Lounge access Polaris/gate passes?

Old Dec 3, 2023, 9:17 am
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Lounge access Polaris/gate passes?

My 89 y.o. French mother-in-law will be flying to CDG from IAD in January in Polaris (bought as a Christmas present for her).
My wife and I will be accompanying her with gate passes.
Is there any way for us to get any type of lounge access at IAD, apart from just sending her into the Polaris lounge on her own while we wait outside?!
My MIL is moderately mobile, although we're considering requesting a wheelchair for her. She only speaks French.
FWIW, my wife and I are both gold.

Also, does anyone have recent experience with requesting gate passes at IAD, if so, were there any problems with doing that?

Thanks!

Last edited by starless; Dec 3, 2023 at 9:27 am Reason: (added question on gate passes)
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by starless
My 89 y.o. French mother-in-law will be flying to CDG from IAD in January in Polaris (bought as a Christmas present for her).
My wife and I will be accompanying her with gate passes.
Is there any way for us to get any type of lounge access at IAD, apart from just sending her into the Polaris lounge on her own while we wait outside?!
....
Without an appropriate BP / ticket, nope. And Polaris Lounge would require Polaris ticket. Gate Passes will not cut it. BTW, gate passes in the USA can be difficult to obtain. Varies by airport. Multiple gate passes could be tough.
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 10:29 am
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That would seem very harsh not to allow someone to accompany a confused 89 y.o. monolingual French woman to the gate.
She would have no idea about security screening, emigration, or even when to board. (And may not even find the gate.)
She has never lived outside France - she's just visiting us for a week, and we'll be with her on the flight to the US.
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 10:34 am
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Consider buying a cheap domestic flight departing IAD later the same day as your MIL. That gets you airside if you can't get a gate pass.
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by starless
That would seem very harsh not to allow someone to accompany a confused 89 y.o. monolingual French woman to the gate.
She would have no idea about security screening, emigration, or even when to board. (And may not even find the gate.)
She has never lived outside France - she's just visiting us for a week, and we'll be with her on the flight to the US.
Some might think that lounge access is the least concern when sending a confused 89 y.o. monolingual French woman on an INTL trip by herself. Would she be able to handle an irrops diversion say to Halifax?
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by TomMM
Some might think that lounge access is the least concern when sending a confused 89 y.o. monolingual French woman on an INTL trip by herself. Would she be able to handle an irrops diversion say to Halifax?
This. Right here. I would never let my 92 year old grandmother fly alone. And she is built like a Soviet tank. Forget the longe access.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 10, 2023 at 12:05 am Reason: discuss the issue, not the poster
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by starless
That would seem very harsh not to allow someone to accompany a confused 89 y.o. monolingual French woman to the gate.
She would have no idea about security screening, emigration, or even when to board. (And may not even find the gate.)
She has never lived outside France - she's just visiting us for a week, and we'll be with her on the flight to the US.
This is a good reason to request wheelchair access. The wheelchair people will help her through security (there's no emigration) and bring her to the gate and help her board. None of that is tough and you can instruct her beforehand - you need your passport at security and boarding pass, and your flight boards at xx time. As a wheelchair person, she'll get to board in the first group.

On a CDG flight, at least some FAs will speak French so can help her as needed that way. Wheelchair person should also be able to bring her to Polaris lounge.

I would request wheelchair access, and if you can get a gate pass that's gravy.
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 12:34 pm
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If language is a serious concern, perhaps it would be better to book AF?
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by TomMM
Some might think that lounge access is the least concern when sending a confused 89 y.o. monolingual French woman on an INTL trip by herself. Would she be able to handle an irrops diversion say to Halifax?
Well, there are two issues, one is regarding lounge access (which I thought would be a long shot), and being able to accompany her to the gate with gate passes, which from United's web site looked like it should be automatic.
https://www.united.com/en/us/fly/tra...e/seniors.html


Since it's a direct flight, a diversion to a different airport, particularly outside France, would be exceptional.
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 1:02 pm
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You are not getting Polaris lounge access. Period. Agree with the above - get gate passes or order special services.
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by starless
...apart from just sending her into the Polaris lounge on her own while we wait outside?!...
Seems like your lounge access is more important than her comfort w/ a suggestion like this - she's not required to go into the Polaris lounge. You can host her at a restaurant on the concourse and be with her. Wouldn't that be better than sending her in alone?
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Dec 3, 2023 at 1:10 pm
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 1:05 pm
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I easily got a gate pass in my local airport a few years ago when I sent my brothers and sister back to China. They do not speak any English as your MIL. OP, it would be reasonable to ask for a gate pass, instead of two passes.

Requesting a wheel chair is a great idea so that your MIL can visit Polaris lounge while you wait outside before boarding begins.

Good luck!
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
Seems like your lounge access is more important than her comfort w/ a suggestion like this - she's not required to go into the Polaris lounge. You can host her at a restaurant on the concourse and be with her. Wouldn't that be better than sending her in alone?
Lounge access would be nice if there was a way, but obviously we'll go a restaurant or bar otherwise!
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 4:41 pm
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Your MIL would get Polaris Lounge access but could also get into a regular UC. And you could buy a day pass for a UC club? Granted, if its busy you cant use the pass. But depending on the time of year . . . Maybe?
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by WheelsUpGal
Your MIL would get Polaris Lounge access but could also get into a regular UC. And you could buy a day pass for a UC club? Granted, if its busy you cant use the pass. But depending on the time of year . . . Maybe?
OP would need a ticket on *A or United in order to use a UC day pass.
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