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UnitedClub - United Business & First Class Lounges

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Jump to lounge description
Previously known as the United Red Carpet Club and the Continental's Presidents Club
NEWS: Following the United Continental Merger, the airlines' names for their airport lounges — Continental's Presidents Club and United's Red Carpet Club — have been retired and rebranded as UnitedClub. At some locations there will no longer be two separate UnitedClubs, for example at New York Laguardia the two clubs are merging into one.

United Airlines have United Club airport lounges at a large number of airports: no less than 50 lounge around the world. Alas, they really aren't up to much, certainly not to international standard, but they do have free biscuits, free Wi-Fi, power sockets, and if you get there early enough, free newspapers. At a few airports there are also United International First Lounges, just for First Class passengers.

If you are confused about the name, you may be asking what happened to the Continental's Presidents Club, and where did United's Red Carpet Club go? The answer is, they were re-branded. All are now called the UnitedClub, and at many airports where there were both types of lounges, one is closing.

Access to the lounges is via a club scheme. Membership used to be very expensive, but United have slashed the cost. It now starts at only $475 for General Members (or 62,500 miles), or $375 if you are a 1K member (or 47,500 miles). You also need to be a MileagePlus member – but that is of course free. In 2004 it was $800 for a year: United Club is one of the few things that has gone down in price, along with the service in the club. Previously, lifetime memberships were available for purchase from the President's Club: no longer. If you are desperate, you can also buy day passes for $39 online or $50 at the door, but it's a bit of a waste of money.

Star Alliance Gold automatically members get access to the United Clubs, unless you are a United elite travelling domestically within the United States.

United club access rules are a bit complex. Many passengers ask about "United Club access First Class ticket" and the answer is typically no, unless you are on International. On a domestic business or first class flight without membership or Star Gold there is no access to the United Club, unless you are on a PS Service (New York to SFO or LAX), when there is free access to the United Club. PS Service First Class also gain access to the United International First Class Lounges at Los Angeles, New York-JFK, or San Francisco. However International Business class passengers do gain free access to the United Club, as do passengers travelling on a domestic service that connects to an International Business Class flight. However be prepared to put up a flight if you want to access the lounge this way: rules are complex.

StatusCostMilesPartner
General member$47562,500$225
Premier Member$45060,000$225
Premier Executive Member$40050,000 $200
1K Member$37547,500$175
Day pass (online)$39
Day pass (at club)$50
UnitedClub Membership costs

You might think you also get free drinks at United Clubs – well, you do, but there is a puritanical streak running through them. Within the US, there is now free alcohol once more, and the old drink voucher system has been removed – thank goodness. There is such a thing as free beer, not to mention complimentary wine and spirits: but it's only "house" wine and "house" spirits. Remember however that there is a rule that you must leave a tip: in effect each drink will cost you US$1 (the US convention is that you leave a $1 note on the bar).

United International First Lounge locations: There aren't that many locations left that still have a First lounge which feature snacks and a self-serve bar. In the US, it is restricted to the triangle where PS Services operate between New York JFK, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, plus Chicago, and Washington, D.C. – Dulles. The only locations outside the US now with International First Lounges are Tokyo and Narita. The old United first class lounge London Heathrow has closed: instead a pass is offered to the Joint Star Alliance First Class lounge in London, run by bmi. Access is restricted to customers travelling in long haul international first class or P.S. First Class.

More details & Photo gallery
Opens an image gallery of the lounge
 ►Chicago Concourse C
 ►Chiacgo Concourse F
 ►San Francisco International
 ►San Francisco Domestic
 ►Melbourne
 ►Hong Kong
 ►Las Vegas
 ►Minneapolis
 ►Denver West
 ►Newark C1
 ►LaGuardia C

There are many more of the Business Class downmarket UnitedClub. Locations are Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Mexico City, Osaka, Paris - Charles de Gaulle, Sγo Paulo, and Tokyo – Narita. Additionally you can access the old Continental Club (now rebranded the UnitedClub) in Panama City, Guam, Guatemala City, San Antonio, and Santo Domingo. The Sydney UnitedClub is no more, and instead you get a pass to the Air New Zealand lounge.

United also offers United Arrivals Suite service which has shower facilities and complimentary breakfast. Access is restricted to international United First and full-fare United Business customers. There are presently four Arrival Suite locations including London, San Francisco, Chicago, and Sγo Paulo

UnitedClub Chicago – ORD – United Chicago Business Class lounges

Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
Chicago is United's Hub, and as such has a vast complicated layout, and a number of lounges. There is a Chicago Lounge Map in the back of the Hemisphere's magazines with the lounge locations, which is really useful when you are trying to find out where the nearest one is.

Terminal 1 is United's main base, with two Concourses (B and C): there is an underground walkway between the satellite concourse C and the main ground level concourse B. Domestic flights will, confusingly, dock right next to international flights, with no security between them or separating outgoing passengers. There are three United Clubs in Terminal 1 (one in Concourse C, two in Concourse B – a opposite ends of the Concourse,) as well as a United First International Lounge and United Arrivals Suite in Concourse C. It is the fourth busiest international gateway in the United States, and you really can tell.

Terminal 2 is used for United domestic services (United Express) with one lounge near Gate F3, but here there are endless underground corridors that vomit you up into another concourse. Thankfully there is a bus between Chicago Terminal 1 Concourse C (from near gate C9) and Terminal 2 Concourse E/F (from near gate E2A) so you don't have to go through the interminably winding security lines that could delay you for well over an hour. Mind you, the queues for the bus are long too, and the dank smelly corridors you have to walk down to get from the concourse to the bus aren't very cheery either. However the ground level bus tour of the airport is fascinating, if you are into aeroplanes.

United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub

UnitedClub Chicago C16
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Terminal 5 is used by all other international carriers (SAS, Canadian, bmi) but has no UnitedClub. Instead there are the excellent Swiss and SAS lounges.

Incidentally, if you're confused about the airport Code for Chicago O'Hare, the airport initially took the name Orchard Field Airport, the source of its three-letter IATA code ORD. It was renamed in 1949 after Edward O'Hare, the U.S. Navy's first flying ace.

Chicago United Club C – ORD – Terminal 1, Concourse C, Business Class

Terminal 1, Concourse C, near Gate C16 Open 0430-2130
Access for Business Class, United Club members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
This is a vast wood panelled lounge, with lots of space, however much of it is wasted, and it really is quite a disappointment.
United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub

The United Club Chicago is located right in the centre of the concourse, and you enter past the small island reception desk, and then on the left is a long desk with people who can help you rebook your flight (who are also very helpful when asking for upgrades).

And then you get into the lounge itself – and wonder what all the fuss is about. It really isn't very impressive, and certainly not worth the US$50 for a day pass. The lounge is pretty basic. There are two main halls, with the bathrooms up the tunnel between them, and a bar at the far end, beyond which are racks of two seats around small glass tables: this has to be the most uncomfortable part of the lounge. On the nearest part of this centre pod is a small magazine rack, normally without anything on it at all. There is one TV, right at the far end of the lounge, which is very fuzzy and stuck on a local Chicago station. There is another TV in the glass section (that was once the smoking room).

United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub

On the nearer side of this glass screen is the food counter. It's a typical United offering – which means there are just carrots and celery, and ranch dip. In the morning there are cold muffins, bagels and yogurt. At lunchtime there should be some cheese and biscuits (however the cheese is US pasteurised cheese, so about as tasty as its plastic wrapping). In the evenings, after 1930, all the food goes to be replaced by bags of crisps.

