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Starting 18 Aug 2016:United Club Access (including members) Only w/ UA/*A Same-Day BP

Old Aug 17, 2015, 2:32 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Email from United sent to United MP Club Cardmembers 18 Aug 2015
Update about United Club access

Dear XXXXX,

We've been working on a variety of improvements to our United ClubSM program. To provide a more productive and relaxing experience, we're investing more than $100 million in renovating existing locations and building new spaces with expanded seating areas, more power outlets and upgraded Wi-Fi. We're also investing in a brand new complimentary food menu that you can now find at our hub locations across the U.S. and will be available soon at the rest of our locations.

To maintain and further improve the United Club experience, we're announcing the following change to our program:

■ Effective August 18, 2016, a same-day boarding pass for all United Club customers, including members, will be required for United Club access.

United Club membership is a benefit of your United MileagePlus Club Card. With a United Club membership, you can still bring your spouse and children under 21, or up to two guests, into any United Club location.

Thank you for being a United MileagePlus Club Cardmember, and we look forward to creating an even more comfortable and premium United Club experience for you.
Learn More
Signs were first noticed starting 13 Aug 2015 at various clubs
Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
I noticed this at JFK (that's ironic...) yesterday--

Someone else noted the sign at LGA in the United Club Access Thread ....
Posting by UA Insider 17 Aug 2015
Originally Posted by UA Insider
Hi everyone, some answers for you on this new policy:
  1. What about meetings/conference rooms? Will gate passes still be issued?
    Customers can still reserve a conference room to use, with or without a same-day boarding pass. We will no longer issue gate passes for other uses.

  2. What about access after a redeye flight? Will this qualify as a "same-day" BP?
    Yes, you will still be eligible to access the United Club after arriving off of a redeye flight.

  3. Will I be able to come in if Im flying on another carrier?
    Yes, you may use a same-day boarding pass on any carrier.

  4. What if my flight departs early in the morning, the following day (e.g. 12:30am)?
    Yes, you will still be eligible to access the United Club.
-UA Insider
For general questions on UC access, see Consolidated "United Club Access Questions" Thread
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Starting 18 Aug 2016:United Club Access (including members) Only w/ UA/*A Same-Day BP

Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:18 am
  #241  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Houston, TX USA
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So if you do purchase a refundable ticket, enter the club, and then cancel your refundable ticket - is there a system in place to detect if you used the club "illegally"? Wouldn't want my MP account to be canceled based on that.

Edit: Wait, it says any boarding pass will be good.... hmmm.....
COIAHLGW is offline  
Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:21 am
  #242  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by Often1
Whether you like this is a matter of where you sit. If a UA flier, it's a great thing as it cuts down over-crowding at stations where multiple carriers have easy physical access to a UC. If you are one of those people who flies other carriers to/from or through these locations, it's a PITA.
Same day BP on any carrier gets in, not just *A. Guess the revised policy isn't that clear .

It's strictly to address the issuance of gate passes to Club members, which had to be one of the more obscure and little-used, on the whole, benefits of membership. Still, one has to wonder why UA is going to such lengths to publicize this change. On one hand, I appreciate the yearlong notice at a time where same-day, retroactive policy changes are the 'new normal' (hey, Delta!). On the other, I can't imagine this will materially improve the issue of crowding at major clubs during peak times.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:23 am
  #243  
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Originally Posted by transportbiz
They are, and I don't think it is because of this change at all really. It's just another indicator that culturally, United would rather piss off a bunch of customers over something that is really not that big of a deal for them to do. The idea that people with gates passes are flooding the clubs and causing overcrowding is preposterous. But, rather than say, effective 8/16/16 we are ending the gate pass benefit, they do this whole BS narrative on "maintaining club exclusivity".

I see it from both sides, we the customer are for sure overreacting, to this change, but also, I don't see the benefit to United for the change. As many have pointed out here, it's very easy to just buy a fully refundable ticket, and refund it if you need to meet someone and have access to the post security areas of the airport. So, what is really accomplished here? Just another customer hostile move.
Sure they do - reduce the amount of time needed for an employee to issue a gate pass.

Originally Posted by pagotto
This really seems to me like an attempt to prevent employees from using the lounge (either airport or flight crew).

I once asked at the Amex lounge why the need for a boarding pass and was told that exact reason...
I believe employees are not allowed to use UC in uniform, so they would look just like normal people.

Originally Posted by transportbiz
I just received an email about the changes. And even now, United is opaque about what has really changed with this policy. The change is:

■ Effective August 18, 2016, a same-day boarding pass for all United Club customers, including members, will be required for United Club access.

Is it really so hard to be direct in communications where changes are made? Why not tell me specifically: Effective August 18, 2016, United will no longer offer gate passes for United Club members to access their club when they are not traveling that day.

Is that really so difficult?
Because gate pass was never a published benefit, and they don't want to further advertise something that was not published in the first place.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:26 am
  #244  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: SEA
Programs: UA SP, DL SM MM, AS 75K, SPG Platinum, Hyatt Diamond.
Posts: 2,596
Originally Posted by Often1
The policy is quite clear and direct.

Gate passes and other stuff are simply ancillary procedures and don't matter. If you can't gain entry to the UC, you don't need a gate pass. Presumably UA won't issue one.

The policy also makes clear that this is for UA customers and UC members and that *A policies remain in effect for those qualified.

Whether you like this is a matter of where you sit. If a UA flier, it's a great thing as it cuts down over-crowding at stations where multiple carriers have easy physical access to a UC. If you are one of those people who flies other carriers to/from or through these locations, it's a PITA.
How does this change cut down on over-crowding? What am I missing? Are their hundreds of gate passes issued each day?
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:27 am
  #245  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Just got an email from UA. This is no issue for me, but still a fun thread to follow.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:28 am
  #246  
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Originally Posted by Annandaler
Informal observation over several hours of both busy and quiet times at the IAD clubs: 97% of visitors are scanning boarding passes for entry; 3% are presenting Chase one-day passes; 0% presenting just a membership credential and ID (who might be airport or airline employees).

Where is the problem that needed fixing here? Other than LGA club outside of security (which could be addressed separately), why institute a change that so angers the paying customers?
I wonder if IAD has less of an issue than other stations. It's not a terribly convenient airport, and once you get there, it's a train ride and haul to the club, so popping in is less of a pop in and more of an ordeal.

I wonder if clubs with easier access have more non-flying usage.


Originally Posted by ZZYZXROAD
Overcrowding? After March/12 each club doubled in hometown population alone, this should not be an issue 3 years later. UA with CO was a massive merge and full planes, low CPU chances and crowded terminals and lounges were and always will be expected.
Remember that the CO philosophy is highly budget driven. You can account for some things, but not others. The things you can measure matter. The things you can't measure, well who cares.

They likely view this as leakage, even if it's only a small number of visits a year, and they can put a stop to the leakage at no hard cost.

Of course they're not measuring the hit on renewals, or the impact of those renewals on bookings (e.g., the customer who uses the club when not flying a few times a year, but then books UA whenever they fly because they have the club; if he doesn't renew, then he's no longer hooked to UA for his flying business). That's a much more complex measurement, so it's not considered.


That said, this short-sighted pattern has been the norm for the past five (5) years since the merger. They're welcome to change things as they see fit. So long as they treat customers fairly and give ample notice, I have no issue. I may not agree with it, and I may not think it's worthwhile, but so long as it's handled correctly, it's a business decision that they're welcome to make, and reap the rewards or pay the price as appropriate.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:29 am
  #247  
 
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Originally Posted by PTahCha
Sure they do - reduce the amount of time needed for an employee to issue a gate pass.



Because gate pass was never a published benefit, and they don't want to further advertise something that was not published in the first place.
So, it's more efficient to issue a ticket for same day travel, and then cancel that ticket? Exactly how so?

I had to have found out about the benefit somehow, so it had to have been published somewhere.
transportbiz is offline  
Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:38 am
  #248  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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I don't see how this impacts UA employees taking advantage of the clubs. They have all the same work arounds as customers, such as buying a refundable ticket. Maybe they even have others, who knows. I still doubt there were many doing that, but it seems this new policy changes very little if someone really wants to access a UC.

