As a business class passenger, I had access to the United Arrivals lounge. As only United’s International First Class lounge has showers airside, I would have otherwise not had access to one before catching my connecting flight. While Continental brought showers to the merger, it’s worth noting that there are only a handful available at the premerger President’s Clubs in EWR and IAH.
The United Arrivals lounge is located on the arrivals level of Terminal 3, which is some distance away from the International Terminal where most of passengers with access will be clearing customs.
After showing my boarding pass to the attendant, she began printing out another boarding pass. Thinking this was my boarding pass for my connection, I asked her for it, only to discover that it was a duplicate of my HKG-SFO leg, used by the lounge to keep records of its visitors. Using a computerized system would be too much to expect.