This is our review of the United Club lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2.
It is part of our collection of UK airport lounge reviews. You can see our full list of UK airport lounge reviews here.
You can use this lounge if you have a qualifying flight ticket for any Star Alliance carrier operating from Terminal 2, so this review should be of interest even if United is not currently part of your travel plans.
The United Club is just one of a handful of international Club lounges offered by United, with the others being in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Mexico City.
With 23 daily departures from Heathrow, it makes sense to have one here. I believe United Airlines operates the most flights to London of any US carrier; both Delta and American rely on their joint venture partners Virgin Atlantic and BA respectively to operate the lions share of transatlantic routes.
The article is the first part of a United Airlines series which will run over the next week or so, at roughly one article every two days. We’ll be looking at their Polaris business class and premium economy product as well as a number of lounges.
The trip was kindly arranged for us by United Airlines but HfP paid for all of its other costs.
I was on my way to San Francisco on the first of United’s three daily departures to the city. This is one of the earliest flights of the day, departing at 10:30.
This isn’t your normal United Club
Before I start, it is worth taking a quick look at what a United Club is, as the US airline lounge system is a bit different to that in other countries.
This is because the US airlines have a two-tier lounge system. ‘Club’ lounges are mass market lounges that are widely accessible through credit card perks, subscriptions and other benefits packages. You rarely need status or a business class ticket to get in.
Because access is easy, the offering is a bit simpler and you usually end up paying extra for alcohol and better food options.
Complementing United Clubs are six United Polaris lounges. These are more premium and limited to passengers who are flying Polaris on international business class tickets. They often feature a la carte dining rooms and a larger selection of free drinks.
Bizarrely, the United Club in London does not conform to this structure. It is more premium than the average domestic United Club but not quite as premium as United’s Polaris lounges. In other words, food and drinks are free but you won’t get a la carte dining. It is also open to anyone with access to United Clubs, rather than just those flying in Polaris business class.
If you think this doesn’t make much sense, that’s because it doesn’t!
Who gets access to the London United Club lounge?
As mentioned above, the access eligibility for the United Club is expansive. You can get into the United Club at Heathrow if any of the following apply:
- You are flying in business or First Class on United Airlines or another Star Alliance airline
- You are Star Alliance Gold and are flying on a Star Alliance airline
- You have United Club membership
- You have a United Club pass
- Active members of the US military flying United Airlines
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership flying on a Star Alliance airline
- Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum and VIP members flying on United Airlines
Where is the United Club at Heathrow Terminal 2?
The United Club is in the 2B satellite terminal at Heathrow’s Terminal 2.
That means it’s a bit of a walk from security, although as all United flights depart from 2B this is not a problem. You need to make the trek eventually, and once you are in the lounge you are close to your gate. It is probably about a 10 minute walk – simply follow the signs for B gates. Unlike Terminal 5, there is no shuttle train to the satellite terminal – you must go on foot.
Once you emerge in Terminal 2B from the concourse level turn right. The lounge entrance is just opposite Gate 46:
Take the lift or the stairs up and you are greeted with the United Club reception where they will scan your boarding pass and confirm your eligibility.
The lounge is open from 5am until 10pm daily.
Inside the United Club at Heathrow Terminal 2
The United Club is by far the largest of the lounges at Heathrow Terminal 2. The interior is largely a single space. You can get a sense of the scale here:
In the centre of the lounge you’ll find blue glass dividers with some interesting driftwood trees:
The blue glass feels a little noughties but on the whole the lounge is in very good condition
On either side of this little installation you’ll also see large high tables which are ideal for getting some work done:
At the window is a lonnnnng desk, as well as what is, apparently, Heathrow’s longest bar:
At one end of the lounge is a large oval room which houses the buffet, whilst at the other you’ll find the same space but with additional lounge seating:
The lounge also features a number of showers.
Food and drink in the United Club at Heathrow
Food is all self-serve in the United Club. It is a very good selection. In the mornings there is a breakfast service. You can choose from a range of pastries including a bagel wall:
For hot food, you have scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, beaked beans, hash browns and mushrooms:
There’s also a selection of cold cuts as well as cereals, fruit and yoghurt:
From lunchtime, the choice is a little different. The last time I was there over lunch, a few months ago, they had tacos, fajitas, dauphinoise potatoes, vegetable masala and pie on offer:
There is always an excellent selection of sandwiches too:
…. plus a handful of creative salads:
Soft drinks are self-serve throughout the lounge whilst alcohol is only available from the staffed bar.
Prosecco as well as various wines and spirits are available, and the bar staff can make mixed drinks and cocktails too.
In many ways, the United Club at Heathrow is a victim of its own success. The sheer amount of people who are eligible to use it means that, for most of the day, the lounge can be very busy. In fact, this is the first time I’ve seen it relatively quiet, and I imagine that’s only because I was on one of the first United Airlines flights of the day.
Nonetheless, it is a very good lounge with a good selection of food and drinks if Western food is more to your taste. (If it’s not, then the Singapore Airlines lounge next door may be your preference.)
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 unless you have a couple of hours to kill.
United did a good job here – check it out if you can.
Travelling from Heathrow Terminal 2? Here are your lounge options ….
At Heathrow’s Terminal 2 you currently have eight lounges to choose from.
Our overview of the best airline lounges at Heathrow Terminal 2 is here, or you can read individual reviews of all the lounges here:
- Aer Lingus Lounge review
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge review (Star Alliance)
- Lufthansa Business Lounge review (Star Alliance)
- Plaza Premium Lounge review
- Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge review (Star Alliance)
- Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge review (Star Alliance)
- United Club lounge review (Star Alliance)
- United Global Services Lounge review (Star Alliance)
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £24. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.