Look Inside New United Club in Houston Terminal C

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In recent years traditional US based airline lounges had gotten a bit….stale. The hip cousin on the scene was the Amex Centurion Lounge that had nicer seating, a more updated design, better complimentary food and drinks, and frankly was a much more preferable spot to hang out between flights than a stuffy old non-renovated airline lounge with its chex mix, water, and old chairs that literally had holes in them because they were so past their prime.

United Club chair in Narita in 2014

However, as folks figured this out and flocked to the Centurion and other third-party lounges, the traditional airline lounges were simultaneously undergoing renovations and becoming more preferable in the sense that they often weren’t as over-crowded during peak travel times. A couple years ago United upped their lounge food offerings, Delta has a new design for their clubs, etc.

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I knew that United was also working towards a new design in their United Clubs, but until recently I hadn’t seen a really new one in person. However, I was just able to visit the new United Club in Houston’s Terminal C near Gate C1 that just opened in May 2017, and it is a fresh change indeed.

Houston Terminal C United Club

This club is open daily from 5:30AM – 9:00PM and was relatively empty on our early Saturday morning visit. Then entry area was a cool blue with some chairs under the fancy light fixtures.

Once inside the heart of the club, there are lots of different types of seats and seating areas, though sadly no family rooms at this location. They did, however, have a couple of phone rooms so you can quietly make calls.

In the absence of a dedicated space for families, we just created our own family nook with a great view of the planes.

The breakfast offerings were very basic, but totally adequate for a pre-flight fill-up consisting largely of fruit and carbs.

I was excited to see the fancy Coke machine! I’m not a huge soda drinker, but for those who are, I love that you no longer have to go to the bartender just to get a Coke!

Speaking of the bar, it was very nice and reminded me of the design of the United Club in Boston.

For those curious, the complimentary alcoholic drinks include: House white (Camelot), House red (Camelot), Prosecco (Mionetto), Vodka (Smirnoff), Gin (Beefeater), Rum (Don Q), Whiskey (Evan Williams Black Label), Scotch (Cutty Sark), Budweiser, and Coors Light. Other beers like Stella Artois, Blue Moon Belgian White, Sam Adams, and others were available for $5. More premium liquors and drinks were available starting at $7.

While perhaps not as exciting as a complimentary drink, I will add that the bathrooms got a thumbs up from me. Truthfully, nicer and emptier bathrooms than in the terminal where I can take easily the kids are one of my favorite features of an airline lounge.

Great changing area – just bring your own changing pad

I’m really happy to see this new United Club in Houston and can’t wait to see the new United Polaris lounge that is expected to open in Houston’s Terminal E Club within the next year.

Have you gotten a chance to visit one of the new United Clubs? If so, what do you think?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. From the airline that brought us drag-gate and “United Basic Economy”. Is it ok to fly them now? They can’t put lipstick on their pig anymore. Why not fly Southwest, Jetblue, and other airlines that take better care of their customers whenever possible?

    • David, I still fly them if/when price and schedule beat everyone else…which in North Houston happens regularly.

  2. Great review. I’ll be trying out myself later this week. But it’s location is ……..remote. The new c terminal (Hayes c1-12 right?) is much overdue, but it’s such a darn walk from all other c gates, and the overhead train doesn’t stop anywhere close. What were they thinking in the planning? New station soon?
    Any comparisons or comments on the food fayre available compared to the newest clubs in ORD? I hear Ord is club is superior, why is that?

    • Ken, I didn’t think it was a bad location, but then again I had a flight going out of a gate nearby. It’s not far from the train, its just that I normally turn left at that security checkpoint to head towards E or the other C gates and this time I turned right. I haven’t yet been to the ORD new clubs, but I will say that United’s site says they have hot breakfast, and the only thing hot I saw was oatmeal (unless you heat your own bread).

  3. Last summer visited the United Club at London Heathrow, and was very surprised what a nice lounge it was. Nicest legacy lounge I’ve visited to date. The LAX United Club is also very enjoyable.

    The Delta Sky Club in SEA is fantastic as well. The new B in Atlanta and JFK are also grear Sky Clubs. Those are at least five other locations were the quality of a legacy lounge is excellent.

    Looking forward to checking out this Houston United Club.

  4. Would you visit this or the centurion lounge in Houston? We have a four hour layover en route to Liberia this Sunday. However I am sure we would have time to do both.

    • Centurion for sure if only doing one. I mean this one is an improvement for UC, but Centurion has the much better food and bev options.

  5. While all the domestic lounges are pretty similar and consistent with their offerings, the quality of the items, such as fruit, can vary. For example, I’ve seen/had overripe inedible fresh fruit in Houston but better quality ones in LA/SF. Also, they can skimp on this-instead of fresh berries, notice (in your pic) the CANNED peaches and mandarin oranges. Very cheap. Hot breakfast does indeed mean oatmeal/cream of wheat/porridge….and a toaster for bread.

    But the most annoying thing they have rolled out system wide (domestically) is the change-out time from breakfast to lunch at 10:00. It used to be 11…then some did it at 10:30. Now, at 10, they pull the breakfast bar and start bringing out cheese, crackers, soup and the veggie tray. I have complained at multiple club managers at multiple locations and nobody can give an explanation as to why they are doing it. They just say to give feedback to corporate…so one must/needs to do that online or call/write the United Club office.

  6. Interesting that you mentioned the Boston United Club. My son and I spent a good six hours there in October when our early morning flight back to LA was cancelled due to a lack of a replacement windshield wiper during a rain storm. The view of the tarmac was fantastic, though my then almost 14-year old son chose to curl up and sleep. The complimentary food selection was not great, but they only charged me for one day pass.

    Sad to see the picture of the Narita club and it’s torn furniture. I was there in 1997, 1998 (for the Olympics) and in 2000. It still had the new club smell from its pre-Olympics overhaul.

    I have yet to see the LAX club since its recent makeover. I hear it is really nice with an outdoor area great for plane spotting.

    • Glad you had a place to retreat to in Boston! The Narita Club was in bad shape, but that has been a few years, I’m sure they have revamped it since then. I’ll have to make a return visit at some point!

      • My son and I are both night owls, so getting us to BOS for the morning LAX non-stop from the outer suburbs where I grew up was a feat in itself. It was compounded by my wife having to return early for work. Ironically, we got to the airport early, and were both seated and ready for takeoff when they cancelled our flight. I’m really happy the United Club was such a nice place to wait most of the day.

        In an example of how elites get better treatment, they automatically gave me (a lifetime Gold) a reasonable routing through ORD and gave him (General Member) a long layover in IAH. (Our record locators had been split by an upgrade request on the outbound flight.) The Cranky Concierge guys got us on the same flight through ORD, but we wouldn’t be leaving until late afternoon, and my son had to sit way in the back by himself.

        Our automatic compensation for the cancelled flight was different too, based on elite status.

  7. so far I ve seen only bad united lounges. I will try the C lounge later.

    I am excited to checkout a new Senator Lounge Germany. most of them are really nice

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