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Swiss International Air Line is a member of the Star Alliance and therefore if you are flying out of LAX on Swiss in Business Class, you can enjoy not only the nice big Star Alliance Business Class Lounge located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, but also United Polaris Lounge in Terminal 7. United really stepped up their games to create one of the best lounges for premium class passengers in the United States airports. United Polaris lounge is simply beautiful and less crowded (thanks to United strict access policy). The lounge does not only provide buffet style food and drink bar, but also a dinning a-la-carte style that you sit down and order food and drinks off a regular menu. This type of dinning set up is typically only available in the first class lounge of International airlines, so it is very nice that United Polaris Lounge offers this type of dinning for business class passengers.
Location and Access
United Polaris Lounge is located in Terminal 7 between gates 73 and 75A. Access to the United Polaris Lounge at LAX is only available for the following:
- A boarding pass for travel in United Polaris business class for a long-haul international flight. Customers in United Polaris business class may access a United Polaris lounge at departure, connecting and arrival airports along their eligible same-day routing.
- A boarding pass for travel in long-haul international business or first class on a Star Alliance member airline. Customers may only access a United Polaris lounge at the departure airport for their international business or first class flight.
- United Polaris is available on trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic flights, and on flights from the U.S. to these South American destinations: Buenos Aires, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Santiago. All other international routes are United Business and include use of the United Club: Guam, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, Colombia and Ecuador.
I was flying out of LAX to Zurich on Swiss LX 41 flight in business class award ticket. Since Swiss is part of the Star Alliance member airlines, my Swiss boarding pass was able to gain access to the United Polaris Lounge in terminal 7.
Swiss Flights Leave From Tom Bradley International Terminal
United Polaris Lounge is located in terminal 7 after security. However, Swiss flights actually leave from Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). Although terminal 7 is now connected to TBIT after security, it is still quite a walking distance to endure.
I wanted to experience both lounges on the same day, so I was at LAX super early. I did online check-in with Swiss and got both my mobile boarding pass and print out boarding pass. My goal was to clear security in terminal 7 so that I could access United Polaris Lounge first, then walked to Star Alliance Business Class Lounge in TBIT. I was able to clear security in terminal 7 with a little hick-up and I think mainly because of the agent there. My print out boarding pass has TSA Pre-Check on it, but the agent won’t let me use it to enter the Pre-Check lane. He wanted me to obtain a regular boarding pass ticket from the counter or kiosk machine. I could not do that because terminal 7 belongs to United and they would not be able to issue a Swiss boarding pass. Without hesitation, I was willing to sacrifice the Pre-Check lane and went to the regular lane with my mobile boarding pass. That agent let me through.
Later on, I accidentally exited terminal 7. So I had to take the LAX shuttle and truthfully it wasn’t really bad and it did save me some distance from walking. The good news is Swiss airline now is part of the TSA Pre-Check, which means that if you have TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry, you can breeze through the security much faster at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal. Simply obtain your boarding pass from Swiss counter and proceed to the TSA Pre-Check escalator. There will be an agent at the escalator to check your boarding pass and assist you if needed.
There are plenty of seats at the United Polaris Lounge at LAX. The lounge is not huge by any means; however, it was less crowded because United has strict policy on who can access the lounge. When I was there, it was quite nice as it was very quiet. Some seats even provide view of the outside airplanes in the terminal. Check out photos below.
Food & Drinks
This is where United Polaris Lounge shines. The lounge does not only offer buffet style food but also a special dinning room that allows guests to sit down and order to make food and drink items off the regular menu. There’s someone there will seat you at the dining room’s door and take your order. The menu consists of cocktail drinks menu, breakfast, small plates, lunch and dinner items. They are pretty good actually. This type of dinning set up is typically only available at international airlines first class lounges, so I was surprised that United Polaris Lounge offers this to just business class passengers. It is really nice. I did enjoy the excellent Adobo Roasted Chicken Breast for lunch though I found the small plate of Beef Empanadas were just okay.
|Buffet Style Food|
|Dinning Room Menu|
|Drinking Menu in Dinning Room|
|Beef Empanadas Small Plate|
|Adobo Roasted Chicken Breast|
The United Polaris Lounge LAX also has a shower suite. To access the shower room, you have to have an attendant arrange it for you.
Overall, I’m super impressed with the United Polaris Lounge at the LAX airport. The fact that United has strict policy who can access the lounge makes the lounge less crowded compared to the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge. The size of the United Polaris lounge is big enough to offer many comfortable seats and a shower suite. But I personally think what really set United Polaris Lounge apart from other lounges is the fact that it offers a dinning room that you can order food and drinks off the menu. Swiss business class passengers can access the United Polaris Lounge, but keep in mind that Swiss flight is leaving from Tom Bradley International Terminal which is not close to terminal 7. It is doable to walk between the two terminals or you can exit the terminal 7 and catch LAX between terminals shuttle to TBIT and go through security again. If you have TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry, it’ll help speed things up a little bit. I’m glad I got to experience both United Polaris Lounge and Star Alliance Business Class Lounge at LAX on the same day in order to review and compare both lounges. In my opinion, United Polaris Lounge is a winner!