The new United Polaris® Lounge at LAX Has Arrived - United Hub

The new United Polaris lounge at LAX has arrived

By The Hub team, January 12, 2019

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.

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 sits up to 16 people. Whether indulging in the street taco trio or sipping on a High Altitude Bloody Mary, travelers have plenty of choices to fuel up for their long flight ahead.

A labor love

The focus behind the United Polaris experience has always been to provide our long-distance travelers with what they've 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 for 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 follows 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 fall.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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