United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub

The one bar at the end is really rather uncomfortable, not least because of the vast open space infront of it: few people will be drinking and everyone watches you as you approach the bar. The dour barman he will pour cokes or juice if you want something non-alcoholic. There are the usual complimentary United drinks, which means for beer there is just Bud-Lite or Miller on draft, or house red/white wine, and select spirits. If you want to pay for it, you can get better drinks, and even some of the special spirits. There is also a terrible Sparkling Wine, at $6 a miniature bottle.

There is a good view of the runway, and the plane at the nearest gate seems to come right into the lounge. There are some work carrels, and three computers. Free wifi is also available, but you need to ask at reception for a card with the code. There are no showers.

Chicago United First International Lounge – ORD Terminal 1

Concourse C, near Gate C18 Open 0500-2200
Access for First Class on United only
This really is a quite small lounge, and often gets crowded when the main transatlantic flights leave in the evening.

The lounge is OK, but really not up to First Class standards, and considering how much you'll pay for a ticket, really not worth getting overly excited about. There are large brown cloth armchairs, and a great view of the runway.

Food is a real disappointment, but at least there is some, unlike on the business side. There is a small refectory area with a sideboard: under the plastic domes are sandwiches and croissants. There are also some basic snacks including cheese and biscuits, fruit, and vegetables with dips.

United make a great noise about the free bar in the First Class lounge, but again, don't get your hopes up. In the fridge there are bottles of beer, with Beck's, Corona, Coors Light, and Heineken. There are also mini bottles on white wine (only one type) with mini bottles of red on the table top.

UnitedClub Chicago F3
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The lounge incidentally is very convenient if you are departing from Gate C18, as there is a side door which opens directly onto the airbridge.

There are some Business-facilities with work cubicles, and a fax. There is free wifi.

Chicago United Club B6 South – ORD –Business Class Chicago Lounge Terminal 1

Concourse B, South Location, near Gate B6 Open 0500-2130
Access for Business Class, United Club members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
A near identical lounge to that in Concourse C, with work carrels and six conference rooms, however it was remodelled within the past few years to a more open, airy design, which means there are no private work carrels There is also the obligatory bar service, and very basic food with just carrots and ranch drip.
United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub Concourse F

Chicago United Club B18 North – ORD –Business Class Chicago Lounge Terminal 1

Concourse B, North Location, near Gate B18 Open 0500-1930
Access for Business Class, United Club members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
A very small lounge, for those who find the long walk out to the end of this concourse too much of a problem. It has a bar service.
United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub Concourse F

Chicago United Club F – ORD – Concourse F, Business Class lounge

Terminal 2, Concourse F, near Gate F3 Open 0430-2100
Access for Business Class, United Club members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
The UnitedClub Chicago Terminal 1 F is a really small lounge, mainly designed for United Express customers who are on short haul flights: as a result it can get packed at peak times, particularly on a Friday evening.

The lounge is in effect just one long big room, with large brown leather armchairs. There is a small food area on the right, and a bar at the far end.

United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub Concourse F

Even the bar is small: really really small, with just five seats facing the bar, with the obligatory TV over the bar.

United Club Chicago Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Chicago UnitedClub Concourse F
There is a really cheery barman here, who loves to mix cocktails – if you want to pay for it that is. If you want a free drink, there is the usual Bud-Lite or Miller on draft, house red and white wine, and some basic spirits.

Food is equally basic, with the usual dispensers for trail mix, crunchy snacks and a sweet snack; crackers, carrot sticks, and cheese cubes, plus apples and oranges.

There is free wifi in the lounge, but no computers.

UnitedClub San Francisco – SFO – United San Francisco Business Class lounges

Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
San Francisco is one of the most annoying gateway airports to use in the world, and is simply not geared up for non-US transit passengers (see the "American Dance" section under Hints and Tips). So it can be a relief to get to the International lounge and leave the country. Inbound onto a domestic flight things are easier, however the domestic lounge is normally so crowded, it'll put you off United for life.

The San Francisco Lounges seem to set United's standard, being vast, comfortable, and with minimal facilities. At the San Francisco Red Carpet Clubs, the staff there are to call most international flights. There isn't a call in the Club until the gate is genuinely ready to start the boarding - so no hanging around at the gate.

United Club San Francisco International Business Class Lounge June 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub International

A curiosity of San Francisco is that you can walk directly from the domestic to international side without any other security checks, and hence you can enjoy both lounges if you want a change of scene. The walkway is right after the international security check (by gate 92, down the stairs to the left of the UnitedClub), or left after the domestic security check (by gate 75).

San Francisco International United Club – SFO - Business Class lounge

International Terminal Open 0500-2300
Access for Business Class, United Club members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
United Club San Francisco International Business Class Lounge June 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub International
United's lounge is immediately on the right as soon as you are through security. If you have any sense you'll go straight to the Singapore Airlines Sliver Kris SFO lounge. However if you insist on going to the Red Carpet Club, turn right, past reception, and then up the stairs. The lounge is on the top floor.

United's International lounge is vast, probably the biggest I've ever seen, all along one wall of the terminal with a great view of the runway. It has a seating capacity of 297 people. Its size means that it will often seem totally deserted, except at the peak time in the evening.

United Club San Francisco International Business Class Lounge June 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub International

As you walk in you enter the large rotunda under a big clock that features in many promo photos: alas the ticket desks here are generally unattended. Left is a TV lounge, and at the far end is a big TV behind a glass screen. Alas its position means that only 3 or 4 people can watch it comfortably. The far room really is the most uncomfortable areas within the lounge. The chairs come straight out of the 1980s. At the far end is the business centre: in effect this means five desks, without a single computer in sight. If you turn right as you walk in, you enter what is called the Cafι.

United Club San Francisco International Business Class Lounge June 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub International
There is then another seating area, opposite the bathrooms (or as they called in the US, restrooms); there is then an L shaped bar, and at the far end is a comfortable seating area, called the VIP lounge, although in truth there is nothing VIP about it, and anyone can enter. The chairs here are the most comfortable if you want a sleep, however there are no real sleeping areas as such.
UnitedClub San Francisco International

The bar is one of the best of the United international lounges on US home territory, but in truth it really isn't up to much. The bar here also has a TV over it, and a fine selection of spirits, but only US beer, with four types on draft, including Californian Steam Beer, and Bud Light. There is also free house red and white wine: being in California, the 'free' wine is actually better than you'd expect, but equally being the US the free wine isn't, and it is expected you tip the barman $1 for each drink. There is also the usual free house gin, vodka, and whisky, but if you want to splash out, there is an excellent selection of 'real' spirits, with everything from Bombay Sapphire to Maker's Mark whisky, Smirnoff Vodka, and Jamesons. There are also 10 other types of beer on sale (US$6).

United Club San Francisco International Business Class Lounge June 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub International

In the main area between the stairs and the window is the food area, called "the Café" with food, such as it is. It really is mainly dips, with ranch dressing, and Montaray Jack cheese cut into cubes. The cracker selection is worthy of note.

Further along is a magazine rack with a very poor selection - mainly the San Francisco Times. Finally at the far end are the Work Carrels, but no computers. There are bathrooms in the lounge, but no showers.

