United Club Lite With Grab & Go Food Planned For Denver

United Club Lite With Grab & Go Food Planned For Denver

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It looks like United Airlines might be planning a new lounge concept, which I’m sure many frequent flyers will appreciate.

United Club Lite planned for Denver

Denver International Airport (DEN) is a major hub for United Airlines, and the airport is currently expanding Concourse B. @xJonNYC notes an interesting observation from an airliners.net user, regarding a new lounge concept United has planned here. The Denver City Council has published United’s lease agreement, and it contains some interesting insights.

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1467884565733822473

Specifically, it looks like there are plans for a United Club Lite, which is a concept we’ve never seen from United before:

  • The lounge would be located between gates B61 and B63
  • The lounge would be 1,563 square feet
  • The lounge would feature a very limited amount of seating, plus grab & go packaged food and self-serve drinks

United hasn’t publicly announced this concept, so it remains to be seen if this comes to fruition. I see no reason it wouldn’t, given how carefully airport space is planned in advance, but who knows…

This is an awesome concept

United Airlines would be the first US airline to offer a grab & go food concept in a lounge:

  • In 2019 we saw the introduction of the Air Canada Cafe in Toronto, which is the same idea; it’s a small lounge with a selection of food & drinks that you can take to-go
  • More recently in the United States we saw the opening of the Capital One Lounge Dallas, which also offers a grab & go selection, including complimentary food & drinks
Capital One Lounge DFW grab & go selection
Capital One Lounge DFW grab & go selection

This is such a great idea, especially for an airport that’s a heavily banked hub, where passengers may often only have a connection of under an hour. That’s not really enough time to enjoy a meal at a restaurant or eat a whole lot in a lounge, so being able to grab something for your connecting flight is useful.

The one challenge with the grab & go concept is that some people lack self restraint, and they view a grab & go selection as an invitation to cater their pantry for the next month. I mean, I’ve seen people bring Ziploc bags in order to empty out those stale snack towers, so I can only imagine what some people might do if they had access to something better than that. I suspect all of these grab & go concepts will eventually come with some sort of an official limit on how much you can take, with staff members monitoring.

Bottom line

A United Club Lite concept is planned for Denver, whereby the airline would have a roughly 1,500 square foot lounge with grab & go items. It remains to be seen if this comes to fruition, but the concept has at least been planned for the expansion at Denver Airport.

United would be the first major US airline to offer this, though it wouldn’t be the first lounge in the US to have something like this, as the new Capital One Lounge DFW also has a grab & go selection. Furthermore, the Air Canada Cafe in Toronto was the first lounge in North America to feature this concept.

What do you make of the new United Club Lite concept?

Conversations (20)
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  1. steve64 Guest

    American did this for a short time while the DFW Terminal A Admiral's Club was being renovated.

    When I first heard about it I was worried that this would become a new "enhancement" but it actually came in handy twice for me when a delayed inbound left me with a short connection. It was litterally the space from some small shop on the concourse level. No seating, restrooms or bar. Just a check-in podium and...

    American did this for a short time while the DFW Terminal A Admiral's Club was being renovated.

    When I first heard about it I was worried that this would become a new "enhancement" but it actually came in handy twice for me when a delayed inbound left me with a short connection. It was litterally the space from some small shop on the concourse level. No seating, restrooms or bar. Just a check-in podium and 7-11 style coolers with sandwiches, salads and (non-alcoholic) beverages.

    I wouldn't mind seeing this as true added feature. Something along the lines of you can access the "full" club or the grab-n-go area that's either to the side or close to the entry. I'm sure that concept would fail with folks hitting the full club and still grabbing stuff on the way out.

  2. dander Guest

    I can see many people going in and stocking up the pantry. The secret AMEX lounge at LAS convention center was seriously thinking of closing for some shows because people would go in and clean out the snacks

  3. Steve Allen Guest

    I would think some of the motivation for this too is that one of the United clubs in Denver is closed for renovation. I think it's supposed to re-open summer/fall 2022? The remaining club is extremely busy (almost not worth going).

  4. DWAGENT Guest

    Maybe I'm the only one, but...I don't get it.

    To me, a lounge is more than just food...it's comfortable seating, a place to get a little work done, and not having to wait in long lines for the bathrooms.

    Sure, I like the "free" food as much as the next person ("free" in quotes because Amex Platinum is $695/yr), but if we're talking about "grab-n-go" food, then it's going to be on par with stuff...

