per ticket (free for children under 4), but you can save a great deal by purchasing a CityPASS or GO Card that also includes admission to other top attractions. Close by are rowing boat rentals at Stow Lake, a 1914 carousel and America's oldest public playground.

If you go

United Airlines offers flights to San Francisco International Airport from numerous cities throughout the U.S. and abroad, and MileagePlus® Rewardscan help pay for your car rental and hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your family getaway.

Top 7 things to experience when visiting Las Vegas

By UK/IE Hub Team

When picturing Las Vegas, you probably see shimmering lights, felt-covered poker tables and the ecstatic sound of slot machines. Located on the edge of the vast Mojave Desert, this uniquely American destination is constantly reinventing itself with every passing day, which makes it an ideal holiday spot for virtually every type of traveller. To help you get the most from your next trip to Vegas, here are seven attractions in and around the city that you will not want to miss.

The Neon Museum

Since 1996, this magical outdoor art gallery has collected hundreds of old and discarded neon signs from the Las Vegas strip and displayed them for visitors on a 2-acre plot of land. With so much colourful history available to see, it is no wonder that the Neon Museum is one of the city's top Instagram spots. Though new signs are constantly being acquired and refurbished, many date back to the glory days of the 1950s, when Vegas icons like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were the entertainment headlines at the casinos.

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas assets.rbl.ms

Red Rock Canyon

This stunning nature reserve is just a 15-mile drive west of Las Vegas and is the perfect place to experience all the scenic beauty that Nevada has to offer. Red Rock Canyon features 26 clearly marked hiking trails, indoor and outdoor conservation exhibits and a plethora of majestic wildlife and desert flora to view. There is even a picturesque waterfall, so bring your camera along with your sunscreen and bottled water. A variety of educational programmes are held each month, including a popular "Bats in Our Belfry" presentation in which rangers take visitors on a bat sightseeing tour of the canyon.

The Mob Museum

Because the birth of Las Vegas is intricately connected with organised crime, this fascinating museum is a must-visit for anyone who wants to understand how a dry Nevada desert became a worldwide symbol of glitz and glamour. Filled with amazing artefacts, vintage photos and life-size recreations of some of the city's most infamous residents, the Mob Museum focuses on both the gangsters who built Las Vegas and the law enforcement heroes who pursued them. A rotating collection of exhibits brings the town's colourful history to life in a way that no film or book could ever hope to duplicate.

The Hoover Dam in Nevada The Hoover Dam in Nevada assets.rbl.ms

The Hoover Dam

A monument to man's industrial spirit and a marvel of American engineering, the spectacular Hoover Dam is located less than an hour's drive from Las Vegas—and it is a truly unforgettable sight to behold. Tours of the 726-foot-tall dam are highly encouraged and will fascinate young and old alike. While you are in the area, why not spend some time cruising the beautiful waters of nearby Lake Mead, which was created by the dam itself. Boat tours are available all week long from several locations around the lake, so advance reservations are not necessary.

Dig This Las Vegas

Are you visiting Las Vegas with children? If so, then this one-of-a-kind experience should definitely be on your travel itinerary. Dig This Las Vegas lets you and your kids drive and safely operate heavy duty construction equipment such as bulldozers and excavators on a massive outdoor playground in the heart of the city. Anyone who grew up with toy tractors and plastic earth-moving machines can now climb behind the wheel and try them for real. With the help of trained instructors, children as young as 8 years old can make their dreams of operating a genuine Caterpillar D5 bulldozer come true at this hands-on attraction site.

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park near Las Vegas Spring Mountain Ranch State Park near Las Vegas assets.rbl.ms

Spring Mountain Ranch

This Nevada state park is a relatively short drive from downtown Las Vegas and will instantly transport you back to the region's historic past. The perfectly preserved Old West-style ranch is an excellent place for an afternoon picnic when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the casinos. Thanks to the lush green surroundings and man-made lake, the temperature at Spring Mountain is noticeably cooler than you might expect of the hot Nevada climate. Explore further as gentle hiking trails allow you to stretch your legs in comfort while you navigate some of the loveliest scenery in the entire state.