United Club San Francisco First Class Lounge Nov 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub First

San Francisco International United Club – SFO - First Class lounge

International Terminal Open 0900-2200
Access for First Class
There is a small First Class lounge half way down the international terminal: it really is one of the best First lounges on the United network: alas that doesn't mean much, and it's really not up to international standards.

However for looks, it wins hands down: it is really very stylish. It has a vaguely oriental theme, comfortable chairs, and with great views of aircraft at the gates.

Food is better than you'd expect, with lots of fresh Sushi, and hot dishes, like chicken satay. There are olives, sandwiches, and the usual snacks (cheese, luncheon meats, crackers, fruit, vegetables, candies).

The bar is good: no drinks vouchers here: it's all complementary - just walk up to the beverage fridge, which is a trough of ice with beer in it, wine bottles at the end, and Moet Sparkling Wine in a bucket at the far end.

United Club San Francisco Domestic Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub Domestic

San Francisco Domestic United Club – SFO – Terminal 3 Business Class lounge

Terminal 3, Concourse F, by rotunda Open 0500-2300
United Club San Francisco Domestic Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub Domestic
The United Club San Francisco is pretty decent, although you might be forgiven for not thing so when you are at the central crossroads in the middle of Terminal 3. The lounge here is hidden on the right, through the double doors, past the United offices along a long corridor, and at the far end are the rather snotty receptionists. If you are doing something unusual – such as using a Star Alliance card they may not have seen, or travelling domestic to an international flight in Business, you may have to explain to them the access rules. Once past this, there is a large lobby area with several ticket clerks, and some fine model boats: this is a theme in the SFO UnitedClub.
UnitedClub San Francisco Domestic

The main lounge is huge, with a confusing layout, with some high walls and narrow corridors. The main part has a fine view over the domestic gates and runways, to the Frisco hills in the distance. There are plenty of comfortable squashy armchairs, with small tables in-between. If you turn right on entering, at the end past the bar is what was once the VIP area, and is now reserved as a quiet section: it is by far the best area in the lounge, with different styles of chairs, and even a Chaise longue: it really is quite smart, and with great views of the gates.

United Club San Francisco Domestic Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub Domestic
Beyond this area is a strange almost forgotten zone, with no windows, dark and gloomy: it is a great place for a nap. Beyond here at the far end are dozens of work carrels, but no computers. Carry on walking, and you'll end up back at the main reception, having done a complete lap.
United Club San Francisco Domestic Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub Domestic

The bar is the highlight of the lounge, and very pleasant it is too, in a wood panelled and wickerwork kind of way. There are some very good seats at the bar – one of the better ones on the Red Carpet Club circuit - which of course has a TV above it like most US bars. There is beer on draft, with Bud-Lite, Steam Beer, Pils, and Heiniken. Now that the demand for drink-chits has been removed from United bars, beer is free, as are house spirits and house wine. This is California, so the house wine is actually pretty good. If you want to splash out however, there are some very good spirits indeed (JW Blue is $30), and some excellent beer. At the nearest end of the lounge as you come in is a small tea and coffee area, with coke and fruit juice on draft.

United Club San Francisco Domestic Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
San Francisco UnitedClub Domestic

There is very little complementary food in the lounge, with a small dining area to the left as you come in. Here there is just the basic carrots or celeary with dippig sauces, plus cubes of cheese. There are three large bowls with bananas and apples, and a rack of three drawers with lots of biscuits. If you have the cash, you can buy food in the lounge: this is one of the few UnitedClubs that offer this, and there is quite a large selection. Cold Sandwiches start at US$9, while hot sandwiches are $10. The Tuscan Panini is pretty good, but so hot the oven must be nuclear powered.

Newspapers are pretty poor. Copies of the FT are left on the centre of the seat pods in the mornings - other than that there are no other papers other than a couple of SF Dailys.

In the middle of the lounge are the bathrooms with strange slatted doors, which feel uncomfortable and gloomy. There are no showers. There is free wifi, but no computers.

UnitedClub Hong Kong Business Class Lounge July 2010
Hong Kong United Airlines Business Class lounge

UnitedClub Hong Kong - HKG - United Airlines Business Class Lounge

West Concourse, level 7, Far end of terminal pier Open 0700-2130
Access for United business class passengers, UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
UnitedClub Hong Kong Business Class Lounge July 2010
Hong Kong United Airlines Business Class lounge
The United Airlines Hong Kong Red Carpet Club is a pretty good lounge, although by the time you get to the far end of the long pier at Chek Lap Kok airport, you'll settle for anywhere just for a bit of a lie down and a bit of a rest.

The lounge is at the end of the long pier, upstairs, and at the other side of the V shape to Thai Airways' Hong Kong lounge. It is open to the roof, with great views of the hoi-polloi below you, over the aluminium and glass barrier. Throughout the lounge there are great views of the planes and of the sunset over the sea. If you're just changing planes, it is a great location to acclimatise to China.

The lounge takes up most of the point of the V, and it's divided into several separate sub-lounges you can wander around through, separated by high grey walls that have art in little cases. Alas the lounge isn't particularly colourful, having rather dull green armchairs that are harder than you expect, however there are some cosy corners where you can just curl up with a G&T and watch the world go by, away from the draughts in the main terminal. There are plenty of seats, but when the flights are due to leave over the Pacific this place can get pretty packed.

United Airlines Hong Kong Red Carpet Club July 2010
Hong Kong United Airlines Red Carpet Club Business lounge

UnitedClub Hong Kong
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Food comes in several varieties: Asian, Western, and American. Most of this is on the central square pod that is right in front of you when you walk in. There is a small salad bar with salad, sweet corn, tomatoes, ham, cucumber & pasta salad, and a good chilli sauce. Next to this there are a few speciality sweets, titbits, and liquorice. Further around are pasta in heated tourines, noodles, Dim sum, rice porridge, curry, and satay. There are sandwiches tightly wrapped in cling-film, and ice-cream in the small table-top freezer. However if you are looking for the Japanese food, walk further around to the shower corridor. Here there is small sushi counter.
United Red Carpet Club Hong Kong Business Lounge July 2010
Hong Kong United Airlines Red Carpet Club Business lounge

There is a self-service bar, which is mostly organised around a small nook directly opposite the front door. It is OK, with 10 spirits and two types of wine (one white and one red) but is fairly nondescript, and hidden. Notably, few passengers in this lounge will partake of Alcohol (unlike, it must be said, the BA or Qantas lounges). Beer is in a totally different fridge, opposite the Sushi counter, where are three types: Ashi, Bud and Tiger.

UnitedClub Hong Kong Business Class Lounge July 2010
Hong Kong United Airlines Business Class lounge

The lounge has two showers; however there is often a queue. Ask at reception for a towel. There is a small selection of amenites such as soap in the shower, but don't expect too much: however just having a shower after the long walk to the lounge is welcome.

In the Hong Kong United lounge there are several large HDTVs, which seem to be permanently on CNN, without sound. Computers are on the peak of the V – right at the far end of the lounge - with 4 fairly fast PCs. There is also a small central workroom which has desks, a photocopier, but no computers.

Tokyo Narita NRT United Red Carpet Club (Business lounge) Jan 2008
Tokyo Narita UnitedClub (Business Class lounge)

There are a couple of racks of Newspapers, which contain most of the US press, along with Chinese and Asian newspapers, and every single daily German newspaper.

