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Old Jan 20, 12, 7:33 pm   #1
 
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United Club Access to All Star Alliance Club??

I was trying to get Star Gold but seems like if I purchase United Club for USD 475 and not frequent Star Alliance passenger, I can access pretty much All Star Alliance Lounges (if this is all I am after being Star Gold). Would it be cheaper to buy United Club than do MR to reach Gold? Is this accurate understanding of this link?

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,1360,3113,00.html
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Old Jan 20, 12, 7:38 pm   #2
 
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It is true that you can use partner clubs using your united club membership card without being SA Gold. Also consider that when buying The UC membership, you can use the clubs EVEN on domestic flights, not just international ones.

Whether you should spend $475 to buy the membership or doing MR to get SA gold depends on how much domestic travel you will do and how much you will spend (in terms of money AND time) to do MR to achieve 1P.
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Old Jan 20, 12, 7:42 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnlfqtv View Post
I was trying to get Star Gold but seems like if I purchase United Club for USD 475 and not frequent Star Alliance passenger, I can access pretty much All Star Alliance Lounges (if this is all I am after being Star Gold). Would it be cheaper to buy United Club than do MR to reach Gold? Is this accurate understanding of this link?

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,1360,3113,00.html
For what it's worth, in September 2010 and again in Sept 2011, US Airways has had a sale on their clubs for like $200 (if I recall correctly). Access to a US Airways club also gets you into a United Club (and any other Star Alliance lounge)... this is one of the cheapest ways to get full lounge access.

There are also UA credit cards that come with lounge access, which can be valuable if the rest of the terms of the card make sense (and the annual fee) make sense... I believe there was a card that offered UA lounge access and the first year fee was waived, so it was effectively free for year one to get into the UA lounges. Not sure if that particular deal included access to all Star Alliance lounges, but I'm sure someone else will know :-)

best, E

Last edited by pnoeric; Jan 20, 12 at 7:48 pm.
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Old Jan 20, 12, 7:43 pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnlfqtv View Post
I was trying to get Star Gold but seems like if I purchase United Club for USD 475 and not frequent Star Alliance passenger, I can access pretty much All Star Alliance Lounges (if this is all I am after being Star Gold). Would it be cheaper to buy United Club than do MR to reach Gold? Is this accurate understanding of this link?

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,1360,3113,00.html
Yes if lounge access is your only criteria.
Golds also get bag fee waiver, priority for boarding, upgrades, .... and higher RDM bonus -- plus a few other items

Also in a few cases, such as LH lounges, the *G get a better lounge (Senator vs Business). believe NZ, ANA, ??? also differentiate. Contract lounges are *G only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnoeric View Post
For what it's worth, in the last two years, US Airways has had a sale on their clubs for like $200 (if I recall correctly). ...
A little bit higher, $259
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...-ua-match.html
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Old Jan 20, 12, 9:41 pm   #5
 
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Not only!

You also get priority check-in, fast track on some airports and a shiny gold card! The fact you can use access contract lounges with *G card is indeed a plus, specially if you usually travel to eastern europe, Italy, Portugal and Central America. However if flying mostly domestic US, UC membership is indeed a better choice.
We would be able to help more if we knew the amount of miles for your MR and your base airport.
Also SAS, Singapore and Swiss give more lounge privileges to *G than UC members. (eg.: Scandinavian Lounge x Business Lounge).
Good luck!
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Old Jan 21, 12, 4:58 am   #6
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Note that it is unclear if a UC membership will give you access to lounges operated by the Star Alliamce itself as opposed to those operated by airlines which are members of the star alliance. So for example, IME flying without a *G card out of LHR or DUB in economy class on LH or BD, the RCC card worked, though as noted by others, the Sen club is not accessible. What I don't know is if flying economy on UA out of LHR would get me access bases on my RCC card because 1. UA employees work the Star lounge, so my *G status would known, and 2. I've always flown UA in C or F.

