IAH United Polaris Lounge Review

Updated June 23, 2020.

It finally happened! United’s new Polaris lounges are opening up, and they are quite an improvement over previous Business Class lounge iterations. Steve and I got to enjoy some time in the new Houston lounge on the way to and from Sydney back in August, and I’m here to reveal the goods to you!

Who Can Use the Lounge?

Like it or not, the new Polaris brand is more exclusive than United’s regular business class. The Polaris lounges are only for those flying long-haul Business or First classes. So if you’re flying Business or First and you’re off to Asia or Europe, you’re in! If you jetting off to Canada, Mexico, or domestically, you’re out of luck. The good thing is, they’ll let you in even if you look like this:

What can I say? Our flight left late and I’m no good at hiding my sleepiness!


This is the reason lounges are so nice: the creature comforts. The chairs are comfortable, there are outlets all around for charging devices of all sorts, and it’s relatively quiet, unlike the usual buzz and shouting that happens at the gate. There are several options at the Polaris lounge—everything from single seating to cozy couches to beautiful comfy chairs with a desk attached for those of us who might need to work on our travels!

Cushy chairs with power outlets and light.
Comfy couches.
Ever seen a more comfortable desk?


Those long-haul flights are rough. Not only are they dehydrating, they’re also loud (so there’s little hope of restful sleep!) and stuffy. And no one loves to be cramped in the same seat for 8 or 10 or 17 hours, even a Business class seat! So if you can find a lounge with a shower, it’s like finding gold! The United Polaris Lounge boasts several showers, and while I did not partake on this trip, my sweet husband did! His experience was a positive one, and he was certainly fresher than I was afterward. If only I could master the art of a short shower!

For your own planning purposes, the showers in this lounge include body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and extra amenities like those listed in the photo below!

Complimentary luffas, tiny deodorant, and shower cap
Shower time! With complimentary soap, shampoo, and conditioner
Personal sink with hand soap and lotion
Toilet and towel rack: not pictured: towel.

Food and Drink

If there’s one thing remarkable about business class it is the sheer amount and frequency of feeding. Travel makes a slug of us all what with hours of sitting and all the “hurry up and wait,” and for some reason all that stationary time makes us ravenous. And here’s the low-down on dining situation in the Houston Polaris Lounge!


Want to order off a menu and have your food served restaurant-style? Go for it! Everything on the menu is complimentary with your Polaris Lounge experience.

Dine-in restaurant

Coffee Bar

Coffee, decaf, and tea, are all available at all times of day. And thank goodness. Coffee is lifeblood for this weary traveler!

Coffee for all!

Juice Bar

Want something sweet and full of vitamins? Stop by the juice bar! When I stopped by there was orange water, lemon-lime water, orange juice, and—get this—guava juice! That’s fun! There were also soft drinks and the like in the mini-fridges below.

Juices and flavored waters

Buffet Forever

The buffet was quite impressive. Many of United’s flights from Houston make their way to South America, so there was a bit of a South American flair with empanadas and the like. There was also a cold buffet with fruit, cut veggies, and desserts!

Hot buffet options
Cold buffet and dessert options

My sampling: mini empanadas, roasted veggies, Asian-style pasta, and rice pudding. Because, why not?

A variety!

I may have been tired already, but my sweet husband knew how to make me feel loved and special on my birthday eve, especially since I’d be spending my whole birthday on a plane bound to Australia! And since I don’t drink alcohol, he made sure he got me a virgin-style cocktail for a little something fun. He got for himself the United Polaris signature drink with star anise!

Me and my virgin Ginger Scotsman! Made with apple juice instead of gin!
Steve and his lovely star-anise martini thingy!

What do you think of Houston’s United Polaris Lounge? For more, check out my Air Travel Page!

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3 responses to “IAH United Polaris Lounge Review”

  1. I have never been in a lounge. This one seems really amazing. I would love fresh juice and maybe even a shower.

    1. quickwhittravel Avatar

      It is a fun and refreshing experience, especially when traveling long-haul and with layovers!

      1. I am sure it is. Would need to look a bit into it when I’ll go on my next adventure further away.

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