Review: United Club At Chicago O’Hare

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Airline lounges are a great place to spend some time pre departure and get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal. However, these days we feel like they can be just as crowded making it difficult to find a seat or get a snack.

This was our experience the last time we visited a United Club at Newark Airport and was no different this time around. I was departing on a flight from Chicago to London in United Polaris and was disappointed to find out the United Polaris Lounge in Chicago was still closed. The last time I visited the United Polaris Lounge in Newark it was one of the best lounge experiences I have ever had.

I understand travel is not back to it’s peak so I understand clubs were not open but nowadays United is operating back to full force.

I made my way to the close by United Club and decided to spend some time before my flight to London.

United Club OHare Entrance
United Club OHare Desk

I arrived to the United Club and check in was pretty smooth. There was no one in line at the main desks but I could tell they were concerned about crowding given the sign that they are not accepting one time passes. This would upset me if I was planning to use one since it’s basically making that perk useless.

As soon as I got into the lounge I could instantly tell how crowded it was. A line was already forming at the bar and every seat was occupied from what I could tell.

United Club OHare
United Club Bar
United Club OHare Seating

I made my way over to the back of the lounge and decided to wait to see if a seat opened up. Luckily I found a single one right in the middle of the lounge and while not the best I definitely needed to sit for a bit.

United Club Seating

Now that I was settled in it was time to look at what I like best, the food.

Upon entering the agent acknowledged my United Polaris ticket and apologized that the dedicated lounge was closed. She ended up giving me these little cupcakes instead.

United Club OHare Cupcakes

The food in the lounge was set up in a small section with a feature of snacks, very few prewrapped hot items, and some cold sandwiches.

United Club OHare Buffet

The hot items included a hot dog and some sort of wrap I didn’t really look to closely at.

United Club OHare Food

On the cold side there were wraps, fruits, and sandwiches. Maybe I came at a wrong time since the supply was very low when I went to see it.

United Club OHare Food

Later in my stay they did restock a few and I find the benefit of these prewrapped containers to be easy to carry with you onto the flight.

United Club OHare Food

In terms of snacks they had a lot of chips selection but sadly no hot nacho cheese to go with it. This is something Delta does right giving you many more options throughout their lounge network.

United Club OHare Snacks

I decided to take some chips and select a sad container of overly smooth guacamole. I ended up eating 2 before I realized this wouldn’t cut it and shortly put them away.

United Club OHare Chips

I wanted to try some hot food and decided to go for the hot dog. It’s pretty hard to mess this one up and although I couldn’t find any toppings laid out I ate it anyway. This was actually not bad from what I remember unless it was my hunger overpowering my taste buds. Although it doesn’t look great the bun was steamed and the hot dog had decent flavor, especially for in a lounge.

United Club OHare Hot Dog

I decided to depart a bit earlier than I normally would given there wasn’t much to this lounge. On my way out you could see the bar line never went down so I decided to also skip the drinks this time around.

United Club OHare Bar Line

In my experience United Clubs seem to always be overcrowded and have a lackluster offering, excluding Polaris Lounges. There really is a world of difference between the two and I sometimes consider if the United Club is even worth visiting.

Maybe this is still reduced service due to the pandemic and things will get better. Or maybe this is the new normal? Only time can tell.

For now, in my opinion United holds the title for best US Business Class lounge and the most mediocre regular lounge. I’ll probably keep giving them a chance to redeem themselves and see how things shake out in the future.

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