Review: United Lounge – Narita International Airport (NRT) - Terminal 1 – Gate 31
Date of Visit: September 2023
Access: Star Alliance Gold Status
RATING (OUT OF 5 STARS)
Seating area and comfort: 5
Natural light: 5
Staff friendliness: 4
Washroom cleanliness: 5
Shower facilities: 0
Food variety: 4
Bar selection: 3
Decompress Zone: 3
Dedicated WiFi: 2
OVERALL RATING: 3.4 STARS
Seating and comfort - 5
On a recent flight out of Narita, Japan, I visited the United Club lounge. The lounge is open to Star Alliance Gold members and close to Gate 31. This is one of the most oversized lounges that United Airlines has, or at least out of the ones I have visited. This means many seating options exist, from couches to loungers to cafe chairs. Also, there were ample AC and USB plugs to charge your devices. They were great for getting my iPad, iPhone, and headphones charged before my 9-hour flight back to Vancouver.
Natural Lighting - 5
Due to its expansive size, only two sides of the external boundary of the lounge feature windows. Additionally, the lounge's considerable width extends deeply, resulting in areas with limited illumination. This characteristic could prove advantageous for individuals seeking a tranquil and dim environment, ideal for a peaceful nap.
Staff Friendliness - 5
The front counter staff were amiable and helpful. The food staff were also helpful when I was searching for water. It turns out it water was available on the Coca-Cola multi-flavour dispensing unit. In addition, the staff promptly picked up used dishes from the seating area.
Washroom Cleanness - 5
While the washrooms are not centrally located in the lounge, they were spotless, well-lit, and have no foul odour.
Shower Facilities - 0
Unfortunately, on my visit the shower facilities were not open. I’m unsure if there was a plumbing problem or a cleaning issue as the front desk appeared unable to provide me with an explanation.
Food variety - 4
The lounge had two food sections, one near the front entrance and the other in the far back corner of the lounge area. The variety of the food was adequate for snacking, with no actual meals. As you can see from the pictures, one central place had some sushi. It also had beef sliders and chicken pasta soups. No complaints from me about the sliders.
Bar Selection - 3
This lounge did not have a full bar service, but it did have a small, minimal selection of drinks to pour yourself. Options included wine (white, red and sparkling and hard liquor (though no top shelf brands). What was lacking in the self serve bar area was made up for in an excellent beer-pouring machine.
Decompress zone - 3
There is no dedicated decompress area. There are, however, tucked away corners far from the other areas of the lounge where you can be left undisturbed and, as I mentioned earlier, some areas seem darker than others due to the natural light being unable to penetrate throughout this large lounge.
WiFi - 2
The lounge does have dedicated Wi-Fi. However, Narita airport's free Wi-Fi has decent download and upload speeds and is superior to the dedicated lounge Wi-Fi. I would not come to this lounge solely for its Wi-Fi access speeds.
I have previously been to Narita airport and my departure gate was closer to the ANA lounge at gate 47. If I remember correctly, it was an impressive lounge with a ramen bar, a sushi bar, and a dedicated shower. On this visit, the ANA lounge was closed. On my inbound flight, I did visit the ANA lounge close to gate 55, which is on the other side of the terminal. I was not impressed with that lounge because it was jam-packed. As of September 2023, in my view, the better lounge in terminal one is the United Lounge. Hopefully, ANA will open up the lounge by gate 47 again soon.