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I flew to Las Vegas today for a conference. Chicago is home for most of the year and O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is where I find myself most often. The airport offers four United Clubs℠ (near gates B6, B18, C10, and F9). The United Club℠ at C10 is the newest (my full review here) and it replaced the older one by Gate C16 (the space is being used to expand the Polaris® Lounge next door). The lounge at B6 has always been my favorite at ORD, but it’s clear that United is not investing at this time.
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 left and then take the escalators or elevator up a level to the United Club℠. When I visited, both the escalators and the elevator were out of service. I carried my bag up the escalator and back down when I left.
Anthony’s Take: When flying United domestically, I 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 B6 has always been my favorite, but it’s clear that United is investing as little as possible in the United Clubs℠ . Food offerings are minimal. The only hot item is mac & cheese (unless you count the two soups). The espresso machines were all out of service. It’s also annoying that you have to climb up and down the escalators when they’re both broken (like today). Other bloggers can sing United’s praises and turn a blind eye, but I did not find this lounge to be anything premium and is quite a bit behind what Delta offers in Terminal 5. ORD is a United hub and it is not one for Delta. The Delta Sky Club® is way better for food, drink, and overall atmosphere.
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.
The food in the United Clubs℠ was dramatically improving over the past few years. It seems that improvements have been abandoned and the offerings are being cut back again. United was working to keep up with what Delta is offering in the Sky Clubs®, but it seems like they might have given up. I visited during lunch and found a small selection of salad ingredients, two soups, mac & cheese, sandwiches, fruit, and a few desserts. There are two buffets in the lounge with identical offerings.
Mac & Cheese
There was also a grain salad. United is obsessed with grain salads and you’ll find them on many in-flight meal trays.
Minestrone and Chicken & Dumpling soups
Desserts include snack mix, brownies, and Oatmeal Raisin cookies.
Wrapped fruit was nearby.
There are two Coca-Cola Freestyle machines in the lounge near the two buffets. I wish they had ginger ale since I have to go to the bar when I want my go-to drink.
Water is available throughout the lounge.
As mentioned above, all three of the espresso machines were inoperable.
There is drip coffee in carafes nearby.
This is a large lounge with 17,435 square feet of space. There are lots of seating configurations throughout. When I visited, it wasn’t too crowded and there were many options.
The space is bright and airy. It’s aligned with the decor you’ll find in other newer United Clubs℠.
Departure Board & Agents
As you get off the escalators, you’ll find several desks with agents. The Departure board is down the hall towards the bar. I use the United app to check on my flight’s status when I’m traveling, but I often find myself staring at the board to look at the other departures from O’Hare and plan future trips.
United tried an experiment by blocking these desks for a while and having a QR code for an agent on demand. People must have hated it because the desks are back.
This United Club℠ offers free Wi-Fi, restrooms, and the food and beverages mentioned above. It also has three phone booths near the front buffet. I used one for a Zoom call during my visit. 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. The lounge seemed lackluster on this visit. Staff looked bored, food has been cut back again, and it just didn’t have the same vibe as the Delta Sky Club®.
The United Club℠ near Gate B6 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. When I fly 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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