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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 Sep 10, 13, 12:35 pm
  #361  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Programs: UA PM, DL PM, Bonvoy Titanium, HH Gold
Posts: 1,243
Originally Posted by belynch View Post
Sent an email.

It's their right to make changes to the services and benefits provided with the club membership but this is a step too far. They owe all members the right to cancel their membership for a pro-rated refund who don't want to accept these changes. What they've done is ethically reprehensible (I wouldn't be saying that if they were charging fair market value or below for the drinks).

Idiots.
+1

Pro-rated refunds are only fair in this case. And here I felt bad I missed renewing for three years when they took that option away on Jan 1. Now I will just use that money elsewhere.
DawgmanOH is offline  
Old Sep 10, 13, 12:38 pm
  #362  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 690
Huge win for those of you who passed renewing for 3 years. Didn't think United planned to hammer the United Clubs. Nothing is sacred anymore. Up next: toilet paper rations on flights.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 12:41 pm
  #363  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
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Originally Posted by belynch View Post
Sent an email.

It's their right to make changes to the services and benefits provided with the club membership but this is a step too far. They owe all members the right to cancel their membership for a pro-rated refund who don't want to accept these changes. What they've done is ethically reprehensible (I wouldn't be saying that if they were charging fair market value or below for the drinks).

Idiots.
+1. I've opened an inquiry with AMEX (mine was purchased via my corporate AMEX) since my renewal was within the last 3 weeks (unfortunately just prior to this rumor being more or less confirmed on Labor Day). Unlikely to accomplish anything but seems to be the only potential recourse since UA doesn't appear poised to refund my membership.

This is a bad miscalculation by UA IMHO because I consider Club access part of my overall travel experience and this significant downgrade, as I mentioned earlier, may push me away from UA with my travel, which will cost them a lot more than a couple comp Jim Beam/Seagram's 7 and Cokes a week.

EDIT: if they were giving us free club access like Delta does to DMs that would be a different story but the fact that I had to pay $400 for the privilege of paying $9 for a Bacardi is an insult

Last edited by Duke787; Sep 10, 13 at 12:50 pm
Duke787 is offline  
Old Sep 10, 13, 12:44 pm
  #364  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NYC: UA 1K, DL Platinum, AAirpass, Avis PC
Posts: 4,592
What a travesty on the wines they list.

Dona Paula Malbec - $12 a bottle

http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/dona+paula+malbec

Joel Gott Cab - $11 a bottle

http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/jo...rnet+sauvignon

And will cost us over $10 a glass. On what planet is $11 a bottle wine considered Premium?

Before, we enjoyed $12 a glass for $40 bottles of Cab like Stag's Leap and Jordan.

There is nothing enhanced about this by any means. Sure, make fewer drinks complimentary, but to gut the paid wine program is an insult.

I'd rather spend time at an airport bar...
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Old Sep 10, 13, 12:48 pm
  #365  
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Originally Posted by flyerdude88 View Post
which will cost them a lot more than a couple comp Jim Beam/Seagram's 7 and Cokes a week.
That's the bigger issue.

The ironic thing is I rarely drink when I travel (and when I do I'd generally pay what was the incremental cost for a good scotch). To me this action speaks pretty loud volumes about how they view their premium customers.

Over the course of a year if I consume more than $20 in alcohol in a club I'd be surprised. But if this move pushes me away to another carrier / lounge product (I do value quiet workplaces, reliable internet, and clean restrooms) and I book one less flight on UA because of it then they're already upside down on the business case for me.

I guess they missed the memo that people that drop $1000 for last minute travel, and are spending $400 on a membership, aren't the same demographic that will be pleased with $10 bottle rot gut. Either that or they think we're so stupid/loyal that we're blind to the fact that we can get the same exact product outside the lounge, without the door fee, for a lower price.

I suppose I'll no longer have to complain about a lack of seating in the clubs...
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Old Sep 10, 13, 12:49 pm
  #366  
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Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
Not to split hairs, but it is actually Doņa Paula. A tilde puts that wine into the super-duper-extra premium category!
I'm not adept at typing a tilde, so I'll just have to type "Donya"
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Old Sep 10, 13, 12:50 pm
  #367  
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Originally Posted by JAaronT View Post

I interpret "maintaining a selection of complimentary beer, spirits and wines" to mean the cheapest they can find.
This is a change exactly how?
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Old Sep 10, 13, 12:54 pm
  #368  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SFO, SJC when UA has a flight there
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Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post
This is a change exactly how?
They found cheaper.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 12:54 pm
  #369  
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Has anyone that has the presidental plus card spoken to chase about this?
NDtraveler is offline  
Old Sep 10, 13, 12:55 pm
  #370  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tx
Programs: AA, UA, WN
Posts: 791
I feel for the employees at the clubs as they will be getting some misdirected wrath from surprised travelers.

Frankly why did UA even waste money offering the new free stuff?

Next thing you know they will start closing some clubs due to low numbers of paid memberships (AKA death spiral)...the clubs will emulate flight ops...reduce to profitability!
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Old Sep 10, 13, 1:01 pm
  #371  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York, NY
Programs: United Premier Platinum; Delta Platinum Medallion
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I am amused that there is a whole thread of outraged people angered by higher alcohol prices in the United Club. I don't visit the club to imbibe in spirits and judging by what I see inside most other visitors do not either. This change has no impact on most of us so I doubt it will cause the majority of folks to cancel their memberships.

My wish is that the food selections would improve. Having just returned from Europe, those foreign clubs/lounges remind me of how poorly stocked the American clubs are when it comes to food.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 1:01 pm
  #372  
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Originally Posted by MrColdShower View Post
Here in the United Club in Las Vegas. Heineken and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap is now $3. Only complimentary beer on tap is Bud Light.
Gosh, that is terrible. I have some experience with this at the US Airways clubs. There, bottled Bud is typically free and they charge for "premium" beers.

Maybe I'm too much of a value guy, but I won't pay $3 for a beer when another one is free (on the other hand, I'd happily pay another buck for a better beer). But I'm going to be pretty darn unhappy about it -- especially if the only beer selection is a light beer. I might just save the calories and go for a seltzer and lime.

What I don't understand about this is that keg beer is pretty cheap. I can understand why you might not want to give away $18 bottles of wine (of course, you are presumably PAYING for lounge access, but that's another story). But even micro-brewed beer is pretty cheap on tap. I can't believe it would bust the budget to have a couple decent beers on tap. Indeed, it is for this reason why I tend to drink wine at home and beer on the road: anyone can usually afford to give you a decent beer, but decent wine costs real money.

I also agree with those who bring up Bethune's "cheap pizza" analogy. Everything about flying UA domestically is un-fun -- even when you're using the lounges and flying first class. Is this really the best they can do? Is everything about shaving pennies? You would think it opens the door to competitors who will offer a superior product.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 1:01 pm
  #373  
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Beefeater $9
Bombay Sapphire $11
$9 for beefeater? it was barely OK as a comp drink. Just pathetic.

I second the call for the mods to change the thread title. United Club beverage downgrades/price increases.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 1:10 pm
  #374  
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Originally Posted by nycityny View Post
I don't visit the club to imbibe in spirits and judging by what I see inside most other visitors do not either. This change has no impact on most of us so I doubt it will cause the majority of folks to cancel their memberships.
I'm visiting the club in EWR and SFO tomorrow. I'd bet more than half (in your words, most) have a drink/are at the bar.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 1:14 pm
  #375  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 8,634
The word "improvements" in the title should at least be put in scare quotes.
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