Trip Report & Review – United Global First Lounge Washington-Dulles…”Are You a Spy?”

With my next flight on United, I decided to actually stop by the United Global First Lounge after visiting both the BA Galleries Lounge and the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. United gets a pretty bad reputation for their lounges in the U.S., and I think there is some merit to that reputation, but read on to hear my experience…where I was essentially called a “spy” from another airline.

This is the second part in my latest series of reviews and reports on my trip to Asia in First Class. See also:

The entrance was easy to find and the frosted doors added some discreetness. The lounge was quiet but bigger than I thought it would be as there were only two flights leaving in the morning (each with less than 10 Global First seats).

DSC_2751

The woman at the reception desk was very nice when I checked in and told me the lounge should be quiet with only flights to Beijing and to Tokyo scheduled for departure. She scanned my boarding pass and off I went!

The lounge has ample seating and is divided into three main areas with two TVs at the ends. No floor to ceiling windows here—just strips of tall ones that provide a not-so-interesting view.

DSC_2752

DSC_2753

There were snacks placed by the TVs…

DSC_2756

DSC_2754

The buffet area was actually quite nice with both hot and cold options. I already ate plenty at the British Airways Galleries Lounge and the Lufthansa Senator Lounge, so I nibbled on some “satchels of chicken” (seriously, that’s what they were called), and had some some shrimp.

DSC_2757

DSC_2760

Unfortunately, I didn’t end up taking many pictures because as I was happily snapping away, the lounge agent walked up to me and said, “You cannot take pictures. You know, we have no way of knowing if you are a spy working for another airline.”

Spy?! Right…because if I were representing another airline and trying to scope out what the gold standard is for an international lounge, clearly I’d be visiting United’s Dulles lounge.

I wasn’t sure if she was joking but she had a pretty straight face and there really wasn’t much to see anyway, so I tucked my camera away. Here are the two pictures I was able to snap…the alcohol selection was pretty sad, though I appreciated that they had Hendricks gin.

DSC_2762

DSC_2761

Several aspects of the lounge felt like a cheap afterthought. The coffee cart with styrofoam cups, the nuts that were presented exactly how they would be served on the plane, the rollaway wine cart…it almost felt like they tried to stock the lounge as they were loading the catering supplies for a flight.

Overall, like I said, this is definitely a step up from your run of the mill United Club. As far as international first lounges go on a global scale, this is no doubt sub par.

…and no, I’m not a spy.

Need help planning your next award trip? Consider Juicy Miles for all your award booking needs.

United Trip Report related – SQ First Journey to Bali Begins…with UA 767-300. I’m Impressed!

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. I’ve been to most of them and i’m pretty sure no airline in their right mind wants to replicate the GFL at IAD (or any UA GFL sans HKG and LHR).

    I would’ve laughed in the agent’s face if I was told that..

  2. Love the “Several aspects of the lounge felt like a cheap afterthought.” really sounds like the Global First service/product in the air

  3. This is the ideal space for a spy from another airline – To learn what not to ever serve or do. I am surprised they think United is the envy of the airline world. Perhaps we can start a fund to collect $ or miles to send that agent through the First class lounge in FRA, BKK, HKG or SYD ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *