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United Announces Club Access Restrictions

United Airlines has changes its United Club access policy, and it doesn’t look great for members.

Right now, passengers can access United Clubs by presenting a boarding pass from any airline in conjunction with a valid membership or a day pass. However, it’s changing next year.

Beginning Nov. 1, 2019, only passengers holding a same-day boarding pass issued by either United, a Star Alliance carrier or a non-alliance partner can enter United Clubs. The new policy will apply to United Club members, one-day pass holders and their guests. It appears that annual membership rates are staying the same…for now.

  •  $550 or 70,000 MileagePlus miles for general members, Premier Silver and Premier Gold members
  • $500 or 65,000 MileagePlus miles for Premier Platinum members
  • $450 or 60,000 MileagePlus miles for Premier 1K members

A one-time United Club day pass will set you back $59, or you can use one of the free day passes that come as a benefit with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card to access the lounge.

Although the change seems unfriendly, United simply is keeping pace with the other two of the Big Three domestic airlines that implemented similar policies for their flagship lounges. Delta Air Lines is to limit Sky Club access to SkyTeam passengers on Jan. 1, and American Airlines will implement its restrictions Nov. 1.

Although they’re available in several international locations, such as London and Hong Kong, most of the about 50 United Club lounges are located in U.S. airports. All offer snacks and alcoholic beverages; some offer family rooms.

Overcrowded airport lounges have been an issue for both flyers and lounge hosts, and the problem has caused a wave of limiting access as of late. We’ve seen this with Alaska Airlines leaving Priority Pass, The Centurion Lounge limiting guest access and airlines limiting access to their own passengers. Will these policies help? Time will tell.


Do you think the new United Club access policy will help alleviate the crowds?

Comments are Closed.
t5campbell November 8, 2018

Did not renew my membership after 8 years of having one. In Houston, my home airport the food is crap, and asked management of the clubs to put the toasters back in the clubs for over a year. His excuse was the caterer we use doesn't offer bread to toast, but toasters are offered in the new Polaris Club in Terminal E. The clubs are run down, dirty, and over crowded minus the new club in Terminal C. If in Houston head over to terminal D and use the Centurion Club it is well worth the walk if you have a long layover.

Artpen100 November 8, 2018

I don’t often visit a UA lounge when not flying UA. In fact, I sort of doubt this will impact crowding, since UA has the about the worst domestic lounges. I would not have walked to another terminal to use one.

AADC10 November 7, 2018

UA is just late to the party. I doubt it will have much impact on hub UC crowding, which is where the problems lie. The only time I use a UC when on another airline is at a non-hub station and UA does not have a non-stop on my route but another does. It will not help crowds or even the bottom line. It is just another cutback made because the rest of the tri-opoly cut it first. A benefit of airline consolidation.

knadai November 7, 2018

Perhaps you should address why United Club members aren't flying your airline first.

htb November 7, 2018

@Croupier: most other airlines don't make you pay a membership fee on top of achieving status in order to enter the lounges. Asking for a fee and still requiring a certain boarding pass seems a bit like double dipping. Let's see how many customers will accept this.