This is the second post in a series about how I used Asiana miles to book United Polaris Business Class between Houston and Buenos Aires, as well as a review of the product and travel experience.
- I Just Spent 35k Miles for a Flat Bed to Southern South America
- Trip Report Part I: Brand New United Club in Houston (near gate C1)
- Trip Report Part II: United Polaris from Houston to Buenos Aires (future post)
Yesterday I returned to Buenos Aires after my yearly exodus from southern hemisphere winter to northern hemisphere summer. After working my way through Europe for a couple months, I hopped over to the United States to spend time with family and friends and concluded the trip in Mexico.
I already told you how easy it was to book my return–with the sign up bonus from just the Asiana Visa Signature Card plus the miles from a little more spending, I booked United Business from Guadalajara, Mexico to Houston and United Polaris from Houston to Buenos Aires.
A four hour layover in Houston gave me ample time to explore the new United Club in Terminal C. The new United Club is separate from the other United Club in Terminal C which I visited and covered last year. The new lounge is close to Gate C1 and the old C29.
New United Club in Houston, Gate C1
A quick FYI for anyone flying through Houston soon: Don’t expect to be able to access the United Club in Terminal E as it’s closed for renovations. I recommend checking out United’s new Club in Terminal C. It was just opened in May of this year and it’s noticeably better than older versions.
It does indeed take about 20 minutes to get between Terminal E and the new United Club on foot.
The entry way sets the mood for the rest of lounge, which has a modern, clean feel.
When you turn the corner, you’ll see the same space-age chairs, white ceilings, walls, and minimalist light fixtures. The lounge has an open layout. I visited during a high traffic time (5 pm to 9 pm on a Thursday evening), and there were a couple points in which I felt crowded, but the flow of travelers leveled out later in the evening.
Let’s start with the dining area.
In front of the bar and next to the spread of complimentary, there is a section of table and chairs for eating.
The food selection was a bit more varied than what I’ve had in other United Clubs, but pretty much the same. From what I can remember, the quality of this food was fresher and tastier compared to older clubs.
There was a salad bar with spinach, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, kidney beans…
…a black bean salad, cheeses…
…and crudite. The toppings on the left were the tasty clam chowder which I had a bowl of.
There were a selection of desserts as well, including brownies and especially delicious and chocolate chip cookie (anyone else a super fan of these??). The granola on offer had interesting combo of dried fruits. There was a big bowl of fresh fruit as well (not pictured).
United partners with illy, so there was illy drip coffee as well as an illy machine for lattes and the like.
I liked the hot tea section, which had fresh mint and lemon for garnish.
The bar was stocked full of liquor and wine and had a nice selection of craft beers.
All house wines, beers (think Budweiser and Coors Light), and liquor were free. Anything more premium costs extra.
The side of the lounge along the windowed wall is one long section of comfortable chairs, each of which has a charging station. Every pair has a lamp.
The view of the United tarmac was pleasant, especially at dusk.
Running along the opposite wall of the lounge is a bar with high chairs, and more charging stations.
On the other end of the lounge from the bar is what appears to be more of a work-focused area.
Personally I appreciate when lounges have desks with a little privacy and chairs that are better for your back, but that kind of decor obviously didn’t fit with the sleek, modernist style they were going for.
The lounge is not huge so it just has one bathroom, but with plenty of stalls.
Another weakness of this lounge compared to it’s counterpart in Terminal C is the lack of showers. If you’re looking to refresh yourself after a long international flight, you’re better off going to the lounge near Gate C29. I do believe you have to arrange a shower there ahead of time however.
Thankfully I didn’t require any help with my flights (I’m sure this desk was swamped last week!), but in case you do there is a dedicated customer help desk.
To the left in this picture you can see two smaller private rooms which are “phone rooms”. Each has a landline for private calls.
A last but not certainly not least, the internet was fast enough to permit efficient web browsing and working.
The United Club located in Terminal C, near gate C1, was just built in May, 2017. While the general ambience and food is much better than the dated United Club near C29, it was missing a couple elements that are probably very important to international travelers: a comfortable working area and showers. For the majority of recreational travelers, however, the new United Club is an improvement in terms of comfort and design.
Have you visited United’s newest Club in Houston? What did you think?