You need to be a member of the clubs to get access to them . As far as which place to connect from are all the fares the same ? I would look at layover time and the shortest total time with this caveat -- SFO has flight delays if there is a cloud cover. Denver is ok and so is La but do look at the total travel time as well.
Yes to lounge access:
I'd pick whichever connecting airport offered a good connecting time for you had back-up flight options, in case something went wrong. I tend to stay away from LAX and SFO, but that's a personal decision.
No to lounge access in the US, but Yes in Canada.
There is no Air Canada Maple Leaf Club in Denver, SFO, or LAX, and they are unlikely to let you in to the United ClubEdited: 12 February 2014, 00:33
Last summer I booked an executive class ticket with Air Canada - flew on United as a code share. YYZ to LAX through Houston. I had access to the United Club in Houston, and there is an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in the International Terminal at LAX.
Thank you for the replies but we are booking with United not Air Canada.
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You may, but if you want to know for sure in advance, call United. Here's contact info united.com/web/…default.aspx
Access rules for United Clubs: Boarding pass for international travel in United Global First, United BusinessFirst, United First or United Business. Travel within the U.S. (including Hawaii) in United First or United Business is not eligible.
Kind of surprised me. I thought they'd lump in Canada.
We've accessed United Clubs when flying international business class. There needs to be a direct connection to/from such flights. No need for membership in that case.
Here's contact info. united.com/web/…default.aspxEdited: 15 February 2014, 14:05
Thanks for your reply. So it looks like we won't be eligible as we are flying to Hawaii.
But to Canada. That would be the only way (immediate connection to international first class to Toronto). Worth a call. Not sure in which of the airports getting to the club would be easiest.
There is no international F from Canada to Hawaii on UA. No free access at LAX, DEN, or SFO to the United Club. The only lounge access they will get free, as already stated, is the Maple Leaf Lounge in Canada.Edited: 15 February 2014, 21:32