Review: United Club Tokyo Narita Airport

Jyaga likes (3.5/5)

United Club Tokyo Narita

Airport : Narita International Airport (NRT)
Terminal : Terminal 1
Operator : United Airlines
Access : United and Star Alliance First and Business Class passengers, United Club members, Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers.
Date of Visit : June 2023

The United Clubs are the primary airline lounges operated by United Airlines. Like the lounges operated by the three US legacy airlines, these clubs are monetised as part of a paid membership-based access policy. These lounges are different from the United Polaris Lounge, which is specifically dedicated to United Polaris and Star Alliance First and Business Class passengers. Although the majority of United Clubs are located in the US, the airline also operates a few abroad in major outstations like London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Mexico City.

Lounge Access Rules

Like those in the continental US, the United Club Tokyo is open to United Club membership holders travelling on the airline in any class. Given the lounge’s location abroad, it also necessarily operates like any other Star Alliance lounge. As such, United Airlines Polaris and Star Alliance First and Business Class passengers are also eligible for entry. Star Alliance Gold card holders are also permitted access before departing on a United or Star Alliance flight.


In addition to being ANA’s home base in Narita, Terminal 1 is also perhaps best described as Tokyo’s chief Star Alliance hub. Alliance members like Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Asiana, Austrian, Egyptair, Ethiopian, EVA, Lufthansa, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Thai, and Turkish all operate from the terminal. As such, it is no surprise that the United Club Tokyo Narita is located within the airside departures lounge of Terminal 1, where the airline also maintains a hub. To be specific, the lounge is located in Satellite 3, Gate 31 and across Gate 32. The lounge’s entrance features prominent United Airlines signage, which shouldn’t be easy to miss.

Entrance to the United Club Tokyo Narita

United Club Tokyo Narita

Despite departing on an ANA flight, I decided to try my luck and take a look at the United Club Tokyo. After all, visiting the club would be very convenient, since it is located midway between the ANA Lounge Satellite 5 and the ANA Lounge Satellite 2. The lounge’s location is denoted by a Guam-destined United Airlines Boeing 737-800, which is a bit of an odd sight in Asia! At the entrance, I was promptly admitted by virtue of my departing Star Alliance Business Class boarding pass. Phew!

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Narita Airport
Reception at United Club Tokyo Narita

Lounge seating and amenities

Lounge seating

The majority of seats in the lounge are arranged within partitioned yet exposed rooms, which reminds me a lot of the interiors of a Japanese house. Apart from the odd swivel chairs, the majority of seats in the lounge are made up of the standard issue United Club leather armchairs. Despite the repetitive and cookie-cutter furniture choices, I appreciate that they were comfortable to lounge on.

Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Swivel chairs in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Seats in the United Club Tokyo Narita

For one, I liked the decor of the lounge, which infuses Japanese motifs and inspirations into an Internationalism-inspired interior design oft found in urban America. For some reason, the style slightly reminded me of Park Hyatt Tokyo in one way or another. Regardless, I was also fond of the fact that the lounge was littered with artworks, giving the space a museum-like vibe.

United Club Tokyo Narita
Decor in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Decor in the United Club Tokyo Narita

Although not every seat features this, the majority of seats have a side console, completely with an elegant-looking table lamp. The consoles are hollow, making it an ideal place to store smaller items and duffel bags. I also liked that there are power outlets on the side consoles, with a USB-B plug and a standard American Type B outlet.

Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita

Window-side seating

Along the ‘outer ring’ of the lounge is a seating area that occupies a narrow strip with windows facing the exterior. The seating area is separated from the rest of the lounge by a wooden partition shield mimicking the look of traditional shoji doors (障子). As such, it looks quite obvious that this section is modelled after the outer veranda (縁側) often found in Japanese houses. There’s also the added decor of translucent banners depicting flying cranes, which gives a very elegant look to the space.

Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita

The leather-clad armchairs here are arranged in pairs facing each other, with just four seats on each ‘row’. Interestingly, each row is also complemented by an individual rubbish bin, which you don’t see often in a lounge. Given the nice views and the relative privacy of this section, I’d probably say that these are the best seats in the house!

Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita
View from the United Club Tokyo Narita

Past the corner, the strip opens up to the rest of the lounge, allowing for a larger number of chairs. In addition to the standard leather armchairs in the centre, there are also desk seats running along this side of the windows. This is the type of seating you’d often find in Japanese airline lounges, including those operated by ANA and Japan Airlines. Like nearly every other area in the lounge, power outlets are consistently available for each seat.

Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita
Seating in the United Club Tokyo Narita

Dining seating

There are two dining areas, each corresponding to the two food buffets available in the United Club. The first dining area is set in a brightly lit, atrium-like space next to the reception. Here, there are about a dozen tables, each with up to four plastic chairs. Nothing special, in my opinion.