    Maybe I'm the only one, but...I don't get it.

    To me, a lounge is more than just food...it's comfortable seating, a place to get a little work done, and not having to wait in long lines for the bathrooms.

    Sure, I like the "free" food as much as the next person ("free" in quotes because Amex Platinum is $695/yr), but if we're talking about "grab-n-go" food, then it's going to be on par with stuff you can find anywhere in the airport...maybe about a $10 sandwich, basically.

    And if that's the case, then is that really worth the effort to make your way to B62, grab the stuff, and then make your way to your departure gate? If your connection was tight, then wouldn't you just rather head to your departure gate, spending $10 on something along the way, and saving yourself the time and stress?

    Unless they drop these "lounge-lite"s all over the place, I don't see the utility or value. I would rather have them spend the money on making the full lounges bigger and nicer.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      I wonder if this is a way for the airlines to eventually basically drop food in domestic first-class, outside key markets. Truthfully, I'd rather grab a quality salad or sandwich than take chance that something in first will be edible.

    2. sacrxy New Member

      It is helpful to those of us who have to fly out of the bus station like high number gates end of Terminal B used by United Express flights. Choices are very limited in that area.

  5. Bob Guest

    Delta has (had?) this at LAX T3. I haven't been through LAX in a while, so I don't know if the lounge (and grab and go concept) is still there.

  6. UA-NYC Guest

    Maybe they can do this with the EWR pop-up club at some point, even when the long-delayed new C club finally opens. Anything to make the sEWeR a bit better!

    1. Micah Member

      EWR needs more PP lounges and EWR terminal 3 desperately needs more lounges, PP or United.

  7. George Guest

    You can tell that this is a Star Alliance thing because Lufthansa have also created that Grab & Go space at Munich Airport, right?

  8. Donna Diamond

    I don’t know what to think about the new direction clubs are taking. I can tell you, and I’m sure it comes as no surprise, that lounges across the board, domestic and international have been absolutely terrible throughout the pandemic, and several remain closed. I can’t help believe that this is the new normal. I hope I’m wrong.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Delta has had most of its Sky Club lounges open since spring or summer 2021. Actually, many of these lounges had better food last spring or summer than now. That's because they were using packaged food. Now, they're back to serving buffets. I've seen people skip the utensils and reach in with their hands to grab food from the buffet. I'm not worried about COVID at a buffet, but I am worried about food illnesses.

    2. iamhere Guest

      Yes and there is not proper management of the buffet. If staff were stationed there then people would avoid doing such things.

  9. Zach Guest

    Reminds me of the old Delta “Courtesy Clubs” that were found in many of the smaller stations. They were unstaffed, and members would access with a code. There were basic food items stocked.

  10. Bob Guest

    This concept is under construction right now as part of the new express gates at the east end of the B terminal. I heard it was supposed to open before Christmas but because of DEN construction delays it might not open until the end of January. But either way its coming quick and will be great for tight UAX connections because it was always a hike getting to the United Club then back to the UAX gates.

  11. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This makes a lot of sense or, I should say, cents given the increasing labor costs in Denver.

    Staff at Denver's airport recently went on strike, for example. The minimum wage for airport staff is $15 an hour. That's a lot of money to clean tables and put out food on a buffet.

    Not only does it produce significant cost savings but it's probably safer from a public health and food safety standpoint.

    1. Brad C Guest

      Not a lot of money for an airport that was built in the middle of nowhere where airport staff have to commute 1-2 hours everyday.

  12. mike Guest

    Should be a set number of items per boarding pass scan per every 4 hours or so. For sure it’ll start off as free for all but will be so pulled back because of the inconsiderates.

    1. david Guest

      You are being too kind calling them inconsiderates. More like losers. I know a guy who would bring a bag and fill it, use it in his room so he didn't have to buy meals for a few days. He's the same person who has more UA blankets and pillows than most hotels.

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david Guest

You are being too kind calling them inconsiderates. More like losers. I know a guy who would bring a bag and fill it, use it in his room so he didn't have to buy meals for a few days. He's the same person who has more UA blankets and pillows than most hotels.

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iamhere Guest

Agree with both of you.

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FNT Delta Diamond Guest

I wonder if this is a way for the airlines to eventually basically drop food in domestic first-class, outside key markets. Truthfully, I'd rather grab a quality salad or sandwich than take chance that something in first will be edible.

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