United Club: A Special Treat for Weary United Airlines Travelers
As I was snapping pictures in the United Club Room at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, a man just looked at me and shook his head. My husband smiled patiently as I excitedly told him I had been so looking forward to our spending five hours together in this special place and wanted to take pictures. He is a seasoned traveler so spends many hours in United Club rooms all over the world. I am not a seasoned traveler but am just starting to be able to accompany him on business trips and reaping the many benefits of travel. This includes spending time in the United Club Room at the O'Hare airport.
My life is quite busy so it is not often that I have five hours to spend, in one place, where I am not distracted by everyday necessities that need tending. Imagine if you could have 5 hours uninterrupted by all of these everyday activities. Now imagine you could spend those 5 hours entertaining yourself by surfing the Internet, getting work done in a quiet area, writing articles for publication, writing in a journal, reading, talking on the phone to your friends and relatives you haven't had time to catch up with and to top it all off having refreshments available to you that didn't cost a cent while you were in this magical place. Well, I take that last part back. It does cost to obtain a membership. Membership is available to United Airlines travelers.
The cost runs approximately $550 annually depending on many variables. If a traveler racks up less than 25,000 miles in a year on United Airlines, the cost is $550 for an annual membership. For United travelers who rack up many miles, there are discounts as follows:
Premier Silver Member ( traveled 25,000 or more miles in one year): $450
Premier Gold Member ( traveled 50,000 or more miles in one year): $425
Premier Platinum Member ( traveled 75,000 or more miles in one year): $400
Premier 1 K Member ( traveled 100,000 or more miles in one year): $375
There is also a $50 one-time registration fee. But, as a member, you are allowed to bring one guest with you. And that means for me, being able to come in with my member husband, this treat is totally free. You may balk at the cost to join, but for someone who travels a lot for business, the cost is well worth it. And I can vouch for the fact that it is also totally worth it for their guests! As a member, you must be 21 years of age. If a traveler is interested in just visiting the United Club Room for a one-time visit, the cost is $59 per individual visit.
The United Club room in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is filled with over 100 chairs and 25 tables with chairs, as well as a business office. The main lounge area is separated into 2 or 3 rooms. Travelers have their choice of sitting in chairs or at tables. Free WiFi is provided airport-wide so travelers can check their email or complete work. There are tables near outlets so if someone needed to charge up a laptop, cell phone, etc. they can do so. There are flat screen televisions in each room, and flight schedule boards so travelers can check the status of their flights as needed.
There is a plethora of snack type refreshments available for weary travelers which include packaged crackers and a choice of three cheeses,fresh fruit such as apples and bananas, small packages of baby carrots with individual containers of ranch dressing for dipping, canisters of chocolate covered pretzels, and cheese crackers, and individually packaged short break cookies from Mrs. Walker, as well as Pepperidge Farm packages of Milano cookies. These treats all combine to make this a snack food lover's delight.
There are also stations for coffee, tea, including herbal tea, and an espresso/latte machine. There is a bar inside the Club Room, and wine, beer and alcohol and soda are free for the asking. The business office has cubicles for people to use in a quiet environment to conduct business either on the Internet or on the phone. Free photocopies and faxes are available for business needs. It is separated from the main lounge area. Free newspapers and current magazines are available on stands near the door.
The United Club Room is a much more comfortable and relaxing place to spend time in an airport than the uncomfortable lightly padded airport seating next to each gate. This is especially true if a person has a long layover. Many of the other United Club Rooms in other airports are set up similarly.
United Club rooms are available in airports in twenty-four major cities in the United States, as well as in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Guam, Hong Kong, China, Melbourne, Australia, Mexico City, Mexico, Osaka, Japan, Panama City, Panama, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tokyo, Japan.
How to Become a Member
To become a member of the United Club, contact United at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1-866-822-5827. Or when traveling, you may stop in at any United Club Room in a major airport you happen to be in at the time.