The United Club London is my favorite United Club in the system, with great staff, great food, and a beautiful design.
United Club London Heathrow (LHR) Review
I do love the new United Club in Newark, a sprawling lounge with barista-made coffee, a wide food selection, and views of the Manhattan skyline, but my recent visit to the Heathrow United Club reminded me why this one was my favorite.
Location + Hours + Access
The London Heathrow (LHR) United Club is located in Terminal 2, near Gate B46. It is open daily from 5:00am to 6:o0pm. After clearing security, prepare yourself for a long (15-20 minute) walk to the B Gate area via underground tunnel. From the B concourse, you can take either an elevator or stairs up to the lounge, which is located one level above departures.
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. While access for Star Alliance Gold status holders from United Airlines (Premier Gold or higher) is limited to traveling on a same-day international itinerary, that applies to all passengers departing LHR.
Furthermore, one-time passes are accepted. These are distributed to Chase MileagePlus Explorer credit card holders or can be purchased at the door for $59. If you find yourself with along layover at London Heathrow and without lounge access, this is not a bad deal at all considering the food and beverage options and shower suites available in this lounge.
I have a friend in this lounge. Her name is Marina and it’s a joy to see her every time I fly through. She’ super-friendly and a bit cheeky, in a very good way. Frankly, the entire staff in this lounge is excellent, ranging from the United Airlines employees who check you in to the contact staff cleaning up, bartending, or managing the shower suites.
I also appreciate that this lounge honored the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and (ironically) even the Fourth of July holiday in the USA.
The lounge is over 10,000 square feet and seats 280 guests plus 25 more at bar. As you enter, the lounge is divided by a partition running through the center with seating on either side.
While the lounge is somewhat in the style of most recent United Club remodels (with airplane artwork and the same leather chairs and high tables), there’s beautiful natural light and a cool centerpiece with trees and blue glass.
This lounge does get crowded, particularly in the mid afternoon. You probably won’t have trouble finding a seat, but it will be crowded. If very crowded, consider visiting the nearby Singapore Airlines lounge, which is generally not as crowded, especially in the afternoon. If you can access this club, you can also access the Singapore Airlines lounge.
Shower suites are available. See an attendant who will add your name to the waiting list if there is a queue.
Restrooms are unisex individual suites.
Food + Drink
Beyond the cool decor and showers, this lounge has the best food of all the United Clubs.
A buffet spread includes soups, salads, sandwiches, bread, desserts, a number of hot dishes like chili, curry, vegetables, and chicken. I enjoyed a nice lunch of chicken (with honey, thyme, and mustard) with cottage pie.
If you’re in the lounge in the morning, you can enjoy a full English breakfast:
There’s a pair of self-serve coffee bars with tea (were were in England, of course), soft drinks, cordials, and water.
There’s also a full-service bar, with all drinks complimentary, including cocktails. Below is the pre-pandemic menu, which gives you a bit of an idea of what to expect:
I actually prefer this lounge to all the other Star Alliance lounges in Terminal 2 (Singapore, Air Canada, Lufthansa) and appreciate the thoughtful decor, lovely staff, and genuinely delicious food. London may be a mess to transit through, but this lounge does provide a nice dose of tranquility.
I agree it’s a great lounge – better than any UA lounge I’ve found anywhere else.
Is it the best *A lounge at LHR? It’s certainly way better than Lufthansa which has had a massive post covid downgrade and is a shadow of what it was but I find it depends a bit on how the mood takes me at the B gates, sometimes I prefer AC and sometimes SQ, it all depends how I feel on the day and if I want something to eat and if so, what.
Oh, security to the B lounges is seven minutes! You need to walk faster!
Well, good thing the jubilee isn’t this week or the British would have massive number of deaths on their hands while in performance of official functions due to the heat wave.
Something they have heretofore only tolerated, and ignored, in their colonies.
Truly the best non-Polaris UA lounge in the system, and almost as good as a Polaris. I think they still have the old GlobalFirst lounge next door, too, which I think is now just for GSs.
However, it is a bit of a hike there from the 2A gates to the 2B where the UA lounge is. I recall it being closer to 15 minutes than 7. I used to spend time at the LH Senator lounge instead if I was flying out of 2A, but as someone noted, that may not be as nice post-COVID (though the IAD LH Senator has pretty much come back to normal).
Is this what future clubs in the US will be like? I know the Newark one is similar in terms of a robust food offering, and I assume the new Denver one will be like that.
What I don’t understand is why can they only offer good food options in the new lounges? You don’t need to build a new lounge to have good food. Should just upgrade the catering system wide. Now that UA clubs are under the commercial team after the leadership changes last week, maybe we will see some improvements.
Each lounge has different catering constraints built into the actual design of the facility. The older lounges likely have very small food storage/prep facilities compared to the new ones. They didn’t need to be very large to serve cheese and crackers, but hot food buffet options require larger kitchens. It’s equivalent to trying to cater a party with a hot plate instead of a fully equipped kitchen.
It’s certainly much better than the pathetic Lufthansa effort, but I don’t think there’s a lot between it and the SQ lounge next door (well, apart from the dragon who didn’t want to print my Brazilian PLF and told me that, since it’s a Singapore Airlines lounge and I had been flying TAP, I should ask TAP to help me out!).
I second advice on the timing – the SQ lounge is dead all afternoon, it’s a large space and only gets a handful of THY pax from the IST flight.
My wife and I used our UA Explorer card one-time passes there about a week ago to get in with the kids for a wonderful breakfast and a few drinks before our TATL flight back to the US in premium plus. It is a really great lounge, and well worth the use of those passes. I agree that it’s a fantastic lounge.
Interestingly when checking in there were 4 of us, I presented the passes and the first two were scanned and accepted and one of the check in agents asked aloud “Are we accepting one-time passes now?” The person checking me in said “Yes” but with a look on his face that lead me to wonder if sometimes they don’t accept the one time passes there, maybe due to crowding or something like that.
Regardless, for me it was a great lounge because we got a great brunch before takeoff and a nice spot for the family to relax before the flight. We had gotten to the airport early based on the heathrow horror stories this summer and the fact that they asked us to get there 4 hours early (we got there about 3.25 hours early which was fine, but we didn’t have any luggage to check).
If I were traveling solo and had a few hours to wait, I’d probably pay $60 to go in if I didn’t have access otherwise. I’d probably eat/drink $40 worth of food/bev and the better ambiance and restrooms would make up the rest of the value. I doubt I would have paid $240 to take the whole family of four in unless we had a particularly long wait.
I have visited this lounge on multiple occasions and have found it to be the best non Polaris lounge. The food and drinks are very good (especially the “Meet me Halfway” champagne cocktail). The Singapore and Air Canada lounges nearby are fine but my preference is the United space.
In theory, I like the coffee bar at the Air Canada lounge, but find the UA Club better than AC or SQ overall.