Since I now *G for life, I never find out.
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Old Jan 21, 12, 6:45 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Micara View Post
It is true that you can use partner clubs using your united club membership card without being SA Gold. Also consider that when buying The UC membership, you can use the clubs EVEN on domestic flights, not just international ones.
it's for this very reason that I'm grateful to have the Presidential Plus card which provides me a United Club card. I do a fair amount of domestic travel (but am based in GUM), and always get dinged from the UA Club Agents domestically when I present my boarding pass for access, forgetting that I'm flying domestic only. Not to worry, my UA Club card is ready in tow in those instances. Glad I have both though (*Gold access and UA Club membership).
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Old Jan 22, 12, 8:53 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post
Note that it is unclear if a UC membership will give you access to lounges operated by the Star Alliamce itself as opposed to those operated by airlines which are members of the star alliance. So for example, IME flying without a *G card out of LHR or DUB in economy class on LH or BD, the RCC card worked, though as noted by others, the Sen club is not accessible. What I don't know is if flying economy on UA out of LHR would get me access bases on my RCC card because 1. UA employees work the Star lounge, so my *G status would known, and 2. I've always flown UA in C or F.

Since I now *G for life, I never find out.
As I was not *G until last december, I ended up using my RCC membership card to get me into the *A commom lounge at LHR more than 4 times last year, so one should have no problem to enter the lounge solely with UC membership card...
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:46 pm   #9
 
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The RCC membership doesn't get you into everything that *G does, e.g., certain *A contract lounges. An example: While Lufthansa's lounge at BOS was under renovation, they had a deal to allow *G customers (but not RCC members) to use the AF lounge.

I also had trouble getting into the TP lounge at LIS. In Europe, it's mostly just accepted that *G = lounge access, so the agents don't always know what to do with the paid memberships.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 12:13 am   #10
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Rather than opening a new thread, I thought I would ask the question here.

I am flying the following routing:

IAH-NRT in BusinessFirst on Continental
NRT-TPE in Economy on ANA
TPE-NRT in Business Class on United
NRT-IAH in BusinessFirst on Continental

ANA has 2 lounges at NRT - the ANA Lounge and the ANA Suite Lounge. I would like to go to the Suite Lounge, but my admission would be based on their interpretation of BusinessFirst as First Class or Business Class. If they consider BF as Business, I will probably be directed to the regular ANA Lounge - but if I can sell them on it being First Class, I might gain entry to the Suite Lounge.

Is my interpretation correct, or am I totally off and will get directed to the ANA Lounge strictly on the basis of my *Gold status and they won't care about my ticketed cabin on a partner airline? Which boarding pass do they check for entry...my arrival BP or departure BP?
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Old Jan 23, 12, 5:15 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Rather than opening a new thread, I thought I would ask the question here.

I am flying the following routing:

IAH-NRT in BusinessFirst on Continental
NRT-TPE in Economy on ANA
TPE-NRT in Business Class on United
NRT-IAH in BusinessFirst on Continental

ANA has 2 lounges at NRT - the ANA Lounge and the ANA Suite Lounge. I would like to go to the Suite Lounge, but my admission would be based on their interpretation of BusinessFirst as First Class or Business Class. If they consider BF as Business, I will probably be directed to the regular ANA Lounge - but if I can sell them on it being First Class, I might gain entry to the Suite Lounge.

Is my interpretation correct, or am I totally off and will get directed to the ANA Lounge strictly on the basis of my *Gold status and they won't care about my ticketed cabin on a partner airline? Which boarding pass do they check for entry...my arrival BP or departure BP?

Use this link to figure out theoretical admission policies.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 6:09 am   #12
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but if I can sell them on it being First Class,
Good luck with that; it won't work. BF is a business product in the *A designations.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 7:10 am   #13
 
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The Continental Presidential Plus credit card from Chase mentioned upthread is probably a better deal than purchasing United Club membership directly. It has a $395 annual fee minus a one-time $95 credit after first card use. Includes a full United Club membership, including guest/family privileges, plus a few other benefits like United baggage fee waivers and EQM earning.

The American Express Platinum card ($450 annual fee) includes a Priority Pass Select card (good for lounge access for one person, although not for United Clubs), up to $200 in airline fee rebates, and several other benefits. That card also gets you into American, Delta, and U.S. Airways lounges.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 9:08 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idayvuelta View Post
Use this link to figure out theoretical admission policies.
Which BP would I use for entrance? According to the *A website, my economy BP on ANA gets me no access to the ANA Lounge (while ana.com says I can get in there as a *G), but at least my arrival CO BF boarding pass would.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 9:19 am   #15
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Which BP would I use for entrance? According to the *A website, my economy BP on ANA gets me no access to the ANA Lounge (while ana.com says I can get in there as a *G), but at least my arrival CO BF boarding pass would.
Presenting your economy BP, along with *G credentials, gets you access to the lounge. The BP without the *G credentials would not.
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