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Old Jul 30, 12, 12:34 pm   #1
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United Club, another change that I think you'll like (d/credit for prem. bar drinks)

(Please feel free to merge this if there already is another relevant thread, I didn't see it.)

Effective August 1, no cash for premium drinks in the United Club. Truly a minor inconvenience for most but it's just another customer unfriendly activity to add to the list. Bet it really cuts down on tips for the bartenders too.

Here's the body of the email I got:

Quote:
United Club to accept only credit and debit cards for premium bar purchases

We want to inform you that effective August 1, 2012, United ClubSM will accept only credit and debit cards as forms of payment for premium liquors and fine wines. Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express® and Discover® cards will all be accepted for these purchases.

In addition to premium bar service, United Club offers select complimentary beverages, as well as light snacks, high-speed wireless Internet access and more.

Thank you for being a United Club member.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 12:37 pm   #2
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
(Please feel free to merge this if there already is another relevant thread, I didn't see it.)

Effective August 1, no cash for premium drinks in the United Club. Truly a minor inconvenience for most but it's just another customer unfriendly activity to add to the list. Bet it really cuts down on tips for the bartenders too.

Here's the body of the email I got:
Maybe it won't cut down on tips.
Here in NYC, cab drivers have found that average tips are larger when passengers pay by credit card.

I don't really see it as being customer unfriendly. It seems pretty consistent with trends toward credit cards over cash. It's already old news on aircraft.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 12:42 pm   #3
 
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Eliminating choices most often equals customer-unfriendly results.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 12:47 pm   #4
 
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Does that mean bartenders won't be able to take cash tips either?
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Old Jul 30, 12, 12:47 pm   #5
 
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What about when you're not paying?

If they're eliminating the ability to pay in cash, it seems reasonable to assume they're eliminating the cash drawers as well? Sometimes the bartenders have had to go in there to get me change so that I can tip them.

I guess if enough people have tipped earlier on it's fine, but I could see it slightly cutting down on the ability for people taking advantage of the free drinks who don't have change to tip especially early in the day.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:06 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IFlyHarder View Post
Maybe it won't cut down on tips.
Here in NYC, cab drivers have found that average tips are larger when passengers pay by credit card.

I don't really see it as being customer unfriendly. It seems pretty consistent with trends toward credit cards over cash. It's already old news on aircraft.
Funny but I mostly use cabs while abroad and often in countries where cabbie tipping isn't done or expected which I kind of like as I have rarely had a cab ride in the USA that the driver went out of his way to get a tip!

That being said, I think this will have a negative effect on the U Club bartenders tips, at least at first. I am much more prone to tip with cash when getting a drink when the service is good even if I use a CC because the tip jar is right there in front of me! But that is just me, and I admit I have a daughter who is a server so I think of her! I guess I will adjust.

Business travelers might expense a drink at the club but not want to add a tip as it raises the bar for expenses.

Not suggesting anyone cheat the IRS but cash tips are not always declared as income and CC ones are.

Many establishments do not tip out staff on a daily basis, some do it on a weekly or monthly one so the staff may have less change in their pockets at the end of the day.

Some establishments take a percentage of the tips. Not sure what the policy is for U Club employees.

I would imagine that the U Club bar staff pools tips with others in the service end of the club like the busing staff and cleaning staff.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:09 pm   #7
 
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Made sense on the planes as there are so many flights a day and just the pure complexity of accounting and making change etc.

But in the Clubs -- please there are not that many Clubs that they can't adequately account for a cash drawer.

I typically prefer to pay with cash for my alcohol at bars... don't know exactly why but maybe that is how I was conditioned.

This just seems like a way for Management to be a little more lazy.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:12 pm   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccullo3 View Post
.... This just seems like a way for Management to be a little more lazy.
One of the unstated but rumored reason for cash only on the planes was "loss management of cash."
It may also play a part in this decision. real or perceptive

Corporate entities (especially their accounting departments) do not like cash due to its lack of tractability.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:13 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villox View Post
I guess if enough people have tipped earlier on it's fine, but I could see it slightly cutting down on the ability for people taking advantage of the free drinks who don't have change to tip especially early in the day.
I love tipping as much as the next guy, and it's a sad day when UA makes it harder to tip- but I'm not gonna drop a benefit that was over-paid for just because UA screws over the bar keeps. Hopefully I'll remember to carry smaller bills.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:14 pm   #10
 
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Bartender honesty! I gotta believe they want to control bartenders more to avoid cash "disappearing".
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:21 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAL4life View Post
I love tipping as much as the next guy, and it's a sad day when UA makes it harder to tip- but I'm not gonna drop a benefit that was over-paid for just because UA screws over the bar keeps. Hopefully I'll remember to carry smaller bills.
Don't you always carry small bills on a trip?

luggage handler checking luggage, skycap on arrival helping with luggage, rental car bus driver, valet, bell boy, etc. etc. etc.

A bunch of $5's and $1's are something I always make sure to have ready for any trip.



If United no longer gives the bartender a cash drawer, don't worry, they'll quickly learn to bring their own 'change drawer' to help facilitiate any tipping customer!
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:32 pm   #12
 
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Someone once told me that if you pay a tip as part of a CC transaction the person has to claim that tip on their Income tax. If it is cash then there isn't much of a trail and thus no one claims it.

Regardless I doubt I'll ever pay for alcohol at the club. Although I thought it could have been an opportunity to reintroduce the UA branded card discount.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:37 pm   #13
 
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I don't see this as a big deal. The world is evolving to a cashless model. I hardly carry any with me.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:38 pm   #14
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I thought alcohol was free in the old President's Club? No?
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Old Jul 30, 12, 1:40 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by jyh View Post
I thought alcohol was free in the old President's Club? No?
They offer Premium wines and liquors at a cost.
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