The Guide to Houston Intercontinental Airport Lounges

For premium relaxation at Houston Intercontinental, check out the United Polaris or Centurion Lounges.
Peter Rothbart
By Peter Rothbart 
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Edited by Meg Lee

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George Bush International Airport (also known as Houston Intercontinental) isn’t the city’s only major airport facility, but still ranks among the nation’s busiest in terms of passenger traffic. Ongoing construction and renovations have impacted lounges in the Houston airport in recent years.

Here’s what you need to know about all the Houston lounges airport goers can visit, including location, how to gain access and what you can expect once you’re there.

About Houston airport lounges

Houston Intercontinental is a hub for United Airlines, and serves dozens of other carriers on domestic and international routes.

The facility has five terminals (A, B, C, D and E) connected by two automated people movers: the Skyway train (operating above ground and beyond security) and the Subway train (operating below ground and before security). Terminals B, C, D and E are also connected internally so passengers can walk between them.

There are 12 Houston airport lounges in total, including at least one in each terminal. If you’re flying in business or first class, have airline elite status, or hold a credit card with airport lounge access, there’s a good chance you’re eligible for complimentary admission to at least one Houston airport lounge. If not, many lounges have day passes available for purchase.

Most lounges require you to show government-issued identification along with a same-day confirmed boarding pass, and may require additional credentials (such as a lounge membership card). All lounges in the Houston airport offer complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, as well as the other amenities described below.

Terminal A: Admirals Club, United Club

Terminal A is accessible on the inter-terminal trains, but can’t be reached on foot from the other terminals. In addition to the two lounges described below, Terminal A is home to Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, which offers credits to eligible Priority Pass members.

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American Airlines Admirals Club

  • Located airside near gates A25 and A26.

  • Complimentary access for Admirals Club members, qualifying first and business class passengers, eligible AAdvantage credit card members, and non-AAdvantage oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members. The lounge is also accessible with an Admirals Club one-day pass, and by uniformed military personnel traveling on a same-day American Airlines flight.

  • Visitors must present a valid photo ID and boarding pass, along with other access credentials (like an Admirals Club membership card).

Measuring at only 4,300 square feet, this lounge manages to fit all the standard Admirals Club amenities. Visitors can enjoy the buffet for light fare, snacks and beverages, as well as a full-service bar with complimentary house drinks — larger meals and specialty drinks are available for purchase.

Along with the usual magazines, newspapers and flight boards, the space also boasts a private room with a conference table (available for rent), and views of the two westernmost runways.

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United Club

  • Located airside across from Gate A9.

  • Complimentary access for United Club members and one-time pass holders traveling on United or a Star Alliance partner; United and Star Alliance first class and business class passengers on eligible itineraries, Star Alliance Gold members on eligible itineraries, and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members flying on Star Alliance airlines.

  • Active duty U.S. military personnel may also be eligible for complimentary access.

One of five United Club locations at Houston Intercontinental Airport (not including the United Polaris lounge), this location offers a buffet with snacks and light fare, as well as a full-service bar.

House drinks are complimentary, while premium drinks carry an additional charge. The lounge offers natural light from its west-facing windows, but does not have its own restroom facilities.

Terminals B and C: United Clubs

Terminal B is accessible on the inter-terminal trains, and can be reached on foot from Terminals C, D and E via the north section of Terminal C (near Gate C15). There’s only one lounge in Terminal B.

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United Club Terminal B

  • Located airside on the mezzanine level above the United Express ticket counter

  • Complimentary access for United Club members and one-time pass holders traveling on United or a Star Alliance partner; United and Star Alliance first class and business class passengers on eligible itineraries, Star Alliance Gold members on eligible itineraries, and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members flying on Star Alliance airlines.

  • Active duty U.S. military personnel may also be eligible for complimentary access.

The only lounge option in Terminal B, this location offers a buffet with snacks and light fare. The full-service bar offers complimentary house drinks, while premium drinks carry an additional charge.

Rather than use an open floor plan, the space is broken up into smaller seating areas, including a section of personal work areas. Unlike the United Club in Terminal A, this location has its own restroom facilities.

Terminal C is split into two parts: the north section includes Gates C1-15, while the south section includes Gates C29-45. In addition to the two United Clubs described below, Terminal C is home to Landry’s Seafood and Minute Suites, which offer eligible Priority Pass members dining credits and a free 1-hour visit, respectively.

United Club Terminal C North

  • Located airside near Gate C1.

  • Complimentary access for United Club members and one-time pass holders traveling on United or a Star Alliance partner; United and Star Alliance first class and business class passengers on eligible itineraries, Star Alliance Gold members on eligible itineraries, and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members flying on Star Alliance airlines.

  • Active duty U.S. military personnel may also be eligible for complimentary access.

This location offers a buffet with snacks and light fare. The full-service bar offers complimentary house drinks, while premium drinks carry an additional charge.

The lounge mostly comprises one long, open room, with north-facing windows looking out on the apron of the nearby C gates and the runway beyond. The space is broken up by a few glass dividers, but offers little privacy apart from two small enclosed work areas.

Unlike other United Clubs at IAH, this lounge offers single-occupant restrooms.

United Club Terminal C South

  • Located airside near Gate C33 

  • Complimentary access for United Club members and one-time pass holders traveling on United or a Star Alliance partner; United and Star Alliance first class and business class passengers on eligible itineraries, Star Alliance Gold members on eligible itineraries, and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members flying on Star Alliance airlines.

  • Active duty U.S. military personnel may also be eligible for complimentary access.

This location offers a buffet with snacks and light fare. The full-service bar offers complimentary house drinks, while premium drinks carry an additional charge.

