United: no plans for new airport lounges in Sydney, Melbourne

By Chris Chamberlin, October 31 2014

United Airlines may be flying a shiny new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Melbourne to Los Angeles, but don't expect a shiny new lounge to go with it.

The airline says it has no plans to revamp its current lounge at Melbourne airport to the updated United Club concept now appearing overseas.

Dave Hilfman, United’s SVP Global Sales told Australian Business Traveller that “we’re always looking to update our facilities”, but that United doesn’t have “any current plans to do that (in Melbourne)”.

As for Sydney, travellers on United's flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco will forge on without a United lounge altogether.

“In Sydney we choose to use the Air New Zealand lounge, because they have a wonderful facility that they’re just about to upgrade,” United’s Director Australia and New Zealand Alison Espley told Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of the launch of United's new direct Los Angeles-Melbourne route.

That upgrade will include an all-new design that takes its cues from the recently-opened Star Alliance lounge in Los Angeles’ Tom Bradley International Terminal, with the renovated Sydney lounge planned for completion by early next year.

Air New Zealand's Star Alliance lounge at LAX
Air New Zealand's Star Alliance lounge at LAX

However, United's business and first class flyers, Star Alliance Gold travellers and United Club members can also visit Singapore Airlines' new SilverKris lounge as an alternative to AirNZ's Koru Club.

Chris Chamberlin travelled to Melbourne as a guest of United Airlines.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 213

I didn't even know UA had a Melb lounge.... seems like overkill for what was only 1 tag flight per day until this week

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

It is overkill, especially given that most eligible pax probably choose the (vastly superior) NZ lounge across the hallway.

The only reason anyone would go to the UA lounge is if they were flying business class on UA and didn't have *A status. And those few pax will no doubt rue the existence of the UA lounge, because if it didn't exist then no doubt UA would have a contract to accommodate them in the NZ lounge. 

Anyway, I have no idea why it exists but I assume it is somehow living on borrowed time. (Also, isn't it still only one flight a day? Except on a smaller plane?)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

At least United are consistent.....Consistently bad.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 569

The downstairs lounges in MEL of UA, QF, CX and everyone else are all pretty gloomy.  They have little or no natural light and no views.  They are all depressing and it is better to stay in the general pax area which has plenty of light and movement.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 246

Why spend the extra money, just build one Star Alliance lounge as prestige as their signature ones in both major cities...

Would save the airlines a whole heaps of expenditure.

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

United in Melbourne also accepts Priority pass cards so its more than United Customers


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