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First Look: United Opens New Club Lounge at Chicago O’Hare

The new lounge in Terminal 1 is twice the size as the one it replaces

by Lauren Smith

January 17, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of United Airlines

United Airlines has cut the ribbon on a new lounge for business and premium passengers at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (ORD), with locally inspired decor and enough seating to accommodate growing post-pandemic travel traffic.

The new United Club at O’Hare measures 17,000 square feet, double the size of the lounge it replaces. It boasts dedicated areas for dining, working, relaxing, and socializing, and seating for more than 400 guests, ranging from chairs to recliners and couches.

A dedicated wellness room is available for passengers looking to nurse, meditate, or pray. In addition, high-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge.

Photo: Courtesy of United Airlines

United says the furniture and decor have been sourced from Chicago to give flyers “a sense of place” and to “bridge an industrial and modern look.” The lounge also features artwork from local artists, including an abstract, boldly colored mural from Chicago artist Kate Lewis.

The new lounge is located in Terminal 1’s C concourse near gate C10. It is open daily between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Entry is accessed through self-scanning e-gates, eliminating the need to check in manually with an employee. United is also talking up its use of ‘Agent on Demand’ kiosks, where travelers can instantly and remotely communicate with customer service agents over text, phone call, or video. But while some flyers will appreciate digital service, others may miss the personal service, a major selling point of lounges for frazzled travelers.

Photo: Courtesy of United Airlines

United Clubs are open to Polaris business, international business, and premium transcontinental business class passengers, as well as those flying business class with other Star Alliance carriers. Business class customers will not be able to bring a guest, although those holding first-class tickets with eligible airlines can.

Additionally, Star Alliance Gold members can gain access to United Clubs regardless of the class of ticket they hold as long as they are flying with a Star Alliance member that day. Air Canada’s Maple Leaf club members can also access United Club lounges, either in the United States or worldwide, depending on their membership tier. Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity program have similar privileges.

Depending on seating availability, active military personnel and their family members can also use United Clubs. Finally, you can buy an annual membership to United Club lounges, in either cash or miles, with the price depending on your MileagePlus status level. One-time passes can be purchased for $59 per person.

The United Club is distinct from the Polaris Lounge, also present in Concourse C of Terminal 1 at O’Hare, near gate C18. The Polaris Lounge is open exclusively for international premium cabin customers.

The new United Club at O’Hare follows the debut last year of two revamped and expanded United Club lounges at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Denver International Airport (DEN).