FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Lifetime Member Edition: UC access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner)
Old Feb 18, 20, 8:59 am
  #999  
dilanesp
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: united
Posts: 1,229
Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
As post #1000 in this thread, I would like to point out that even after Gate Passes were eliminated, we still had ready access to United Clubs by flying competitors or purchasing fully refundable fares for later in the day.

Also, the change in Gate Pass policy seems to have been due in part due to resistance by (or inspired by) TSA, so there was not then the same level of actionable beach of contract by UA.
Here's what I think happened here. And this is not a moral argument- I think UA's decision to screw you folks is contemptible as a business strategy.

1. The reality is that despite all the talk about using the clubs when one wasn't flying, I doubt too many people ever did that. Yes, it was offered. But come on- probably at any given time 98 percent of all the people in all the United Clubs (or RCC's and President's Clubs before then) were flying. Even with the gate passes, it was a pain in the butt to get to the airport, clear security, and use the clubs without flying.

2. While it is possible there was pressure from TSA to end gate passes, I doubt the TSA cares that much, due to both (a) the fact that there weren't a large number of people doing this (see point 1) and (b) as long as TSA security is thorough, gate pass holders pose no security risk.

3. Eliminating the gate passes and then, a couple of years later, requiring a *A ticket strikes me as exactly what a corporation that was seeking to eliminate this benefit would do. Indeed, I know corporate legal departments well enough (including through my own law practice) to recognize what I think are their fingerprints all over this. United wanted to force you guys to have to defend the use of clubs while flying competitors, both because that's just the least favorable ground for potential plaintiffs and it's also the least likely type of access to have been promised by UA or CO.

At any rate, absent an actual government directive prohibiting the issuance of gate passes, there's no reason to think that there wasn't a potential breach of contract action back then. (And if the TSA did cause it, a plaintiff who used the clubs when not flying could still get his or her contract rescinded or reformed based on a frustration of purpose.) What happened is that almost nobody cared about that, whereas a lot of people want to use the clubs while flying UA's competitors. United played you.
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