Rather than use an open floor plan, the space is broken up into smaller seating areas, including a tv lounge and a section of personal work areas. This location also has its own restroom facilities.

Terminal D: AmEx Centurion Lounge and more

Terminal D is accessible on the inter-terminal trains, and can be reached on foot from Terminals B, C and E. Terminal D is home to five lounges, and while it’s the only terminal without a United Club, the ones in Terminals C and E aren’t far off.

American Express Centurion Lounge

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  • Located airside near Gate D12.

  • Complimentary access with the Centurion Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express when traveling on any airline, and with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card when traveling on a Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. Terms apply.

  • Centurion cardholders have no time restrictions. Platinum cardholders may enter up to three hours before a scheduled departure or up to three hours before the lounge closes (with a scheduled departure after that time). Connecting passengers may enter upon arrival.

  • You must present your valid, eligible AmEx card, the boarding pass for your departing flight, and a physical government-issued ID for access.

Operating since 2016, this lounge offers 8,500 square feet of space to relax with amenities typical of the AmEx Centurion Lounge network. You’ll find a buffet with separate breakfast and lunch/dinner menus designed by local chef Justin Yu, and a full-service bar with Houston-inspired cocktails and wines.

Visitors also get access to shower facilities, a computing and printing workstation, and the lounge’s wellness area (with complimentary access to content from meditation app Calm).

One thing you won’t find is a view, as the lounge is void of windows to the outside. Nonetheless, this is the nicest of the lounges at Houston airport Terminal D.

Air France Lounge

  • Located airside by Gate D18.

  • Complimentary access for La Première (first class) passengers, business class passengers traveling on Standard or Flex fares, Flying Blue elite members with Gold status and above, and SkyTeam Elite Plus members.

  • As part of the Priority Pass network, complimentary access is also available to eligible Priority Pass members, though access may be restricted due to space constraints.

This space is on the small side, but offers most airport lounge essentials. Visitors can expect a buffet with snacks and light fare, a selection of hot and cold drinks (including beer, wine and spirits), access to a variety of newspapers via the Air France app, and a few different seating options.

One notable shortcoming: the lounge doesn’t have its own restrooms, though there are some nearby at Gate D16.

KLM Crown Lounge

  • Located airside across from Gate D15.

  • Complimentary access for business class passengers traveling on Standard or Flex fares, Flying Blue elite members with Gold status and above, and SkyTeam Elite Plus members.

  • As part of the Priority Pass network, complimentary access is also available to eligible Priority Pass members, though access may be restricted between 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. due to space constraints.

Renovated in the fall of 2023, this lounge remains on the smaller side, measuring a shade under 4,000 square feet and accommodating up to 100 guests.

You’ll find a self-service buffet with hot and cold options that vary throughout the day, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, international newspapers, luggage storage and closet space. While there’s no shower suite, this lounge does have its own restroom facilities (unlike the Air France lounge nearby).

USO Lounge

  • Located airside across from Gate D8.

  • Free of charge to traveling Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as their families.

As one of three USO centers in the Houston area, this lounge offers a range of standard services in addition to special holiday celebrations and other morale-boosting programs. Amenities include snacks and beverages, computer workstations, TVs and video games, a children’s play area and more.

HAS Executive Club

  • Located airside near Gate D12.

  • Open daily from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 a.m.

  • Complimentary access available to eligible British Airways, Emirates, EVA Air and Oneworld passengers and elite members.

Not tied to one airline (or even one airline alliance), this lounge is contracted by several carriers to accommodate their passengers traveling to and from Houston.

It features an extensive hot and cold self-serve buffet and full-service bar and a business center, and a separate TV room. The lounge lacks restrooms, so you’ll need to use the ones in the terminal nearby.

Terminal E: United Polaris and United Club

Terminal E is accessible on the inter-terminal trains, and can be reached on foot from Terminals B, C and D. The terminal is home to two adjacent United Airlines lounges: one is a standard United Club, while the other is a more upscale Polaris Lounge.

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United Airlines Polaris Lounge

  • Located airside near Gate E12.

  • Complimentary access for United Polaris business class passengers, and for first and business class passengers traveling on Star Alliance airlines.

Designed for business and first class passengers, this lounge offers a step up in service compared to standard United Clubs. Offering over 12,500 square feet of space, there are seating options for both large and small parties.

In addition to a self-serve buffet and full-service bar, guests can enjoy restaurant-style dining from separate breakfast and lunch/dinner menus offering both small plates and entrees. The lounge also offers shower suites, daybeds and single-occupant restrooms.

United Club

  • Located airside near Gate E11.

  • Complimentary access for United Club members and one-time pass holders traveling on United or a Star Alliance partner; United and Star Alliance first class and business class passengers on eligible itineraries, Star Alliance Gold members on eligible itineraries, and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members flying on Star Alliance airlines.

  • Active duty U.S. military personnel may also be eligible for complimentary access.

This relatively-spacious lounge offers the standard United Club assortment of snacks and light fare, as well as a full-service bar with complimentary house drinks and premium drinks available for purchase.

The space features both open seating areas and a few more private nooks, with south-facing windows with views of the E gates and runway beyond. This lounge also offers its own restroom facilities.

Final thoughts on Houston airport lounges

While every Houston airport lounge provides opportunities to relax, refresh and connect during your travels, the United Polaris lounge offers the most elevated lounge experience at Houston Intercontinental Airport, with the AmEx Centurion Lounge not far behind.

The best Houston lounge is the one that suits your needs, so check your gate information to see which Houston airport lounges to visit based on your itinerary.

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