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:
- Part 1: British Airways Galleries Lounge Washington-Dulles
- Part 2: Lufthansa Senator/Business Lounges Washington-Dulles
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).
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.
There were snacks placed by the TVs…
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.
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.
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.
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