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Why I still think the United Club in Terminal 2 is the 2nd best business lounge at Heathrow

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…… after the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, of course.

This is my review of the United Club lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 2.  This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

I am down in Istanbul this week, seeing whether Turkish Airlines has got what it takes to challenge the Middle Eastern ‘big 3’ as a global hub airline.

This meant an early morning run out to Heathrow Terminal 2 yesterday morning.  As the majority of long-haul flights from Terminal 2 go from 2B (and Turkish runs long-haul aircraft on some flights, which is why I was there), I got to visit the United Club again.

After, of course, the ludicrously long walk through the tunnel …..

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge - tunnel review

I first visited the United Club lounge back in October 2014.  I have been in a couple of times since, once on a guided tour with the terminal manager.  I still rate it highly.

It was originally a Priority Pass lounge, until United unilaterally withdrew all of their lounges from Priority Pass last year.  Priority Pass cardholders are now using the Plaza Premium lounge in the main terminal.  (I will be back there on Friday afternoon and will run an update.)

H eathrowTerminal 2 United Club lounge review - bar

Why do I like the United Club?

For a start, it has the longest bar in Heathrow.  Unlike United lounge in the US, the drinks are 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, which they were happy to serve me despite the early hour:

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

There is a series of classic aviation images on the walls, which I really like:

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - wall picture

There is a huge amount of natural light in the lounge – it is a long, thin lounge and the long wall is entirely glass.  The only downside is the bulky airbridges which block the view.

Terminal 2 United Club - view

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

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 2


Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 3

If you don’t want a cooked breakfast, there are snacks and also a lot of fruit and yoghurt (not pictured):

Heathrow Terminal 2 United Club lounge review - food 5

There is no shortage of reading material, both magazines (surprisingly good quality) and newspapers.  The only downside for me is that there are no PC’s in the lounge.  Showers are available too.

It is a long walk from the main terminal and back again, so it is not necessarily worth it if you are on a short haul flight from Terminal 2.  I recommend it above the Singapore Airlines business class lounge in 2B, which just didn’t work for me.

United did a good job here – check it out if you can.

(PS.  The photos above are from my 2014 visit – internet issues here make it tricky to upload new images – but nothing has changed.  Our Instagram feed has some actual pictures from yesterday.)

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  1. Can someone explain to me lounges in LHR (other than Clubhouse) are like nothing comparing the ones in the Far East, like Cathay Pacific”s and Qantas’ lounges?

    • Can you rephrase? In my opinion LHR T2 lounges are as good as HKG OW lounges, and they are a lot more spacious as they don’t get so crowded except around 2000 when SQ has two A380s, and UA in the morning when there are multiple UA flights. LHR T3/T5 are nothing special.

    • Paul Irving says:

      I’m sitting in the CX lounge in HK an it’s no better than the Galleries at Hethrow and a mile away from the Virgin clubhouse.

      • Are serious? Which lounge? My experience is totally different with the CX lounges. A recent visit to the Pier First CX lounge (last week) was truly wonderful. And the business lounges have always served me well..

      • ? In my experience the CX lounges (except the Dragonair lounge) are quite nice and certainly the best ones at HKG.

        • I have never been to lounges other than the ones in T5. The Clubhouse by Virgon can in no doubt beat a lot of lounges such as CX J lounges.

          I guess the lounges in T2 are great but the pictures of United lounge are not delivering justice for them?

          By the way I am talking about the furnish and design not peak hours and services they are offering.

          Regardless BA has a lot to learn from these lounges.

        • Lady London says:

          Special mention for the coffee and orange juice in the UA lounge as well as the bacon. I really like the coffee and I’m hard to please. The pictures don’t do it justice, it’s classy and the design has hints of the Mad Men era.

          In comparison the SQ T2 lounge is the only SQ lounge I’ve ever been underwhelmed by. In that case I think the space is just too small and the shape hard to work with. The United lounge was really full and quite noisy when I was there but somehow it added to the atmosphere. I have no flights out of T2 for a short while and I’d really like to go back soon.

    • Whilst good, I don’t consider the Qantas First lounges as exceptional, other than perhaps the food as it’s provided by a restaurant franchise, but I’ve always had to wait to be seated. The remainder of the lounge areas, at least in Sydney, are always busy, often noisy, and nothing extraordinary in terms of offer.

      • I haven’t been to the Sydney one, but the Melbourne QF F lounge, although small, seems about right for size – I’ve never had to wait more than a minute to be seated and found service to be quick and efficient. The highlight on my last trip was definitely the free massage – it lasted about 25 min and was superb, a real step up from the T5 BA spa! 🙂

  2. t3 American Airlines admirals club lounge has free drinks, but no champagne! The food offer was basically a build your burger, salad , soup or failing that some limited cold meats and cheese. The upside was a pic and mix arrangement with a paper bag ..limiting you to fill a bag for the flight!

    So rob, I’m guessing you rank this above BA galleries? If its second?

