The United Club at London Heathrow is a really nice outstation lounge. While the food and beverage offering won't blow you away, the lounge has all the facilities you need, including showers, power ports, and WiFi.
Over the weekend I flew from London to Hong Kong, where I’ll be spending Christmas. While I’ve flown in and out of Heathrow countless times, surprisingly this was my first time flying out of Heathrow’s Terminal 2. Star Alliance operates four lounges at Heathrow Airport, though I was only able to check out the United Club, since it was closest to my gate and opened at 5 AM prior to my 6 AM flight (if I stretched it I would’ve also been able to check out the supposedly-underwhelming Lufthansa lounge as well, though I hadn’t slept the night prior so decided it wasn’t worth the trek).
This post will detail my experience as a Star Alliance business class passenger accessing the United Club, with the main focus on the seating and atmosphere, food and beverage, amenities, service, and more.
United Club London Heathrow Access and Opening Hours
The United Club at London Heathrow is open from 5 AM to 6 PM daily. Access is open to:
- Star Alliance first and business class passengers (including, of course, those on United)
- Star Alliance Gold members
- United Club members (including MileagePlus cardholders)
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide and Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer members
- Active U.S. military personnel
- Star Alliance passengers may purchase a United Club one-time pass for US$59
Star Alliance First Class passengers and Star Gold elite members may bring a guest, United Club members/MileagePlus cardholders may bring two guests, and U.S. military personnel may bring their family. In this case, I entered as a guest flying Swiss business class.
United Club London Heathrow Location
The United Club is located by the B gates at Heathrow’s Terminal 2, which are a lengthy walk from security. Even after walking at a brisk pace, it took me 10 minutes to get to the B gates, and the walk involved a long underground tunnel with moving walkways. On the plus side, I found the signage to be very clear, and never felt like I was lost.
Heathrow Terminal 2 Post-security
The United Club was labelled as Airline Lounge B1, right opposite Gate B46 (where my flight was departing). Funny enough by the time I arrived a few minutes before opening I saw signage suggesting that the lounge was closed for the day (due to a “problem with facilities”), though sure enough shortly after 5 AM a lounge attendant came down and removed the signs from the entrance.
United Club London Heathrow Entrance before Opening Hours
I made my way up the stairs (there’s also a lift), and was promptly admitted by another lounge attendant.
United Club London Heathrow Entrance Reception
United Club London Heathrow Seating and Atmosphere
I was aware that this United Club opened in 2014 and was one of the nicest lounges that United operates, though was still pleasantly surprised by the design when I walked in.
The lounge is an airy and spacious rectangular room that photographs slightly bigger than it actually is. The slight curvature of the lounge’s shape provided a “there’s more round the corner” feel, and I also liked the variety of colours used, between the gold chairs, blue, silver and marble tones, and red finishes (even disregarding the Christmas tree, which obviously isn’t there throughout the year).
United Club London Heathrow
I appreciated the variety of seating. Near the entrance, there were some gold chairs around round tables (this was presumably “capacity” seating, as it looked by far the least comfortable).
United Club London Heathrow Round Tables
Much of the lounge featured bar-style seating, and I found the bar tables to be a good size for eating and working.
United Club London Heathrow Bar Seating
For those looking for a drink and/or a conversation, there was legitimate bar seating as well, as well as a well-stocked bar.
United Club London Heathrow Bar
Further down inside the lounge were a few separate areas with more comfortable seating, featuring armchairs and bucket seats.
United Club London Heathrow Lounging Options
There was a separate partitioned area also featuring armchairs, presumably meant as a quieter space for working or chatting.
United Club London Heathrow Armchairs
I appreciated that all seating had easy access to both UK- and US-style power ports (though I did wonder why they didn’t go for universal power ports instead), as well as USB ports.
United Club London Heathrow Power Ports
The lounge also featured natural light and views of the tarmac, though neither were present this early in the morning.
The lounge was very empty at 5 AM in the morning, though I’d imagine it fills up more particularly before United flights. That being said, Heathrow’s Terminal 2 has four Star Alliance lounge options, three of which are located by the “B” gates. I’d be hard pressed to imagine this lounge chock-full, even at peak times.
As aforementioned, I appreciated the modern decor and variety of seating, and felt like the setup was especially good for eating and working. I’d say I would’ve appreciated a more extensive relax option, such as a few daybeds.
United Club London Heathrow Dining Options
The United Club London Heathrow features buffet-style dining, with most food options laid out in a partitioned area by the lounge’s entrance.
United Club London Heathrow Buffet Area
The lounge was serving up breakfast when I visited, and everything tasted freshly prepared (particularly the hash browns), as you’d expect at this time. There was also a cold food spread consisting mainly of baked goods and pastries.
United Club London Heathrow Food Spread
There was a drinks station in the main area as well as across the lounge, both of which featured a range of soft drinks and a few fresh fruit teas. While this lounge didn’t feature barista coffee, it did feature two coffee machines from Illy, which is as good as machine-dispensed coffee gets.
United Club London Heathrow Drinks Spread
A wide range of alcoholic beverages and spirits can be found by the bar area.
The food and beverage offering at Heathrow’s United Club is solid especially for an outstation lounge, though I can’t speak for if the food gets stale later in the day. I appreciated the fruit teas on offer, though wouldn’t have said no to barista coffee or a more extensive list of cocktails/mocktails by the bar.
United Club London Heathrow Bathrooms and Showers
The United Club London Heathrow features both bathrooms and showers. The bathrooms are in separate cubicles, which were large and clean during my visit.
United Club London Heathrow Bathroom
I didn’t have a need for a shower room, though I imagine the shower suites would’ve been similarly designed.
United Club London Heathrow Shower Cubicles
United Club London Heathrow Phone Booth
While I also didn’t have a need for this feature, the United Club London Heathrow features two phone booths located by the end of the lounge.
United Club London Heathrow Phone Booth
United Club London Heathrow WiFi
WiFi was a strong suit in this United Club, at least during my visit. Not only was it very easy to connect, but a quick speed test hit download speeds of 103 Mbps and upload speeds of 140 Mbps, with a ping of 7 ms. That’s well above average for an airline lounge, though do note that I visited at a very quiet time.
United Club London Heathrow Service
Service at this lounge was reactive, and consisted of clearing plates and pouring drinks. However, I found everyone I interacted with at the lounge to be friendly. When I asked the bartender if I could photograph the lounge, the bartender seemed to believe that it was my first time ever inside an airline lounge; he gave me an introduction of the lounge’s features, including free food, drinks, showers, etc..
Conclusion: United Club London Heathrow
Star Alliance is known for having a strong lounge portfolio at London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, and this United Club is a key driver. This is a strong outstation lounge which has all the basics, and even though I can’t speak for this firsthand, I’ve heard it doesn’t tend to fill up by too much over the course of the day. I can’t compare this lounge with the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge and the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge (since both of these lounges opened for the day after my flight departed), though I’d say that a more extensive food and beverage offering would’ve set this lounge apart.
I wouldn’t head to the airport early just to visit this lounge, though would’ve found this a valuable space to work and eat on a longer layover. However, unless I had a good reason, I probably wouldn’t pay US$59 to access this lounge.
Read more from this trip:
Which Star Alliance lounge at Heathrow is your favourite?