Lotus of Siam

Widely considered to be one of the best Thai restaurants in the United States, Lotus of Siam earned its prestigious James Beard Award the hard way by serving incredibly delicious Northern Thai dishes every day for the past 19 years. Owner and head chef Saipin Chutima recently opened a second location in Las Vegas, which means you will have no trouble making reservations while you are in town. Considering that top foodie magazines like Gourmet, Saveur and Bon Appétit have praised this restaurant's incredible dishes for almost two decades, you would be wise to book a table in advance. Try their crispy rice salad with house-made pork sausage for a flavour that will make your taste buds sing.

Getting there

When you are ready to experience the fun and excitement of Las Vegas, book your flight at united.com or by using the convenient United app and share your story on social media with the #UnitedJourney hashtag.

SFO debuts new United Polaris lounge

By UK/IE Hub Team

Beginning 30th April, customers travelling in United Polaris® will be able to relax and dine pre-flight or refresh upon arrival in the new United Polaris lounge at San Francisco airport. Designed with San Francisco in mind, you will notice details weaved in everywhere, that play tribute to the City by the Bay.

Unique features inspired by San Francisco

The two-storey, over 2600-square-metre (28,120-square-foot) lounge located in the International Terminal at SFO was designed with sweeping views of the airport and the San Francisco Bay area. The lounge offers customers three distinct experiences: an area to relax, an area to recharge and an area to engage. A custom scent, curated music playlist and subtle mood lighting also come together to create a memorable sensory experience.

Seats, power outlets and USB ports are located around the United Polaris lounge Seats, power outlets and USB ports are located around the United Polaris lounge

Spacious seating areas to meet a variety of needs

The space features a variety of seating areas to meet the needs of customers, with 19 different types of seats throughout the lounge. This includes 49 United Polaris signature lounge seats which offer additional privacy for uninterrupted work or relaxation—the oversized chairs come equipped with an integrated work or dining table, large privacy dividers and a personal side lamp. With 492 outlets and 492 USB ports situated throughout the lounge, staying connected has never been easier.

A woman pictured lounging in a bed in the United Polaris lounge at SFO Enjoy the relaxation area at the SFO United Polaris Lounge.

Rest starts here with soothing amenities

Tucked away from the rest of the lounge, daybeds outfitted with a Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and pillow offer a place to rest. Visitors also have the option to freshen up in shower suites, fitted out with Soho House & Co's Cowshed Spa products, which have ample space for visitors to keep their luggage with them so they will have all their personal items at hand. A valet is available to steam clothes upon request.

A woman and man dine at the United Polaris lounge at SFO Select from regional and global food and drink menu options

Regional influences are infused in food and drink selections

Food and drink selections include nods to both the local area and the popular destinations that United serves from San Francisco. Visitors can grab something from the buffet before boarding or settle in for a full meal in the private dining space, which sits close to 40 people. The menu by Chef Tritia Gestuvo, a California native, blends international comfort foods, such as a traditional Chinese congee breakfast and hand-cut pappardelle pasta with mushroom ragout, with staples such as the United Polaris Burger, which will be on the menu at all United Polaris lounges.

Regionally-inspired cocktails include the Mai Tai, invented in Oakland in 1944 at Trader Vic's after Vic "The Trader" Bergeron returned from a trip to Hawaii, and the Pisco Punch, first seen in the 1830s when San Francisco began to import the brandy from Peru. The lounge also offers a house-made vodka infusion with a blend of garnishes, oolong-steeped bourbon and house-made vermouth.

A cool-gel memory foam pillow, pjs and slippers Relax with a cool-gel memory foam pillow, pjs and slippers onboard your flight.

