United Airlines has taken a page from Air Canada’s lovely café in Toronto in its chic new grab-and-go “United Club Fly” lounge in Denver.
United Club Fly – Great Grab-And-Go Concept With Coffee Barista!
Facing excessive lounge crowding in its busy Rocky Mountain hub, United Airlines has debuted an entirely new lounge concept its calls United Club Fly in Denver (DEN). Here are some key details about this new lounge:
- It is small. There are only 16 seats. But the point is not to linger, but to grab something and go
- Access will be via automated gate (similar to the new lounge in Newark)
- No guests of United Club members or Star Alliance Gold travelers will be allowed, but one-time passes will be accepted
- Grab-and-go snacks include sandwiches, salads, wraps, yogurt, vegetables, fruit, and more
- Grab-and-go drinks include water, juice, soda, coffee, and tea
- No alcoholic drinks will be available
- I know it’s full of sugar, but I am delighted to see different varieties of Naked Juice in the lounge, which I quite enjoy if I am going to drink something sweet
- Not only will automated coffee be available via two machines, but baristas will be present to offer various specialty coffee drinks using illy coffee.
The lounge is located in the new Concourse B-East expansion and opens to the public today.
United has released the following pictures:
With 2/3 of United traffic in Denver connecting between flights, introducing this lounge concept in DEN makes particular sense.
When I offered a glowing review for the Air Canada Café in Toronto, I urged U.S. airlines to adopt a similar concept. United now has and I really think this lounge is a great concept…as long as people do not abuse it by loading up on food (I will address this in another post).
I will visit the lounge next month and provide a full review. In the meantime, this is great news for Denver flyers. We’ll have more information on the other lounge changes in Denver in the days ahead.
images: United Airlines
This is the best example, And without much fanfare, on how United was able to produce a classy, gorgeous and trendy mini lounge, fireplace included. I’m looking at you AA and your new DCA lounge. It also has better food from what I can see than DCA’s (already been to that one) goes to show you that when UA does things the right way and methodically and carefully , they are practically unbeatable.
This is just nonsense. Lounges are not about free food. They are useful for flight services and a place to work in somewhat more functional circumstances than the terminal. I have no objection to just being able to grab free food but I’m nearly always on an expense account so truly don’t care. And many/most of higher spending customers are in a similar position. I’d rather see higher fees on credit cards to limit ranks of infrequent travelers in a lounge due to credit card incentives. This us just a band aide on credit card / travel bloggers-induced overcrowding.
It would be great if United would do something like this at ORD. Delta just abandoned their skyclub in T2, maybe it could go there?
United already has an awesome lounge in T2, possibly the best one at ORD actually. No reason for this concept there since it sits right in the middle and close to all those gates. In DEN if you come into the Express gates, it’s a solid walk down to the regular united Club.
The thing I like about the United Club in ORD Terminal 2 is that it has seating. This is something the gate areas in Terminal 2 are sorely lacking. This would not be a good place for a grab-and-go operation.
I only suggest that location because there is literally no unused space in T1
You hit on it and I’m looking forward to your next article, but this will be abused to no end. Sadly we all know it’s going to happen, and it will be justified by saying it’s for “family”.
File this under “No good deed goes unpunished”
Exactly. I know a few people who would have no problem filling a backpack so they don’t have to buy meals for the next day or two. Some people…
Denver airport had to be one of the worst airports in the country in terms of food options. Good luck with finding something decent to eat there.
Which is why this new lounge concept is even more timely.
Agree. I fly through DEN at least once a month and that airport is horrible in so many ways. Placed in the middle of nowhere, often ranked among the worst for flight delays, TSA is a total zoo, restaurant options are horrible, etc…..
I don’t get the ‘no guests’ concept. So you CAN access with a *G card, but the lounge ISN’T classed as a Star Alliance lounge? If so, this seems like they are introducing unnecessary complexity.
Exactly. So will they monitor how many yogurts or drinks you get from the place? You can easily leave your wife and kids outside and get in, load your backpack and get out with enough food to feed your family. United always makes things more difficult than they really are.
“as long as people do not abuse it by loading up on food”
Hey, not everyone is lucky enough to have packaged food “accidentally” fall into their carry-ons…
This concept works really well for Air Canada and I’m a huge fan, I actually look forward to transiting through Pearson now! fingers crossed this works out for United. Unless I’m flying an ultra long haul flight, I really just want a quick snack and a drink from lounge.
Agreed. And I think the quality coffee available in both lounges is a huge value-add.
I saw some pictures of the new A West club, it still has a lot of work to be done and isn’t going to be opening until next summer, but it looks like that will be a great new lounge in Denver as well. And then the B east club currently under renovation should hopefully be opening in the next 6 months or so I would assume, although I haven’t heard a timeframe on that.
Maybe I am missing something, but gas station prepackaged sandwiches just don’t seem all that swanky to me.
UA is not exactly know for high quality offerings, so raiding 7/11 and offering it is a cheap chic lite-lounge just doesn’t sound like a winning equation to me.
Wow, this really turns the lounge policy on its ear. For years “don’t leave the lounge, don’t take any food out” becomes “grab your food and beat it.”
I can definitely see the benefits for people who just want a good option for grab and go, and I’ll bet it works out cheaper in operating costs for the airline.
That should be a win-win. However, I can see these replacing or supplanting rather than supplementing regular lounges, and I can’t help but think it ends up being a way for the airline to fool the club member into thinking they’re getting something of value when they’re not.
Looking forward to your review, Matthew.