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LHR Terminal 2 United Club, GS Lounge (was GFL) and Arrivals Lounge Discussion Thread

LHR Terminal 2 United Club, GS Lounge (was GFL) and Arrivals Lounge Discussion Thread

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related thread: Consolidated connection time/logistics at LHR

Comparative Review of Five Different Star Alliance Lounges at Heathrow T2

Arrival Lounge Hours 5 AM - 2 PM
United Club Hours 5 AM - 10 PM
Global First Class Lounge Hours 5 AM - 10 PM
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Old Jun 4, 14, 3:21 am
  #1  
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LHR Terminal 2 United Club, GS Lounge (was GFL) and Arrivals Lounge Discussion Thread

The new UA Club was excellent this morning. It's a large, light and airy space with picture windows the whole way along one side. It was full when I arrived ahead of the bank of flights leaving at 10-11, but was not too crowded. By the time I left at 10, it wss pretty well empty.

The breakfast offerings were similar to those at the old *A lounge but with a much improved bread and pastry selection. Newspapers etc were more scarce.

A teething issue of little to no wifi was being worked on by about three techies scratching their heads, so I should imagine that will be resolved.

Altogether, the teams at UA and T2 have done a wonderful job this morning. I'm very impressed.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 8:11 am
  #2  
 
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Sorry for a long post. Hope it's informational for some.

I'm at the LHR T2 UA club now. Not crowded, with only five flights to go today with light loads. As stated, vastly superior to UA U.S. domestic clubs.

It's as pictured in previous photos, but essentially a large horizontal box with a few dividers. The best feature is the window onto gate areas which runs the whole way along one wall with the bar in the middle.

The design is sort of 1950s' modernist (think Lever House in New York), with much more in common with BA's T5 clubs or Virgin's than other UA clubs. Much of the space resembles modern libraries with long tables with powerpoints (U.S., UK, and USB - not sure if Apple or generic nor amps), and rows of armchairs facing each other. There are some couches in the middle, some small round tables, and a pod at either end, at the entrance with food, and at the opposite end with a TV and some periodicals.

Remarkably, the mens rooms are half a dozen private cabins/rooms with their own settees, for changing I guess. No urinals. There are also half a dozen private telephone cabins. The showers look inviting.

The food is incomparable to U.S. UA clubs, though more limited than international competitors' - similar to a subset of BA's T5 offerings and a bit less than the LHR T1 Star Alliance lounge. Right now there is Thai green chicken curry (with just a bit of a bite), shepherd's pie, mint pea soup or butternut squash soup, good range of bread rolls. There are small fridges with mini cans/bottles of soda and water. Coffee machines are scattered about, as are Twinings tea bags. Alcohol is strictly bar service. There are some apples and oranges, no bananas. Very good fresh cookies at the back of the club.

The periodical selection is sadly more like other UA clubs than T1 *A. I found FT, International NYT, the Independent, and part of a USA Today. No other international or UK papers. The magazines are similar to U.S. club selection of odds and sods. No T1 lounge Economist, Time, Spectator, etc.

Wifi is working at about 1.3mb download speed.

Lots of smiling faces on Day One, which is very welcome.

The serious problem is that this is an astoundingly long way from the new T2 check-in desks. There has been some warning of this, but I am still amazed. The remote B satellite where UA's gates and the club are is the longest walk I know in Heathrow (or maybe any other airport), and down and up epic escalators (tip for the future: hunt out the lifts/elevators). the gates are the same UA used during T1 occupation, just connected to a different front-end as it were. But who would have thought the journey to those gates from the main terminal would be *longer* than in the T1 configuration? longer than the walk from the IAD train to the "temporary" Dulles satellite? At least as long as the underground walkways connecting Heathrow terminals 1 and 3, for example? And with the escalators and a long walk through the gargantuan core of the new T2 before descending to the satellite B connectors.

I was greatly looking forward to the new T2 (obviously an improvement on its original 1960s predecessor) but other than being shiny and sparkly it really disappoints me. One flyer in a Guardian article on today's opening called it cavernous and a little creepy. I'm afraid the inhuman scale of T5 has been strongly carried over to T2, with heights to the different levels perhaps meant to be cathedral-like but actually seeming (personal opinion) anti-human in scale, unnecessarily wasteful and far too much of a hurdle.

The new UA club is a plus, but it would have been better (for customers if not UA) to combine it with still-better *A peers, and the new T2 instead of cementing my ties to UA and *A is going to make me think about LHR alternatives (probably T3's AA or Virgin).

