I do not think it was planned, but United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby let slip news that a Polaris Lounge will be coming to Denver International Airport, the final United hub in the continental USA without a flagship business class lounge.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby: Polaris Lounge Coming To Denver
Speaking to press and employees at an event in Denver to mark United’s expansion at its Rocky Mountain hub, Kirby said:
“By the way, I think I’m standing–I’m probably not supposed to announce this–on a location–look Linda [Jojo] is laughing at me–that’s probably in a couple years going to be the next Polaris club.”
You can hear his own words here (fast forward to 16 minutes and 18 seconds).
What you can’t see is the look on the face of Linda Jojo, United’s Chief Customer Officer, who clearly was not expecting this announcement.
The lounge will be located in Concourse A on the mezzanine level between Gates A18 and A20. The nearby Concourse A United Club is currently under construction with plans to be completed this summer. Stay tuned to Live and Let’s Fly for a special behind-the-scenes tour of the new lounge later today.
The addition of the Denver lounge would mark a capstone in United’s domestic network. Its other US hubs (with the exception of Guam, a unique and remote station) all feature Polaris lounges, a den of a la carte dining and enhanced amenities for United and Star Alliance longhaul business class passengers:
No other details were provided and it should be noted that this lounge is likely years away from opening (per Kirby, at least two). That said, as Denver grows as a hub it is only natural that a Polaris Lounge would open. We’ve seen United add international service from Denver (which now includes London, Frankfurt, Munich, and Tokyo) but it is also a starting point or connecting point for many Polaris travelers. In that sense, the lounge is long overdue.
United CEO Scott Kirby let the cat out of the bag: a Polaris Lounge is coming to Denver in United’s new A-West gate area. Details are currently scant, but expect an opening in “a couple” of years.
Finally, kudos to Zach Griff of TPG, who was standing just a few paces away from me in Denver when Kirby uttered these words, for grabbing his laptop and quickly filing a story before the event was even finished. While I sat and listened to the remarks from various United executives, Griff listened in one ear while churning out his story. Speaking as a travel blogger, that’s quite an inspiration.