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United and Aer Lingus business award flight lounge access

United and Aer Lingus business award flight lounge access

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Old Feb 19, 19, 11:33 am
  #1  
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United and Aer Lingus business award flight lounge access

Booked an award flight for my mom with United, from SFO to Dublin. First flight is from SFO to SEA (UA277) in United first class. Second flight from SEA to DUB (EI142) in Aer Lingus business class.

At SFO the United club would not allow her into the lounge. I spoke to the 1K desk and they said they should have access. I called my mom who put me onto to the person at the lounge who just flat out refused to even discuss it.

I am aware that a domestic first class ticket doesn't give access, but surely the international business class ticket booked on the same reservation should? I called the 1K line again and the person was very unhelpful. She told me that because the second flight is on Aer Lingus she would not be entitled to lounge access at the united club. I tried to argue that the ticket was booked on United, and the Aer Lingus website, if I understand it correctly, states that she should have access.
  • United Airlines Codeshare Guests

    If you’re an Aer Lingus business class guest traveling to or from North America and beyond via Chicago, we’ve got good news for you! Guests on Aer Lingus codeshare flights operated by our partner, United Airlines, can enjoy access to United Airlines airport lounges.

    Business class guests connecting to or from United Airlines flights now have access to United Club lounges at airports including Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Minneapolis. To access the United Airlines lounge simply present your Aer Lingus Business Class boarding pass and your United Airlines boarding pass at the lounge

The response I received was, "nothing I can do, but I will get someone to call you back later in the day".

Are United wrong here? It was my moms first time flying business class, and it was a bad start to the day. Hopefully when she lands in Seattle she will have a better experience.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 11:39 am
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Did they scan the boarding pass at the lounge desk? It should have flashed green and granted access and there would have been no question. Or did they simply see the EI leg and were flat out refusing to even scan the BP? If it was ticketed on UA stock there should have been no issues.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 11:40 am
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The agents are correct.
When flying EI operated flights you are not eligible for UA UC or Polaris lounges, the flight is not operated by a *A carrier

Originally Posted by guber View Post
....United Airlines Codeshare Guests
  • If you’re an Aer Lingus business class guest traveling to or from North America and beyond via Chicago, we’ve got good news for you! Guests on Aer Lingus codeshare flights operated by our partner, United Airlines, can enjoy access to United Airlines airport lounges
.....
Notice this only applies to UA operated flights, not EI operated flights

Ticket stock makes no difference, it is the flight operator that matters
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Notice this only applies to UA operated flights, not EI operated flights
And, in fact, it applies to UA-operated, EI-coded flights. The intention here was to allow EI's customers to have lounge access on their connecting codeshare flights that they wouldn't otherwise have.

MileagePlus award flights are never codeshares, so that section doesn't apply.

Any lounge access at SEA will be determined by what agreements EI has in place with lounge operators there.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:12 pm
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error.

Last edited by gmt4; Feb 19, 19 at 12:15 pm Reason: error.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by guber View Post
...I am aware that a domestic first class ticket doesn't give access, but surely the international business class ticket booked on the same reservation should?...
Access at SFO, only if SEA-DUB was UA-operated, which it is obviously not. This is clearly stated in access rules available online. Access at SEA if in Business and departing airline is Star Alliance member, otherwise per AI's lounge arrangements locally. Chicago deal is special. If your mom was going SFO-ORD-DUB, she would have gotten in at SFO.
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Feb 19, 19 at 12:19 pm
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The agents are correct.
When flying EI operated flights you are not eligible for UA UC or Polaris lounges, the flight is not operated by a *A carrier

Notice this only applies to UA operated flights, not EI operated flights

Ticket stock makes no difference, it is the flight operator that matters
Thanks for all the replies.

I read those two paragraphs as being independent. The codeshare comment refers to flights though Chicago. The second paragraph refers to other business class passengers.
  • Business class guests connecting to or from United Airlines flights now have access to United Club lounges at airports including Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Minneapolis. To access the United Airlines lounge simply present your Aer Lingus Business Class boarding pass and your United Airlines boarding pass at the lounge
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
Did they scan the boarding pass at the lounge desk? It should have flashed green and granted access and there would have been no question. Or did they simply see the EI leg and were flat out refusing to even scan the BP? If it was ticketed on UA stock there should have been no issues.
I think I know what the issue is now ... When she checked in they gave her one boarding pass to SEA and said they couldn't print her boarding pass for the second flight and instead gave her a receipt. So she didn't have two boarding passes. I believe that if she got her international business boarding pass it would have granted her access at SFO.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by guber View Post
I read those two paragraphs as being independent. The codeshare comment refers to flights though Chicago. The second paragraph refers to other business class passengers.
The lounge access page on aerlingus.com only shows that text if you open the heading called "United Airlines Codeshare Guests."
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The lounge access page on aerlingus.com only shows that text if you open the heading called "United Airlines Codeshare Guests."
Good point.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:53 pm
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As this query is specific to EI operated flights and UA makes no mention of EI flight access to United Clubs on united.com, this is probably best addressed by regular EI flyers.

