Let me repeat that. The United Club at Sao Paulo (GRU) is a disaster. It officially earns the title of “Worst United Club I Have Visited.” There are a few that I haven’t seen, but this is by far the worst of the ones I have. Instead of escaping to a “Club Away from the Hubbub” as United once put it, you’re really stepping into a pit of disorder and chaos. This report is based on multiple separate experiences at the club.
Due to the fact that all of the UA flights to North America leave around the same time, the club obviously gets busy right around then. Checking into the club is usually met with a fairly long line. Once you get in, good luck finding a seat. This place is SLAMMED. And by slammed, I don’t mean “really busy” like we find our United Clubs in the USA. Rather, I mean this “club” looks like an SFO terminal on a foggy day. People are sitting on the floors, some people are preferring to stand, etc. There’s literally nowhere to sit. I eventually found an individual spot in the corner. This was actually the case with both of my recent visits.
Okay so once you find a seat, it’s time to relax and hook up to Wi-Fi right? Not exactly… this place has 3 WiFI hotspots: UA1, UA2, and UA3. Connecting to any of them will typically get you a server timeout or it will connect, but you won’t actually get any internet access. I think they have the whole club sharing a dial-up connection. I hate shoddy internet. Both times I visited, each about a month apart, I couldn’t get any internet access. Rather, I had to connect to one of the airport WiFi services and pay for my connection.
I wasn’t the only one doing this. The guy next to me couldn’t connect to the internet, and he asked me about it. Before I could respond, the woman across said, “Oh yeah – Just connect to the ‘Oi’ WiFi network and pay for it. Internet never works here.”
As if the scene of the club weren’t stressful enough, with people crawling over each other, frustrated to not be able to get an internet connection, add a bunch of dirty dishes to the scene. Literally there are so many people here, without enough staff, that dirty plates and trays pile up all over the club. It’s definitely a little bit gross.
The club itself is old and in need of some major remodeling. The carpet is pretty stained, and the furniture is old too.
The food isn’t very good either. Actually, it’s rather bad.
It’s really an odd situation. I was sitting at the club, thinking to myself, “Wow… I actually pay an annual membership for this?” When I left the club, I gave my feedback to the agent, and she thanked me for my feedback. Of course, there’s nothing she can really do about the situation, but I think United really needs to step up and do something about this club. There’s a TAM lounge across the way. Honestly, maybe they should try and merge the lounges or get a larger space and call it a Star Alliance Lounge like they do in London. This one in Sao Paulo is the absolute worst United Club I’ve been to. I’ve been here a few times, and it is this way EVERY time.
Um… at least there are free condoms?