United Polaris Lounge. Houston.

After my pretty bloody brilliant trip outwards from Zurich to Boston, taking in the fantastic First and Senator lounges at Zurich, it was time to start my journey back home.

I’d flown down from Boston, to Austin, TX via Dallas with American.  It was a pretty ‘meh’ trip so hadn’t included a write up here.

My route home was flying from Austin, TX, to Houston, TX with United, then onwards with Lufthansa in first class on their A380 back to Frankfurt where I would connect down to Milan Linate.  Finally from there, I’d booked a British Airways Euro Traveller redemption using my Avios to return home to London.

Check in at Austin was swift and I was issued three boarding passes all the way to Linate.  I somewhat cheekily asked the staff if they were able to check my bag through to the British Airways flight from Linate to London – the agent said that she didn’t think that British Airways were Star Alliance and thus couldn’t.  I mumbled a “no worries, thanks” back at her, and didn’t press the issue any further.

The flight to Houston was entirely uneventful – it was a 30 minute hop in an Airbus A320 and we disembarked into the C terminal at Houston George Bush Intercontinental airport.

Houston Intercontinental Airport, a bit like Dallas Fort Worth is huge.  It took a good fifteen minute walk through terminal C, D and E to get to the new Polaris Lounge in terminal E.

I was warmly greeted by the lounge lady and explained that I would like to invite a guest in.  Normally for business class passengers, guests are only permitted if they’re also travelling business, however as I was travelling in first class on a Star Alliance carrier, I was permitted one.  With access granted, we jumped into the lift and headed up to the lounge.

I was impressed.  Seriously impressed.  United have clearly spent a lot of money here.

I arrived around 13.00 and the lounge was almost deserted.  It was a very decent size with some fantastic views of the apron.

There was a huge amount of seating available all over the place with comfy chairs and a variety of different styles of seating.  There was also plenty of power sockets scattered around the lounge with most seats having a set directly next to them.  Plenty of USB ports for charging devices too.

The lounge also had a full à la carte restaurant with table service.

Given I hadn’t really had a proper breakfast I was fairly hungry so figured I’d grab some lunch.

The menu was very comprehensive so opted for the burger and a glass of the champagne, Piper Heidsieck.

The burger was great – the bun was fresh and the fries freshly cooked too.  Certainly a step above the BA Burger served in the Galleries First.

If you didn’t want to have a proper meal service, there was also a full hot buffet for you to pick and choose from.

Plus of course the bar with some rather delicious cocktails.

Thoughts

I can’t believe that United have created a lounge like this.  I was stunned at the quality of the food and drink, the service from every member of staff was impeccable, and the fit and finish everywhere was of a very high quality.

Put simply this is a fantastic place to wait for a flight.  With the possible exception of the Concorde Room at Heathrow, it beats every British Airways lounge by a country mile.  But then again, this is for business class passengers, not first class.  For those of you who have visited the Qantas London Lounge I’d say it was on a par, if not slightly better than that.

United really have done a great job here.  If they could guarantee the new Polaris seating on all flights to/from Heathrow, then they really would have a very competitive offering over the North Atlantic.

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