A long-expected and much-needed new United Club opens today in the C Concourse of Terminal 1 at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Here’s a first look at the new lounge.
New United Club In Chicago O’Hare (ORD) In C Concourse – First Look
United travelers at Chicago O’Hare know all too well the bottleneck inside the old C16 United Club. Thankfully, that lounge is now closed and a large new lounge has opened next door.
Flyertalk contributor Resource Robin visited the lounge yesterday during a soft opening and graciously shared the following pictures with Live and Let’s Fly:
While I am disappointed there does not seem to be barista-made coffee like the new lounges in Newark or Denver, I am delighted that the new lounge will seat 650 (versus the current 250 in the C16 lounge). Furthermore, the design details, tarmac views, and food choices appear thoughtful. As always when it comes to food, it is up to us travelers not to prove “this is why we cannot have nice things” and we should therefore exercise moderation when eating and limit what we take from the lounge (ideally nothing at all).
Live and Let’s Fly understands that the old C16 lounge will be used to expand the nearby Polaris Lounge, which gets quite crowded during peak departure periods in the late afternoon.
The new lounge looks great and I look forward to visiting. I’m in Europe for a while this month, but upon my return, you can bet that I will deliberately route through ORD in order to review this lounge. In the meantime, it seems United has done a good job in creating a larger lounge space. Hopefully, the expanded size will be sufficient to handle busy crowds.
@Matthew – I don’t disagree about the “can’t have nice things” issue but UA is sending a mixed message with the “grab-and-go” setup in DEN. United Club members are going to find it increasingly difficult to rationalize why you should be able to take food from some “clubs” and not others, other than for a fairly arbitrary policy.
I don’t necessarily disagree, but I think the two clubs in Denver do serve two very different functions and I’d love to see a grab-and-go lounge in ORD as well.
My concern is less that people take things from the lounge as much as they overindulge in the lounge. Sort of like the wine flights in Polaris ended up breaking the wine budget by something like a tenfold figure, sometimes we (I’m speaking to myself too) need to be moderate in our food intake. Just because it is free, does not mean we have to eat it…and eat it in abundance. It somewhat amazes me to see people load up several plates worth of food in the United Club that they would probably never eat at home. Then again, I’ve caught myself doing it…
This looks great. The trend seems to be once they build a new lounge, they’ll put good food in it, so I’m assume once the new Denver club opens it will have good food.
I don’t see why they can’t just put the good food in all the lounges though, why does it need to be a physically new space?
Many of the older lounges do not have the kitchen facilities to support a full hot service, and catering hot food in every day is probably outside of what United is willing to spend.
@Matthew, I’m eager to check out the new lounge in ORD, too … but not so eager as to intentionally route through ORD on an inbound international flight. ORD is easily my least favorite entry point into the US (among those I have experienced). 😉
I meant domestic. Agreed – I do not like flying into ORD internationally. Too annoying!
The only thing I don’t like about this Club is the location. Being preternaturally lazy, I like the fact that B Concourse has a United Club on each end, and every time I fly out of C Concourse, it’s usually out of the high twenties gate-wise. It’s a bit of a haul, but not as much as the United Club locations in DEN with those new gates. The new club looks great, and I’m looking forward to trying it out (probably in two weeks when I have a flight to DFW).
I’m glad to know that they’re expanding Polaris at C18 with the old club, but I do have one quibble. The entrance to the Polaris club at ORD looks like they’re trying to hide it. The entrance to Polaris at EWR, for instance, looks like a palace compared to this. Is there any way that UA can muscle out Hudson News and Auntie Anne’s and construct a real entrance that Polaris users would be proud of using?
Looks in the style of (though not as nice as) the new EWR lounge. Great!
Any word on showers?
It appears no showers, sadly.
Excellent. The old lounge was always crazy over-crowded, so I’d often just sit in the (generally fine) terminal.
I must have been one of the first people to use the lounge, and was there for about an hour and a half due to the FAA ground stop yesterday. Because of that, it got pretty full, and it never felt as cramped. I thought the staff did a great job dealing with the I expected flux especially while working out usual first day kinks.
“we should therefore exercise moderation when eating and limit what we take from the lounge (ideally nothing at all).”
How about just set the budget appropriately based on past experience rather than try to cut corners. The are other non-US lounges or there with much better food offerings that don’t seem to have this issue.
Also, given how much they’ve cut onboard meals, I don’t blame people for grabbing food for a long flight
@Matthew – how do you feel this compares to the new AAdmirals club at DCA? I agreed with your post that the design there seems timeless. Like an upscale hotel bar/lobby.
This United Club design is on par with the new EWR club and certainly a step up from the other ORD United Clubs, but I can’t help but feel that it will age quickly, and poorly. Also, a drop ceiling? Looks cheap. A fireplace would have been nice for those cold, snowy Chicago days.
Agree on all accounts. I really think the new AA DCA lounge is timeless and the standard for a domestic airport lounge.
Please, please let there be some hot option other than meatball subs served at this new Chicago club. I can hardly wait until the contract with Flik expires.