Wait time for meals at Polaris Lounge Restaurant

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Old Jul 1, 19, 6:43 pm   -   Wikipost
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Estimated Polaris Lounge usage, based upon cargo schedule.

1. 752 routes not included.
2. 3X and 4X weekly frequencies are counted as daily.
3. IAD included for future use.
4. Assumed: 50% of arriving passengers returning to the lounge as connection passengers; based them arriving 45" after arrival and departing 2'30" after arrival.
5. Assumed: Departing passengers arrive 2"30" before departure and leave 45" before departure.
6. Star Alliance Partner Airlines guests not included.

posted 2019/06/30 phkc070408:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31256959-post29.html
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Old Jun 25, 19, 11:20 pm
  #1  
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Wait time for meals at Polaris Lounge Restaurant

After never having to wait for a seat at the restaurant, I arrived at the ORD Polaris lounge around 4:15pm for my flight to Europe on Monday. I was told there was a wait list and was told to wait in a corner and I'd be called when a table was ready. Most prior trips there was no wait - if the flight hadn't been delayed, I wouldn't have been able to get a meal. Wonder if others have experienced a wait too? Seems like they should have a surge plan for the restaurant. Food at the buffet was not super appetizing - lots of similar things served in the main lounge.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 11:35 pm
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I have experienced a short wait, and been there when there were longer wait lists started. Never has happened in SFO, but I am usually there earlier in the day. I agree with your assessment of the ORD Polaris buffet - the restaurant is the way to go - but there are times that the buffet is OK too.

BTW ... I assume you were looking at the main buffet, not the one at the same end as the restaurant. The main buffet definitely is better than the UC's.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 3:43 am
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I don't know about the ORD lounge but the wait time at SFO on the two occasions I've wanted to eat there has been over an hour. Needless to say, I went with the buffet.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 5:24 am
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The one time I went to the one in ORD there was nowhere to sit let alone eat, I went to the noodle bar around the corner
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Old Jun 26, 19, 7:13 am
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I've had waits in both ORD and IAH. Neither was more than 10 minutes. At ORD, there have been issues with "crowd control." Folks sitting down at dirty tables without talking to the host, and then getting irritated because they were there "first." Several times I've gotten a bit frustrated at ORD simply because they still don't seem to have a process for figuring out who is next on the list, or keeping folks from simply sitting down when there is one.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:56 am
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My only experience was at EWR Polaris lounge last month. Was around 330pm on saturday and the lounge as well as restaurant were totally packed. Zero help from staff in organizing wait list, tables etc. After finally getting a table after 20 minutes, never was even acknowledged by wait staff for another 15 minutes. We got up and went to the buffet area and bar for food/drinks. Quality was excellent but was disappointed at not being able to the highly regarded sit down section.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:19 am
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At SFO, they were handing out the little pager devices that flashed and buzzed when a table was ready.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:31 am
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Only place we had a wait was once at IAH, it can be quite busy in the evenings. The sit down dining area is not very big. Its not a large lounge like EWR or SFO so all areas can be filled up.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 12:30 pm
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What is the protocol for the waitlist? Do they actually keep a list? Or you just talk to one of the wait staff and hope they remember you?
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Old Jun 26, 19, 1:17 pm
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I was at the SFO lounge last Friday at 9:45am. There was a beeper queue already. The lady at the front gave me a beeper and said that the beeper range is only out to the bar.

In my head, this is the higher force whispering that I should get two Old Fashions with breakfast.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by GRB051111 View Post
I was at the SFO lounge last Friday at 9:45am. There was a beeper queue already. The lady at the front gave me a beeper and said that the beeper range is only out to the bar.

In my head, this is the higher force whispering that I should get two Old Fashions with breakfast.
You can't go wrong with an Old Fashioned or two in the morning to start that Wall Street Day Drinking...
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Old Jun 26, 19, 4:07 pm
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That's unfortunate - but it would be useful to have some data on the wait times for specific locations. Personally I don't budget much time for the lounge, though I usual end up spending an hour or so there as I have to allocate for unexpected traffic to the airport, etc.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 5:00 pm
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The wait times are high when there are banks of departures. So SFO has a long wait approx 10a, and then another moderate wait around 630p. IAH should be busy in the evenings. Perhaps someone can pull all the international heavy departures for the hubs to show when to expect a wait.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
The wait times are high when there are banks of departures. So SFO has a long wait approx 10a, and then another moderate wait around 630p. IAH should be busy in the evenings. Perhaps someone can pull all the international heavy departures for the hubs to show when to expect a wait.
Guess I've been lucky to avoid most times with the heavy banks. Had a wait only once at SFO for about 15 minutes, which was enough time to go to the bar and get a couple of cocktails for me and my traveling companion. First thing we did when we were seated was order another two cocktails then looked over the menu

Image the outcry if there was only restaurant style seating and food service and there was no buffet. Who ever thought to put both of those options in did us all a big favor. If you have time to enjoy the sit down, restaurant style experience then that is fantastic! If you do not, then the buffet offers a much quick way to enjoy some food.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 9:01 pm
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They keep the waiting list on a tablet but at ORD they could really use a stanchion or two and a very prominent "wait here to be seated" sign.
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