For my first flight on United Airlines from Philadelphia, I would be in Terminal D. Having no status with United or Star Alliance, I was happy to pull out my free lounge pass (paper pass will change to digital in 2018), a benefit of my Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Visa card. Each year, I receive two lounge visit passes and never seem to use them (I live in Philly with an AA hub). While many folks report overcrowded United lounges in the U.S. that won’t allow visitors to use the Chase United lounge pass, the United Club PHL lounge was not one of those. My first visit to the United Lounge in Philadelphia was quick but enough to give me a feel for this hidden lounge.
United Club PHL Lounge – Location in Terminal D
It’s not immediately evident that there’s a lounge nearby – sure there’s a sign above pointing that way but I looked down the hallway and didn’t see anything much (it was just after 6:30 a.m. so I could have still been asleep). I did spy a door that could either be a lounge door or a maintenance door so I thought “why not walk a bit to see”. I was in Terminal D so had to walk the hallway toward Terminal C and it was on the left that I saw the sign to the United Club Philadelphia. The operation hours are 4:30 a.m. (ugh that’s too early to be in an airport) until 7:30 p.m.
Inside the United Club PHL Lounge
The two front desk staff happily greeted me as I entered the lounge. I presented my ticket and United Club lounge pass and it was swiped without issue. They had a basket of lifesaver candies that was a nice touch (added a few to my pockets for the flight). The lounge is small because United doesn’t have much of a presence in Philadelphia (hub of American Airlines and OneWorld airlines). That said, the lounge has seating in three areas – seating in front of the windows overlooking the gates and runway, at the separate bar and along the wall with small tables and chairs. The windows provide natural light and I had just missed the sunrise.
Food & Drink at the United Club PHL Lounge
The food area is in front of the windows on two long tables and another table built in behind that for the hot foods. For breakfast, the setup included juices, breads, fruits (individually wrapped), cereal and oatmeal (more choice than I expected). I easily found orange juice and a croissant to enjoy.
At my table, I easily jumped on the lounge Wi-Fi, perused the drinks menu from the bar. There is a list of complimentary drinks – beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic options at the bar. They also have a menu with premium options for a fee.
Overall – The United Club PHL Lounge
In the Philadelphia airport, the lounge options are dominated by American Airlines in A West, B/C and F terminals. The other lounge options include British Airways PHL lounge and the newest American Express Centurion Lounge PHL in A West (International) so it’s nice to see that United has carved out its own niche of a lounge hidden in the hallway prior to Terminal D. The United Club PHL is definitely worth the visit if you are flying out of Terminal D on United and a great use of the free United MileagePlus Explorer one time club pass benefit. When you need a place to relax before your flight, the United Club Philadelphia lounge is a lovely escape from the masses crowded at the gate.