United Polaris Lounges Create an Experience Like No Other - United Hub
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United Polaris lounges create an experience like no other

By The Hub team, October 26, 2016

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.

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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