United Opens Lounge as It Moves Operations to LaGuardia’s New Terminal B
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New York’s LaGuardia airport has been called a lot of things by passengers, including dingy, dank and dark.
But over the last few years, the airport has started to take on a new life as it undergoes a massive, multi-billion dollar renovation project. And Thursday, United Airlines unveiled its new United Club lounge along with celebrating the move of its flights to a new terminal.
The lounge is located in LaGuardia’s Terminal B Eastern Concourse, and it sits above gates that are mostly home to Southwest and Air Canada aircraft. It’s right across from another new lounge, opened by its Star Alliance partner Air Canada in December.
However on Saturday evening, the first United aircraft will pull up to the new gates just a few hundred feet from the lounge entrance. The gates will officially become home to airline’s operations come June 2.
Measuring in at 10,500 square feet, the lounge is a huge upgrade over United’s old club in more ways than one.
First off, it’s 30% bigger than the old space, which was located in Concourse C and before security — which added the hassle of going through TSA after you’ve already tried to relax and unwind before your flight.
Upon entering, you’ll notice that the space feels very open. In fact, it’s not fully walled off to the concourse below, but spills over a large glass barrier.
Terminal B’s 55-feet windows provide plenty of light, and the tall ceilings give the space an airy feeling — something that was lacking in the old lounge.
There’s plenty of comfortable seating throughout the space. Guests will have the choice of more than 200 chairs, tables or loungers.
White granite tops many of the surfaces, including the elongated bar and buffet that spans through a significant portion of the lounge.
United says it will have an expanded and improved food selection at the lounge, with catering provided by New York classics like Ess-a-Bagel — and even paired with real lox!
Members of the media had the opportunity to try the food, like the reuben corned beef and pesto and goat cheese flatbread. All of which gave thought to higher quality food you’d find at an American Express Centurion Lounge.
You’ll find high-speed Wi-Fi, wellness rooms and two phone booths in the club as well.
The space wraps around the terminal and leads to a quieter area with views of Southwest Airline’s gates.
Since the lounge overlooks LaGuardia’s runway 13/31, it’s a great place to grab a drink and watch jets take-off on their journeys.
United currently operates 40 daily flights out of LaGuardia, with a huge chunk of those being the the 17 shuttle flights between New York and Chicago.
Currently, you’ll find United flights departing from the C pier of the central terminal, also known as Terminal B. The airline will operate out of five gates in the new terminal, primarily 42 through 46, serving other domestic destinations like Denver, Houston and Washington DC Dulles.
LaGuardia’s new Terminal B is a far cry from the airport’s other terminals. It’s got plenty of light and improved dining options, including New York staples like Shake Shake and Irving Farm Coffee Roasters. TPG contributor Max Prosperi reviewed the new terminal when it opened in December saying it’s lived up to the hype.
United executives, including CEO Oscar Munoz, spoke at the opening of the lounge. All expressed sincere enthusiasm for the new airport facilities and hopes that it will improve the United customer experience.
“Great cities deserve a great airport.” said Munoz. “For so long the infrastructure in this great city has struggled, and this place is just amazing.”
There are a few ways to access the new United club. If flying in a United premium cabin, you’ll have to have a ticket in either United Polaris business class, United business, first class or business class on a Star Alliance airline. However, those flying United Domestic First Class will not have access to the lounge (unless connecting to a flight on one of the previously mentioned classes of service).
Star Alliance Gold members, those with the United Club Card or a United Club membership can also access the lounge. Finally, you can use a a United Club one-time pass along with a boarding pass for same day travel, which can be obtained through the United Explorer Card, which gives cardholders two one-time Club passes a year.
All photos by author.
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