Lounge Review: United Airlines Global First at Tokyo Narita Airport

After a brief visit to the ANA Suite Lounge at Tokyo Narita Airport last month, I headed over to the more spacious and serene United Global First Class lounge.

Entry to the lounge is via an elevator just inside the reception area to the United Club in Terminal 1. After an agent checked my boarding pass upon exiting the elevator, I situated myself alongside the windows.

a room with a table and chairs

Global First Lounge Seating

a room with a table and chairs

Global First Lounge Seating

The lounge hasn’t been updated in years, but aside from the well-worn leather chairs, I think it’s still a pretty comfortable lounge – except for the temperature. It always seems to be too warm and although electronic screens are lowered as the sun beats through the windows, it rarely cools down.

The buffet area doesn’t offer anything spectacular in terms of food with only marginally better nibbles than the club downstairs, including sushi and pork dim sum. All beverages are self-serve with chilled glasses available in the refrigerator.

a restaurant with a kitchen and a bar

Dining and Buffet Area

a buffet line with food on it


a table with plates and food on it

Buffet and Beverages

A selection of newspapers and magazines are available in the hallway near the bathrooms, and around the corner are business center cubicles, massage chairs and Panasonic Note stations.

a long hallway with chairs and lamps


a massage chair in a room

Massage Chairs

a chair in a room with a tv

Massage Chair

a laptop on a desk

Panasonic Note Station

The shower rooms are also rather warm, but thankfully include multi-speed fans. Individual bottles of Plegaria shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion are provided. (Read more: United Airlines Global First Shower Room Amenities)

a key on a tag

Shower Room Key

a bathroom with a glass shower

Shower Room

a bathroom with a sink and a basket

Shower Room

The main reason I like this lounge is because it rarely fills up and it remains very quiet. And when the runway parallel to the windows is in use, it affords pretty decent #avgeek views.

a screen with a blue screen

Departures Monitor

a plane taking off from a runway

Singapore Airlines A380

The Global First lounge in San Francisco remains my favorite, followed by Los Angeles, Hong Kong (primarily for the food) and Tokyo. My best advice is to hit the ANA Suite Lounge for the food, then relax in the Global First lounge before heading to your United flight.

– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.

Related posts:

Lounge Review: ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport – Terminal 1, Satellite 4

Flight Review: United Airlines Global First Class, San Francisco to Tokyo Narita

United Airlines Global First Class Lounge Shower Room Amenities

The Reality Check That Is United Airlines Global First Class


  1. […] The United Club at Tokyo Narita Airport is located in terminal 1 near gate 31.  The United Club and the Global First Lounge share the same entrance but the Global First Lounge is located upstairs and offers a quieter and more exclusive place to rest and stay productive before your flight.  I wasn’t privy to the Global First Lounge but an excellent review of it by our friend, Darren of Frequently Flying, can be found here. […]


  1. Even if I had access to a lounge in Terminal 1 at NRT, I wouldn’t step foot in it (except for a shower maybe)

    NRT has the outside observation deck and a food court right next to it. Nothing better than basking in the sunshine with jumbo jets rumbling off in metres away from you and a plate of delicious food in hand.

  2. @ Jackson – Don’t forget those you mentioned in NRT are all landside, if you have to overnight in NRT, sure, but connecting is not ideal to exit immigration and come back immigration, as there is no expedite immigration for F pax in NRT unlike BKK.

  3. I’ve been in the UA Global First (twice) and the regular United Club (six times) at Narita over the last two years. As the story states, the Global First lounge is on the level above the regular United Club. The Global First is noticeably better than the regular United Club. The food is better. And it is much less crowded. The regular United Club seems to be always crowded. I’ve had connecting ANA flights and the ANA lounges are better than the regular United Club. The showers at the ANA lounges are better – the United Club and Global First showers are always warm inside and there doesn’t seem to be much cold water (wanting to take a cold shower since the air temperature is so warm). The ANA showers also provide better amenities. There are two ANA lounges in the terminal. The one that is on level above the terminal is not too crowded – this one is my favorite and I prefer it to the Global First lounge. The other ANA lounge that is on the level below the terminal can get crowded. The ANA lounges have better food. But, one advantage of United Club or Global First lounge over ANA lounges is that the beer glasses fit in the soda machines. You can get a tall glass of Coke Zero. The beer glasses in the ANA lounges don’t fit in the soda machine.

    • @Steve: Oh my yes, the shower rooms in the United GF lounge are uncomfortably warm! The freestanding fan helps, but not much. And I agree the ANA lounges offer better food and shower amenities.

  4. Flying into NRT on United in First class (and never had club access before)…can I use either the United Global First or the ANA lounge to freshen up before I head out for the train?

    • @BunMama: You can’t access the GF lounge upon arrival in Narita (only if you were connecting or departing) and I’m nearly certain the ANA Arrival facilities are for ANA passengers only. That said, there are public shower rooms from what I recall, though I doubt they’re very nice.

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