01. Introduction: The glorious ridiculousness that is Dubai
02. United Club, SAN
03. United Express CRJ-200 economy class San Diego to Los Angeles
04. Emirates A380-800 business class Los Angeles to Dubai
05. Sheraton Grand Dubai
06. Setting reasonable expectations for your first trip to Dubai
07. Emirates A380-800 economy class Dubai to Los Angeles
08. United Airlines 737–800 economy class Los Angeles to San Diego
Remember back in 2013 when I first reviewed the United Club here at SAN shortly after it first opened? No? Not ringing a bell? Well, that’s a good thing! It was probably the worst airport lounge review ever, consisting of two dull pics (one of them slightly out of focus), and about 350 words of complete drivel. The sad thing is that I was actually proud of myself after writing it, as it was the first lounge review I had ever put together and it was an exciting feeling to think that I had made the leap to become a legitimate travel blogger. Fame and fortune would soon be mine!
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for reality to set in and I quickly realized that I needed to step up my game if I had any hope of being respected in this business. Poopy pics and dry commentary about the color of the paint on the walls tends to scare people away faster than you can say “this website blows”, and I can’t imagine how many people hit the back button after reading the first sentence and never came back. I don’t blame them either, as I can’t even walk into a paint store without yawning. Make me read about it and I’ll never come back to your website either.
Anyway, it’s not very often that I’ve had the opportunity to visit United Club’s in the past, but my new United Club Visa card makes getting access a whole heck of a lot easier. A complementary membership is included with the annual fee, so it’s fun and easy to waltz in to any which one I please – even if I’m not flying United that particular day. I just happened to be flying United up to LAX this morning, so it only seemed natural to pay a visit for the first time in over 5 years and give it a proper SANspotter-style review.
The first thing you’ll notice when walking in is how nice it is. Seriously, it’s a very stylish hangout, and you’re probably going to think that you’ve found a total gem in the United Club collection (perhaps better than the United Club in Terminal 7 at LAX).
However, it’s not going to take you long to realize how small it is and that you just might be more comfortable out in the main terminal instead. It’s actually one of the smallest airport lounges I’ve ever been in (very similar in size to the Edmonton Air Canada Lounge), which is unfortunate considering how many United flights filter in and out of SAN on a daily basis.
In comparison, the Delta Sky Club (located right next door) has a better layout which makes it feel larger – even though I am not able to officially confirm whether or not it actually is bigger. It just feels that way, which is the most important thing.
Are you the kind of person who thinks that sitting inside small spaces is claustrophobic, yet you shudder at the thought of mingling with the masses out in the main terminal? If so, the open air terrace is where you’ll want to hang out during your visit! It overlooks the terminal 2 west food court, so sit back and relax as you sip on your gin and tonic with a raised pinky – and feel good knowing that you’ve successfully avoided the chaos below.
So that’s pretty much it! It’s a very small lounge by conventional standards, but perfectly comfortable if you come at a time when it isn’t so busy.
By the way, for those of you who are dying to check out my original review of this United Club from 2013, I’m sorry to inform you that I wiped it off the face of the internet for fear of being pointed to and laughed at. All links to that old review now point to this one, so there’s no hope of anyone else reading about my dry and uninformed opinions of interior paint (thank god). And who knows? Maybe I’ll review this place again in five years if this one proves to be too embarrassing to be associated with as well…