In all my years of flying, I’ve rarely seen a lounge this packed. After just a few moments in the Terminal C North (C1) United Club at Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH), I turned around and left. This is a nice lounge in terms of decor and is actually fairly large, but if you hit at a busy time, it’s simply not worth the effort.
United Club Houston IAH Terminal C1 Review
I reviewed this lounge prior to my flight to Los Angeles on my way home from Brazil.
Location + Hours + Access
Located in Terminal C, this lounge is currently open from 5:45am to 8:00pm seven days a week. It is located near Gate C1. An agent was standing outside unofficially checking credentials, with many people being turned away (including one-time pass holders).
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 accepted or a single-visit pass can be purchased at the reception desk for $59. Access using one-time passes may be limited if the lounge becomes too crowded.
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 IAH, United does not give premium cabin passengers access on domestic flights without status.
Global Services passengers are also allowed complimentary entrance.
Once inside, turn right where you will actually check into the club by scanning your boarding pass and if applicable, your membership card or Star Alliance Gold card.
The lounge is one huge room and when I say it was packed, there was literally standing room only..take a look at the pictures below.
The only quiet area was a round table with four chairs right at the mood-lit entrance, which was empty when I arrived (and full when I left).
Chairs are clustered together so that groups and families can face each other. End tables feature built-in lamps and plugs.
On one end of the lounge was a flight help area, which was unstaffed, as well as two “phone booths” which can be used to make calls in but are large enough to serve as a small work area.
This is a remodeled lounge and thus has United’s faux-granite, globular lights, and high-backed wing chairs around round glass tables.
Food + Drink
In the back of the lounge is the bar and food area, including fully-staffed bar. Wine, beer, and limited hard liquor is free while premium beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails can be purchased.
Beyond alcohol, beverage selections include coffee, hot water (for tea), an espresso machine, and a Coke Freestyle machine with juice, soft drinks, and water.
Breakfast items were far better than the selection in the Terminal B United Club, including:
- Chobani yogurt
- Probiotic yogurt smoothies
- Fruit and cheese plates (one of these accidentally fell into my bag and was a great snack on my Houston – LA flight when my upgrade did not clear)
- Block & Barrel hot breakfast sandwich – eggs, cheese, and sausage on a buttermilk biscuit
The bathrooms were remodeled and included gender-neutral private washrooms, which I far prefer to communal restrooms.
I appreciated the amenities in this lounge, which were much better than the United Club in Terminal B. That said, at 8:45am on a Saturday morning, this lounge was so packed I did not stay more than a few moments.