- Full cocktail bar
- Ubiquitous, traveller-friendly power points
- Eight shower suites
- Quite a walk if you're flying from Pier A
- No 'dish of the day' or cooked-to-order food
- Private working rooms provide peace and quiet to get things done
Although the United Club at London Heathrow Terminal 2 was designed with US-bound travellers in mind, T2 is home to no less than 25 Star Alliance airlines, and if you're flying business class with any one of them, or have a shiny Star Alliance Gold card, you can choose to visit this lounge instead of the one your airline 'recommends'.
Armed with a full cocktail bar, an extensive range of working spaces for business travellers – including several private office-like rooms – and fast WiFi, Australian Business Traveller puts the London United Club through its paces.
Location & Impressions
After passing through security at Heathrow – where notably, there's no physical passport control for outbound international flights – make your way towards Terminal 2's B pier, which is about 10-15 minutes on foot from the check-in area.
There's signage pointing you in the direction of the United Club, which has a clear entrance along the departure concourse...
... and can be accessed by taking the dedicated lift upstairs. If you're having trouble finding the place and are consulting any fixed airport maps, United's lounge is also categorised as "airline lounge B1", should that assist:
Once inside, you'll find a bright space with a great modern design – a stark difference to many of the older United Clubs around the United States, given this lounge opened just a few years ago...
... but while there's plenty of present-day design, the space is also filled with aviation- and travel-themed artwork from the years gone by, which you may enjoy perusing:
The Heathrow United Club opens from 5am until 10pm daily, catering for all Star Alliance flights – although unless your flight is departing from the B pier, it's a long walk here and back!
- Business class and first class passengers of United and other Star Alliance airlines departing from Heathrow T2, a line-up that currently includes Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways and Turkish 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 entry pass for US$59 (A$81) per person at reception or via the United mobile app ahead of their arrival, and other guests with complimentary one-time United Club passes, as offered with various US credit cards.
Next door to the United Club, there's also a separate United Global First Lounge exclusively for United Polaris first class, other Star Alliance first class and VIP-level passengers such as United Global Services members – if that's you, the staff at reception will direct you down the almost-hidden corridor and into this tranquil, London-themed space:
AusBT review: United Global First Lounge, London Heathrow
On the food front, everything here comes from the buffet. You'll find fresh fruits, meats, sandwiches, wraps, cheeses and desserts...
... various biscuits, slices, cookies and rolls...
... a variety of salads...
... with croutons, crackers, condiments and dressings nearby...
... and as we'd expect of a proper international lounge, a variety of hot food also, including make-your-own tacos with a mix of ingredients...
... through to favourites like spring rolls, next to healthier veges, stir-fried noodles and a dal curry:
You'll find non-alcoholic drinks towards this enclosure at the far corner of the lounge...
... which wraps around to place a coffee machine out of the way – and around the corner from the tea-making station, to minimise queues during busy morning periods...
... joined by another coffee machine inside that space, which people often forget about, so could be your ticket to a faster cuppa:
For something stronger, there's a full bar with a beverage list, including three pages dedicated to cocktails...
... so I went with the 'New Yorker No. 1', blending bourbon, rosemary, orange and lemon:
While there's no Champagne, you can choose between three sparklings: a Prosecco Brut, a French white sparkling and a French Rosé:
As is increasingly common in international business class lounges, absent here is a 'dish of the day' or anything cooked to order, although that's expected to change for business class passengers when United opens its new Polaris lounge at Heathrow in 2019.
When there's work to do, you have a few options – the first being to set up at one of these communal working tables, some of which have historic artwork as a nice backdrop...
... and with a power strip here for each passenger, offering one UK-style outlet, a US-style plug and two USB charging ports for those extra devices, so you can top-up your entire travel kit without feeling like you're 'hogging' the plug:
For a seat without anybody being directly opposite, this long bench also proves a good place to work...
... although the ratio of power points to chairs here is a little less generous. You'll also find power over by the comfy seats, which can be spotted just above the bench surface here...
For serious or sensitive work, or just some extra privacy, wander towards the business area where you'll find a number of private rooms with closing doors...
... inside, offering a quiet place to set up and get things done:
The WiFi network here is shared with the United Global First Lounge next door. I measured download speeds of 35-55Mbps, and uploads of 33-71Mbps, which is excellent for an airport lounge.
With time to spare, you'll find a range of reading material available...
... and to escape the hustle and bustle in the 'main' lounge space, there's a circular quiet nook tucked away towards the rear, directly behind the curved beverage walls pictured earlier, with plenty of seating and a TV:
Otherwise, take your pick of the seats throughout the lounge, some of which face the windows towards the airport tarmac, but almost all of which provide access to power:
Eight shower suites are available here too, with complimentary toiletries, and a garment pressing/steaming service.
All things considered, this is one of the best United Club lounges that the airline has, and is leaps and bounds ahead of any United Club I've previously visited Stateside.
It'll be interesting to see how United's London lounges stack up in 2019 when the great Global First Lounge closes down and a new United Polaris Lounge opens up for business class passengers, however.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to London as a guest of Star Alliance.