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United Club changes (drinks and Wifi) - Sept/Oct. 2013

United Club changes (drinks and Wifi) - Sept/Oct. 2013

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Old Jan 28, 14, 1:29 am   -   Wikipost
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Old Sep 7, 13, 12:26 pm
  #256  
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+1. That's great.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 12:29 pm
  #257  
 
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
3. If there's nothing in the club worth drinking, eating, or sitting on, why would anybody pay $50 for a day pass in the future?
2 day passes are given free to every Explorer credit card holder upon account activation and anniversary date. I think that's what the bartender is referring to - a flood of those.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 1:03 pm
  #258  
 
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Originally Posted by andyh64000 View Post
Except that membership cost has gone up at least 33% since then and most other airlines in the world give it away for free to their premium flyers with a much higher level of service. This is just another way the airline is trying to nickel and dime is best customers.
How do you calculate/define "at least 33%"?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the timeline is that at the end of 2008, RCC general membership went up from $425 to $475. I'll assert that this was to rationalize UA RCC membership fees with CO President's Club membership fees. It's not surprising that they would rationalize pricing to the higher of the two. You *might* also guess that the $50 is supposed to pay for the free alcohol for domestic or Y international travelers.

End of 2012 and they raise prices by another $25. Simplistically, I'll assume that they might be trying to cover the ever rising costs of the free alcohol program.

What do they discover? This is a bad strategy. It's not the paying members drinking all the booze, it's the *A Golds, Explorer pass folks and the Priority Pass members drinking all the cheap booze. International J/F customers are paying their way drinking premium wines like it's water and domestic business travelers are keeping sober on their way to work or because they have to drive home after landing after a hard week's work - either that or they are also paying their way buying top shelf bourbon.

I'll argue that their best customers are buying the top shelf stuff not the swill.

Maybe this is a trend? I wouldn't mind paying for better F food/beverages or even higher grade BOB Y food.

Last edited by lensman; Sep 7, 13 at 1:03 pm Reason: typo
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Old Sep 7, 13, 1:21 pm
  #259  
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
Let's compare pre-merger RCC with today. How many drinks did UA think they could give away for free and not lose their shirts on RCCs? Two per international premium class customer. I guess they tried out giving away more and it hasn't worked out for them. Obviously another miscalculation by management based on applying a management technique based on the pre-merger CO demographic to the post-merger UA demographic and having it not work out.
Are you implying that the pmCO demographic was composed of a comparatively greater percentage of teetotalers or that the pmUA demographic was composed of a comparatively greater percentage of alcoholics?
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Old Sep 7, 13, 1:23 pm
  #260  
 
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Wifi procedure

Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
Same [email protected]:-)ng...

It's after September 5. Has anyone visited the Red Presidents Club in Cleveland? I'm curious about the level of annoyance to expect from the new prcedures for wifi...
I visited CLE UC today. I use a MAC. It is very painless to access to the united_club wifi. That is, type in my MP number and its PIN. UCs in IAD, EWR, BOS, PHX have not adopted the new procedure yet. Happy travels.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 2:02 pm
  #261  
 
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United Club improvements (drinks and Wifi) - Sept. - Oct. 2013

To add insult to injury on the "improvements", the F UC at ORD is closed today for a private event.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 2:04 pm
  #262  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerdude88 View Post
LGA UC (which is one of my favorite's apart from it being outside security) is still serving Seagram's 7 as of right now. The actual pamphlet which lists complimentary spirits still have the list we've always known. Perhaps they are just drawing down existing reserves.
Forgot to add that WiFi was still unlocked and was accessed in the normal (old) way without the need for password / pin / log-in / MP # / etc.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 3:06 pm
  #263  
 
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Originally Posted by Kmxu View Post
I visited CLE UC today. I use a MAC. It is very painless to access to the united_club wifi. That is, type in my MP number and its PIN. UCs in IAD, EWR, BOS, PHX have not adopted the new procedure yet. Happy travels.
Were you able to access the wifi using multiple devices?
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Old Sep 7, 13, 3:40 pm
  #264  
 
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I only had one device

Originally Posted by worldtrav View Post
Were you able to access the wifi using multiple devices?
Sorry, I cannot answer your question. Hopefully, someone will answer this question soon. Cheers.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 4:29 pm
  #265  
 
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Originally Posted by kale73 View Post
Are you implying that the pmCO demographic was composed of a comparatively greater percentage of teetotalers or that the pmUA demographic was composed of a comparatively greater percentage of alcoholics?
Neither, my hypothesis of demographic differences is that to some extent pmUA but certainly the merged carrier has many more super-high frequency travelers and commuters - as an example in the LAX-SFO market and that the all-you-can-drink for $50 model is uneconomic for that demographic.

Also, it's a bit improbable but for illustration let's suppose a dual-carrier pmUA/pmCO frequent flier. Prior to the merger, she buys *both* RCC and PC memberships. After the merger, she only needs to buy a single UC membership. Also, since she is now 1K on UA instead of middle tier on both pmUA and pmCO, that membership is actually cheaper due to the better 1K membership discount.

