United Club at LAX Review Warning
In this article we will be reviewing the United Club located in terminal 7 at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). As a frequent United Airline traveler, especially flying Business Class or First Class on international flights, I have grown to truly appreciate the use of the United Club or other Star Alliance partner airport lounges at various airports around the world. For a comparison review be sure to see our review of the Amex Centurion Lounge review!
Whether you are a business traveler or traveling with kids on a family vacation it’s really nice to have a place where you can go without all the busyness and noise of a crowded terminal. There is a sense of relaxation when you have a nice comfortable chair to sit in, high speed Wi-Fi, free drinks, free food, magazines and newspapers to read. Don’t forget how it is the nice to have a clean restroom too! For family travel many lounges also tote a kids’ room or a play area. Business travelers typically have access to a room with printers, copiers, and fax machines, etc. The best part of taking advantage of an airport member lounge is it just gives you that VIP feel and experience.
Recently while flying First/Business on United Airlines, from Austin, TX (AUS) to Bangkok (BKK), during a family vacation, we had a 3+ hour layover at LAX. United Airlines finds it home at LAX in terminal 7. Now to be honest United Airlines representatives went out of their way to provide exceptional customer service. We were delayed out of Austin and arrived at LAX an hour late. Now this didn’t matter to us much since we already still had over 3+ hours of layover before boarding our next leg of our family travel from LAX to Tokyo (NRT). Still when we walked off the plane in terminal 6 at LAX there was a United Airlines representative right outside the plane door with and tablet with our name on it. I immediately thought something was wrong because we weren’t expected to be greeted on the jet way. The representative asked us to follow her out the door and down to the tarmac where a silver Mercedes was waiting to usher us over the the United Club lounge over at Terminal 7!Traveling with a family on a full day of travel with kids it sure was nice to get some extra attention Click To Tweet
So far we were impressed and our expectations of the United Club was raising. Since when does an airline usher your family across the tarmac in a Mercedes to get you to their lounge faster. We were escorted to a backstage elevator that took us directly to the United Club Lounge. The representative had already had us all checked in and ready to go. Traveling with a family on a full day of travel with kids it sure was nice to get some extra attention. But that is where it all ended and ended in a hard way.
Unfortunately, the United Club at LAX happens to be ranked the worst in the whole airport by many review sites and rightfully so. It is in horrible condition, with extremely dirty and worn furniture. There is no food service to order off a menu or have food brought in. They do have a somewhat of a snack buffet table that was not worthy of even considering. They had oatmeal, which was slopped all over the counter, hard boiled eggs that looked so dry that they had to have been out for hours or possibly even from the day before, and bread rolls that were hard as a hockey puck, some granola and some fruit that looked like it came from a can. It was so bad that the the typical Chex Mix snack that you commonly find in airport lounges, was hidden behind the bar and you had to ask for some in order to get any. The bar only offers extremely cheap house liquor and beer for free and the top shelf for a hefty cost isn’t that top shelf by any means.
Not to complain we found some seats near the window, where the lounge does have a nice view of the tarmac and the airplanes parked at their gates. The first thing you normally do once you park yourself at your seat in an airline lounge is to plug your phone and other electronic devices in to get all charged up for the next flight. Yet in this lounge there were none. Each set of seat had one outlet but none were working. You had to go to special seats along the wall or on a uncomfortable work bench style table in the center of the room to find any functional outlets. Although more comfortable than the seats typically found at an airport gate we quickly noticed in the United Club the seats were worn and stained. Who knows how long it had been since they have been cleaned or even at all.
Then things got worse when our eyes glanced up to see missing ceiling tiles and huge water stains that look like they have been there since the seventies. I have to scratch my head here and wonder is it that hard to spend $20 for some new ceiling tiles to make the place look a little more acceptable? The carpeting was so bad we were afraid to put our bags down on it not knowing what bacteria would be transferred. It is obvious that this lounge has been there for way to long without a remodel or even a refreshing in decades. But you would think that one of the largest airlines would take better care of their lounge for their “Loyalty” Frequent Flyers Customers and clients that pay top dollar for First Class international flights to have a better experience at one of the major US airports like LAX. It seemed as if the staff there were tired of having to apologize for it and have lost all their pride working the lounge as well.
In all fairness United is in the process of building a new lounge at LAX that should be open later this year or early 2017. Trust us it is much needed and I’m sure it will be a warm welcome to United Airline customers. Still it’s hard to understand how we had such great service on our flights and had local airport representatives go over the top to get us over to the lounge, yet only to be highly disappointed in the lounge itself. We would have to recommend that if you have access to any other lounge from a competing airline use it. You may even be better off just enjoying your gate at LAX waiting for your United Airline flight that wasting any time in a lounge that will truly disappoint. If you are an Amex card holder be sure to go out of your way to visit one of the Amex Centurion Lounges where they are available. You won’t be disappointed. We have high hopes for the new united Club in LAX to open and hope it will excide our expectations which can’t be that hard from what they offer now!