Review: United Club Lounge John Wayne Airport (SNA)

I got to John Wayne Airport about 10 minutes before boarding started for my usual flight to San Francisco.

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My ride to SF

However there was bad weather in SF that day and my flight was delayed 3.5 hours. Woohoo! What do do with 3.5 hours in an airport as small as SNA? Go back home? Leave the airport and go hang out in Irvine? Catch up with friends?

Nope, I had work to get done. There happens to be a United Club at SNA Airport and so that’s where I spent my time. With such a small airport, it would be surprising that there’s a club here, however, SNA is actually a very high demand airport to fly into in LA. United flies here from every one of its hubs except Washington Dulles. Here’s how you can access the United club here:

  • United Club Members traveling on United
  • Air Canada Worldwide Maple leaf Lounge Members
  • One time pass holders traveling on United
  • Passengers connecting to Business Class/Polaris Business Class Flights on United Same day
  • Non-United Mileage Plus Star Alliance Gold members traveling on United

I accessed it using a one time pass that a relative had. Unfortunately, Gold members aren’t allowed to use this lounge on a domestic-only itinerary so I couldn’t get into this lounge on status alone.

The club itself is on the 3rd floor (departures are on the second) but you’ll find signage for the United club directly opposite gate 9.

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Signage

Once you see that just walk around the corner and that’s the elevator that leads to the 3rd floor where the United club.

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United club
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hours of operation

When you reach, there’s kind of an anteroom where there are two seats before actually entering the lounge.

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entrance

Then was the entrance and check-in desks.

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check-in desks

Right before the desk, there were bathrooms too. I actually didn’t look into it however United generall keeps their lounge bathrooms tidy in my experience.

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bathroom

Across from the desk was also a departure board with all of United’s departures from SNA and arrivals as well.

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departure board

See those two bowls to the left, always one of my favorite things about United clubs: Life savers.

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Lifesavers
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Star Alliance

Now the lounge opens up into this open air space which is exposed to the natural light and I quite like that. It’s similar in that regard to the club lounge in Hong Kong.

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lounge

To the left were some juices along with water and lemon-flavored water.

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water and juices

And then some bread, bagels, and spreads.

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bread, bagel, spread
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oatmeal

On the counter on the opposite side, there was coffee, among other got drinks.

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coffee

There were also other snack items.

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snacks

Directly in front is the rest of the lounge including the buffet, which we’ll have a look at now.

Now, this counter had all the food items. I actually didn’t get to take a picture of all breakfast items before they changed it to lunch. So looking at the picture below that’s all the breakfast they had. I’ll list everything from left to right. We have apples, utensils, an assortment of muffins, greek yogurt with fruits mixed, tabasco sauce, some more apples, cereals, and on the far end there were watermelons, oranges, honeydews, and yogurt. It was a pretty decent spread of items for a club lounge of this size and I certainly had no issues.

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Breakfast

Now let’s see what lunch items they had.

The selection was pretty standard and the same as what you’d find in every other United club lounge ever.

We start off with some veggies and some garbanzo beans along with chilled pasta.

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lunch
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salads
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apples

There was also a spinach artichoke dip which was quite nice.

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cookies and spinach artichoke dip

There were also some ham and cheese croissant sandwiches on the side available.

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lunch items

Behind the buffet was a fully stocked and staffed bar which you could get drinks from.

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bar

Now, here is the rest of the club lounge. It’s just one not-so-big room. At the end of the day, John Wayne Airport is not a very big airport nor is it a United hub, so it doesn’t need to be any bigger than this, That said, SNA airport is very frequently used by business travelers compared to LAX which is much more painful to go to/from so despite this being a smaller airport, the choice of putting a club lounge here is definitely worthwhile.

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room

Here’s my seat (on the right) for the time I that I was in the lounge. It’s the same seat design as what you’d find at all the new design United clubs.

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seat

There was a high table to the right with seating and power ports sticking out of the table itself.

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table
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seats

Now I showed you the front area. Behind a divider was some more seating in a slightly more private setting I would say.

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seats

And here’s some more table seating along with some chairs.

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seats
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more seating

And here’s one look from the back of the lounge to the front.

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view

All things considered, this is a perfectly nice United club to have here at little John Wayne Airport, my home. I would say even though there’s not much food variety, not that much size, it doesn’t need any of that. It’s a smaller UA club serving a smaller airport and I think it serves its purpose from that regard. If you have free access through status or club membership, this is a perfectly nice space to spend your time, however, if you are planning on paying or using a day pass here, don’t do it.

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