How to Access United Clubs and Polaris Lounges

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In 2017, United Airlines opened their first United Polaris Lounge to add value to their Polaris service class. This introduction resulted in United now having two separate lounge offerings, United Club and United Polaris. Two noticeable differences between the lounges is the number of locations and access limitations.

How to Access United Clubs and Polaris Lounges
  1. Flying United or Star Alliance International Business or First Class: If you are flying on a United or Star Alliance international business or first class ticket, you have access to both United Club and United Polaris lounges. This includes flights connecting to or from the international segment. United Polaris lounges are only found at Newark (EWR), Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), and San Francisco (SFO).
  2. United Club Subscription: United sells a one-year subscription to the United Club starting at $550 per individual with a one time initiation fee of $50. Payment can also be made with the with MileagePlus award miles in leu of cash (Platinum and 1K elite members are eligible for a discounted subscription rate). United Club members may bring one adult and dependent children under 21, or up to two guests, into any United Club location. In November 2018, United limited access to the United Club only to passengers flying on United or Star Alliance flights.
  3. United Club Day Pass:The airline sells a one-time pass for $59 to the United Club. The passenger can be flying on any flight United or other airline to access the lounge. Additionally, the United Explorer Card from Chase offers two free day passes with each year of membership.
  4. Star Alliance Gold Status on International Flight: United Gold, Platinum and 1K passengers as well as Star Alliance Gold Status travelers have access to United Clubs when flying internationally. This includes United or Star Alliance flights connecting to or from an international segment. Additionally, each Star Alliance Gold Status member is entitled to one guest who is also flying on a Star Alliance operated flight.
  5. Chase United MileagePlus Club or Presidential Plus Credit Card: Both credit cards issued by Chase include a United Club membership.
  6. Active US Military Personnel: Any active duty military members with a valid military ID, boarding pass for a United flight, and either dressed in uniform, leave orders or rest and recuperation papers is provided complimentary access to the United Club.
  7. Other Programs (Amtrak and Maple Leaf Club): United offers access to Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus or Executive members with a United ticket. Additionally, you can bring one more adult and children under the age of 21 as guest. If you have an Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership and are flying a Star Alliance flight, you can access a United Club (Maple Leaf Worldwide members can bring 1 guest as well).

There are currently United Clubs at over 30 different airports around the United States. United is currently overhauling the experience adding many improvements to their United Clubs.

Also see How to Access Delta Sky Club Lounges

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Comments

  1. Great article and summary! I had forgotten about the Amtrak and Military access.

    One correction, I believe that Star Alliance Business and First Class passengers only have access to Polaris Lounges on their outbound flight. If they are connecting from a qualifying international flight to a domestic connection, then they would not have access to the Polaris Lounge, just United Club.

    The example I recall reading was something like if you fly AKL-SFO on Air New Zealand in Business Class and connect to SFO-IAD on United, then you would not have access to the Polaris Lounge in SFO, but if you flew AKL-SFO on United in Business Class and then connected to SFO-IAD on United, then you would have access. But if you flew IAD-SFO-AKL and the SFO-AKL was in Business Class on either airline, then you would have access to the Polaris Lounge in SFO.

  2. Believe all Star Alliance Gold members (with the exception of United Mileage Plus *G) have access to United Clubs even when they fly domestically within USA.

  3. @PHE is correct. Star Alliance Gold members (other than United *G) have access to all United Clubs even when flying domestically within the USA. Per the Club access terms on United’s website, access is allowed when you have: “A valid Star Alliance Gold membership card and a same-day boarding pass for travel on a flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline and departing from the same airport.” If you are United *G, the boarding pass has to be for an international flight.

  4. Came here to say what @PHE AND @Les said above. Non-United *G should have access to lounges – even on domestic hops.

  5. I am flying Polaris Class in July from Melbourne AU TO LAX. I have a United connection same day to Las Vegas. Am I allowed to access the Polaris Lounge at LAX for the connecting flight. Thank You, Susie G.

  6. We are flying business class swiss air (United Airlines alliance) next week out of terminal B in Newark airport. Do we have access to Polaris lounge in terminal C or just the club lounge in terminal B?

  7. I am thinking of either purchasing on ebay or at the airport a one day pass for United club access. I have a 5 and a half hour layover in Houston (IAH) flying from Portland to Lima, Peru. If I purchase a day pass would I have access to a polaris lounge in Houston with showers? I’m thinking that would be a good idea since my flight leaves PDX at 5am 🙂 How safe are purchasing day passes on ebay?

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