Introduction: A VERY Quick Trip To Hong Kong
Review: United Club Los Angeles Airport
Review: United Club San Francisco Airport
Review: United Business Class 777-300ER San Francisco To Hong Kong
Review: United Club Hong Kong Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong To San Francisco
In December 2016, a new United Club was opened at LAX. United can’t seem to decide what they want to do with LA, and whether it’s a hub or focus city. The new United Club certainly shows their investment in the airport, and I was excited to check it out.
In December Nick wrote a review of the lounge, though I figured I’d share my thoughts on it as well.
My flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco was departing at 6:40AM, so I got to the airport way early, at around 4:15AM, since I wanted to be able to review the United Club while it was still empty.
United uses Terminal 7 at LAX, which has been under renovation for a while. It has been a while since I’ve flown out of there, but overall the terminal is fairly nice. It’s sterile, but at the same time it’s clean and doesn’t look outdated. Security was quick, especially the TSA Pre-Check lane.
Once through security I turned right and followed the signage towards the United Club. There wasn’t even much of a need to follow the signage, since the lounge’s (bright) exterior was visible immediately to the right.
The United Club LAX is located adjacent to gate 71A and opens at 4:30AM. I showed up a few minutes before that, so there was a line of about a dozen people outside the lounge.
I was quickly admitted to the lounge after showing my boarding pass to Hong Kong, and proceeded up the escalator, as the lounge itself is located one level above the main concourse.
At the top of the escalator is a departures board along with magazines and newspapers, as well as a customer service desk.
The new lounge is massive, at around 20,000 square feet. A majority of the lounge consists of a single rectangular room, with a variety of seating options.
At the front of the lounge are standard leather chairs, as well as small dining tables with two chairs each.
Then there was a bunch of high top seating, with dozens of chairs. I appreciated how many power outlets there were throughout the lounge.
Then there were some larger dining tables, with seating for four.
Along the windows were dozens of seats, with two per row facing one another.
Below is a picture of the lounge when looking at it from the other side.
In the back right corner of the lounge was another sizable seating area, which was split off from the rest of the lounge.
The back third (or so) of the lounge was the dining area, which had a bunch of tables with 2-4 seats, a large bar, and a buffet.
United did a great job with the design of the bar, in my opinion.
There’s a counter along the wall as well, and I love the airplane art they have throughout the lounge.
One of the unique features of the lounge is that it has an outdoor terrace, which is a great feature for most of the year in SoCal. 5AM probably wasn’t the ideal time to sit outside, though.
The lounge is located towards the interior of the Terminal 7 apron, facing in the direction of Terminal 8. So you didn’t get very much in the way of runway views from outside.
Overall I thought the lounge’s design was nice and functional. I think United mostly did a good job with the finishes, though there’s something that feels a bit cheap about them to me, like the translucent partitions, etc. However, given the amount of use these lounges get, I suspect the design they chose was the most practical.
In terms of the food & beverage offerings, there was a small setup outside the dining area, consisting of cereal, whole fruit, juice, and water (both plain and fruit infused).
Then the main buffet was located across from the bar.
There was a Coke machine where you could choose the type of soda you wanted (these types of machines have a huge selection of drinks from which to choose). I was surprised they only had plastic cups to drink from, which seems a bit unusual for an airline lounge. Then again, I guess with the number of guests they have in a day, that’s just more practical.
There was also Illy coffee and Numi tea. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the quality of the Illy coffee.
In terms of food there was oatmeal, whole fruit, sliced fruit, granola, bagels, muffins, pastries, and croissants. For a standard domestic lounge I’d say that’s a pretty solid selection.
Of course it was too early to drink, but in addition to a selection of complimentary house wine, beer, and liquor, there was an extensive selection of drinks for purchase, including craft cocktails and premium wine and beer (the below is just a small sampling of the overall selection).
I thought the prices were fair. For example, a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot for $30 is only marginally more than you’d pay at retail.
The bathrooms were located back towards the front of the lounge, and were reasonably nice. However, the lounge doesn’t have any shower rooms, which is pretty disappointing. I suspect this is because United is building a Polaris Lounge at LAX, so the intention is that the Polaris lounge will have showers.
Wifi in the lounge was fast, and you had to either log in with your MileagePlus number if you’re a United Club member, or otherwise had to use the password for the day.
I spent a bit over an hour in the lounge, and headed to my departure gate to LAX about 45 minutes before departure.
United Club Los Angeles bottom line
Overall I think United did a great job with their new LAX club. This was built as a domestic lounge, since they’ll eventually be opening a Polaris lounge. Given that, I think this is an excellent space. The lounge is huge, which is important, since lounge crowding can be a serious issue.
I also like the design of the lounge and think it’s impressive for a domestic lounge, though there’s something that feels a bit cheap about it. I can’t quite put my finger on why.
For a domestic lounge — at least compared to what I’m used to in Admirals Clubs — I thought the food selection was pretty good.
My only real issues with the lounge are the lack of showers and also lack of any cubicles/workstations, which I personally value quite a bit.
If you’ve visited the United Club LAX, what was your experience like?