However there are no English newspapers. Magazines are also a bit Spartan: in particular there are mostly Chinese language versions, but there are also a few US magazines such as the Economist and Newsweek.

UnitedClub Tokyo Narita - NRT - United Airlines Business Class Lounge

International Terminal Open 0800-2230
Access for United business class passengers, UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
Tokyo Narita NRT United Red Carpet Club (Business lounge) Jan 2008
Tokyo Narita United Red Carpet Club (Business lounge)
The UnitedClub Tokyo Narita is undoubtedly one of the best on the network, and a welcome relief after the horrors of trekking to Narita itself (it is a long way from Tokyo - or come to that Chicago). If you are on the early bird flight from Singapore you'll find the place just opening up, but after that it starts to get really busy - so busy in fact you'll have to fight for a shower, although seats are at least easy to come by. There are great views from the lounge of the runway and the apron below; although sometimes United Continental planes park a long way from the lounge.
Tokyo Narita NRT United Red Carpet Club (Business lounge) Jan 2008
Tokyo Narita computer room at the rear of the lounge

The whole lounge is decorated in what is called a "Japanese Colonial" style, which in effect means Western armchairs and a few Japanese vases. Never the less, it's vast, with Business on the ground floor, and First on the upper floor.

Tokyo Narita NRT United Red Carpet Club (Business lounge) Jan 2008
Tokyo Narita the poor food offerings
There are plenty of chairs, and unusually for a UnitedClub, you don't end up fighting for a seat all that often, and some of the seats can be lovely and private in the inner sanctum of the lounge.

The bars are pretty poor with a bad selection of drinks, however the beer pouring machines are worth a visit on their own, just to watch a glass being gently rotated by the machine, the beer poured, and put back. There are five spirits, one red and one white, and a Sake. But that's pretty much it. If you like Sake, you're much better off going around to the ANA lounge which has a lovely small Sake bar with a dozen rare varieties.

Tokyo Narita NRT United Red Carpet Club (Business lounge) Jan 2008
UnitedClub Tokyo Narita United's lounge has a distinct Japanese theme

Food is very poor. There are some croissants in the morning, and some cakes in the afternoon. Other than that you are better off going to the Airport Burger King around the corner and bringing it in.

Tokyo Narita NRT United Red Carpet Club (Business lounge) Jan 2008
Tokyo Narita dining area with odd kitty statue

At the back of the United Club in Tokyo is the office space. Here there are loads of computers, which are fast and modern, but most of them are laptops, with odd keyboards, that aren't great to type on. There is also one small laser printer that doubles up as a fax.

There are also showers: ask at reception and you get a good washbag (actually, better than you get on the flight) and a towel. These showers are right at the far end of the lounge, and turn right by the dining area with the odd Japanese budda/kitty statue. Because the showers are so good, many passengers call in here for a shower first, and then walk over to the ANA lounge for the better food and Sake options: it is however a good 10 minute trek to make it there.

United Club Newark Business Class Lounge Jun 2011
Newark UnitedClub

UnitedClub Newark – EWR – Business Class lounge

There are no less than four UnitedClubs at New York Newark's airport. Two are in Terminal C (both ex President's Clubs) and two are in Terminal A (one ex United Red Carpet Club, and one ex-Continental). By far the largest is the huge circular club above C1, but this closes early - the C3 club is open later. Both are quite swish despite Newark being New York's second and less fashionable airport.

Newark United Club – EWR – C1

Terminal C, satellite C1, near gate C74, first floor Open 0500-2200
Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
This is a vast circular lounge right in the heart of the gates used by United. It was once the Continental President's club Newark, and it was decidedly more upmarket than the old Red Carpet Club.
United Club Newark Business Class Lounge Jun 2011
Newark UnitedClub

You access the club by taking the stairs to the first floor (there is also a lift) to be greeted by no less than three staff members. Once you are in you see the lounge is arranged on a large circle with giant glass windows overlooking the food court of the main terminal area: this is unfortunate as you stare down on all the people eating, which highlights the lack of food in the club itself.

There is a rather mind-boggling carpet in the lounge, which seems to spiral out of control as you walk around the circle. Furniture is as you'd expect: plenty of rather hard uncomfortable plastic arm chairs, and a few much more comfortable ones with geometric prints on. Never the less there always seems to be plenty of seating here, and places to move onto should a crowd develop.

United Club Newark Business Class Lounge Jun 2011
Newark UnitedClub

The bar itself is a creation in shiny black marble, with the most uncomfortable hard wooden chairs. It looks classy and stylish, but in reality it just serves up the usual United fare, of just one free beer on draft (Bud Lite), plus there are two types of each of red and white wine, and there are free basic spirits, although of course you still have to pay the standard US$1 tip to the barman. More fancy drinks attract a charge. However the bar itself rarely promotes its wares: there isn't a rack of the usual bottles to look at when you are being cheap and taking the house stuff.

United Club Newark Business Class Lounge Jun 2011
Newark UnitedClub

A couple of places around the lounge also have tea and coffee making facilities, but for soft drinks you have to go to the bar. Alas, food is pretty basic with just the standard United cheese, crackers, fruit, and carrot dips with ranch dressing, on the stand close to the bar. On the bar top there is also a bowl with a bag of crisps.

There are a dozen large widescreen TVs in the lounge and above the bar: these are generally on sports channels. There is free Wifi (just get a card from reception) which is good and fast. There are some newspapers – however just the USA today will remain by midday – and a few magazines on a rack by the bar. Toilets are by the escalators, but there are no showers.

Bathrooms are in the corners of the lounge, however they are tucked away and are very small.

United Club Newark Business Class Lounge Jun 2011
Newark UnitedClub
UnitedClub Newark
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Newark United Club – EWR – C3

Terminal C, satellite C3, near gate C90 Open 0515-2315
Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
A much smaller lounge than the huge C1 lounge, it is slightly more modern, with huge windows that make it very bright during the day. There is a decent bar, although it can get noisy here at weekends if there is a game on. There are three beers on draft. Food is basic, with cheese, crackers, fruit, trail mix, pretzels, and cookies.

This lounge is open later than other lounges at Newark, and it's only a 5 minute walk from the C1 lounge.

UnitedClub New York LaGuardia – LGA – Business Class lounge

United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia Terminal C June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub - Old Red Carpet Club
Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
NEWS: One of the UnitedClubs at LaGuardia is shortly to close, as United Continental merge their operations
There are two UnitedClubs at the tiny suburban airport of LaGuardia: this may seem like overkill, however one was once the old United lounge, and one the Continental. Indeed, as a Star Alliance member you used to be able to hop around both, and also try the US Airways lounge.
United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub - Old Continental Lounge
Beware however both UnitedClubs are landside, before security, and delays can be lengthy: you'll need to leave the lounge a long time before the scheduled departure time.

New York LaGuardia United Club – LGA – Old Continental Lounge

Terminal A, 3rd level Open 0525-1915 (Sun 1700)
The old Continental President's Lounge LaGuardia is much smaller than the old Red Carpet Club, with a poorer view, but with more atmosphere. The bar is noticeably a lot better.
United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia Terminal A June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub Terminal A

The lounge is hidden behind a door in the main service corridor with the airline offices above the main terminal building. It really isn't very classy. Once you are in you realise how small the place is: it really is tiny, and it's broken up with room dividers at odd angles making the place seem even smaller.

