Introduction: Journey To Kazakhstan
Review: Korean Air First Class 747-8 Vancouver To Incheon
Review: Nest Hotel Incheon Airport
Review: Asiana Business Class Lounge Incheon Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 767 Incheon To Almaty
Review: Ritz-Carlton Almaty
Review: Air Astana Lounge Almaty Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class A321 Almaty To Astana
Review: Marriott Astana
Review: Air Astana Lounge Astana Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 757 Astana To London
Review: Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5
Review: United Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: United First Class 777 London To Los Angeles
As I mentioned in the previous installment, I got to the airport way early. I arrived at around 5:30AM for my 12:20PM flight. I couldn’t sleep and the wifi at the Sofitel was unusable, so I figured I might as well lounge hop at the airport and take some pictures before the lounges filled up.
Terminal 2 has a fairly nice check-in area, though I already had a mobile boarding pass, so didn’t need to go to the check-in counter.
Security was an absolute breeze, which I don’t often say at Heathrow. There’s a Star Alliance fast track lane, so not only was there no wait, but the security process was painless, and they weren’t even especially strict about liquids.
The main area of Terminal is pretty impressive-looking, with high ceilings and tons of seating. While the terminal looks nice, the distance between some of the gates is sort of unreal (then again, that’s true at most terminals at Heathrow). While the Lufthansa and Priority Pass lounges are located in the main part of the terminal, the Air Canada, Singapore, and United lounges are in the satellite part of the terminal, since that’s also where those flights depart from.
So I followed the signage towards the far gates, which requires taking an underground tunnel. Walking at a fast pace, I made it to the other side of the terminal within about 10 minutes. Upon arriving at the other side, the United lounge was located to the right, while the Air Canada and Singapore lounges were located to the left.
Upon turning right, the United lounge was a couple of hundred feet down the terminal and on the left.
The signage indicated that there was both a United Global First Lounge and a United Club.
Accessing the lounge required taking the elevator up a level.
Once there I was welcomed by the friendly associate and directed to the United Global First Lounge, located behind the elevators.
The friendly lady at the desk introduced herself as one of the Global Services concierges, and noticed how early I was for my flight. She offered to give me a tour of the lounge, which she clearly took quite a bit of pride in. I don’t blame her, because the lounge is gorgeous.
Near the entrance was an “L” shaped couch with some aviation-themed art on the wall.
Then behind the entrance and to the right was a room with some dining tables and couches, as well as a self serve food area.
I loved the quirkiness of the snack and drink selection. As you’d expect, there was a large selection of self serve liquor.
Then there was also a cute station where you could make your own bloody mary.
Then there was a selection of self serve soft drinks, beer, wine, etc.
There was also a cappuccino machine, though personally I think it’s a bit disappointing when a first class lounge doesn’t have barista-made espresso drinks (the Air Canada business class lounge next door has a barista).
The snack selection was kind of cute, with both packaged and fresh snacks.
There were even some individually packaged snacks like gourmet popcorn, brownies, etc. While I realize snacks in lounges are typically intended to be consumed within the lounge, they were almost packaged as if they were wanting you to take them with you.
Then there was a fresh breakfast selection, including smoked salmon, cold cuts, yogurt, fresh juice, fruit, etc.
There were also scrambled eggs, baked beans, sausage, mushrooms, muffins, croissants, danishes, etc.
Behind the self serve dining area was more traditional lounge seating, with conveniently placed outlets at every seat.
There was a circular a la carte dining area that separated this section from the rest of the lounge, with an impressive wine display in the middle of the room.
There were more leather chairs on the other side of the dining area, and then behind that there were a handful of daybeds.
Across from that was another area with dining tables.
Further into the lounge was a partitioned off TV room, which had both couches and dining tables.
I liked that rather than having gender-segregated bathrooms they just had several private bathrooms.
The bathrooms featured Cowshed toiletries.
Perhaps most impressive was the great condition in which they kept the bathrooms. They were spotless every time I visited them.
I was quite hungry by the time I got to the lounge, so I sat down at one of the dining tables to have breakfast.
The menu read as follows:
While I wasn’t there when lunch was served, that menu read as follows:
The wine list read as follows:
I ordered the “fresh fruit salad with seasonal berries” to start, which was quite underwhelming. It tasted like canned fruit, and there were no berries in sight.
I also ordered a cappuccino, which tasted better than the machine made one. Perhaps the ability to make proper bastia-made cappuccinos in the back?).
Then I ordered the eggs benedict with smoked salmon, which was surprisingly good.
Before the lounge filled up I figured I’d take a look at the connected United Club, which is open to Star Alliance Gold passengers, business class passengers, and United Club members.
The lounge itself was also beautiful, and a good size. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves as far as the decor goes.
Towards the back of the lounge were a couple of stations with drinks.
Then the main buffet area was located near the front of the lounge. The selection was quite good for a business class lounge.
There were more drinks as well as the same espresso machine found in the first class lounge.
There was a selection of cold cuts, cheese, and veggies.
Then there was a fruit salad, yogurt, and muesli.
There was also a selection of cereal.
Then there were several hot options including scrambled eggs, hash browns, baked beans, sausage, ham, etc.
There were also pastries, bagels, toast, etc.
Both the business and first class lounges were beautiful. One thing I’d note is that the business class section got quite full as the day progressed, so at around 10AM it was a bit chaotic. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the first class lounge was how it always stayed quiet. Even at around 10AM there were maybe only a dozen people in the lounge.
I visited the Singapore Airlines lounge for a couple of hours during my time at Heathrow (which I’ll cover in the next installment), and headed to the departure gate at around 11:15AM. Boarding was scheduled to begin at 11:35AM from gate B31, located at the far end of the concourse.
The flight to Washington Dulles was boarding from the next gate over, so there were quite a few announcements in the gate area at once.
United’s boarding process is almost like Southwest’s, in the sense that they have a bunch of different zones in which they have people queue. When I showed my boarding pass I was directed to a separate first class queue. Once there a guy came over to introduce himself as the “first class agent for the flight.”
I’m really impressed by how United takes care of first class passengers on the ground at Heathrow, as he came over and addressed each first class passenger by name and shook their hand, and generally had some pretty funny banter with everyone. Sure enough at around 11:30AM boarding began, starting with first class.
United Club London Heathrow bottom line
Color me very impressed by this lounge. The lounge had gorgeous decor, among the nicest of any lounge at Heathrow. I was also impressed by what an oasis the first class lounge was, as it was empty for most of my time there, which wasn’t true of the business class section.
How does this lounge compare to others at Heathrow?
- The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse continues to be my favorite lounge at Heathrow
- In terms of Star Alliance business class lounges, I still prefer the Air Canada business class lounge to the United Club
- This is my favorite first class lounge at Heathrow, and I’d take it over the British Airways Concorde Room any day of the week; while the Concorde Room might be more luxurious on paper, it’s outdated and overcrowded
- This blows away the American first class ground experience at Heathrow, as the Flagship Lounge at Heathrow is underwhelming
So kudos to United on this very nice lounge!