China - Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)
- Fast WiFi, when there's work to do (or movies to download) before take-off
- While some seats provide access to power, many do not
- The expansive views provide an iconic backdrop that's unique to Hong Kong Airport
Star Alliance travellers from Hong Kong Airport have two main lounges to choose from – Singapore Airlines' SilverKris lounge, and this, the United Club.
United's offering certainly isn't as luxe as that Singapore space, but with a location further away from passport control, United could be the more convenient lounge for some.
Editor's note: At the time of writing, this lounge is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Visits for this review took place prior to COVID-19, although every effort has been made to provide the most up-to-date information.
Location & Impressions
The United Club resides near gate 60 at Hong Kong Airport, near the first stop on the 'people mover' train.
Just take the escalator upstairs to the lounges, and follow the signs to the United Club.
Its footprint sits right next to the AMEX Centurion Lounge – which you can see from inside the United Club – although the entrances to each lounge are some way apart.
Given its location in the terminal, the United Club is light and bright, with high ceilings and a good sense of space.
Positioned one level above the departure concourse, you're not quite as insulated from the airport sounds and announcements as in the Singapore Airlines lounge.
However, the view you'll enjoy from the United Club certainly makes up for that.
Away from the windows, the space is filled with a variety of seats – many catering to pairs and groups travelling together.
Due to international travel restrictions, the United Club sits temporarily closed. If you're flying from Hong Kong, check with United for the latest updates.
The United Club at Hong Kong Airport normally welcomes:
- Business class and first class passengers of United and other Star Alliance airlines.
- United Premier Gold, Platinum, 1K and Global Services members prior to United and Star Alliance flights.
- Other Star Alliance Gold members, along with United Club and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club (Worldwide) members prior to Star Alliance flights.
- Paying guests who can purchase a one-time pass for US$59 (A$81) per person at reception or via the United app ahead of their arrival, and other guests with complimentary one-time United Club passes, as offered with various US credit cards.
The United Club offers buffet dining tailored to the time of day.
In the mornings, your first stop is likely to be the coffee machine: dispensing Illy brews, as you'd find aboard United.
Conveniently nearby, cereals stand ready for a light morning bite.
Joining those are often a range of whole and sliced fruits, meats, and yoghurts.
In terms of hot food, this mid-morning stop found noodles, baked beans, hash browns and scrambled eggs, with tomato sauce on the side.
Steamed buns were also kept ready and waiting.
The buffet continues with a selection of pastries and breads.
For travellers who've already enjoyed breakfast at their hotel, a salad station serves an early lunch.
In the beverage department, juice, iced tea, and fruit-infused water are at-hand.
When your journey calls for something stronger, a selection of spirits are at your disposal.
A separate "cocktail masterclass" station provides instructions on how to make seasonal cocktails, such as a Moscow Mule.
You'll also find a range of beers in the fridge, and wine by the bottle.
In terms of seating, there's a dining room near the buffet counters where you can enjoy your meal.
Failing that, most seats throughout the space provide a cocktail table for drinks and snacks.
There are plenty of options for getting work done here, with some of the best seats being along the railing's edge, overlooking the departure concourse.
Elsewhere throughout the space, many seats suit casual tasks like sending a few quick emails or keeping your gadgets recharged.
That's courtesy of international-style AC power outlets at these locations, along with powered USB-A jacks.
When there's serious work to be done, a dedicated business centre provides a trio of spaces with desk-level power, and a table for any pre-departure meetings.
However, the atmosphere in this room isn't much different to a dull office, so many travellers may prefer to work from elsewhere.
WiFi speeds here are great, with downloads hitting 87Mbps and uploads reaching 73Mbps during this visit.
When you're loafing in the lounge, enjoy your pick of the seats.
Some provide convenient access to power – just look for the lamps, if that's what you need.
Prior to COVID-19, the lounge stocked a variety of reading material including some English-language titles, although restrictions may impact this when the United Club returns.
Still, the best part of this lounge has to be the view over the iconic Hong Kong Airport terminal, the city's well-known mountains, and what's normally a sea of Cathay Pacific planes, being its home hub.
All things considered, the United Club in Hong Kong ticks many of the boxes for business travellers on paper, but doesn't have the distinct 'premium' feel of Singapore Airlines' lounge at the same airport.
Given that most travellers who can access the United Club also enjoy entry into the SilverKris lounge, we'd suggest aiming for the latter, if it's open for your departure.
However, only the United Club has views and natural light, which may swing the balance into United's favour for some daytime travellers.
Also reviewed: Plaza Premium First lounge, Hong Kong
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Hong Kong as a guest of EVA Air, a Star Alliance partner of United Airlines.