There does seem to be some older discussion in The United Airlines Master Thread: Codeshares, Lounge Access etc.

So will move this thread to the EI forum where the regulars there can weight in.

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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:58 pm
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* Lounge access in the USA is very, very complicated and not for the faint of heart. To attempt to summarize the complex rules they are:
  • Are you United Gold or above member?
    • Yes : Does your itinerary entirely consist of domestic segments with UA?
      • Yes : Check to see if there's a *Gold lounge not operated by UA per this spreadsheet (i.e. *A lounge @ LAX)
      • No (UA and Other * partners) : Access to UC granted
    • No : Are you a member of a *Gold member of another FFP (i.e. Aeroplan):
      • Yes : Access to United Clubs and all *Gold lounges granted
      • No: Are you travelling in BF on a Premium Service route (i.e. EWR -> SFO)?
        • Yes : Access to UC granted
        • No : Is there an international segment in J with a UA or a *A partner?
          • Yes : Does the segment cross continents (i.e. USA to Europe)?
            • Yes : Is that segment operated by UA?
              • Yes : Access to Polaris Lounge on arrival, departure and connecting airports
              • No : Access to Polaris Lounge on departure airport of your trans-continental journey
            • No : Access to United Club
          • No : No access provided
Again these rules are complex, even the most experienced UA flyer has been denied entry because they weren't aware of the nuances of these rules.

Generally speaking when discussing lounge access at the end of the day what matters is the operating carriers (not marketing carriers) of the ticket - in your case United and Aer Lingus. You would want to refer to the Aer Lingus lounge website which lists the following options:
  • SFO : Any United Club in T3
  • SEA : The Club at SEA (beside gate A11)
I'm unsure how SFO lounge access is granted since you are not leaving SFO on Air Lingus but rather out of SEA.

Hope that provides some guidance.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Feb 19, 19, 2:08 pm
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Yeah you gotta go by the EI lounge agreement in this case, as pointed out above is The Club lounge. I can understand the confusion though, code shares with non alliance partners are not straight forward. At least you could get J reward flight availability, more than can be said about EI customers majority of the time.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 2:18 pm
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There's also an arrivals lounge OP's travellers can avail themselves to upon arrival at in DUB (i.e. the Revivals beside baggage belt 6 at DUB) which appears to offer food, shirt/suit pressing/steaming and shower services.

-James
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
* Lounge access in the USA is very, very complicated and not for the faint of heart. To attempt to summarize the complex rules they are:
  • Are you United Gold or above member?
    • Yes : Does your itinerary entirely consist of domestic segments with UA?
      • Yes : Check to see if there's a *Gold lounge not operated by UA per this spreadsheet (i.e. *A lounge @ LAX)
      • No (UA and Other * partners) : Access to UC granted
    • No : Are you a member of a *Gold member of another FFP (i.e. Aeroplan):
      • Yes : Access to United Clubs and all *Gold lounges granted
      • No: Are you travelling in BF on a Premium Service route (i.e. EWR -> SFO)?
        • Yes : Access to UC granted
        • No : Is there an international segment in J with a UA or a *A partner?
          • Yes : Does the segment cross continents (i.e. USA to Europe)?
            • Yes : Is that segment operated by UA?
              • Yes : Access to Polaris Lounge on arrival, departure and connecting airports
              • No : Access to Polaris Lounge on departure airport of your trans-continental journey
            • No : Access to United Club
          • No : No access provided
Again these rules are complex, even the most experienced UA flyer has been denied entry because they weren't aware of the nuances of these rules.

Generally speaking when discussing lounge access at the end of the day what matters is the operating carriers (not marketing carriers) of the ticket - in your case United and Aer Lingus. You would want to refer to the Aer Lingus lounge website which lists the following options:
  • SFO : Any United Club in T3
  • SEA : The Club at SEA (beside gate A11)
I'm unsure how SFO lounge access is granted since you are not leaving SFO on Air Lingus but rather out of SEA.

Hope that provides some guidance.

Safe Travels,

James
Thanks so much for the extensive response, James.

It definitely cleared things up a lot. It's still insanely confusing, but really appreciate the clarity you brought.
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