There is just one main seating area, with two smaller seating areas in the furthest reaches of the club.

United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub - Old Continental Lounge
The bar is however great: there are five chairs facing the bar, and further two away from it: with a couple of TV's behind the bar there can be a great atmosphere here on a Friday night. All the usual house beers and wines are free, but it's well worth while seeking out the premium range here which is vast, including some rare whiskeys. They are pricey, but the barman is friendly and will happily make cocktails for you.
United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia Terminal A June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub Terminal A

If you want food however you come down to earth with a bump. What there is is very basic, being just the usual veggies and dips.

Business Facilities seem good in the Newark Club, with a lovely big conference room. Alas, if you aren't in here, there are only two work desks, and these face the room so everyone can see what you are doing. Newspapers are good, with a pile of all the New York daily papers behind the reception desk.

New York LaGuardia United Club – LGA – Old United Lounge

Terminal C, Departure level, by Gate 10 Open 0500-2030
UnitedClub LaGuardia
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United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia Terminal C June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub - Old Red Carpet Club
The UnitedClub by Gate 10 is a rather old and dowdy Red Carpet Club, but it is much larger than the old Continental Club. Once past check in (or check in at the lounge) go into the outside corridor behind Ticket Counters in the main terminal hall, left at the small bar, and left again, up the escalators, and there is a desk at the top.
United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia Terminal C June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub - Old Red Carpet Club

The lounge has one big long room, and then a small bar above the escalators that offers good views of the airport and runway.

Food is on the counter at the end of the main room. It really is rather embarrassing, with a typical United offering – which means there are just carrots and celery, and ranch dip. In the morning there are cold muffins, bagels and yogurt, along with cereal in three tall plastic towers. At lunchtime there should be some cheese and biscuits (however the cheese is US pasteurised cheese, so about as tasty as its plastic wrapping). In the evenings, after 7pm all the food vanishes to be replaced by bags of crisps.

The one bar at the end is really jolly good though, and it's great to have it in its own separate room. There are the usual complimentary United drinks, which means for beer there is just Bud-Lite or Miller on draft, or house red/white wine, and select spirits.

United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia Terminal C June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub - Old Red Carpet Club
If you want to pay for it, you can get better drinks, and even some of the special spirits.
United Continental UnitedClub LaGuardia Terminal C June 2011
LaGuardia UnitedClub - Old Red Carpet Club

Business facilities are limited to just a few desks at the end of the main room, with no computers, however there is free wifi. There are also three conference rooms seating 6 and 12.

UnitedClub Philadelphia – PHL – Business Class lounge

Between C and D Concourse, Second level Open 0500-1930
Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
The Philadelphia United Club is a miserable little hole, down a half-forgotten decrepit corridor that gives a sense that the cleaning crew gave up in despair many decades back. Indeed, just reaching the club is a joy, after the long winding hallways that could have been designed by MC Escher. From the main united gates you wiggle around the strange crowded and confusing 4 way junction at the Marketplace, and wander down the dank basement connecting D to C gates (and take note of the warning signs, about the corridor having no exit back if you head one way).
United Continental UnitedClub Philadelphia Nov 2011
Philadelphia UnitedClub
There is a moving walkway – do no take this, or you'll go past the club and have to walk back. Half way down there is a small door with the UnitedClub sign. This, if you are brave enough to come here, is your goal.
United Continental UnitedClub Philadelphia Nov 2011
Philadelphia UnitedClub

And actually, inside, once past the reception desk, can be a pleasant enough if dull and pokey lounge. The problem is the size: it is really small, with just a few seats. At least there is a window overlooking the apron, but at busy times you'll be sitting on the floor: busy means most times in the week from 4pm. However at weekends you can be the only one in here.

This United Club Philadelphia lounge is badly in need of an update, and has been for a decade. As it stands, there is one main dining area behind the reception desk with a dozen or so chairs. Then to your right there are two more alcoves where a few more chairs have been shoved in. Further down is the bar which resembles something like a small British Rail bar in commuter hour, with just a bar, a crush, and a few seats at the bar itself. Further down this corridor is a meeting room (actually the lightest and airiest place in the lounge) which is normally a waste of a very good space: few people use it. At the far end are the toilets (follow the 'restrooms' sign) and these really show the age of the lounge: they are very tired.

United Continental UnitedClub Philadelphia Nov 2011
Philadelphia UnitedClub

In such a small lounge, it is odd that most people cram into the bar, however this is the most sociable area. There is a small TV – generally on sports – and often dozens of people crammed into the space. There are the usual complementary beers (two on draft), wines (house white and red) and spirits, for which you have to pay the standard $1 tip. There is however a pretty comprehensive selection of spirits to buy. Beware of the clock in the bar: it invariably is 10 minutes slow, so don't depend on it for catching your flight, or you may end up spending much longer than you planned to in here. The bar, alas, is shut on Saturdays.

United Continental UnitedClub Philadelphia Nov 2011
Philadelphia UnitedClub

Food is the usual basic United stuff, on a small refectory counter behind the reception, with Snacks, biscuits, small slabs of cheese, apples, crackers and small tubs of yogurt. In the morning there are breakfast pastries, toast and jam, as well as coffee and tea from the small machine.

There is free wireless Internet from T-Mobile HotSpot (you have to ask for a card at reception) with a photocopier in the meeting room. There are newspapers, but they tend to disappear by mid-morning.

Remember that in Philadelphia if you are a Gold Star Alliance member you can also make your way to the US Airways Club above the B/C Concourse, next to the main PHL marketplace. It is vastly better: big, bright, airy, and recently renovated. Also, this club is open later: the United Club closes insanely early, at 7.30pm.

United Continental UnitedClub Las Vegas June 2011
Las Vegas UnitedClub

UnitedClub Las Vegas – LAS – Business Class lounge

Concourse D, between gates 33 and 35, 3rd floor Open 0535-2215
Access for United Club members, and Gold Star Alliance
United Continental UnitedClub Las Vegas June 2011
Las Vegas UnitedClub
The only airside UnitedClub Las Vegas is the old Continental Airlines President's Club, following the closure of the United Airlines Red Carpet Club (although there is also another lounge in the international section). Unfortunately this lounge is in Concourse D, which you can't access from any of the A/B/C gates. On that side there is just no lounge available for you at all, and you'll be stuck with either playing the slots, or the Irish pub.

This is a shame, because the Continental Airlines President's Club Las Vegas is a haven away from the slots that dominate the airport. Once through security go up the escalator, all the way to far end of the Concourse D, and then take the small lift up to the 3rd floor, wiggle around the circular landing, and the lounge is on the left, with a small reception desk.

United Continental UnitedClub Las Vegas June 2011
Las Vegas UnitedClub

United Continental UnitedClub Las Vegas June 2011
Las Vegas UnitedClub
The lounge itself is small, cute, and with great floor to ceiling windows allowing a spectacular view of the gate, the taxiway, and the towers of Las Vegas in the distance. There are two distinct parts to the lounge, with a circular lounging area when you first walk in, with good squashy arm chairs, while to the left is the bar area.
UnitedClub Las Vegas
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And it is the Bar area that the Continental Airlines lounge in Las Vegas is best known for. It is one of the best on the domestic network (but then again, that isn't really saying much these days). The bar has a long counter with a TV above it, or you can take your drink to the opposite wall and overlook Vegas. There is the usual Continental system of free basic drinks, but if you want decent spirits you have to pay for them.