    • Actually, AA T3 Business lounge has buffet breakfast in the morning, so better than BA Galleries Bacon Sandwich offered.

      AA always seemed to have trouble working out difference between champagne and sparkling wine though…

      I assume the best lounge in Heathrow would be Virgin Clubhouse. Full bar. Outside area. Sit down three course meal. Buffet as well. Jacuzzi. Pool table. Shoe shine. Plus spa treatments.

    • No 1 Traveller in T3 is better than the BA and AA lounges in my view.

  3. Alan Wan says:

    IMO the Qatar lounge at T4 is the best Business lounge at LHR….. Or is shoulder it be considered a 1st/Biz lounge?

    • I didn’t count the Qatar lounge because it is for ticketed J passengers only. Anyone with status but an economy ticket gets turned away. You also cannot use it if you are on any other oneworld flight.

  4. The plaza premium T2 is also an excellent lounge.

    I’ll be sampling the etihad T4 lounge this weekend, will take some piccys 🙂

    • Does the Plaza Premium at T2 still have a 2 free drinks limit? Thanks.

      • Will let you know on Friday (although unlikely my wife would allow me more than 2 drinks …..!)

        • Great thanks, will be there in a couple of weeks. For me its the other way round, I struggle to keep up with the missus 🙂

  5. I agree that the UA lounge is the 2nd best lounge – in T2! While it has the best bar, overall i do prefer the SQ lounge quite a bit (and of course at their bar you get a Singapore Sling;-).

    Especially i do not agree with Rob’s statement that ‘if you like food you’ll like the UA lounge’ as i find the food there not very exiting, with both SQ and LH lounges having clearly better options.

    • Alcohol is free in the united lounge in NY…i used it several times last year. Money does change hands but this is people tipping.

      The food offering in the US is the complete opposite of lhr…stale nuts and luke warm soup at best.

    • Food is down to personal taste – I was not hugely impressed by the SQ offering and neither were my kids. My one visit to the LH lounge was mid afternoon so not much food was about to judge.

  6. No-one’s mentioned the build-your-own taco bit in the US lounge – I like this a lot! – does this not exist any more or sth? For T2 lounge food I also quite like the panini bar in the AC lounge….

    (Plus the showers in the US are pretty great.)

  7. I did a lot of traveling to Istanbul for work three years ago. Practically lived there. Must say that the airport was not very nice. Crowded. Expensive. Not at all a place I would like to ‘hub’ at. The least fun bit were the queues – to pay for the visa, to get through immigration, to drop off luggage, to get through passport control, to xray luggage.

  8. On our flight to Seoul in October 2015 we did a ‘lounge crawl’ in T2B – UA, SQ and AC. And I have to admit that UA was a long way ahead of SQ or, let alone, AC lounge. Great cocktails, variety of food, less people, lots of ambience, vintage photos on the walls. I never though that I would praise anything American but this was a good pportunity to do so. What a contrast to crowded SQ lounge or AC one which served cheap Waitrose Essential (seriously, cap!) drinks…

  9. Is this worth a detour if likely to be flying from the main T2 in the evening with some time to kill or should I just stick with the Lufthansa lounge?

    • For definite.

    • Yes, if you’re not got kids or bags and can justify 10 minutes each way to walk it then definitely pop in.

      • Sitting in the T2 United lounge right now. Very civilised, good food choices and great bar. They just had to lower the giant window blinds as the sun was getting in people’s eyes. Perhaps 40 people here right now but sure it will fill up soon.

      • Excellent, I will only have a small backpack as only going for 1.5 days. 10 minute walk sounds nice, haven’t been in T2 since it was refurbished.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes but it’s a really long walk through the tunnel both ways and you’d better be fit.

  10. Having been in numerous lounges I have always been left underwhelmed, whether in business or first. For whatever reason, perhaps atmosphere, I really enjoy the Qantas lounge in SIN. Every other lounge I am not fussed about, the sight of platters of the same old sandwiches in the BA Business lounges is a bit pathetic and having to stop one of the already harassed waiters/cleaners to ask for a glass of champagne is annoying. A Weatherspoon’s customer will leave the airport pub better fed and watered than a premium guest of BA Galleries.

    • Can’t disagree with your statement at all.
      Even if you do bother to ask for champagne and get luke-warm glass of excuse for a drink – then you really wished you did not bother!

  11. Scott Wilson says:

    The United Lounge at T2 has a good ambience and the bar is good fun, and the highlight of the lounge. However, I find the buffet food very underwhelming, and can only be described as excellent in comparison to the dire offerings of most United lounges in the US. The Singapore Airlines lounge food is IMHO marginally better, and Air Canada’s lounge does have a panini machine (albeit with a fairly mundane choice). Of course the First Class lounges for United and Singapore are both superior, but no the United Club is NOT the best business lounge at LHR. Virgin Clubhouse easily beats it.

  12. The LH lounge, if departing from the main terminal, isn’t shabby at all. I was in there on Monday and used the Senator section. Alcohol may not be as good as the UA in 2B but the breakfast spread was excellent.

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