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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, 8:54 pm
  #1036  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Up in the Air
Programs: OW Emerald
Posts: 518
Definitely canceling my Chase UA Club card when the annual fee hits. Death by a thousand cuts. Or Maybe more aptly, boiling a lobster by slowly turning up the heat.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 8:59 pm
  #1037  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Washington DC
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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...
According to my quick Google search:

Free liquor was introduced October 1, 2010.
Last lifetime Club membership could be bought on Sep 9, 2011.

Not sure if you could buy a lifetime membership on CO but if you bought the membership when they were offering free booze and they change the booze that's free, I'd say you have a pretty good argument notwithstanding the TOS that they can change anything at anytime.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 9:09 pm
  #1038  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire View Post
According to my quick Google search:

Free liquor was introduced October 1, 2010.
Last lifetime Club membership could be bought on Sep 9, 2011.

Not sure if you could buy a lifetime membership on CO but if you bought the membership when they were offering free booze and they change the booze that's free, I'd say you have a pretty good argument notwithstanding the TOS that they can change anything at anytime.
That's the reason you don't enter long term agreements (like lifetime) with counter parties you don't trust. The fact is you are now getting an annual membership that cost more per year now than it did when you purchased that lifetime agreement. United is free to run nasty terrible clubs if they want, but that would clearly impact their ability to charge non lifetime members.

Major downgrade, I too will likely cancel my card when the next annual fee hits.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 9:18 pm
  #1039  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Austin
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You know, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

A gentleman just walked up the bar at SFO-Intl UC and was delighted to learn that beer, wine, and "house" liquors are complimentary. He seemed quite excited. Possibly his first time in a UC, at least for a while.

Just thought that was funny, considering our (mine included) general "sky is falling" outlook on the changes.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 9:45 pm
  #1040  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: DCA
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Posts: 2,045
Lots of cheese; no crackers at the LAX Terminal 7 UC last Saturday. My guess is that UC will next offer saltines to everyone as complimentary and that in order to get "premium" crackers like the Pepperidge Farm ones they had before, you'll have to pay $1 per pack.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 10:45 pm
  #1041  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: CLE
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Picked up my FIL from CLE earlier today.
He said there was Bug Light, Miller Light, and MGD for free.
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold and Heineken were $3.

Better off in the CLE Airspace Lounge where they give a $10 food and beverage card for you and for each of your guests (even when entering for free via AMEX Plat).
Got a fantastic bottle of Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster seasonal beer last time with my card.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 10:50 pm
  #1042  
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Bug Light.
Is that his description of how it tastes?
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Old Sep 18, 13, 12:55 am
  #1043  
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Is that his description of how it tastes?
A new meaning to bug juice.
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Old Sep 18, 13, 1:17 am
  #1044  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Is that his description of how it tastes?
Freudian slip
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Old Sep 18, 13, 2:51 am
  #1045  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Houston
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Originally Posted by EEE View Post
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?
I'm in the same boat and this is the straw that makes me cancel my explorer card. I got it for the free checked bag before I had status and I almost canceled it since I'm *G, but kept it primarily for the club passes. When I moved overseas, I got the Chase Sapphire preferred since the explorer cad still had foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is about the same on chase sapphire, but you get double points on all travel (not just UA tickets) and the points are more flexible. I can transfer them to UA, BA, Marriott, and a couple others I think. With the explorer card, you have the ability to upgrade award tickets and that's the only remaining meaningful benefit to me but since I'f flying intra-Europe (which UA doesn't do) for my leisure travel I'm not taking any reward trips so no point in paying $85 for it. When I cancel it, I will definitely attribute it to the UC downgrade.

$11 for a Jack Daniels and $9 for Cuervo tequila? Really?? I won't even touch Cuervo since it isn't 100% agave so I can't imagine how terrible McCormicks must be uke:
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Old Sep 18, 13, 3:23 am
  #1046  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by sannmann View Post
Lots of cheese; no crackers at the LAX Terminal 7 UC last Saturday. My guess is that UC will next offer saltines to everyone as complimentary and that in order to get "premium" crackers like the Pepperidge Farm ones they had before, you'll have to pay $1 per pack.
Someone with a one time pass walked in and shoved everything into thier backpack
I've personally seen it twice now

On the other side of the coin
Here in australia where labour costs are 2x that of the USA
and Booze is 2x the cost as well

My membership to the QF club runs me $400 year (corp rate) and they have free good booze and food

I wonder just how poorly UA might be running the operation in the back end
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Old Sep 18, 13, 9:02 am
  #1047  
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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...
I am certain that all USA airlines now make a horrible impression on all foreigners. Once the "safety gap" was closed, there's really no reason to fly a USA airline if you can avoid it. Of course, if you're flying within the USA, there's no choice!

Originally Posted by andyh64000 View Post
The LH lounges in FRA are every bit as busy as domestic UCs.
Very true. And honestly, some of those LH lounges can be a bit utilitarian. Like I remember the hot food in FRA one afternoon being frankfurters. Of course, getting hot dogs in a UA Club would be practically luxurious.

Originally Posted by LordTentacle View Post
Someone with a one time pass walked in and shoved everything into thier backpack
I've personally seen it twice now

On the other side of the coin
Here in australia where labour costs are 2x that of the USA
and Booze is 2x the cost as well

My membership to the QF club runs me $400 year (corp rate) and they have free good booze and food

I wonder just how poorly UA might be running the operation in the back end
Hey, maybe those travelers taking the Club food realized they were about to be starved on the airline. The other week, I quickly grabbed some Club cheese/crackers and cookies and threw them in my suitcase because my FC dinner flight had just been cancelled and I was running to catch a 4-hour coach flight, unsure what the BOB-situation would be. I find it hard to believe somebody would take EVERYTHING, though!

QF lounges are great -- even the domestic ones (in separate terminals from int'l flights). I've "eaten dinner" in one. We Americans can only dream of visiting enjoyable domestic lounges with good and plentiful free food and drink.
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Old Sep 18, 13, 9:39 am
  #1048  
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Originally Posted by LordTentacle View Post
Someone with a one time pass walked in and shoved everything into thier backpack
I've personally seen it twice now

On the other side of the coin
Here in australia where labour costs are 2x that of the USA
and Booze is 2x the cost as well

My membership to the QF club runs me $400 year (corp rate) and they have free good booze and food

I wonder just how poorly UA might be running the operation in the back end
SIN as well (though SIN has no minimum wage, it is not easy to survive on anything under $2.5k a month, considering you must remove CPF and taxes on the income, and property prices there. Booze taxes at $70*concentration*volume/L aren't exactly low, either, though I cannot speak on the duty situation at the airport as you 'leave' Singapore and you can carry as many duty free goods in the sterile area as you want without penalty until you clear immigration.)
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Old Sep 18, 13, 10:25 am
  #1049  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Non-member/CC holder chiming in. My routine was to buy a couple UC passes on a certain online auction marketplace close to their expiration date when I had travel coming up. For example, I bought a pair of passes for $13 recently expiring 9/30 for my wife and son, who are flying later this week. It's a nice surprise to hand her when I drop them off at the airport.

But... Bud Light? Really? I'm not even sure I'll bother giving her the passes, because she would rather drink nothing at all than cheap beer. I'm the same way. I understand not everyone is a drinker (or a beer drinker) but for those of us who are, this is a game changer in the wrong direction. And as others have noted it's difficult to understand -- a keg of Goose Island doesn't cost much more (if at all) than a keg of Bud Light.

Related: if you're wondering how many single-use passes UA generates compared to the other airlines, here are how many lots are active on a certain online auction site using the following phrases:

United Club pass: 205
Admirals Club pass: 19
Delta Sky Club pass: 17
US Airways Club pass: 4
Maple Leaf Lounge pass: 0
Alaska Airlines Board Room pass: 0
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Old Sep 18, 13, 10:32 am
  #1050  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Originally Posted by flavorflav View Post
United Club pass: 205
Admirals Club pass: 19
Delta Sky Club pass: 17
US Airways Club pass: 4
Maple Leaf Lounge pass: 0
Alaska Airlines Board Room pass: 0
Shesh! I wonder how many of them are CC UC passes.
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