Review: United Club Los Angeles Airport

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 It’s sterile, but at the same time it’s clean and doesn’t look outdated.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.

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LAX Terminal 7 departures area

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.

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LAX Terminal 7 departures area

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United Club Los Angeles Airport exterior

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.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport exterior

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.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport escalator

At the top of the escalator is a departures board along with magazines and newspapers, as well as a customer service desk.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport departures board

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.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport seating

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United Club Los Angeles Airport seating

Then there was a bunch of high top seating, with dozens of chairs. I appreciated how many power outlets there were throughout the lounge.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport high-top seating

Then there were some larger dining tables, with seating for four.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport seating

Along the windows were dozens of seats, with two per row facing one another.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport seating

Below is a picture of the lounge when looking at it from the other side.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport seating

In the back right corner of the lounge was another sizable seating area, which was split off from the rest of the lounge.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport seating

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United Club Los Angeles Airport seating

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.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport bar area

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United Club Los Angeles Airport bar area

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United Club Los Angeles Airport bar area

United did a great job with the design of the bar, in my opinion.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport bar area

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United Club Los Angeles Airport bar area

There’s a counter along the wall as well, and I love the airplane art they have throughout the lounge.

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United Club Los Angeles Airport counter seating

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.

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United Club LAX outdoor seating

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United Club LAX outdoor seating

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.

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United Club LAX outdoor view

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).

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United Club LAX breakfast selection

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United Club LAX breakfast selection

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United Club LAX breakfast selection

Then the main buffet was located across from the bar.

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United Club LAX breakfast buffet

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.

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United Club LAX coffee & drinks

There was also Illy coffee and Numi tea. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the quality of the Illy coffee.

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United Club LAX coffee & tea

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.

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United Club LAX oatmeal

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United Club LAX fresh fruit

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United Club LAX fresh fruit

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United Club LAX granola and yogurt

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United Club LAX breakfast 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).

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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.

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United Club LAX restroom

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.

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United Club LAX wifi

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?

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Comments

  1. Lucky,

    You completely missed a part of the lounge. Immediately behind the top of the escalators is the customer service desk area for agent assisted flight changes, and sort of hidden to the right of that are several private phone rooms (the cubicles you are asking for).

    Phil

  2. Lack of showers in UC (even with a different Polaris Lounge) is still an issue. This puts the UC a level below the AA Admiral’s Club.

    The restroom doesn’t look all that great – pretty much institutional like other UC restrooms (except LHR). No picture of the stalls – but are they full doors or just partial doors?

    People are paying to enter the UC – via membership, expensive CC, etc. They expect a quality of restroom above what is in the terminal. They should have more luxury restrooms, which does not appear to be the case here.

  3. Thanks for the review. Will be visiting there Saturday evening before taking a red eye back to Washington.

  4. This has to be the most dreary lounge in the free world… United had an enormous opportunity to turn their image around, but no they built the world’s largest cafeteria. Somebody in United needs to understand that it costs not a whole lot more to build a series of more unique and relaxing spaces, instead of a cavernous warehouse with a few area rugs and 3 varieties of chairs. And what’s worse is they subject their very most valuable customers to this. Most large airports in the world have better space OUTSIDE the lounges than United has created inside this supposed temple of luxury. So depressing.

  5. I’m totally agree with Randy. We expect more than what’s United Club offered now, especially we expect showers in those lounges.

  6. Ben,

    One of the more frustrating recent developments at this and all other domestic UAL lounges is the end of the breakfast service at 10:00 AM! It used to be 11:00, then changes at 10:30. Now at 10:00 you will see the lounge staff (airport employees) pull breakfast items such as oatmeal, cereal, diced fruit and yogurt and begin to bring out savory cheese & crackers, vegetable sticks and soup. Clearly the employees are just following a schedule as instructed, one that the airline creates/dictates. Yet on multiple occasions when I ask/complain to UNITED staff about the early changeover, they have no explanation for it. They have even said it was the (contract) lounge employees-that set it up and break it down-decision.

    If you’re a regular visitor to United lounges, I would seriously complain about this unfavorable new schedule, if not in person than online.

  7. I find the design of the lounge quite nice. The amount of seating means that it never has the overcrowding issues that the old RCC had, even before the merger. Also, and I’m not sure this is true, but those list prices for the champagne are the old prices. I believe both are less expensive now.

    As for showers, it is pretty obvious that United has decided to scrap them in the regular UCs and leave them only for Polaris lounges.

  8. How did you get into UC with your HK ticket?
    I thought your departing flight needed to be international premium cabin to get into a *A lounge?

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