Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Air New Zealand | Air Points
Reload this Page >

Is it just me or are pre NZ27 ORD lounge options real bad?

Is it just me or are pre NZ27 ORD lounge options real bad?

Reply

Old Jan 11, 19, 5:05 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: WLG, BOS, YUL, YOW
Programs: NZ*E, Global Entry, NEXUS
Posts: 229
Is it just me or are pre NZ27 ORD lounge options real bad?

See post title. Especially so with baby or kids.
smanch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 6:10 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New Zealand (most of the time)
Programs: NZ Elite *G, HHonors Diamond, IHG Platinum Elite
Posts: 3,905
Probably requires some context from you. What is the issue?

Nobody I've known who has flown through there has raised any issues. By all accounts the SAS lounge is not an amazing lounge but superior to many other offerings out there.

As for having kids or babies it's a bit of a generalised comment but safe to say many in the US don't regard lounges as being a place you take your kids.
Yoshi212 likes this.
sbiddle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 6:14 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: WLG, BOS, YUL, YOW
Programs: NZ*E, Global Entry, NEXUS
Posts: 229
SAS and SWISS lounges are smaller in their entirety than the bathrooms in many US and NZ lounges. No sectioned off areas for children or families which are quite common in good US lounges (eg Centurion). And even if I were traveling alone there would be quite limited space to sit and work during a layover.

Next time I'll stick with IAH as layover point, their Amex lounge is fantastic for both solo and family travel. LAX and SFO too have far better options than ORD!
smanch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 9:48 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 248
Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
Probably requires some context from you. What is the issue?

Nobody I've known who has flown through there has raised any issues. By all accounts the SAS lounge is not an amazing lounge but superior to many other offerings out there.

As for having kids or babies it's a bit of a generalised comment but safe to say many in the US don't regard lounges as being a place you take your kids.
The context is that compared to LAX (with it's incredible Star Alliance lounge) and SFO (with it's fantastic Polaris lounge) the lounges at ORD (and Houston) are decidedly meh.

The lounges are one of the one of the reasons why I will now choose SFO or LAX to fly out of in J if I have a choice - they are just infinitely superior. If I wasn't for some reason flying out in J, then I'd look to avoid SFO too.
kiwifrequentflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 10:20 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Programs: NZ *G
Posts: 5,457
So I assume that for some reason the ORD Polaris lounge is not available to NZ27 pax?
trooper is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 10:49 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF gold-> platinum
Posts: 197
Originally Posted by trooper View Post
So I assume that for some reason the ORD Polaris lounge is not available to NZ27 pax?
wrong terminal or something (I think)
trooper likes this.
nancypants is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 10:59 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DEN/ORD
Programs: Kimpton IC, SW CP
Posts: 364
Polaris lounge is fantastic and certainly an option. You do have to clear security at T1 to access the Polaris lounge and then take an airside bus to T5 afterward. It's not ideal but the Polaris lounges are likely to be some of the best you'll find in the US.
mpw81 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 3:33 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: bne
Programs: Velocity Gold, AIRNZ Elite, Qantas Silver ,Hilton Silver
Posts: 720
Polaris Lounge

Originally Posted by mpw81 View Post
Polaris lounge is fantastic and certainly an option. You do have to clear security at T1 to access the Polaris lounge and then take an airside bus to T5 afterward. It's not ideal but the Polaris lounges are likely to be some of the best you'll find in the US.
Did you need to go to T5 first to obtain a boarding pass to enter the Polaris Lounge in T1 or was the phone app boarding pass ok to enter the lounge ?
Beano is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 10:17 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DEN/ORD
Programs: Kimpton IC, SW CP
Posts: 364
Originally Posted by Beano View Post
Did you need to go to T5 first to obtain a boarding pass to enter the Polaris Lounge in T1 or was the phone app boarding pass ok to enter the lounge ?
Never done with an ANZ boarding pass, but it's open to all departing *A flyers in international (so exclusions like US to Mex or US to Canada) premium cabins so you should be fine. I can't find them at the moment, but I've seen threads about this exact topic other *A forums (LH and ANA specifically) and the UA ORD Polaris thread is 58 pages long and has loads of great info on very specific access questions and how to transfer to T5 via the airside bus.
trooper likes this.
mpw81 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 11:30 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: AC SE100K, 1MM, NH, DL, GE/Nexus, APEC..
Posts: 14,566
Originally Posted by mpw81 View Post
Polaris lounge is fantastic and certainly an option. You do have to clear security at T1 to access the Polaris lounge and then take an airside bus to T5 afterward. It's not ideal but the Polaris lounges are likely to be some of the best you'll find in the US.
Exactly.

Some advice for OP and perhaps others.