Still glad for the smiles!
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Old Jun 4, 14, 8:18 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by JDS747 View Post
Besides the one in HKG, there are clubs in GRU, NRT, and MEL. GRU also offers hot and cold food. The decor and location can't match HKG though. From the pictures, the new club LHR looks to be really nice! Looking forward to checking it out soon.
I'm sure I've been to one in MEX also. Nothing special.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 8:41 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by GBman View Post
Sorry for a long post. Hope it's informational for some.

I'm at the LHR T2 UA club now. Not crowded, with only five flights to go today with light loads. As stated, vastly superior to UA U.S. domestic clubs.

It's as pictured in previous photos, but essentially a large horizontal box with a few dividers. The best feature is the window onto gate areas which runs the whole way along one wall with the bar in the middle.

The design is sort of 1950s' modernist (think Lever House in New York), with much more in common with BA's T5 clubs or Virgin's than other UA clubs. Much of the space resembles modern libraries with long tables with powerpoints (U.S., UK, and USB - not sure if Apple or generic nor amps), and rows of armchairs facing each other. There are some couches in the middle, some small round tables, and a pod at either end, at the entrance with food, and at the opposite end with a TV and some periodicals.

Remarkably, the mens rooms are half a dozen private cabins/rooms with their own settees, for changing I guess. No urinals. There are also half a dozen private telephone cabins. The showers look inviting.

The food is incomparable to U.S. UA clubs, though more limited than international competitors' - similar to a subset of BA's T5 offerings and a bit less than the LHR T1 Star Alliance lounge. Right now there is Thai green chicken curry (with just a bit of a bite), shepherd's pie, mint pea soup or butternut squash soup, good range of bread rolls. There are small fridges with mini cans/bottles of soda and water. Coffee machines are scattered about, as are Twinings tea bags. Alcohol is strictly bar service. There are some apples and oranges, no bananas. Very good fresh cookies at the back of the club.

The periodical selection is sadly more like other UA clubs than T1 *A. I found FT, International NYT, the Independent, and part of a USA Today. No other international or UK papers. The magazines are similar to U.S. club selection of odds and sods. No T1 lounge Economist, Time, Spectator, etc.

Wifi is working at about 1.3mb download speed.

Lots of smiling faces on Day One, which is very welcome.

The serious problem is that this is an astoundingly long way from the new T2 check-in desks. There has been some warning of this, but I am still amazed. The remote B satellite where UA's gates and the club are is the longest walk I know in Heathrow (or maybe any other airport), and down and up epic escalators (tip for the future: hunt out the lifts/elevators). the gates are the same UA used during T1 occupation, just connected to a different front-end as it were. But who would have thought the journey to those gates from the main terminal would be *longer* than in the T1 configuration? longer than the walk from the IAD train to the "temporary" Dulles satellite? At least as long as the underground walkways connecting Heathrow terminals 1 and 3, for example? And with the escalators and a long walk through the gargantuan core of the new T2 before descending to the satellite B connectors.

I was greatly looking forward to the new T2 (obviously an improvement on its original 1960s predecessor) but other than being shiny and sparkly it really disappoints me. One flyer in a Guardian article on today's opening called it cavernous and a little creepy. I'm afraid the inhuman scale of T5 has been strongly carried over to T2, with heights to the different levels perhaps meant to be cathedral-like but actually seeming (personal opinion) anti-human in scale, unnecessarily wasteful and far too much of a hurdle.

The new UA club is a plus, but it would have been better (for customers if not UA) to combine it with still-better *A peers, and the new T2 instead of cementing my ties to UA and *A is going to make me think about LHR alternatives (probably T3's AA or Virgin).

Still glad for the smiles!
Appreciate your extensive review, thanks! Will see for myself in a few days.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 8:49 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by GBman View Post
The new UA club is a plus, but it would have been better (for customers if not UA) to combine it with still-better *A peers, and the new T2 instead of cementing my ties to UA and *A is going to make me think about LHR alternatives (probably T3's AA or Virgin).
Would your opinion change once you have access to the (likely superior) LH, SQ, or AC clubs? Or is the overall painful transit just too much of a deal breaker...

I do remember the massive T5 escalators...good call on grabbing a lift.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 9:00 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Would your opinion change once you have access to the (likely superior) LH, SQ, or AC clubs? Or is the overall painful transit just too much of a deal breaker...

I do remember the massive T5 escalators...good call on grabbing a lift.
Actually, I don't think so. Unless at peak of UA's 17 daily LHR flights (and other*A flyers) the club gets too full, it is truly good enough - meant in a good way. If the other clubs surpass of course I'll use them if they aren't too full. The bigger question is just if the new terminal makes it too arduous to use LHR or at least T2.