United Continental UnitedClub Las Vegas June 2011
Las Vegas UnitedClub
To the left of the bar is a snack area, but it's pretty poor. There are a few cheese slabs, and packets of crisps, but that's about it.

UnitedClub Minneapolis – MSP – Business Class lounge

Concourse E, between Gates E6 and E8 Open 0515-1915
Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
United Continental UnitedClub Minneapolis Nov 2011
Minneapolis UnitedClub
The Minneapolis UnitedClub is tiny – really, really small – and yet it is a delight that this small airport lounge is here at all. United closed the original Minneapolis Red Carpet Club a decade back, leaving the only airport lounges in MSP to Skyteam, with Delta and Northwest (now merged). Now however there is once again a Star Alliance lounge at Minneapolis, leaving only oneworld bereft.

Because it is so new, the UnitedClub Minneapolis is clean, neat and tidy. It is light and airy, but alas quite small, however with only a small Star Alliance operation at MSP, that doesn't matter quite so much.

United Continental UnitedClub Minneapolis Nov 2011
Minneapolis UnitedClub

To find the lounge, once at the main spine of the airport, with all the shops and diabetes inducing food hall, take the slope down Concourse E from the 'brewery' end (I kid you not – there is a brewery at Minneapolis airport). Half way along on the right is the small glass door for the UnitedClub Minneapolis, behind which is the small reception desk and helpful friendly staff who always seem very surprised when international travellers turn up.

UnitedClub Minneapolis
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The lounge itself has one large seating area with floor to ceiling windows and a great view of gate E8. At the far end behind the wall is the small L shaped bar with half a dozen bar stools and a small wall mounted TV (generally on sports). There are also a couple of dining tables here, which are almost always used for people with laptops (power points are in the floor). There are small toilets behind the bar, and that's it really. It is a very small lounge.

United Continental UnitedClub Minneapolis Nov 2011
Minneapolis UnitedClub

Beside the bar is a small food counter: don't expect too much. At breakfast time there are a few pastries, but other than that you are stuck with three types of crunchy salty mix, plus carrots and ranch dip. In the Minnesota midwinter, this may not quite what you have in mind for food. There is also a small coffee machine here, which does a mean cappuccino.

United Continental UnitedClub Minneapolis Nov 2011
Minneapolis UnitedClub

The bar itself is however great, and if you love beer and plane spotting, a great place to spend a few hours. It is manned bar: you have to ask for every drink, and pay a US$1 tip for each drink – but other than that basic drinks are complementary. It has beer on draft, house wine (two types of red or white) and basic spirits. On the shelf are much better spirits, but of course they come with a hefty price tag.

There is free wifi in the lounge (ask at reception for a card). Newspapers are on the rack by the food bar, and few magazines, but don't expect too much: a copy of hemispheres is about as far as it goes.

UnitedClub Denver – DEN – Business Class lounge

Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
NEWS: The lovely and quiet old Continental President's Club Dever, in Concourse A, has now closed, and United Continental use the two Denver UnitedClubs in Concourse B
United Club Denver West Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Denver UnitedClub West
There are two UnitedClubs at the small hub in Denver: both are very similar, so it pays to work out which gate your aeroplane is departing from, and choose the lounge nearest the gate to avoid a frantic sprint up the concourse. The Eastern lounge always seems slightly busier, and has a more lively drinking session, particularly if planes are delayed by heavy snowfalls.
United Club Denver West Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Denver UnitedClub West

Denver United Club – DEN – West

Concourse B Adjacent to Gate B32 Open 0530-2130
This is a large, spacious United Club, one of the two in Terminal B that are very near each other. You enter from large sliding doors set into the main concourse, and up an escalator, with the reception desk at the bottom.

The lounge itself is just a large room, divided into four quadrants with room dividers. Colours are muted grey and beige, with no customisation at all to the local area: you could be in any part of the US, or indeed, any ex-Red Carpet Club around the world, rather than in the mid west. And yet as soon as you walk in you'll hear the US drawl to let you know exactly where you've landed (or, indeed, taking off from).

United Club Denver West Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Denver UnitedClub West

Three of the quadrants have large armchairs: very comfy and great for a bit of a snooze. The fourth farthest quadrant is the bar area, which is bigger than at most UnitedClubs, and had a slightly better selection of booze. Finally, at the far end of the lounge is an odd long thin corridor with work cubicles.

United Club Denver West Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Denver UnitedClub West

Now that United have removed the need for drink vouchers, there is no need to pay at the bar for house beers or wines. Miller is on draft, there are two types of each of red and white wine, and there are free basic spirits, although of course you still have to pay the standard US$1 tip to the barman. More fancy drinks attract a substantial charge.

On the room dividers are tea and coffee making facilities, while soft drinks and juices are in the fridge. Alas, food is pretty basic with just the standard United cheese, crackers, fruit, and carrot dips with ranch dressing.

United Club Denver West Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Denver UnitedClub West

There are three large widescreen TVs in the lounge and above the bar: these are generally on sports channels. There is free Wifi (just get a card from reception). At the far end are the Work carrels. These Cubicles do not have electric power sockets, or internet connections: odd, and very frustrating. Indeed, this whole corridor is generally a bit odd, like wandering into a dungeon, where gamers peer at their glowing screens. There are free newspapers – just the Denver Post and USA today however – and a few magazines on a rack by the bar. Toilets are by the escalators, but there are no showers.

United Club Denver West Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Denver UnitedClub West

Denver United Club – DEN – East

Concourse B, Adjacent to Gate B44 Open 0530-2130
If you are unsure of your gate, this lounge is probably a better bet, as it is marginally closer to the main United gates at the slightly lopsided concourse B now it has been extended on the right hand side.

UnitedClub Denver
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In truth it is very similar to the other Western UnitedClub, with the same large square layout with quite pleasant bar, and a long corridor with work pods. It always seems somewhat busier than the other Western UnitedClub, and the bar here can get quite lively in the evenings.

There are four large conference rooms in this lounge.

UnitedClub Seattle – SEA – Business Class lounge

There are two UnitedClubs at Seattle: one in the North Satellite terminal, and the other in the Main Terminal: indeed there used also be a United First Class Seattle lounge, but this closed recently.
United Club Seattle Business Class Lounge Nov 2011
Seattle UnitedClub

Seattle United Club – SEA – East

Concourse B, between gates B9 and B11 Open 0515-2359
Access for UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, or daypass
The United Club Seattle in Concourse B is the old Continental President's Club, and it isn't bad at all. It's in the heart of the main terminal, just around the corner from the main food court.

The joy of this lounge is that it is so small, with a very personal service, giving a quiet and cosy lounge, so different from Chicago. There is a small bank of seats all overlooking the great view of the runway (if you can see it, through the rain, that is).

Food is basic, with the usual dips and vegitables, plus fruit,and small squares of cheese. The bar is just a small cabinet in the wall.

There is a small TV, and the staff will just hand you the remote. There is free wifi but no computers.

