The Honolulu United Club is an airport lounge operated by United Airlines at the Honolulu International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu. In this review, we’ll cover how to access the lounge, what it has to offer, and whether it’s worth visiting.
How To Access / Enter
During my visit in March 2022, I received access to the United Club at HNL through my Business Class ticket on Air Canada to Vancouver, Canada on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Since Air Canada is a Star Alliance carrier and I was flying outside of the United States, this was sufficient enough to enter.
These are the primary ways you can enter the United Club at Honolulu International Airport:
- Fly on United Polaris or United Business ticket travelling internationally outside of the United States; business class tickets domestically do not qualify.
- Fly on a Star Alliance Business or First ticket travelling internationally outside of the United States.
- Hold a United Club membership, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership, or United Club Infinite branded credit card.
- Use a one-time United Club lounge access pass from United; these can be both purchased standalone or obtained from credit cards.
United Club HNL: Location & Hours
The United Club HNL is located within the main Diamond Head Concourse up one floor near Gates G2 and G3. After clearing TSA security, head all the way down towards the left end of the terminal to find this location.
After heading up the escalator, be sure to turn around to the other side to actually find the lounge’s entrance! It can be a little hidden if you’re not particularly observant. Speaking from experience here…
As of Summer 2022, the United Club in Honolulu is open from 6:00AM to 10:30PM daily. That’s a solid number of operating hours that should cover the vast majority of flights from HNL! Check the United website for the latest hours here.
United Club HNL: Seating & Layout
The general environment and seating at the United Club HNL can be considered relatively dated, but suitably comfortable. There’s plenty of seating to take up and chairs are not too bunched together as to feel overly crowded.
Importantly, the HNL United Club lounge offers some fairly expansive airplane tarmac views, so I recommend taking up a window seat and enjoying the views! It’s always great when an airport lounge doesn’t feel boxed in and enclosed.
When I visited the lounge in the evening around 7:30PM, I found it to be fairly empty with plentiful seating to choose from, but the area may get busier during earlier hours.
United Club HNL: Food & Drinks
This lounge is advertised by United Airlines as offering ‘light snacks’ and a ‘full-service bar’. From my experience, I’d say that is an accurate representation of what is available to travellers.
When I visited, the snack buffet table offered at the United Club HNL included light snacks such as:
- Loaf Cake
- Sesame Chicken and Tofu Slaw
- Island Macaroni Salad
- Fresh Cut Mango and Pineapple Fruit
- Smoked Turkey on Hawaiian Sweet Roll
- Maui Potato Chips
- Mixed Nuts
- Gummy Fruits
This selection is obviously by no means a gourmet buffet, but it’s a solid selection for what’s labelled as light snacks and serves the needs of a lounge in the United States.
Standard juice and speciality coffee machines are available as well, whereas soft drinks can be found serviced from the bar.
Note that these photos were taken in March 2022 during a transitionary period out of the COVID-19 pandemic and food offerings may differ now.
In terms of drinks, the United Club at HNL does offer a fully serviced bar, but unfortunately not all drinks are complimentary. Generally speaking, the basic beers, wines, and spirits that you would expect to find anywhere are included for free. Higher end options will require an additional charge though.
You can find the bar menu for HNL’s United Club as of July 2022 above.
Dole Whip Ice Cream
Last, but certainly not least, the HNL United Club offers an ice cream service that you’ll likely not find at any other airport lounge on the planet: Dole Whip soft serve ice cream!
For those unfamiliar, Dole Whip is a pineapple flavoured soft serve ice cream primarily sold at the Dole Whip Planation tourist attraction on Oahu, HI. It’s gained a bit of a cult following over the years and can be found at places such as Disneyland in California or Walt Disney World in Florida too!
As seen in the photo above, I was able to get a complimentary cup of Dole Whip served from the bar, making for a fantastic send off to my Hawaiian vacation. Some travellers report that the Dole Whip machine is now self serve, but it was not when I last visited in March 2022.
United Club HNL: Service
Interaction with staff was minimal during my stay as food is served buffet style, but I found the full-service bar staff to be very friendly and cheerful when ordering a drink and cup of Dole Whip. Entry into the lounge was simple with no wait time and friendly agents.
Overall, I’d say that the United Club at Honolulu International Airport exceeded my relatively low expectations. United Clubs within the United States typically receive a fairly poor reputation among frequent flyers, but the HNL United Club serves its intended purpose with surprisingly decent snacks and a great place to lounge. I mean, it’s got Dole Whip!
It is worth noting that the HNL airport is severely lacking in any other quality lounges that could be easy to access through a service such as Priority Pass. As of publishing, only The Plumeria Lounge is available with Priority Pass and features subpar reviews. Therefore, the United Club at HNL is quite solid when considering there are limited other options that you could choose from instead.