P.S. they've got pastries too! Off to my plane....
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Old Jun 4, 14, 9:00 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by GBman View Post
..Sorry for a long post. Hope it's informational for some..
Thank you for the excellent review!
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Old Jun 4, 14, 9:06 am
  #8  
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The news of the long walk is depressing. I can't imagine it being longer than it previously was.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 9:17 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by GBman View Post
Sorry for a long post. Hope it's informational for some.
Thanks very much for this extensive review!

Amazed that they actually managed to make the walk worse.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 2:07 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi everyone,

To clarify the questions around arrivals facilities at the new LHR T2—yes, we will have an arrivals lounge once the move is complete, welcoming customers in our premium cabins, and Global Services members. We’ll have more details to share about our new lounge facilities once the opening draws nearer.

Aaron Goldberg
Sr. Manager - Customer Experience Planning
United Airlines
Is there any new info on an arrivals lounge? I've never flown into LHR, but I've got an award flight in Business First from ORD to LHR coming up mid-August. The flight arrives at 5:55 a.m., so I want to grab a shower if I can.

I'm completely unfamiliar with Heathrow and how the terminals and security is set up there. Any advice?
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Old Jun 4, 14, 2:47 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by GertieGo View Post
Is there any new info on an arrivals lounge? I've never flown into LHR, but I've got an award flight in Business First from ORD to LHR coming up mid-August. The flight arrives at 5:55 a.m., so I want to grab a shower if I can.

I'm completely unfamiliar with Heathrow and how the terminals and security is set up there. Any advice?
Arrivals Lounge is visible/adjacent to arrivals hall, accessible to folks arriving in BF and GF.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 5:42 pm
  #12  
 
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Sorry I originally posted this on another page....to tag on to GBman post#98:

At the moment UA is the only carrier operating out of T2. The departure lounge is spacious with an interesting variety of shops and places to eat for all budgets (Yo sushi, Giraffe, Eat, Leon). Personally, I like the wide open space of the main departure lounge....I'll take that any day over a claustrophobic "intimate" terminal.

It is a bit of a walk from the main DF area to the UA gates (one elevator, 3 moving walkways, 2 escalators)....but take the time to see the United Club and the Global First Lounge (another elevator up) located at B1. Both have a buffet but the GFL has a la carte breakfast/lunch/dinner option. You can order a Full English Breakfast, Eggs Benedict w/ turkey or smoked salmon, Pancakes....Thai green chicken curry; sweet potato, butternut & goat's cheese tart; hot topped chef's salad; beetroot/apple/watercress salad w/ brie; minted pea&chili soup; butternut squash soup.
You may choose to have table service nearly anywhere in the GF lounge (you may not want to do this in the sound proof office rooms). There are 4 dedicated chefs for the GFL and I was assured that a chef will always be on site whenever the GFL is available.

The shower facilities are accessible through the United Club....the private shower/bathroom is large and there is a small valet closet located by the sink. Hang your clothes in the valet closet, flip the switch to turn on the red light and then close the door....after your shower/refresh....look through the portal to see if the light has turned blue, that will indicate your clothes have been returned to you freshly pressed.

Only critique: the locks for the bathroom are rather low (below door handle--so if you are tall, take a deep knee bend) and unless you close the lid on the toilet, you won't find the button to flush. Toilets in the GF lounge are marked male/female but they are identical to each other.
BTW, the sound-proof rooms: 2 in GF lounge, I believe 5-7 in UC.
Baby changing facilities only located in disabled bathrooms.

Cool factor: Check out the Big Ben clock face.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 7:32 pm
  #13  
 
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Photos...

Chris McGinnis has some photos from the opening - http://travelskills.com/2014/06/04/f...ondon-lounges/

Scroll down to the "Slideshow" link to see all of the photos.
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Old Jun 4, 14, 8:12 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by kirkwoodj View Post
Arrivals Lounge is visible/adjacent to arrivals hall, accessible to folks arriving in BF and GF.
Thank you, kirkwoodj!
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Old Jun 4, 14, 8:25 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by GBman View Post
The new UA club is a plus, but it would have been better (for customers if not UA) to combine it with still-better *A peers, and the new T2 instead of cementing my ties to UA and *A is going to make me think about LHR alternatives (probably T3's AA or Virgin).
Thanks for the detailed review, very helpful.

I guess the good news is at least the UC will be closer to the gates than the prior set up in T1.

Seems that the LHR powers-that-be think that serious passenger inconveniences ought to be part of the air travel experience.
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