Feast your eyes on United’s new London lounges (PHOTOS)

United's big bright new Club at London Heathrow Terminal 2. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDESHOW

United’s big bright new Club at London Heathrow Terminal 2. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDESHOW

United Airlines moves into London-Heathrow’s spiffy new Terminal 2 (The Queen’s Terminal) today and will open up its posh new business and first class lounges to passengers for the first time.

Last month United invited a small group of media folks (including TravelSkills!) to London for a preview of its brand new  United Global First Lounge and a United Club.

United is the first airline to operate from Terminal 2. Starting today it will finally bringing its 17 daily Heathrow flights – currently split between Terminals 1 and 4 – “under one roof.”  Later this year, the operations of United’s 22 Star Alliance partners at Heathrow will progressively move to Terminal 2, the alliance’s new home at the airport.

The airport is moving airlines in slowly at T2– it does not want a repeat of the fiasco that occurred when British Airways moved into the massive Terminal 5 overnight.

Conversation nook in United Club along with vintage photos (Chris McGinnis)

Conversation nook in United Club along with vintage photos (Chris McGinnis)

Together, the two lounges occupy 22,000 square feet of space near United’s gates in Terminal 2’s T2B satellite concourse. Both feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of runways, modern décor and walls adorned with vintage black and white photos from United’s archives. Like T5, the Queen’s Terminal is comprised of a main terminal (T2A) and a satellite (T2B) connected by an underground walkway.

 

Warm canapes from the elaborate United Club buffet (Chris McGinnis)

Warm canapes from the elaborate United Club buffet (Chris McGinnis)

Both the Club and the Lounge will offer elaborate meals (unlike anything you’ll see stateside), plenty of high end booze, wine and, of course speedy, free Wi-Fi.  It remains to be seen whether the quality and quantity of the spread laid out for the media will be the ongoing standard.

Nearly every seat in the joint is within a foot or two of a power outlet. And there are seven private “phone booths” set up with desks and glass doors for private conversations.  See slideshow

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Global First Lounge

The United Global First Lounge is for United or Star Alliance customers traveling in first class. The centerpiece of the lounge is an oversized Big Ben-style clock in the tea lounge section.  Other features include a buffet area, an intimate dining room, private phone booths and a quiet zone with loungers and privacy drapes.

United Club

The United Club is for United Club members, those traveling in business class and Star Alliance Gold members. It’s the first Club outside the U.S. to feature the new United Club design concept– which we’ll likely see at SFO when the new United Club opens by T3E in 2015.

The Club has a big bright and open layout with seating over 280 guests.  Against a backdrop of runways is a 25-seat full service bar, two buffet areas, a TV lounge and seven private phone booths. See slideshow

There are eight well-appointed and spacious shower suites

There are eight well-appointed and spacious shower suites

There are eight spacious shower suites with complimentary toiletries and valet service– put your suit in the valet door while showering, and an attendant will press it and have it ready by the time you dry off.

While United executives would not reveal a dollar figure for the cost of the London clubs, they did say that this is part of a $50 million investment in club renovations across the system.

United operates 17 flights per day from Heathrow to six US cities: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C./Dulles. See slideshow

United laid out quite a spread for the media– and we’ve yet to determine if food of the abundance and quality we saw (See slideshow) during the media visit will be the standard. Let us know what you see! Does the addition of lounges like this make you more likely to choose United when flying to London? Please leave your comments below. 

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Chris McGinnis

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  • Lives to Eat

    Too bad I’ll only have a two-hour layover on my trip home in October! However, it makes using my miles for Global First worthwhile!

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Good spot! United told me that the outlets pictured would be swapped out for universals. — chris

  • Nick

    I cannot believe that they have not used the single universal plugs that you find in hotels around the globe that cater for a multitude of different electrical connection plugs, in a single socket!.

  • Scott Willoughby

    Amazing photos! Any idea how crowded these will be? The new seating is awesome but a little moot if it’s all taken! Also 8 showers does not seem like a lot given the likely number of interested visitors.

    Will Global Services passengers traveling in Business Class have access to the Global First lounge like they do stateside?

    Finally what is the reason that United’s US lounges for international travelers (ie in SFO International terminal) have no decent food options and showers? Such a disparity and I’ve always wondered why.

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  • kirkwoodj

    Very well done, thanks very much!

  • Kacee

    Thanks for the report!

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