Dining area in the United Club
Dining area in the United Club

There is a second dining area located by the second buffet located towards the far back of the lounge. This area features a long sofa bench along the windows, accompanied by the same type of furniture available in the other area. Of the two, I did find this space to be a lot more intimate given how it is a lot more compact.

Dining area in the United Club
Dining area in the United Club

Lounge WiFi

The United Club has its dedicated WiFi network distinct from those publicly available in the terminal. I found the speeds to be good and also liked that the reception was strong and reliable, issues I’ve sometimes found in the ANA Lounge.

United Travel Assistance desk

Finally, there is also a travel assistance desk near the reception, as you’d typically find in bigger United Airlines hubs and outstations. Although unmanned when I passed by, I saw people waiting here to get assistance for their flights. In any case, this desk has the distinct purpose of helping passengers rebook or reroute flights in case of necessary changes or otherwise.

United Club travel assistance desk


There are two food spreads offered in the lounge in sections opposite to each other. Both buffet spreads appear to be identical, being located next to corresponding areas with dining tables. In particular, there is a selection of hot and cold items, most featuring Japanese or Asian dishes. I’m guessing this might not be ideal for some patrons, who I overheard saying that the local selection is ‘yucky’. Hmm…

Food spread in the United Club

During my visit, among the cold items on offer included a salad bar, in addition to a sushi choice of futomaki and inarizushi (sushi rice in deep-fried tofu pockets). There was also a selection of cheeses, cold cuts, bread, olives, rice crackers, and saltines, with enough variety to make a charcuterie board.

Salad Bar
Sushi selection
Cheese and cold cuts
Cheese and cold cuts

In terms of sweets and palate cleansers, there is also a choice of cut fruits, assorted cakes, and two kinds of mochi on offer.

Fruit and confection choice

In addition to the cold items, there is also a selection of hot food, totalling seven dishes. Presented in a bain-marie during my visit were teriyaki chicken, steamed potatoes in Garlic Oil, pork and shrimp shumai, as well as a platter of yakisoba (Japanese stir-fried noodles).

Hot food buffet selection
Hot food selection
Teriyaki Chicken, Steamed Potatoes, and assorted Dim Sum

Finally, Minestrone Soup was on offer, accompanied by a choice of curries. Curiously, the United Club has what is said to be an ‘Original Chicken Curry’ and an ‘Original Beef Curry’, two kinds of curries long served as staples in the ANA and JAL lounges, respectively. I guess United is really upping their game here! 😉

Minestrone Soup and curry selection


The drink selection is more or less what you’d expect from an airport lounge in Japan. Particularly, there is a machine that dispenses soft drinks like Coca Cola, Canada Dry, Ayataka Tea. Minute Maid, and water. Next to that are a pair of beer machines, which has Sapporo and Asahi Dry beer on offer.

Beer and soft drink machines

In addition to the usual coffee and tea selection, the United Club curiously offers a bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. This is meant to be used in conjunction with the steamed milk function of the coffee machine to make hot chocolate. Interesting!

Drink selection
Coffee machine

In terms of alcoholic drinks, available were Ballantine’s Whisky, Beefeater Gin, Bacardi Rum, Smirnoff Vodka, Jim Beam Bourbon, Aperol, and a bottle of sake. This was accompanied by a choice of two red wines, one white, wine, and one sparkling one. Citrus-infused water was also prominently displayed among the selection.

Wines, liquor, and liqueurs
Selection of wines
Selection of liquor and liqueurs and citrus-infused water
Citrus-infused water


On the corridor to the right side of the reception area are the toilets, which are separated by gender. Despite looking very old and outdated, I found the male toilet to be very clean and well-kept. There is a long row of urinals mounted along the wall, accompanied by a row of toilet stalls running along the same length. Compared to the ANA Lounge, the United Club has the distinct disadvantage of not having bidet-equipped toilets. Although surprising for Japan, I guess it came down to the main clientele of the lounge. Additionally, there are also several showers near this area as well.

Toilet area in the United Club

Sadly, I wasn’t able to take a picture of the toilets or the showers given how preoccupied they were.


As I often find to be the case at International United Clubs, the club in Narita was pretty good! In particular, I liked the Japan-inspired interior design, which gives the space a nice and inviting ambiance. Despite the old-world look of the lounge, I felt that it aged spectacularly well, especially against the trendy lounge designs we often see nowadays. If it weren’t for the slightly less varied hot food options, I might even go as far as to say that I’d prefer the United Club over the ANA lounges! Well done, United!

Read more from this trip here!

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