UnitedClub Melbourne – MEL – Business Class lounge

Airside, satellite area, basement Open 1000-1300 (0800-1100 in summer)
Access for Business & First Class, UnitedClub members, Gold Star Alliance, Priority pass, or daypass
United Airlines Melbourne UnitedClub lounge June 2011
United Airlines Melbourne UnitedClub, the old First side
You're not seriously considering going to the United Airlines Melbourne lounge are you? When there are so many better lounges you can access at the airport? Oh well, if you do, start by talking a long walk down the short pier of Melbourne International airport, until you get to the round Satellite area, then walk around to the escalators and descend into the basement. The Melbourne United lounge is right next to the Singapore Airlines lounge, and just above the Air New Zealand Koru Club.

This small and pokey lounge is tucked away and a decided oddball for United. The airline almost seems ashamed of it, and try hard not to advertise its presence. It's odd having it here anyway: at the much busier Sydney Airport, United use the Air New Zealand facilities, and anyway in Melbourne you can use the excellent Singapore lounge next door. It is also very small, but then few people find it, so that hardly seems to matter: loads from Melbourne on the once a day flight to Sydney are very light.

United Airlines Melbourne UnitedClub lounge June 2011
United Airlines Melbourne UnitedClub breakfast cerial

So is the Melbourne United Airlines lounge worth it? Not really, no. For a start, it is very small, and it is also divided up into even smaller rooms. However food is better than you'd expect, and the bar isn't bad either. There is an OK view of the gates (less so now a corridor has been built on the outside), however there is a plastic film over the window, so it's impossible to take pictures from the lounge.

UnitedClub Melbourne
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As you walk in through the large glass door, the lounge looks spacious. Alas, this is the largest part of the lounge. Curving to the right there is a small room, with 20 or so chairs: blue/grey and beige plastic ones. What was once the United Airlines Melbourne Red Carpet Club hasn't changed its furniture when it changed its name to the UnitedClub. There is a food and wine bar here: to the right is the old smoking area: now just a partitioned off area (with the smell of old smoke). Further past the bar is a door into a much smaller room: this used to be the old United Melbourne First Class lounge, but now anyone can use it: there is again a bar here, with one of the smallest island bars you'll have seen, and slightly more comfortable chairs. And that's it: the entirety of the lounge.

United Airlines Melbourne UnitedClub lounge June 2011
United Airlines Melbourne lounge, the main room, with plastic chairs

Food consists of breakfast or brunch: no surprise really considering there is only one flight a day, and it leaves Melbourne at 11am in the summer, or 1pm in the winter (hence the change in lounge opening times: remember that's Southern Hemisphere winter time too: many passengers in the Southern Summer turn up for what should be a 1pm flight, to find they've missed it as it leaves two hours earlier when the clocks change).

United Airlines Melbourne Red Carpet Club lounge June 2011
United Airlines Melbourne lounge
Food is however much better than you'd get in a normal UnitedClub. There is a large four slice toaster, with raisin toast: vegemite is in the tray below (alas you can't take it as an Aussie souvenir and import Vegemite into the US: it is banned). Next to this there is a heated cabinet with hot meat pies, and chicken sausages. To the left of this there is a heated tourine, with scrambled eggs. On the island bar are two cereal towers, and a bowl of fruit salad. Croissants are under a plastic cover next to the cereal.

The bar is, oddly, very good: vastly better than any domestic red carpet club, and better than you'd expect considering the early hours of the flights. For the best booze, go into the old First Class side: here there is even free Sparkling Wine (or at least an Aussie sparkler), along with a bottle of white. There are two red on the cabinet: a Shiraz and a Cabernet Shiaz. Beer is very good indeed: with bottles of Crown, VB, Heineken, Cascade and Boags in the fridge. The spirit collection is also very good: with everything from Jack Daniels to Smirnoff, Gordon's Gin, Baileys, Chivas, Jim Beam, Bacardi, and Canadian Club. Small cans of mixers are in the fridge, as are jugs of juice. If you are seriously planning to get on the plane when boarding starts at 10am, don't lose your head with this lot. Perhaps to help, there is also a very good coffee machine (on the First Class side only).

United Airlines Melbourne UnitedClub lounge June 2011
United Airlines Melbourne lounge, the bar on the First side

There is a small Business Centre in a small side corridor by reception with three ancient PCs: they have free internet, but only IE6. Most people use their own laptops, and there is free wifi. No card is needed: the password is on the desk. It is rock solid and very fast. Newspapers are also placed in the lounge in the morning on the small table next to the business centre: however, you'll only get one copy of the Age, the Australian, and the Herald Sun.

United Airlines Melbourne UnitedClub lounge June 2011
United Airlines Melbourne lounge

However, despite what might be regarded as riches in another other UnitedClub, the Melbourne lounge does have a miserable atmosphere. It really isn't that good. It seems that many passengers just assume that they must use this club when departing on United; in reality, the Melbourne Air New Zealand Koru Club, one floor below is so much better, and Star Alliance rules mean you can either go in there, or to the Melbourne Singapore Airlines Silver Kris lounge, either with a First or Business class ticket, or as a Star Alliance Gold. Indeed, if you're puzzled as to the vast rack of lounges that Melbourne has compared to Sydney, the answer seems to lie in the higher rents that Sydney charge, plus the way that Melbourne has two floors of lounges which aren't in the main shopping area, and which would be difficult to convert to retail... and which it encouraged airlines to sign up for on very long leases. Even though the Sydney Red Carpet Club has closed, the Melbourne one will, alas, be open for some time to come.

UnitedClubs contract lounges

London Heathrow - LHR - United Airlines Business Class lounge

Terminal 1, after security Open 0500-2200
Access for Business Class, UnitedClub members, or Gold Star Alliance
London LHR Star Alliance lounge March 2009
London LHR Star Alliance lounge used by United Airlines Airways
At London Heathrow, United Airlines use the brand new Joint Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1. It is after security, and then you walk right through the shops, and right again into the main square: the lounge is hidden in the corner, to the right of WHSmiths.

The lounge is very large, but rather dull. Food is pretty good, with a hot option available for the United Airlines flight so you can eat in the lounge before getting on board. Food is often curry, with salads and sandwiches also available.

London LHR Star Alliance lounge March 2009
London LHR Star Alliance lounge used by United Airlines

The bar is rather poor, with bottles of Gin, Vodka, VSOP, Bacardi Rum, and Whisky with Jack Daniels, Famous Grouse, and Jamesons. There is just one type of white, two types of red, and a rose wine. Most of these are pretty cheap and nasty versions. There is a beer pump for Grolsh, and - rare for a lounge - Magners cider in bottles in the fridge, along with bottles of Becks and cans of Guinness.

There are showers in the lounge, and free Wifi, but no computers.

Full details of this lounge are contained in the bmi pages, under the Joint Star Alliance LHR Lounge section.

Note that you might be better off going to the bmi Great British Lounge by gate 5. This has a much better atmosphere, great views of the runways, and a lovely bar called The Local. Again, details of the London Heathrow Great British Lounge are contained in the bmi pages, under the Great British Lounge section.

United Airlines Frankfurt Lounges

Travelling on United Airlines in First Class means you can use the new Lufthansa lounge at the airlines hub in Frankfurt. The Senator lounge is the first on the Lufthansa network with a spa. ...read more here

For the regular United Airlines flights to Frankfurt, United Airlines use the Lufthansa lounges.

The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt pier B
Frankfurt The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in pier B
At Frankfurt, remote stands are used a lot by United Airlines, and this involves a sometimes lengthy bus ride once you're off the plane. The lounges can be quite a hike from the gates, and they don't always announce departures, so watch those monitors carefully and give yourself a little extra time to make your boarding.

