Review: United Business Class DFW-IAH and A Few United Clubs

On a recent trip to Japan, we flew United Business Class to Tokyo via Houston. The original plan was to fly EVA Air to Taipei and then JAL to Japan, but we decided to change plans when availability opened up on United’s nonstop service to Tokyo. The change fee ended up being waived by Aeroplan because of a schedule change on the award ticket and so it was a welcome change to spend two additional days in Japan while also saving AVIOS on the TPE – KIX sector.

Our early morning departure to Houston on United was an absolute drag getting up for, especially after those sleepless nights in a 20 hour semester (remind me not to do that again). This is not to mention, I annoyingly triggered my home alarm system and woke up the entire neighborhood that very same morning. It figures that I wasn’t exactly in the best of moods getting to the airport and starting some work for the blog.

In fact I was thinking of completely skipping this review because of how tired I was, but when I saw that this was a renovated United Club (which is a rarity), I decided to take one for the team. The United Club has since been relocated to between gates E3 and E4. I’m writing this review because I’m rather confused about United’s renovation effort of the old club given that they knew they had a new club coming anyway (it just opened as of February 2018). If they are so slow about rolling out renovations everywhere else (especially Houston), why were they so prompt in getting DFW a renovated club and then an expanded 6000 sqft club?

Everything about United is a head scratcher these days, but I’m glad DFW has a renovated United Club. Here are the pictures from the already renovated (now defunct) old club:

One thing to note is that United has certainly “stepped up” its breakfast game with a yogurt and mystery soup stations. Have to give them credit where it’s due though, they do offer a better breakfast than Admirals Clubs, which stick to either packaged pastries or just cereals.

Our flight was departing from E28 this particular morning and the flight went out completely full. We left the gate just as a spectacular sunrise was about to happen over DFW Airport. I ended up kicking myself for placing my camera bag in the overhead bins.

It was a very short flight to Houston that morning, only 45 minutes, but a full breakfast was offered on board. I refused electing to sleep, but the FA insisted that I try some of the warm muffins they had on board. The muffin certainly hit the spot and I would rank it as among the best I’ve had in the air (Yes United you impressed me for once):

In Houston, my sister and I met up with our parents who came in from Midland and we spent some time at the United Club before our flight. We only had about 45 minutes before boarding, so it wasn’t worth the effort going over to the Centurion Lounge in the adjacent Terminal D.  

This United Club in Terminal E was just the same old, same old. This place hasn’t changed since the days of it being a Continental President’s Club (prior to the United merger). I guess they are just waiting to roll out the Polaris Lounge before upgrading this place or dismantling it. Either way shame on you United. This is your second largest hub and probably your most profitable one too! And to think Dallas gets a renovated club just for a short span. It’s not even a hub!

Not surprisingly the spread at this United Club, inside one of United’s busiest terminals, had a worse spread than the DFW United Club.

I decided to take a shower before the flight and found an interesting note stating that the United Club does press clothes, but apparently only new clothes? I think they meant to say don’t air your dirty laundry 🙂

The shower suites were functional, and I certainly appreciated the individual toiletry bottles as opposed to the large dispensers. The germaphobe in me hates using those. What am I saying? I am using a public shower!

Anyway my stay at the United Club came to a close really fast and it was soon time to board my flight to Tokyo-Narita. I was still dead tired, but I felt a little less groggy after the shower.


Bottom Line:

I was surprised that United offers any kind of a breakfast on the flight from Dallas – Houston given the short flight time. The warm apple bran muffin certainly hit the spot though on this particular morning and I certainly met the cheeriest United flight crew in a long time. As for the the United Clubs, they were surprisingly not crowded (probably because it was early) and featured a decent breakfast spread (especially in DFW). The fact that the United Club (or should I say Continental President’s Club) in Houston is still not being renovated somehow doesn’t surprise me and tricks me into thinking I’m still flying Continental. Certainly looking forward to checking out the new United Club at DFW and the Polaris Lounge in Houston whenever they roll that out.