Additional updates rolling out

In addition to United Polaris lounge openings, customers will also see a few thoughtful updates on board including a cool-gel memory foam pillow to help you relax, and a pre-arrival treat to satisfy any sweet cravings before landing. We are also expanding United Polaris seating within our fleet approximately every 10 days.

Visit the new United Polaris lounge at SFO starting on 30th April. The lounge is available to customers travelling in United Polaris first or business class on long-haul international flights departing from or arriving into SFO, as well as customers travelling on a long-haul international flight on a Star Alliance™ partner airline in first or business class. Visit United Polaris to find out when additional lounges are expected to open.


The new United Polaris lounge at LAX has arrived

By UK/IE Hub Team

Today, Los Angeles' International Airport (LAX) welcomed the newest lounge to the United Polaris® family. Similar to its predecessors, the new United Polaris lounge offers elevated comfort and service from lounge to landing, providing our international premium cabin customers with a truly unique experience.

Seating area at the new United Polaris lounge at LAX Seating area at the new United Polaris lounge at LAX

Distinct features and seating to meet all needs

With sweeping views of the airport and its surroundings, including the iconic space-age Theme Building, the new United Polaris lounge lets customers enjoy their preferences of three distinct experiences: an area to relax, an area to recharge and an area to engage. A custom scent, curated music playlist and subtle mood lighting all come together to create a memorable sensory experience.

Dining tables at the United Polaris lounge at LAX

Dining tables at the United Polaris lounge at LAX

Seating at the United Polaris lounge at LAX

Seating at the United Polaris lounge at LAX

The space features a variety of seating areas to meet all needs—whether you want to charge your mobile devices, take advantage of complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, enjoy a gourmet meal or snack or simply rest before your flight. United Polaris lounge signature seats offer additional privacy for uninterrupted work or relaxation with integrated AC and USB power. The seats are designed with an oversized chair, integrated work or dining table, large privacy dividers and a personal side lamp.

Tucked away from the rest of the lounge, daybeds outfitted with a Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and pillow offer a quiet place to rest and recharge. Visitors also have the option to freshen up in our shower suites or simply indulge in Soho House & Co's Cowshed Spa products, featuring the best in wildcrafted ingredients and essential oils. Customers have ample space to keep their luggage with them in the shower suite so they will have all their personal items at hand. A valet will even steam your clothes upon request.

Freshen up in the shower suite


Food and drink selections with regional and global influences

Visitors can look forward to a culinary journey with an inventive, seasonal menu that manages to be familiar and far-reaching at once. Food and drink selections include nods to both the local area and the popular destinations we serve from Los Angeles. Behind the menu is Chef Tritia Gestuvo who delivers a culinary experience that is welcoming and familiar with global flair, using her extensive culinary training under L.A. legend Joachim Splichal and more than 10 years of experience in French cuisine to develop these distinctly tailored offerings. This menu is a true reflection of the love and passion Chef Gestuvo has for her hometown. Customers can grab something from the buffet before boarding or settle in for a full meal in the private dining space, which seats up to 16 people. Whether indulging in the street taco trio or sipping on a High Altitude Bloody Mary, travellers have plenty of choices to fuel up for their long flight ahead.

A labour of love

The focus behind the United Polaris experience has always been to provide our long-distance travellers with what they have asked for: better sleep in the sky. Hundreds of customers and employees were involved in more than 12,000 hours of research leading to the development of United Polaris. Through many focus groups and hours of on-the-ground and inflight product simulations—including overnight sleep tests of the new United Polaris seats—we explored a wide variety of product and service offerings and received feedback on what worked and what didn't. Only the best features went on to become a part of the United Polaris experience.

Take a look at how the United Polaris lounge at LAX was built:

The United Polaris lounge at Los Angeles' International Airport joins other lounges Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport follows closely the debut of the United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport in April and the United Polaris lounge at New York/Newark last month. The United Polaris lounge at Los Angeles International Airport will open later this autumn.

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