Review: United Club Sea – Tac “A” Gates, Seattle, Washington, United States

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The United Club at Sea Tac recently underwent a relocation from the “N” Gates to the “A” Gates. When United moved the lounge, they also refreshed the concept in more modern colours, tones and space. The new lounge occupies a much smaller footprint than the old version, but still represents a pleasant space.


This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: United Club Sea – Tac “A” Gates, Seattle, Washington, United States


This is a review of the United Club at the Sea-Tac “A” Gates. For other reviews of lounges at Seattle Tacoma International Airport, please see The Club at Sea “A” Concourse, The Club at Sea International Lounge at “S” Concourse, the American Express Centurion Lounge at “B” Concourse, the Alaska Lounge at “N” Gates, and the Alaska Lounge at “C” Gates.


We had a five hour layover after our Air Canada Express Vancouver – Seattle flight. We headed to the public side in order for a proper breakfast at the nearby 13 Coins restaurant located just off the SEA-Tax property.

Checking into All Nippon Airways:

We stopped by the All Nippon Airways (ANA) Business Class check in to see if we needed a lounge voucher for the contract lounge at the Seattle S Terminal. The counters opened at 10:15 AM at, three hours and fifteen minutes prior to departure. It became apparent starting from here how far North American carriers have fallen behind in the service industry as compared to their Asian counterparts. A whole army of staff was available to attend to passengers needs and prepared to start the shift all at once. We managed to see the start of shift ritual, which included the manager welcoming us all ten of us in line “irrashmasai” and a bow with the staff lined up. MrsWT73 was very impressed with this introduction to Japanese culture.

ANA Check In Counters at SEA-TAC
ANA Fast Bag Drop
ANA Business Class Counters

The South Concourse of Seattle Tacoma International Airport handles most of the interaction departures and hosts the US Customs and Immigration Arrival facilities. In terms of departures, it happens that there is no official Star Alliance Lounge in the S Gates at Sea Tac South Concourse. As it turns out, no lounge voucher was needed and we headed off to Lounge Hop at Sea-Tac for 2 hours prior to our flight. 

United Club
Concourse A, Sea Tac International Airport

First up was the newly redesigned United Club in the “A” Concourse. In terms of Star Alliance carriers (and United), things have gotten much brighter at Seattle ever since United Airlines moved out of the “N” Concourse. Alaska Airlines took over this terminal almost in it’s entirety. This meant the loss of the dingy basement and windowless United Red Carpet Club under the North Satellite Terminal with a brand new lounge at the main concourse “A Terminal”. With our ANA flight was leaving from the South Satellite Terminal, so we stopped in at the new United Club to divide up the time. The orientation of the Sea Tac airport is a but complicated, so it helps to have an understanding of where things are with an appropriate map.

SEA TAC Terminal Map
The Map is courtesy of the Port of Seattle

Locating the United Club Concourse “A”:

The latest version of the United Club is located in Concourse “A” adjacent to the “A” Gates. It’s a short walk from the general security screening and central Pre-Check screening at Sea Tac. In my experience, there’s usually long lines at Seattle Tacoma International Airport for screening, so it always helps to have access to a Priorty Lane, including TSA-PreCheck or Clear.

Location of the United Club at the “A” Gates
The Map is Courtesy of the Port of Seattle
The Sea Tac “A” Concourse

The entry to the United Club is somewhat hidden at the end of a concourse hallway. You’d probably miss it if you weren’t looking out for it by it’s barber shop styled white United Club list. It also happens to be almost adjacent to The Club at Sea Lounge which is a few steps away down the Concourse.

Accessing the United Club:

It’s a little more challenging than most to access the United Club. This is not exclusive to the United Club itself, but rather the general rules around accessing lounges in the United States. The American Rules are among the most complex access rules out there in the travel world:

The following permit access:

  • A boarding pass for travel in United Polaris or United Business Class (international) business class at departure, connecting and arrival airports along their eligible same-day routing.
  • Customers traveling to and from Canada in United First are eligible for United Business access.
  • Customers on premium transcontinental flights may only access United Club locations at the origin and destination of their premium transcontinental flight (only between New York/Newark and Los Angeles and New York/Newark and San Francisco).
  • A boarding pass for travel in first class on a Star Alliance member airline, only at the departure airport for their international first class flight
  • A boarding pass for travel in business class on a Star Alliance member airline, only at the departure airport for their international business class flight
  • A valid Star Alliance Gold membership card and a same-day boarding pass for travel on an international flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline are needed to access United Club locations at departure, during connections and upon arrival, along the eligible same-day itinerary 
  • A same-day boarding pass showing Star Alliance Gold status, for travel on an international flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline is needed to access United Club locations at departure, during connections and upon arrival, along the eligible same-day itinerary
  • A valid Star Alliance Gold membership card and a same-day boarding pass for travel on a flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline and departing from the same airport
  • A same-day boarding pass showing Star Alliance Gold status, for travel on a flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline and departing from the same airport
  • A boarding pass for same-day travel with a valid United Club membership number listed 
  • A valid United Club membership card and boarding pass for same-day travel 
  • A valid United Club membership number and boarding pass for same-day travel
  • A valid mobile or paper United Club one-time pass and boarding pass for same-day travel 
  • A valid 15-digit one-time pass number and boarding pass for same-day travel
  • Active duty military members with a valid military ID, boarding pass for travel within 24 hours on a United- or United Express-operated flight and one of the following: Dressed in uniform, Leave orders, Rest and recuperation papers
  • A valid Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership card and a boarding pass for a flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline and departing from the same airport 
  • Maple Leaf Club North America members can access United Club locations in the U.S. only. 
  • Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members can access all United Club locations.

In short, there are many ways to get in, if one can figure out the complicated access rules. Our access today was courtesy of our All Nippon Airways International Business class flight per the Star Alliance Lounge access policies.

Inside the United Club at Sea – Tac:

The new United Club is a much brighter place to be than the previous dungeon in the old North Satellite Concourse. This version has full glass windows, a split table and bar area and some comfortable loungers. On our visit, they were also stocking copies of the New York Times newspaper and the Financial Times. 

Lounge Seating – United Club
Lounge Seating with three of your favourite travelers
A bright pleasant space

Food and Beverage:

As with many other United Lounges, there are well drinks and house wines and beers available on a complimentary basis. There were also some decent premium American wines on offer for a price.

A Small Stand Up Bar
Premium Wine List

There is a small compact space for dining. We didn’t use this space as it was pretty compact and less comfortable than the loungers.

Seating Area

The catering was pretty par for the course for a United Club. It’s pretty uninspiring and featured cereal silos and few plain baked goods that were not too exciting in taste and flavour.

The usual United Club catering

The Bottom Line: United Club at Sea – Tac :

The refreshed United Club at Seattle Tacoma International Airport is a much better version than the basement United Red Carpet Club that used to exist at this airport. The new version is presented in a much smaller space than the old version but is dressed up in contemporary colors. I’d consider this to be a place to work or relax prior to your flight as the catering isn’t all too exciting. It’s a great place to be if you have access, but I’d still prefer the American Express Centurion Lounge if you happen to have access.


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