Maybe we'll see the crowding problem increase with all the new members who buy memberships because they think this change will reduce crowds and make the clubs more exclusive.
JBord is offline  
Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:39 am
  #249  
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Starting in 2016: United Club Access Only for Same-Day Travel

I'm still so confused about the 8/18 date. Why not just a 9/1 or 8/1 date - I've never seen a corporate policy start with such a fun date. 8/12/16 would be even more fun.
gaobest is offline  
Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:41 am
  #250  
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Just Incompetent

Originally Posted by JVPhoto
Just got an email from UA. This is no issue for me, but still a fun thread to follow.
So did I, but the rules do not reflect UA Insider's response to this thread re redeyes:

"Dear (TRASH),
...blah, blah, blah...
To maintain and further improve the United Club experience, we're announcing the following change to our program:

Effective August 18, 2016, a same-day boarding pass for all United Club customers, including members, will be required for United Club access...blah, blah, blah...
<Learn more›"

When you click on "Learn more" you get (among other things):

"Access policy changes
As of August 18, 2016, all United Club customers, including members, are eligible to access United Club locations only with a same-day boarding pass. (and then clicking on "See the complete United Club terms and conditions"), you get:

"Effective August 18, 2016, all United Club customers, including members, are eligible to access United Club locations only when they have a flight departure the same day, and must show a boarding pass for entry."

How UNAMIBIGUOUS is that???????? There are none of the exceptions UA Insider suggested. UA Insider is responding to this board but the newly available published rules contradict what he is saying. I can see myself going into a Club after a redeye and a receptionist waives UA's published rules in my face. Am I supposed to say "But UA Insider said something different..."?

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Aug 18, 2015 at 10:05 am
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:43 am
  #251  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by Annandaler
Informal observation over several hours of both busy and quiet times at the IAD clubs: 97% of visitors are scanning boarding passes for entry; 3% are presenting Chase one-day passes; 0% presenting just a membership credential and ID (who might be airport or airline employees).
I'm not through IAD that much but I'd like to bump your rate to 0.01% for those presenting just the membership credential and ID as it's pretty easy for me to reach for both in my wallet as opposed to getting out the boarding pass I've put away elsewhere.


The bigger issue that's looming for 2017 is that the natural conclusion of this policy will be to restrict entry to only a same day boarding pass on United (or at the least a *A flight). I'm ok with renewing my membership for another year but I'm a bit leery that United will simply shut down access to non-*A flights without this degree of notice.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 9:56 am
  #252  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by JBord
I don't see how this impacts UA employees taking advantage of the clubs. They have all the same work arounds as customers, such as buying a refundable ticket. Maybe they even have others, who knows. I still doubt there were many doing that, but it seems this new policy changes very little if someone really wants to access a UC.

Maybe we'll see the crowding problem increase with all the new members who buy memberships because they think this change will reduce crowds and make the clubs more exclusive.
Presumably employees doing such things would be more tracked and frowned upon than customers, especially booking a fully refundable ticket the same day you were trying to go NRSA. Assuming of course this really does shut out employees who have memberships but are going NRSA.
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 10:07 am
  #253  
 
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I don't know how this is going to work... DL NRSAs don't get etkt numbers (just confirmation numbers).. and I know that's how UA tracks a same day boarding pass is via an etkt number. It is trivial to pull up another carriers etkt in SHARES.

So.. is there going be an override for it? Sure hope so!
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Old Aug 18, 2015, 10:10 am
  #254  
 
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Not sure how much of a difference this really makes for UA. How many people without a ticket use the UC in a given day? It's easy enough to book a ticket for a late flight and cancel it as soon as you get into the club.
eng3 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 2015, 10:17 am
  #255  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
.... How UNAMIBIGUOUS is that???????? There are none of the exceptions UA Insider suggested. UA Insider is responding to this board but the newly available published rules contradict what he is saying. I can see myself going into a Club after a redeye and a receptionist waives UA's published rules in my face. Am I supposed to say "But UA Insider said something different..."?
Given the *A rules have been "same day" for a long time and the rules for "SDC" as in "Same Day Change", there seems to common thread that "same day" terminology is within 24 hours, and not the more limiting same calendar day.
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