Full details of both the Frankfurt United Airlines lounges are contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Frankfurt - FRA - United Airlines First Class lounge (Lufthansa Senator Lounge)

Terminal 1, Pier B (International, non-Schengen) by gate B43, top floor. Open 0530-2230
Access for Business Class, UnitedClub members, or Gold Star Alliance
The large new lounge has only just opened, and is a vast improvement on what went before. There are the usual large armchairs, with small tables between (which also have power sockets).Oddly, you can access it either with a First Class ticket, or in Economy as a Gold Royal Orchid Plus, but not on a business class ticket.
The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt pier B
Frankfurt The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in pier B

The bar is great: called the City Lights Bar, you can sit around the bar on high bar stools, looking at the lights behind it. There is a barman to mix cocktails. Service is slow, and a separate bar area has two beer taps, spirits on the glass shelf, beer in the cooler on the worktop, and 3 white and 2 red to the left of this. Food has the usual Lufthansa lounge offerings of cheese and lard, olives, rice, ham and salad. Alas the eating area is dull, with a curved wall with small tables.

There are showers and two spa rooms, offering massages for €50. There are a few computers in the business area, and free wifi, plus luggage lockers and a smoking room.

Full details of the Frankfurt United Airlines Airways First Class lounge is contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Frankfurt - FRA - United Airlines Business Class lounge (Lufthansa Lounge)

Pier B - International (left and right rotundra) Open 0600-2200
Access for Business Class, UnitedClub members, or Gold Star Alliance
The United Airlines Airways Business Class lounges in Frankfurt is in the central part of both rotundra in pier B, reached by the spiral staircase right next to the gates.

Frankfurt Business lounge Pier B Sept 2003 Frankfurt Business lounge Pier B
There are drinks and nibbles provided, showers, and free Internet. There is also a big sleeping room. Take a circuit of the lounge as you walk in to check out all the facilities - its on a circle, so you can walk all the way round.

The bar has an OK choice is good with excellent coffee, two types of wine, and Sparkling Wine (or rather "Lufthansa Brut").

Full details of the Frankfurt United Airlines Airways Business Class lounge is contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Sydney Business Class lounge

Terminal C, level 3 above Gate 53 Open 0615-2230
Access for Business Class, UnitedClub members, or Gold Star Alliance
Sydney Air New Zealand business lounge Feb 2009
Sydney Air NewZealand lounge used by Asiana


At Sydney, United make use of the Air New Zealand Lounge in Terminal C. It is a vast roomy concourse with big squasy arm chairs and large windows giving great views overlooking the runway. This lounge is better than the Qantas lounge that Asiana previously used before moving to Terminal C in 2009. There used to be a separate First Class section on the right, however this area has now been merged with the main part of the lounge, it is a generally much quieter in here.

There is a good bar area with 4 types of Kiwi whites and red, a Kiwi sparkler, and half a dozen types of beer in the fridge, plus vodka, Bacardi, Bunderberg rum, Gin & Brandy. However with the Asiana flight leaving at 9am, you'd be a brave passenger to work your way through these before boarding.

Food is equally good, with Asiana flights leaving at 9am there in time for the cooked Kiwi breakfast including sausages, tomatoes, and a strange cheese flan type thing. There is also a rare delight of a pancake making machine, and maple syrup is in the jug. Indeed, since the first meal onboard the Asiana flights is lunch, you're best off getting breakfast here.

Sydney Air New Zealand business lounge Feb 2009
Sydney Air NewZealand lounge bar area

Newspapers are on the top of the shelving Units, with the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Financial Review, but no Korean papers. There is a small business centre at the far end of the lounge, and three computers. There are also two sets of showers: in the main lounge, and around the corner of the old First section.

Full details of this lounge are contained in the Air New Zeland pages, under the Sydney Lounge section.

Closed and Abandoned United Red Carpet Clubs

The following United Clubs have been closed in recent years, and this information is retained strictly for historical information only.
Sydney business lounge Dec 2003 Sydney lounge, bar area

United Sydney Lounge

Terminal C, level 1 under Gate 53 Open 0615-1430
The Red Carpet Club at the start of the long 15 hour run to the US is hidden away underground - take the lift by gate 53 down to the first floor (next to the JAL lounge). Turn right out of the lift, and there is a friendly receptionist. There is also a window, which is the only one with an outside view in the lounge.

The main part of the lounge is divided into three bubbles. As you go in you pass the magazine rack, with copies of the SMH and some magazines. In the first bubble is a good food area, with a buffet table having rolls, seveal types of ham, cheese, dips, and muffins. Beside this is the bar, with coffee and tea. There is fruit juice in the fridge (Avoid the tomato juice - its Tamarama, and very sweet)

Sydney business lounge Dec 2003 Sydney business lounge
and wine in the cooler. In the far fridge there are miniature bottles of Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir Brut. This is the only lounge in the world which still has bottles of sparking wine you can pop into your hand luggage - which may explain the sign on the fridge door, saying that everything in the lounge is only for use there.

All crockery in the lounge is of a style United scrapped 10 years ago - it still has the old United and Red Carpet Club logo.

Further in there is a small business centre on the left, behind the glass screen (however it only has photocopiers and modem ports. In the next bubble behind the pillar on the left are two very old and slow computers. And then at there far end there is a TV. Loos are in the main part of the lounge - with the most fantastic curved doors.

LHR business lounge Dec 2003 London LHR business lounge

United London Heathrow Lounge

Terminal 3 by gate 13 Open 0600-2200
As you walk up to the London Red Carpet Club the entrance looks very impressive and intimidating, with a big semi-circular desk. Alas thats about all that's impressive about it. Most regular travellers now know to use the SAS lounge.
LHR business lounge Dec 2003 London LHR business lounge bar

The main part of the lounge is large, but it often gets overcrowded when the bulk of the flights are about to leave (particularly from 1pm to 2pm). It is also used by Emirates and Air New Zealand. The United lounge has been at Heathrow for over 10 years, and it's starting to look a little tired, especially the bathrooms which are very down at heel. It could do with some updating. Cleaning is very bad, with masses of junk left on the tables. Fortunately this lounge will only be open for a few more years before the move to Terminal 1.

The bar is on the right as you go in, with a selection of tea, coffee, and fruit juices. There are 4 reds, and 2 whites in the fridges (both Chardonnays), but no Sparkling Wine. The beer selection is fantastic, with Steinlager, Micelob, Ashai, Fosters, Heiniken and Guinness. Spot the 19 year old Yanks boozing away and looking guilty. Food is much poorer, with some nuts, muffins, and biscuits.

LHR business lounge Dec 2003 London LHR business lounge bar

There is a good view of the runway from what was the smoking room at the far end of the lounge (now closed). In the middle room there is a TV with Sky. At the other end of the room is a newspaper rack (with the FT, Guardian, and USA Today) and what was a magazine rack. Alas all but a few of the magazines are no longer there - they've been axed by United as an economy measure (the few that remain are in United wrappers to stop you taking them away. At the far end are a few work carrels, in which there are 2 computers. These are very slow and virus ridden - you will be lucky to read your Email on them.

Thankfully near the bar is a pod with 2 recently added broadband Internet terminals - albeit with very limited software - and these work much faster.

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