United Polaris lounges create an experience like no other
Updated January 30, 2017
December marked the opening of our first United Polaris℠ lounge at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, bringing an entirely new type of lounge experience for the ultimate in pre-flight relaxation.
Private seating stations at Chicago O'Hare's United Polaris lounge
Dine, relax and unwind
Your international premium cabin travel is no longer just about the flight… It begins in the new United Polaris lounge. Whether you need to get some work done or want to relax and unwind before your flight, this exclusive new lounge offers those options and more. Fit in some quality work time at one of our private seating stations with pull-out desks and integrated power. If you're looking to recharge before your flight takes off, relax in a tucked-away chaise in our relaxation area, where white noise and dim lighting create a peaceful atmosphere.
The bar area at Chicago O'Hares United Polaris lounge
You'll also have the option to enjoy a full restaurant-style meal prior to your flight, so you can spend more time sleeping or resting in the air. The United Polaris lounge menu, featuring a selection of Chef Art Smith's famous dishes, is seasonally and globally influenced and sourced from local suppliers. In addition to a new menu, enjoy aviation-inspired or classic crafted cocktails from mixologist Adam Seger, or choose from our extensive wine and beer menu.
With the idea of providing a one-of-a-kind experience in each United Polaris lounge, artist Wolfgang Buttress will be designing a site-specific light sculpture for each location that has symbolism for the city the lounge resides in. The first sculpture, for our Chicago O'Hare lounge location, is referred to as "North Star Chicago." The figure, a grid taken directly from a map of Chicago, with the stars in the Northern Hemisphere hovering over it, is designed to inspire a sense of wonder.
More to come
A total of nine lounges are slated to open in airports worldwide: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington Dulles, Hong Kong, London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita. The U.S. locations will open in 2017, with international locations becoming available starting in 2018.
If you can't get to Mars, what's the next best thing? Apparently Iceland. A team of renowned explorers and researchers recently journeyed to Iceland to test a Mars analog suit in a Martian-like environment.
The United sponsored expedition, led by The Explorers Club — an internationally recognized organization that promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space — and in partnership with Iceland Space Agency, involved the team venturing inside the Grímsvötn volcano and across the Vatnajökull ice cap. The group traveled to the remote location and lived for six days in the Grímsvötn Mountain Huts and endured harsh weather conditions and unstable terrain.
Helga Kristin Torfadöttir, Geologist and glacier guide, using the LiDAR system to map the ground and test the suit's capabilities on the glacier.
The objective of the mission was to explore the potential of concept operations at the Grímsvötn location while testing the suit in an arctic environment similar to what would be found on the surface of Mars. "This mission was an important test of the design of the MS1 suit, but it was also incredibly helpful to understand the how to conduct these sorts of studies in Iceland," said Michael Lye, MS1 designer and NASA consultant and RISD professor. "No matter how thoroughly something is tested in a controlled environment like a lab, studying it in a setting that accurately represents the environment where it will be used is absolutely essential to fully understand the design."
The suit was designed and constructed by faculty and students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with input and guidance from members of the HI-SEAS IV crew and NASA's Johnson Space Center Space Suit Engineering team. At 50-60 lbs, the suit is similar to what a planetary exploration suit would weigh in Martian gravity. The suit was originally designed to be used in the warm climate of Hawaii, however the martian climate is much closer to what would be found on top of the glaciers in Iceland. The data collected will inform the future of habitat and spacesuit design that can be used to train astronauts on Earth.
Today, we remember the colleagues, customers and every single victim of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
I know each of us in the United family marks this difficult moment in our own way. Still, we all share a common commitment to honor how our brothers and sisters left us and also celebrate what they gave to us during their lives. We remember their professionalism and heroism. We cherish their camaraderie and friendship. We carry with us the examples they set forth, especially in the heroism and bravery displayed by so many on that terrible day. Above all, we understand a simple truth: While thousands of our fellow human beings lost their lives in New York City, Arlington and Shanksville, the attacks of September 11th were aimed at all people of peace and good will, everywhere. They were attacks on the values that make life worth living, as well as the shared purpose that make us proud of what we do as members of the United family: connecting people and uniting the world.
We may live in times scarred by discord and disagreement, and we know there are those around the world who seek to divide us against one another. But, on this day – above all – we come together, as one. We affirm our core belief that far, far more unites us as citizens and fellow human beings than can ever divide us.
Let us embody that belief as we go about serving our customers and one another – on this day and every day – as we continue to help building a world that's more united. Let that be our memorial to the sisters and brothers we lost, eighteen Septembers ago.