Tag Archives: tokyo narita

Review: United Club Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)

The United Club in Tokyo Narita was actually the very first airport lounge that I had ever visited. At the time, I was amazed that you could shower at the airport and that there was free food (although the food was devoured almost instantly whenever a server would put out more food as the lounge was extremely full).

Returning to this lounge on my most recent visit, my expectations weren’t very high as I’ve since been to some awesome lounges like the Emirates First Class Terminal in Dubai, the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and the Qatar First Class Premium Terminal in Doha. This lounge offers some great tarmac views, and it’s a pretty large space, but it’s often ridiculously crowded, and it can be hard to find a good seat.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by my visit to the United Club this time. It’s definitely showing its age, and the lounge was still crowded, but there were definitely seats available, including some coveted seats by the windows.

Seating

Seating

Coveted window seats

Coveted window seats

One thing I was a little surprised by was the fact that there were very, very few Asian people in the lounge. It honestly felt like I was back in the US. Is this just because all of the Japanese people go to the ANA lounges?

Even though I had already showered at the United Club in Hong Kong, I figured I might as well take another shower in Narita. The United Club in Tokyo has many showers, and this time I didn’t have to wait at all to get a shower room.

Shower

Shower

I was glad to see that there are more food options than there were when I last visited the club. The first time around, people were stalking the servers waiting for the one plate of sushi to come out, and it would be gone almost instantly. Now, in addition to sushi and edamame, they have things like noodles and soups. For what it’s worth, there are two main food stations, one with more savory foods and the other with more sweet foods, so definitely check out both stations.

Beer machine

Beer machine

Alcohol

Alcohol

Sushi

Sushi

Edamame

Edamame

Noodles

Noodles

Soups

Soups

Desserts

Desserts

This United Club is a little old and could use some updates, but the amenities offered are better than just about any other United Club. It can get quite crowded at times, but it’s still a good place to take a shower, grab a beer, and eat some food. That being said, I would almost always choose the ANA lounge over the United Club, so unless you’re getting lounge access through a day pass or a United Club membership, I would probably head to an ANA lounge instead.

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Review: Korean Air Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)

On my way back from Hong Kong, I had about a two hour layover in Tokyo Narita, so I decided to check out two lounges I hadn’t yet reviewed, as I had already been to the ANA Suite and Business Class lounges a couple of weeks prior.

My first stop was the Korean Air Lounge, which is accessible via Priority Pass. This lounge is located near Gate 26 in Terminal 1.

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

The lounge is just one large room. It’s a pretty spacious room, and it was only sparsely populated while I was there. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s pretty functional with lots of seating.

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

There was a separate first class section, although for the 45 minutes I was in the lounge, I didn’t see anyone use it.

Designated first class section

Designated first class section

Seeing as this is Tokyo, there were the famous beer machines, which are supposed to pour a perfect glass of beer every time. There was also a sparse selection of other alcoholic beverages.

Beer machines

Beer machines

Booze

Booze

I was mostly interested in the food. Although everything was pre-packaged, I thought the food was decent for a business class lounge. They had lots of onigiri (rice balls stuffed with things), cups of noodles, and pastries, and I took a couple of things for the road, which was made easier by the fact that everything was pre-packaged. In retrospect, I was super, super glad that I had taken some stuff from this lounge, as I ended up being delayed for 7 hours on arrival into the US (most of that time stuck on a plane in Portland) and was so happy to have had some food in my bag.

Food options

Food options

More packaged foods

More packaged foods

All in all, not a fancy lounge by any means, but the wifi was fast, there was plenty of seating, and the fact that all the food options are packaged means it’s very easy to take a snack for the road (even if you’re not technically supposed to take food out of airport lounges…). It’s definitely much less crowded than the United Club or ANA Lounges, so it can be a good alternative if you just want a quiet place to sit.

