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Inside some United Clubs, it's now 'Taco Tuesday' every day as taco bars arrive

Sept. 20, 2022
4 min read
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Before a recent flight, I walked into a United Club pretty hungry but with very tempered expectations about the options I'd find. I expected to encounter some brownie bites, crackers, juice or maybe even a microwave-quality biscuit, only to be (pleasantly) shocked.

Where I thought I'd just see some modest snacks, there was one of the most exciting things imaginable inside an airline lounge: a real, hot breakfast taco bar.

I thought I must have bumped my head while getting out of the car that morning and was clearly dreaming.

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SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Thinking it was a one-time fluke, I savored this lucky morning moment with a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast taco before my boarding ... and went back to expecting mediocre cheese cubes and crackers on future visits.

However, this airline lounge taco phenomenon has continued since that fateful morning. Breakfast tacos, lunch tacos, dinner tacos — I've seen all of these lineups available over the last couple of months in the Houston United Clubs.

And it's not just in Houston. Taco fixings have also been spotted in other United Clubs, too, such as in Newark and Los Angeles.

Related: Inside the much-anticipated new Newark United Club

Introducing the United Club taco bar

Outside of a short period of time earlier in the pandemic when there were some solid to-go fruit and sandwich boxes available in some clubs, and until the taco bars started appearing in more locations, United Clubs haven't always been synonymous with decent, real food.

SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

For that, you usually have to go to the American Express Centurion Lounges or, even better, the Capital One Lounge. Or really, anywhere else.

Even the Delta Air Lines- and American Airlines-branded lounges usually have more substantial food and snack offerings than most United Clubs.

And I don't want to oversell the taco fixings in some of the southern United Club locations, as they aren't necessarily going to win awards outside of when you're in an "airline lounge captive" environment.

However, being able to grab something that can quite fairly pass as a "meal" without having to pay airport meal prices is enough to get me excited — especially when the whole family is along for the ride.

United has confirmed to TPG that the tacos bars are both popular with customers and now a part of the regular United Club menus, though they will have some seasonal meat, topping and sauce rotations.

Currently, the taco bars can be found in the afternoon and evenings at the lounges in Newark, Washington-Dulles, Houston-IAH and San Francisco. Morning breakfast taco fixings can currently be found at the United lounges in Los Angeles and Houston-IAH, though United shares that it expects to expand the breakfast taco bars to more club locations beginning in October.

Related: United expands preorder meals

Bottom line

After enjoying a number of preflight tacos in a variety of the Houston United Clubs, I've come to really look forward to them.

If this sounds good to you, there are many ways you can access United Clubs, including flying on certain premium-cabin tickets or having certain elite status levels, via the membership that comes by having the United Club Infinite Card or with the two annual lounge passes that come with the United Explorer Card or United Business Card.

However, before you get too ready to make that taco plate, keep in mind that during busy periods, the clubs do limit access with the one-time passes.

So if that's your entry plan, then just file away the fact that airline lounges can be really busy at peak travel times — especially if word gets out about the taco bar. But hopefully, you'll be able to make any day that you're flying through one of the participating United Clubs into your own personal taco day.

This story was updated to include additional information from United.

Featured image by SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
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  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases