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

Old Sep 10, 13, 9:54 pm
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United Club changes (drinks and Wifi) - Sept/Oct. 2013

Old Sep 17, 13, 2:40 pm
  #1021  
EEE
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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I think this might be the driver for me to even cancel my Explorer card. The two lounge passes used to be nice, but I actually lost this year's pair and haven't even noticed. I just went and bellied up to a better bar for a few hours, and got out with a $40 tab for a real lunch and good beers. Otherwise, I don't get much from the Explorer card I don't get from my Gold status. I like the lack of foreign transaction fees, but I'm sure I can find a replacement card for that. Is there any other killer app I'm missing?
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Old Sep 17, 13, 2:47 pm
  #1022  
 
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire View Post
Good to know. After looking into this further (and particularly for the folks that purchased lifetime club memberships) when it was free drinks - I would seriously consider seeking a refund.
I could have the timeline wrong in my head, but I think it has been some years since they sold life memberships, whereas the complementary alcoholic drinks were only introduced recently (at United clubs). I understand that drinks were already complementary at CO clubs before the merger, and maybe they sold life memberships more recently, but from the United side I don't think one could have bought a life membership believing adult beverages would be of decent quality and free...
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Old Sep 17, 13, 2:50 pm
  #1023  
 
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Originally Posted by gglave View Post
Maybe it's an American cultural thing (perhaps all wrapped up in the puritanism around alcohol), but the whole notion of 'drink chits' just feels petty to me - Like something you'd hear about at the Dunder Mifflin 'Holiday Party.'

Sir, I have this 'chit' - May I please have a drink?
Yeah, all of this is annoying for those of us in the US, but just imagine what these practices loom like to the European or Asian business traveler! Drink chits (in the old days)? Paying for drinks in the lounge? The very poor quality of the drinks, the food, etc.? At least the decor is getting a bit better in places, but in general our international colleagues must be shocked when they see these clubs...
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Old Sep 17, 13, 2:58 pm
  #1024  
 
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I feel your pain

While we love to complain about AC, the lounges are definitely better - relatively less crowded, better maintained and way better selection of liquor and generally self service (snacks and liquor) too. Last time I used a UA lounge I was honestly considering just heading back out to a restaurant. I am looking forward to visiting the Turkish lounge in Istanbul soon - they have a chef, pool tables, etc.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 3:01 pm
  #1025  
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Originally Posted by Muckus View Post
Yeah, all of this is annoying for those of us in the US, but just imagine what these practices loom like to the European or Asian business traveler! Drink chits (in the old days)? Paying for drinks in the lounge? The very poor quality of the drinks, the food, etc.? At least the decor is getting a bit better in places, but in general our international colleagues must be shocked when they see these clubs...
+1

Most of the folks on this topic know this "new" model couldn't/wouldn't fly in Europe or Asia. The changes would just be too drastic to comprehend.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 3:34 pm
  #1026  
 
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Originally Posted by Muckus View Post
I could have the timeline wrong in my head, but I think it has been some years since they sold life memberships, whereas the complementary alcoholic drinks were only introduced recently (at United clubs). I understand that drinks were already complementary at CO clubs before the merger, and maybe they sold life memberships more recently, but from the United side I don't think one could have bought a life membership believing adult beverages would be of decent quality and free...
I would think that people who were duped into buying 3 years memberships earlier this year would have an argument to at least get 2/3rds refunded.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 4:40 pm
  #1027  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by gglave View Post
Maybe it's an American cultural thing (perhaps all wrapped up in the puritanism around alcohol), but the whole notion of 'drink chits' just feels petty to me - Like something you'd hear about at the Dunder Mifflin 'Holiday Party.'

Sir, I have this 'chit' - May I please have a drink?
Though I agree it is petty, it fits in perfectly with the new United as everything about the new United is now cheap and petty.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 6:01 pm
  #1028  
 
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Originally Posted by Muckus View Post
I could have the timeline wrong in my head, but I think it has been some years since they sold life memberships, whereas the complementary alcoholic drinks were only introduced recently (at United clubs). I understand that drinks were already complementary at CO clubs before the merger, and maybe they sold life memberships more recently, but from the United side I don't think one could have bought a life membership believing adult beverages would be of decent quality and free...
Continental sold lifetime memberships up until the end of October 2011. http://upgrd.com/matthew/last-day-to...embership.html
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Old Sep 17, 13, 6:24 pm
  #1029  
 
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Originally Posted by vernonc View Post
While we love to complain about AC, the lounges are definitely better - relatively less crowded, better maintained and way better selection of liquor and generally self service (snacks and liquor) too. Last time I used a UA lounge I was honestly considering just heading back out to a restaurant. I am looking forward to visiting the Turkish lounge in Istanbul soon - they have a chef, pool tables, etc.
I don't think TK (yes, IST is pretty excellent) or AC are valid comparisons, though. Virtually ANY international lounge in a decent sized city is going to be better than any UC. I'm thinking here even the smaller BA & QF lounges too. There are exceptions, as always (TG domestic was poor on a recent trip).

US-based lounges have far more throughput and flight volumes to deal with, and that obviously stops them putting decent self-serve liquor or anything remotely edible (ok, baby carrots are fine) out for the masses to attack and hit their bottom-line. I visited the AC in Toronto for US Departures weekly for 2 years and never saw the volumes I see these days in a UC. And I loved that lounge! A better comparison is DL/AA - and this is where UA is now dropping well behind. There's no way I'd pay for a UC membership these days.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 6:34 pm
  #1030  
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Though I agree it is petty, it fits in perfectly with the new United as everything about the new United is now cheap and petty.
what would you rather have? drink unlimited free paint thinner or trade a couple chits for decent drinks? Its a given now that they're not going to actually give MORE, so the question is, is it classier to have rationing of something worth rationing, or more garbage drinks?
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Old Sep 17, 13, 6:45 pm
  #1031  
 
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Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
I don't think TK (yes, IST is pretty excellent) or AC are valid comparisons, though. Virtually ANY international lounge in a decent sized city is going to be better than any UC. I'm thinking here even the smaller BA & QF lounges too. There are exceptions, as always (TG domestic was poor on a recent trip).

US-based lounges have far more throughput and flight volumes to deal with, and that obviously stops them putting decent self-serve liquor or anything remotely edible (ok, baby carrots are fine) out for the masses to attack and hit their bottom-line. I visited the AC in Toronto for US Departures weekly for 2 years and never saw the volumes I see these days in a UC. And I loved that lounge! A better comparison is DL/AA - and this is where UA is now dropping well behind. There's no way I'd pay for a UC membership these days.
The LH lounges in FRA are every bit as busy as domestic UCs.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 6:47 pm
  #1032  
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In cleveland for star golds a phrase of the day is how you login.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 7:21 pm
  #1033  
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Originally Posted by jfk747 View Post
In cleveland for star golds a phrase of the day is how you login.
A "phrase of the day"? Seriously?

Sounds like the French Resistance during WWII.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 7:34 pm
  #1034  
 
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Originally Posted by andyh64000 View Post
The LH lounges in FRA are every bit as busy as domestic UCs.
Agreed, so LH have busy lounges in FRA, MUC (and to a lesser extent TXL, HAM,...) to stock booze for. How many major UC's have hundreds/thousands of beer-guzzling, vodka-loving (etc) travelers these days? That's my point around UA not wanting to offer anything self-serve and now, it seems, anything complimentary that is remotely drinkable.

I'm not saying I support any of it, of course.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 7:55 pm
  #1035  
 
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Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR View Post
Bacardi is $9??? Compared to the other premium liquors this is a joke. You can buy Bacardi for $15.99 per 1.75L in CA/AZ/NV.. probably even less elsewhere. Hardly premium.

Anyone know what the new comp rum is? They had Cruzan before they changed to Bacardi.. I hope they bring it back. I like Cruzan.
Seriously, thats almost comical. Bacardi is far from premium and to charge $9 is insane
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