Burn, United (Miles), Burn: ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)

Introduction
Planning
United Global First Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
ANA First Square Class Washington Dulles to Tokyo Narita
ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)
ANA Business Class Tokyo Narita to Beijing
IBIS Beijing Capital Airport Hotel
Air China First Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
BGS Premier Business Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Business Traveler’s Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Lufthansa A380 First Class Beijing to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa B747-400 First Class Frankfurt to New York JFK
United PS Business Class New York JFK to San Francisco


After deplaning from my previous flight and heading through the transfer security checkpoint, I was spit out right in front of the entrance to the ANA Business Class Lounge and Suite Lounge.

Entrance to the lounges

Entrance to the lounges

Additional doors to the Suite Lounge side

Additional doors to the Suite Lounge side

Upon checking in, I was directed to the Suite Lounge side, but my first order of business was to grab a shower after the 14-hour flight. The showers aren’t located in either lounge, but rather they’re in a shared area to the side of the check-in area. I was immediately given a shower room and a small package with Shiseido amenities.

Shower room with Shiseido amenities provided

Shower room with Shiseido amenities provided

I then made my way into the Suite Lounge. The first thing that I noticed was how crowded and busy it was for a first class lounge, as there were very few empty seats open when I arrived. A lounge attendant greeted me, saw my look of mild shock and apologized for the scarcity of open seats, and asked me to sit down where she brought me a wet towel and a drink. After this initial greeting, everything else was self service.

Overlooking the Suite Lounge

Overlooking the Suite Lounge

Seating in Suite Lounge (once it got much less crowded)

Seating in Suite Lounge (once it got much less crowded)

Although I had gorged myself on my flight, I knew that I had to check out the food options and at least get a bowl of noodles. I was more than satisfied with the food choices as the noodles I had were delicious, and I enjoyed the inari and small desserts that I sampled.

Hot food options

Hot food options

Noodle bar options

Noodle bar options

Kitsune udon

Kitsune udon

Sushi

Sushi

Cold options

Cold options

Packaged snacks

Packaged snacks

Vaguely hidden Haagen Dazs freezer

Partially hidden Haagen Dazs freezer next to the noodle bar

Liquor selection

Liquor selection

Beer machine

Beer machine

One of the displays advertised relaxing massage chairs, and after sitting in a massage chair in an airport lounge at Shanghai Pudong, I knew I wanted to seek these out. An attendant told me they were located in the business class lounge, so off I went.

If I thought the Suite Lounge was crowded, that was nothing compared to the regular lounge. The lounge was quite large (probably 3x the size of the first class side), but nearly every seat was taken, and they were making periodic announcements to ask people to make space for other passengers.

The business class side is very, very large

The business class side is very, very large

But also very, very crowded

But also very, very crowded

Unfortunately, this also meant that all of the massage chairs were occupied by people who were using them as regular seating, so I didn’t get my massage.

In spite of how busy the lounge was, the food options also looked good particularly because there was also access to the noodle bar.

Buffet in business side

Buffet in business side

DSC03320 DSC03321 DSC03322 DSC03323

Sake bar on business side

Sake bar on business side

Having failed in getting a massage, I returned to the Suite Lounge where I checked out the personal cubicles, which might be the place I return to next time if the general lounge area is crowded.

Personal cubicle in Suite Lounge

Personal cubicle in Suite Lounge

Personal cubicles

Personal cubicles

As it was, by the time I got back to the Suite Lounge, the lounge was considerably less crowded than when I arrived, so it was a lot more peaceful. There were also some opportunities for plane spotting, including two kinds of planes that I’m planning to fly in the coming months.

Thai A380!

Thai A380!

ANA 787

ANA 787!

I think it’s also worth noting that the wifi in the lounge was too slow to use when I arrived and the lounge was super crowded, but after many people had left, I was able to use it successfully.

With about 30 minutes to go before my flight, a lounge attendant came up to me to tell me that my flight was beginning to board. Impressive stuff for such a busy lounge! Although she also told me the wrong gate to go to, but that’s possibly because there had been a gate change maybe an hour before the flight.