12 Ways to Access United Clubs [2023]

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Looking for a way to escape the hustle and bustle of airport terminals?

United Club lounges offer a peaceful retreat for travelers looking to relax before their flight. But how can you access these exclusive lounges?

There are several ways to gain entry, from purchasing a membership to holding a certain credit card.

In this article, we’ll explore the different ways to access United Club lounges so you can make the most of your airport experience.

United Club
Photo: United Club

How to Get Access to United Club

There are different ways to get access to United Clubs – some are paid and some are free.

We’ll go into detail on what these options are below.

1. Purchase A United Club Membership

The easiest way to get United Club access is to purchase an annual United Club membership.

Prices typically start at $650 or 85,000 miles per year, but it can be cheaper for those who have a United Elite status

United MileagePlus Status Annual Membership
General Member, Premier Silver, and Premier Gold
$650 or 85,000 miles
Premier Platinum
$600 or 80,000 miles
Premier 1K
$550 or 75,000 miles

You can also gift someone a United Club membership, but the special pricing based on MileagePlus Premier status doesn’t apply.

To gain access, you must present a same-day boarding pass for a United Airlines or a Star Alliance partner flight.

Guest Policy: You can bring guests. Choose between one adult and dependent children under 21 OR two adult guests.

2. Purchase A United Club Day Pass

Day passes are for occasional travelers who can’t commit to an annual membership.

You can buy a day pass for $59 per person at United Club locations or through the app.

Day passes only give you one-time access per United Club location.

Guest Policy: Guests aren’t allowed.

3. United Elite Status on International Flight

United Airlines MileagePlus elite status holders – Premier Gold, Platinum, and 1K members – will have access to United Clubs during departure, connections, and upon arrival when flying on a same-day international flight on a Star Alliance airline.

Guest Policy: You can bring one guest who is traveling on the same flight as you. Before, guests were only required fly a same-day Star alliance flight.

Star Alliance Star Alliance Airlines
Aegan Airlines Aegean Air Canada Air Canada
Air China Air China Air India Air India
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand ANA ANA
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines Austrian Airlines Austrian Airlines
Avianca Avianca Brussels Brussels Airlines
Copa Copa Airlines Croatia Airlines Croatia Airlines
EgyptAir EgyptAir Ethiopian Ethiopian
EVA Air EVA Air LOT Polish LOT Polish
Lufthansa Lufthansa SAS SAS
Shenzhen Shenzhen Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines
South African Airways South African SWISS Airlines SWISS
TAP Portugal TAP Portugal Thai Airways logo Thai Airways
Turkish Airlines logo Turkish Airlines United Airlines logo United Airlines

4. Star Alliance Gold Status Holder

Star Alliance Gold members have access to United Club Lounge when they are flying on a same-day international or domestic flight on a Star Alliance airline.

If your Star Alliance Gold status is from United, you will not have access on domestic flights.

Guest Policy: You can bring on guest with you who are also on the same flight as you.

5. Be A United Global Services Status Holder

United Global Services is an invite-only status that’s given to the most loyal United frequent flyers.

These members will gain complimentary access to all United Club locations.

Guest Policy: Guests aren’t allowed.

6. Get A Credit Card That Offers United Club Access

Some United co-branded cards offer lounge access. Here are some examples below:

  • card_name (review): Annual United Club Membership.
  • card_name (review): 2 United Club one-time passes on account opening and on each anniversary.
  • card_name (review): 2 United Club one-time passes on account opening and on each anniversary.

Another card that also offers a United Club membership is the JP Morgan Reserve Card. It’s an invite-only card that’s offered to select individuals.

Guest Policy: No Guests.

7. Book at United Polaris or Business Class International Flight

Passengers flying on a United Business or in United Polaris on an international flight will get same-day access at United Clubs during departure, connecting, and arrival airports.

Passengers traveling to and from Canada in United First will also have the same lounge access.

Just present your same-day boarding pass upon entry to get access.

Guest Policy: Guests aren’t allowed.

United Polaris min
Photo: United

8. Fly On A United Business Class Premium Transcontinental Flight

Passengers flying on premium transcontinental flights will get same-day access to United Club locations during departure and arrival only.

Premium transcontinental flights are only between New York/Newark and Los Angeles and New York/Newark and San Francisco.

Guest Policy: Guests aren’t allowed.

9. Fly First or Business Class On A Star Alliance Airline

Passengers flying internationally on a First or Business Class flight on a Star Alliance member airline can access United Club locations, but only during departure.

This means that if you fly from Dallas to Los Angeles, then Los Angeles to Paris, you won’t be able to access United lounges on your LA to Paris leg.

To access the lounges, you need to present a same-day boarding pass upon entry.

Guest Policy: Only First Class passengers can bring guests along.

10. Be An Active Military Member

Active duty military members will have accesss to United Club lounges if they meet the following requirements:

  • Must have a valid military ID
  • Same-day boarding within 24 hours on a departing United- or United Express-operated flight
  • Must satisfy one of the following: dressed in uniform, leave orders, or rest and recuperation papers

Keep in mind that lounge access isn’t guaranteed and depends on seating availability.

Guest Policy: Military members can bring their family members if they have gate passes or are traveling on the same departing flight as the military member.

11. Have An Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Membership

Maple Leaf Club members flying on a Star Alliance Member airline will have access to United Club lounges. Just present your membership card and same-day boarding pass.

Maple Leaf Club North America members can access United Club locations in the U.S. only. Meanwhile, Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members can access all United Club locations.

Guest Policy: Only Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members can bring guests.

12. Have A Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer Membership

Velocity Gold, Platinum, and VIP members flying on an international same-day United or Virgin Australia-operated flight may enter United Club locations.

The flight must depart from the same airport where the lounge is located.

Guest Policy: One guest is allowed per eligible member if traveling on a United-operated flight.

Los Angeles International Airport
United Club lounges are located in major airports around the world like LAX, JFK, HKG, and NRT (Photo by: Canva Pro from TriggerPhoto of Getty Images Signature).

United Club Lounges Vs United Polaris Lounges

The main difference between United Club lounges and Polaris lounges is the level of service and amenities provided.

United Club lounges typically offer standard amenities such as complimentary food and drinks, Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating.

Meanwhile, Polaris lounges offer more premium amenities like pre-flight dining, shower suites, private daybeds, and personalized service.

There are 6 Polaris Lounges located across the U.S.:

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston (IAH)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

You can access United Polaris lounges if you are traveling in United Polaris business class or a qualifying international first or business class ticket on a Star Alliance airline.


There are multiple ways to get access to United Club lounges. You can buy direct access through day passes or annual memberships.

Alternatively, you can also get complimentary access through elite status, credit card benefits, or flight tickets.

Currently, there are 40+ United Club locations worldwide in major airport hubs so it’s not that hard to find a lounge during your trips.

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