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UNITED AIRLINES POLARIS LOUNGE AT LAX
United’s LAX Polaris lounge features a buffet, an a la carte dining room, six shower suites, two quiet suites for napping and seating areas designed to mimic the Polaris airplane seat. (photo via United)
United Airlines’s fifth Polaris lounge, located at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), will open tomorrow, capping off the completion of the airline’s $573-million revamp of Terminal 7. The lounge, available to United’s Polaris international business-class travelers, marks the company’s shift in focus that began with president and CEO Oscar Munoz’s vision for change, when he returned to work after a heart transplant in 2016.
“When I came back from my heart condition and I addressed the crowd [of United employees], my speech, just from the sheer emotion of my being back, I said ‘I feel like United has been a lot of wandering nomads. People who are well meaning, but wandering all over the place. What we need to define for our company is a true direction, a true North Star, if you will.’ And that’s when that idea took hold,” Munoz explained to APEX Media at yesterday’s lounge preview event. “Then some of the more creative people in our company said, ‘Why don’t we name our product after the North Star?’ And then Polaris was born.”
According to Janet Lamkin, president of United California The Polaris concept began with United’s proprietary lie-flat seat that boasts a 6-foot-6-inch bed space, which the company has already installed in 47 wide-body planes, including in the 787-10, which was our first 787 to have the Polaris seat on it.
Polaris lounges are currently found in Chicago’s O’Hare International, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental, Newark’s Liberty International, San Francisco International airports. LAX’s Polaris lounge is located between gates 73 and 75A in Terminal 7 and boasts 12,122 square feet of what Alexander Dorow, United’s director of Premium Services, called “a place where you can feel like you’re in a residential space, with the curated elements that are most important to our customers.”
The lounge’s 140 seats include signature seats designed to mimic the Polaris airplane seat, with extra privacy for the solo traveler. Each private seating area has an oversized chair, a table, numerous power outlets and a personal lamp. There are also modern padded couches or an ultra-modern chair that looks west out onto the jetway.
“The entire lounge is shaped like an oval, which helped us maximize every square foot of our space,” Dorow revealed. “Our rotunda is called ‘the oculus,’ which provides a level of intimacy without making you feel like you are closed in.” That’s where visitors will find “our primary dining area, a large, open buffet with different proteins offered throughout the day.”
That menu “has a very heavy focus on light bites, smaller items, so that you can combine your meal to the size and spec you’re looking for,” he continued. “This was something that was specially designed for our Los Angeles audience. We want to pay homage to the Los Angeles market and to the trends that are really going on in town right now. We want to give people the chance to design their own meal.”
Image via United
The lounge features a dining room where travelers can be seated and order from a full menu of a la carte items. The menu will change seasonally; the current menu, which was created by LA chef Tritia Gestuvo, included fish and chips, chilaquiles, bulgogi arancini and street tacos.
Image via United
The new Polaris lounge also features six shower suites and two quiet suites (where taking a nap is encouraged), each tricked out with high-end amenities and luxury bedding. And probably the most important feature of all is that every seat has easy access to power ports – 272 in all, as well as 120 USB ports..
“We have such a wonderful experience here for our Los Angeles customers,” Lamkin said proudly. “We’ve made all these investments here in LA because it’s the cornerstone of our hub. It’s incredibly important to our entire network.”
PIRELLI TIRES NEWS
PIRELLI PNCS REDUCES ROAD NOISE BY 25%: DEMAND FOR TECHNOLOGY THAT SILENCES TIRES HAS DOUBLED IN JUST ONE YEAR
PNCS EFFECTIVELY MEANS THAT THERE’S ONLY NOISE FROM THREE TIRES: TECHNOLOGY REQUESTED BY PREMIUM AND PRESTIGE CARMAKERS
Demand has doubled: homologations of Pirelli tires equipped with innovative PNCS technology numbered 78 by the end of 2017. One year later, the figure increased by 100%, now making a total of more than 150. This system created by Pirelli has been on sale since 2013 and is increasingly requested by the world’s best-known carmakers, especially those in the premium and prestige sectors, to offer greater comfort to drivers and passengers.
HOW PNCS TECHNOLOGY WORKS
PNCS stands for Pirelli Noise Cancelling System. This technology is designed to reduce perceived noise on the inside of the car, derived from the interaction between the road surface and the tire itself. Thanks to Pirelli’s PNCS, this road noise can be reduced by up to 25%, as if the car were travelling on only three wheels.
It’s made possible thanks to the use of a specific sound absorbing material placed within the tire, which absorbs vibrations in the air that would otherwise be transmitted to the inside of the vehicle, creating annoying background noise. This ‘sponge’ is made from foam consisting of open cells that maximise the working surface of the material, intensifying the deadening of vibration, and therefore reducing noise.
Tires equipped with this technology can be recognised by special markings on the sidewall, which depict a speaker and soundwaves with a bar through them, next to the PNCS symbol. Owners of vehicles equipped with PNCS technology are advised to always buy appropriately marked tires specifically made for their cars, in order to continue to enjoy the advantages of this relaxing technology. Of course, it’s also important to look after the tires properly: maintaining the correct tire pressures as advised by the manufacturer also helps to contain road noise.
Maurizio Boiocchi, Pirelli’s Executive Vice President of Technology and Innovation, said: “Alongside tire development, Pirelli also works every day on technology designed to improve the lives of each and every motorist: Run Flat and Seal Inside minimise the risks associated with punctures, while PNCS improves comfort on journeys. These specialities are much in demand from premium and prestige carmakers, helping to ensure the highest standards of quality. Pirelli’s contribution can be seen from nearly 3100 homologations, of which more than 770 are linked with these specialities, and more than 720 are marked tires that identify the actual car manufacturer. The presence of technology such as PNCS within our products demonstrates to drivers the importance of choosing tires that have been specifically developed for their cars, when it comes to changing rubber. That’s the only way in which drivers can get the very best out of their cars, which will then continue to benefit from the characteristics built into them by the engineers responsible for the original design.”