While the United Club in Terminal 1, Concourse C of Chicago O’Hare (ORD) can get crowded, United Airlines is steadily improving amenities and this lounge proved to be a comfortable venue to spend a nine-hour layover.
United Club Chicago ORD C16 Review
I arrived in the lounge around 10:00am and did not leave until 7:00pm.
Location + Hours + Access
Located next to gate C16, this lounge is currently open from 5:00am to 9:00pm.
Access is reserved for United Club members, Chase United Club Visa holders, Star Alliance Gold travelers, and international business or first class passengers traveling on any Star Alliance flight.
Furthermore, one-time passes from Chase are theoretically accepted or a single-visit pass can be purchased at the reception desk for $59. Do note, however, that during periods of crowding one-time passes are not accepted:
Also note that if you hold a Star Alliance Gold card from United Airlines (Premier Gold or higher), you can only access the lounge when traveling in conjunction with an international itinerary.
Those who have a Star Gold card from other programs can use the lounge when traveling on any Star Alliance flight in any class of service. Also note that from ORD, United does not give premium cabin passengers access on domestic flights without status.
Global Services passengers are also allowed complimentary entrance.
A warning – this lounge gets very crowded during United’s morning and afternoon departure banks. I spent nine hours in this lounge (long layover) and saw this lounge fill up and empty out twice.
After entering the lounge, you’ll find seating immediately to your left. If you keep walking through the lounge past the bar, you’ll find a much larger seating area as well as an L-shaped ledge that runs along the perimeter of the lounge and overlooks the tarmac outside. Electrical outlets are plentiful.
Food + Drink
Food and drink selections are currently pre-packaged, though I was pleased to see a number of salads available that were quite tasty.
Breakfast Selections (before 11:00am) included:
- Hardboiled eggs
- Yogurt (Yoplait Greek)
The packaged bagels were on a warming tray, but it was not turned on.
Lunch/dinner selections (after 11:00am) included:
- tortilla chips
- string cheese
- potato chips
A Coke Freestyle machine and illy coffee machine offer self-serve beverages.
One of the two coffee machines was turned off and the other one was clogged and would not dispense milk. Throughout my stay, it was not fixed. Thankfully, the espresso was still tasty.
For coffee fans, a refrigerator was well-stocked with illy’s cold brew.
I enjoyed a late breakfast and light afternoon meal and found the food satisfactory, particularly the Greek salad:
There is also a full-service bar offering a complimentary selection of beer and wine and premium drinks for purchase (menu here). Passengers traveling in United’s Polaris business class on transoceanic flights are given a voucher for two premium drinks (the next-door Polaris Lounge remains closed).
This lounge used to offer showers, but those showers are now reserved for the Polaris Lounge. Bathrooms, however, are spacious and never seem to get as crowded as the lounge itself. Restrooms feature Sunday Riley hand wash.
I had a huge wi-fi problem for the first two hours in the lounge…I could not connect on my laptop (but could on my phone) and could not figure out what was going on.
Eventually, I found the solution was to update my Mac OS operating system…I had not downloaded the latest update and apparently that meant the internet (with speeds in excess of 100Mbps up/down) did not work.
While I look forward to the day when the next-door Polaris Lounge is re-opened, this lounge served a functional purpose, allowing me to work productively (once the internet issues was solved) for several hours prior to my evening flight to Brazil. I would not have arrived early to use this lounge, but it was nevertheless quite helpful and beat sitting in the gate area. The salads are quite tasty and would be welcomed onboard.