First look: The newest United Club (PHOTOS)

The new United Club opened on Sunday, June 8 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

The new United Club opened on Sunday, June 8 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

United’s newest United Club opened last Sunday and TravelSkills was there with a camera! Check out the photos and deets on the new Club located at San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3, on the mezzanine level between boarding areas E (the new one) and F.

On opening day, United was offering free champagne and mimosas to guests (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

On opening day, United was offering free champagne and mimosas to guests (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

The 5,000 square foot, 103-seat club is temporary. It will be open for just 16 months while a newer, larger (5,500 sq ft, 130 seat), brighter (tarmac facing windows), swankier club (like the new one in London) is built on the main level closer to the brand new Boarding Area E. The new club is scheduled to open in 2015. “The new United Club will have everything the London club has except [the replica of] Big Ben,” said Nina Moore, United’s Senior Manager of Airport Lounges who was at SFO from Chicago for the opening.

By comparison, the current United Club on the Rotunda in boarding Area F is 18,000 square feet with 274 seats.

While the new space is modern, super clean and well appointed, the lack of windows gives it a somewhat claustrophobic feel. What alleviates that are the oversize vintage black and white photos strategically placed on walls throughout the space which help open it up.  There are power outlets (standard and USB) by every seat and the free wi-fi is good and fast. Clusters of modern “egg chairs” give it a Scandinavian feel.

When I was there at around 10 am on Sunday, the breakfast offerings were standard United Club: Bagels, cream cheese, donuts, yogurt, cereal, coffee, some fresh fruit. And to celebrate the opening on Sunday, free champagne or mimosas. There’s also a full bar area with cafe style tables. Bathrooms, but no showers.

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Checking in at the new United Club at SFO's T3 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Checking in at the new United Club at SFO’s T3 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

The new United Club color palette of gold, gray, white and putty on display (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

The new United Club color palette of gold, gray, white and putty on display (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Oversized vintage prints help open up the windowless space (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Oversized vintage prints help open up the windowless space (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Clusters of egg chairs lend a mod feel to the club (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Clusters of egg chairs lend a mod feel to the club (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

A big bright full service bar with lighting similar to that in the new London club (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

A big bright full service bar with lighting similar to that in the new London club (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Who gets to go to the United Club? Members, those on one-time $50 day passes, Priority Pass cardholders (but not including “Select” members who get cards as a credit card bennie), United MileagePlus Explorer Card holders, international first and business class passengers, Star Alliance Gold members and BusinessFirst passengers flying on United’s p.s. flights to New York-JFK. Also, United Star Gold member with valid Star Gold card and same day departing boarding pass in conjunction with Star operated INTERNATIONAL flight. Star Alliance Gold members with valid Star Gold member card and same day departing boarding card from SFO for Star operated flight. Here’s a link to help understand who gets in.

United is in the process of revamping and enhancing all its United Clubs. The latest to get the once over are at airports in Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Boston and London. 

Are you a United Club member? What do you think of its Clubs? 

–Chris McGinnis

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