It's actually one of those cases where the merger could creates some negative economics for UA. Though of course they will have positive economics from consolidating clubs in cities where both pre-merger airlines had clubs. Net net, there are probably more negatives for the club system because the existing clubs will end up overcrowded.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 4:42 pm
  #266  
 
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
Neither, my hypothesis of demographic differences is that to some extent pmUA but certainly the merged carrier has many more super-high frequency travelers and commuters - as an example in the LAX-SFO market and that the all-you-can-drink for $50 model is uneconomic for that demographic.

Also, it's a bit improbable but for illustration let's suppose a dual-carrier pmUA/pmCO frequent flier. Prior to the merger, she buys *both* RCC and PC memberships. After the merger, she only needs to buy a single UC membership. Also, since she is now 1K on UA instead of middle tier on both pmUA and pmCO, that membership is actually cheaper due to the better 1K membership discount.

It's actually one of those cases where the merger could creates some negative economics for UA. Though of course they will have positive economics from consolidating clubs in cities where both pre-merger airlines had clubs. Net net, there are probably more negatives for the club system because the existing clubs will end up overcrowded.
How long ago was it that the United Club introduced complimentary alcoholic beverages?

Has it even been two years?
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Old Sep 7, 13, 5:04 pm
  #267  
 
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Originally Posted by lensman View Post
How do you calculate/define "at least 33%"?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the timeline is that at the end of 2008, RCC general membership went up from $425 to $475. I'll assert that this was to rationalize UA RCC membership fees with CO President's Club membership fees. It's not surprising that they would rationalize pricing to the higher of the two. You *might* also guess that the $50 is supposed to pay for the free alcohol for domestic or Y international travelers.

End of 2012 and they raise prices by another $25. Simplistically, I'll assume that they might be trying to cover the ever rising costs of the free alcohol program.

What do they discover? This is a bad strategy. It's not the paying members drinking all the booze, it's the *A Golds, Explorer pass folks and the Priority Pass members drinking all the cheap booze. International J/F customers are paying their way drinking premium wines like it's water and domestic business travelers are keeping sober on their way to work or because they have to drive home after landing after a hard week's work - either that or they are also paying their way buying top shelf bourbon.

I'll argue that their best customers are buying the top shelf stuff not the swill.

Maybe this is a trend? I wouldn't mind paying for better F food/beverages or even higher grade BOB Y food.
I thought mine went from $300 2 years ago to $400 today.

UA is once again looking at things in a vacuum. They figure they can make more money by skimping on the Alcohol except that the people using the club frequently view this as part of the whole UA experience not the Club as a separate enterprise. This is just one more reason to consider the switch to Delta or AA or at least drop my membership (which I will almost certainly do now and just use as *G).
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Old Sep 7, 13, 6:17 pm
  #268  
 
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
How long ago was it that the United Club introduced complimentary alcoholic beverages?

Has it even been two years?
Probably almost 3 years...though the legacy President's Clubs have been offering complimentary drinks longer.
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Old Sep 7, 13, 7:35 pm
  #269  
 
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So it turns out I was wrong. The price increase at the beginning of 2009 was before the announcement of the UACO merger in 2010, so that was entirely a UA move. Reviewing some old Flyertalk posts, it sounds like 1Ks took a big hit at that time. These posts say that 1K rates went from $300 to $400. General member rates went from $500 to $525. No free alcohol. The below thread notes that 1K membership had been $300 since 2002.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...-feb-28th.html

Then in November of 2009, United announced a price decrease to 1Ks from $400 to $325. Speculation was that this was a result of CO joining *A with reciprocal club access so this decrease was to match CO pricing. GM rates went down from $525 to $425!

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...000-miles.html

Link to RCC price list in 2007: http://web.archive.org/web/200705140...e=RelatedLinks

Then it looks like prices for 1Ks went up in January 2012 from $325 to $375. Was this when free booze was added or was it before then? GM rates went from $425 to $475. Maybe this is the price increase I was thinking of earlier.

Rates also went up an additional $25 across the board in 2013.

Originally Posted by andyh64000 View Post
I thought mine went from $300 2 years ago to $400 today.
According to the (tedious) research above, I think 1K rates went from $325 in December 2010 to $400 in January 2012. That's 23%. I suspect the free booze change accounts for $50 of that change. GM rates went from $425 to $500. That's 18%.

Last edited by lensman; Sep 7, 13 at 7:38 pm Reason: typo 2011->2010
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Old Sep 7, 13, 8:44 pm
  #270  
 
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I think of all the United Clubs, the Philly club is probably in the most dire need of some renovations. It gets so hot in there that they now put in fans and additional portable LG a/c units around. The club is really small and the entrance is just pathetic-a wooden door with a bell next to it that you need to press to get in.
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