Why I love the new United Club (Priority Pass) lounge in Terminal 2

(EDIT:  As of May 2015, Priority Pass is no longer accepted at this lounge – or indeed any United Airlines lounge worldwide.)

With the Aer Lingus lounge closed when I headed to Dublin last week, I decided to try the United Airlines Club loungeThis is my review of this impressive new lounge.

This is the allocated Priority Pass lounge.  If you have a Priority Pass via American Express Platinum with unlimited free lounge visits, that will also get you in.  You CANNOT get in using the Lounge Club passes that come with American Express Gold – unless Lounge Club has simply failed to update their website.

First, the bad news.  The lounge is in Terminal 2B.  This means that you need to take the tunnel from the main terminal.  There is no train.

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge - tunnel review

It is actually even further than it looks because it dips down at the end and carries on!

It is worth the effort though.  Here are the bar, the longest in the airport apparently:

H eathrowTerminal 2 United Club lounge review - bar

It was amusing to hear the receptionists having to explain to American guests that the bar was actually free – a rather stunning concept to anyone who has ever used an American airline lounge.

There is a full bar menu including a cocktail list and champagne:

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - champagne

From your seat you can survey the main lounge area – the full lounge is about five time bigger than the area you see here:

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - working area

…. and there is a library area off to the right:

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - library

Attractive wall art ….

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - wall picture

…. but a massive shame about the view which is blocked.  You can see the main Terminal 2 building in the distance – that is how far you have to walk!

Terminal 2 United Club - view

Let’s talk about food.  If you like food, you’ll like the United Club lounge.  They have hot food:

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 1

… and more hot food …

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 2

… oh, and more hot food ….

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 3

… oh, wait, I’ve found even more hot food ….

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 4

Prefer cold food?  You’re in luck:

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 5

… and …

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 6

…. with no shortage of dressings:

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 6

So, where’s the catch?!

There are no PC’s in the lounge.  I know, I am old fashioned, but I do like to use a proper desktop in a lounge rather than relying on an iPad.

More importantly, the lounge was pretty busy when I was there.  Remember that Terminal 2 is only running at about 30% capacity at the moment.  When all of the other airlines move across it could get pretty painful.

Finally, you need to factor in 30 minutes transfer time.  It will take you 15 minutes to get there from 2A and 15 minutes to get back.  If you check in less than 90 minutes before departure then forget it, unless your flight is departing from 2B.

Apart from the transfer time, this lounge is a real coup for Priority Pass and I recommend giving it a try when you use Terminal 2.  It is worth noting that – at least so far – the other third-party lounge in Terminal 2, Plaza Premium, is NOT accepting Priority Pass cards so United Club is the only option.  I will write more about Plaza Premium later this week.

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Comments

  1. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Out of interest, who flies from 2b? (not sure I can be bothered with such a long – time-wise – walk since my missus would be all stressed out if we were flying from 2a about the time taken to get back to the gate.)

    • I don’t think it works like that. The departure boards say that the terminal will be announced 60 minutes before. I assume short hauls will, when possible, be in A and long haul in B especially as the long haul lounges are all in B and the Aer Lingus / Little Red lounge is in A.

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        Hmmmm.

        You wrote: If you check in less than 90 minutes before departure then forget it, unless your flight is departing from 2B.

        But now it seems you won’t know until 60 min before which terminal. Ooops!

        (suppose if more than 90 mins, it doesn’t matter. Just go to 2b and then head back at -30 min.)

  2. I hope someone from BA checks out the United food offering in the new lounge, and decides to sack the Galleries caterers in T5. The cuisine there is pretty poor and barely changes: hopeless when you’re passing through regularly.

    • Charlie says:

      I agree, after getting my hands on a Cathay Gold card via Platinum, we were looking forward to using the5 BA lounge for the food.

      I nabbed plenty of Kettle crisps to make up for it though!

  3. Andrew S says:

    I suspect the PP arrangement will “die” once the other carriers move to the terminal.

    • It would be odd just to have such a deal for 3-4 months though. Perhaps more likely in that Plaza Premium starts accepting Priority Pass at some point. There may even be some Star-wide agreement – if, say, the Singapore Airlines lounge is not busy – to switch that into the Priority Pass lounge instead.

  4. Lady London says:

    Great photos. Ruined by the guy with his foot on the table in the “wall art” picture…. Yuk.

  5. Alastair France says:

    As a priority pass holder flying from Terminal 1 – what would the prospect of doing the “reverse” of your Aer Lingus walk of shame to the Servisair T1 lounge and using the United lounge in T2b for a T1 flight? It would probably only be sensible if you were in T1 for a long wait – but that does happen…

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