For reasons that have to do with schedule or availability, I have to connect in the U.S. for certain TPAC or TATL flights, like flying to/from SFO and LAX on NZ, NH, BR etc. U.S. airports are not designed to allow for transfer pax or anything remotely close to ease of connections for international-domestic travel. Those of us who transit through airports like SIN, TPE, NRT, HKG, CPH, FRA, ZRH, etc and even YYZ, YVR and YUL, understand how awesome this is when faced with trying a connection in a place like ORD. (SFO is not as bad and LAX has the airside connector - and this is all for departures. Arrivals still require exiting after immigration)

On my recent international departure from ORD, I arrived into T2, walked the tunnel to T1 and had an awesome time in the UA Polaris. (As per my and some other posts on the UA forum, food and service are significantly better at ORD, while space is better at SFO).

You are eligible to enter with a Business Class BP from any *A airline departing ORD.

On this day, I was flying TATL and knew my flight was leaving from T5 International. Due to endless construction, the only 2 ways to get there were exit T1, go to T5 and re-eclear security (which no one in their right mind should do), or get to the gate locations in the other terminals (long walks) and take the airside bus.

I was advised that one gate option was slightly better so I went there. The staff there advised the bus is only every 30 minutes, so if you do this, makes sure you allow for the time. Also, they check your BP.

Bus arrives, we all board. Fun part was driving on what seems like roads adjacent to runways and taxiways, got some great aircraft photos and then we were dropped off at a door at T5. Like a bus gate. There were agents there to check our BPs again.

IMHO, T5 was a dump. I went to the LX lounge - which is indeed as described above, essentially a shoebox. Nowhere to sit, I took a bottle of water and went to sit in the hallway near my gate as there is no seating at the gate, just some restaurants.

This is not an airport I would ever transit again if I could avoid it, and especially in winter.

While the Polaris is worth it and significantly better than a UC, the flight I would take ex-ORD would really have to be worth all of this. I am glad I went through the experience recently and would still choose SFO or the mayhem of LAX.

YMMV and Happy Travels.
SeaProf and samyoull like this.
24left is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 3:10 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: YYZ/SFO/AKL
Programs: NZ*G, back of the bus UA, corner of the MLL AC.
Posts: 166
IMHO the only reason to transit ORD is if you're going to the Northeast US/Eastern Canada flying Y/PE.

That way you stay on NZ product for the majority of your trip, which compared to AC/UA domestic Y is far more comfortable (even in the 9 abreast 789)

If you're in J, fly cross country on UA/AC J then outbound via SFO/LAX, whichever has the best connection - lounges are only good if you've got unavoidably long layovers. Yeah it's nice to shower but I'd rather just get there with the least overall travel time.
jawnbc likes this.
samyoull is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 9:06 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: BNE
Programs: NZ*G, QF Bronze, VA Red
Posts: 486
Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer View Post
The context is that compared to LAX (with it's incredible Star Alliance lounge) and SFO (with it's fantastic Polaris lounge) the lounges at ORD (and Houston) are decidedly meh.

The lounges are one of the one of the reasons why I will now choose SFO or LAX to fly out of in J if I have a choice - they are just infinitely superior. If I wasn't for some reason flying out in J, then I'd look to avoid SFO too.
Er, IAH has a - rather excellent - Polaris lounge.
kyanar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 9:34 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 248
Originally Posted by kyanar View Post
Er, IAH has a - rather excellent - Polaris lounge.
Ooh! I had checked with Air NZ and it just said United Lounge. That is good to know since I'll be going through IAH this year
kiwifrequentflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 9:58 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New Zealand (most of the time)
Programs: NZ Elite *G, HHonors Diamond, IHG Platinum Elite
Posts: 3,905
Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer View Post
The context is that compared to LAX (with it's incredible Star Alliance lounge) and SFO (with it's fantastic Polaris lounge) the lounges at ORD (and Houston) are decidedly meh.
At least Koru members get a lounge at ORD unlike SFO where they simply get a snack and drink voucher at check-in - so while you can say the SAS lounge at ORD is basic, at least there is a lounge for people to use.

Remember not everybody on the plane is flying in BP to get access to get Polaris access or *G to get access to other lounges.
kiwifrequentflyer likes this.
sbiddle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 12, 19, 10:14 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: WLG, BOS, YUL, YOW
Programs: NZ*E, Global Entry, NEXUS
Posts: 229
Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
Remember not everybody on the plane is flying in BP to get access to get Polaris access or *G to get access to other lounges.
Yes, this is my point. I rarely fly in J, so Polaris access (while great) are not really relevant to me (and in any event we haven't flown J with our baby and don't intend to). But I fly very often between the US or Canada and NZ in Y and PE and having access to a pleasant, quiet, and not-tiny space during layovers, ideally with a bit of food, is hugely valuable for me especially when with family. After the experience of flying to NZ thru ORD, I think that unless the lounge situation changes there, I'll go back to my usual IAH route since they have numerous excellent options (their Centurion lounge's private family room is literally the size of the entire SWISS lounge seating area at ORD). LAX and SFO also have solid options, but I'm usually connecting to BOS or YUL and the timings are a lot better through IAH.
smanch is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: