Lounge Review: United Club℠ (ORD – Gate B18)

by Anthony Losanno
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On our way to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) we had a few minutes to head into the United Club℠ for a drink and something to eat before the flight. The lounge by B18 is my second favorite United Club℠ at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) because it is usually quiet. What it offers in space, it lacks in amenities and the food offerings here are rather bare bones.

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Access is granted for those with United Club℠ memberships, day passes from Chase co-branded credit cards or purchased for $59, Global Services® members, United passengers with Gold or higher status traveling internationally, international business or first-class passengers traveling on a Star Alliance flight, and Star Alliance Gold members regardless of class flown. You can find more information about these lounges and their access rules here. When you enter the lounge, you need to check in at the desks to the right and then take the escalator down a level to the United Club℠.

Anthony’s Take: When flying United domestically, I usually make a point to stop by the United Clubs℠ to get some work done, relax, and have a snack or drink. The lounge near gate B18 has always been a quiet spot to work and relax, but it’s clear that United is still investing as little as possible in the United Clubs℠ . Food offerings are minimal and cheap. The only hot item on my visit was Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole (unless you count the two soups). Other bloggers can sing United’s praises and choose to turn a blind eye, but I did not find this lounge to be premium and the food offered continues to slip in both variety and quality.

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In the back of the lounge, you’ll find a long bar. There is a small variety of paid and complimentary beer, wine, and spirits here. The free offerings are pretty basic, but the paid selections are not too badly priced.

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Coca-Cola Freestyle (my only complaint with these machines is that they do not have ginger ale)

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An espresso machine is located at the end of the buffet.

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There is drip coffee in carafes nearby.

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The food in the United Clubs℠ was continuing to get better over the past few years. It seems those improvements have been abandoned and the offerings are now fairly limited. United was working to keep up with what Delta is offering in the Sky Clubs®, but it seems like they have given up and lost that battle. I visited during dinner and found a small selection of salad ingredients, two soups, Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole, sandwiches, wrapped whole fruit, chips and salsa, and a few desserts.

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Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole (or what was left of it). It was replaced during our visit.

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Salad ingredients

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Chicken Dumpling and Minestrone Soups

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Chips and salsa

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Wrapped fruit

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Brownies and cookies

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Seating & Decor

This is a spacious lounge with plenty of space. When I visited, it wasn’t too crowded and there were many seating options. The design is rather muted and in line with the refresh United did to many of its lounges serveral years ago.

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There are several desks at the base of the escalators with agents on hand to help with reservations and travel needs.

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Seating spreads throughout the entire L-shaped lounge.

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This United Club℠ offers free Wi-Fi, restrooms, and the food and beverages mentioned above. It also has two phone booths near the escalator. Like the other lounges at ORD (with the exception of Polaris), it doesn’t have showers or the barista bar you’ll find in EWR.

Overall Impression:

The United Club℠ near Gate B18 provides basic amenities like food, drinks, and Wi-Fi. It’s a shame that United is essentially going through the motions these days and not investing where it should in its lounges. When I am traveling with United, I’ll be back, but it’s a place to pass time instead of something to look forward to when flying.

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