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

Old Aug 17, 15, 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 14, 15, 9:14 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
I stand by my assessment.
And I stand by mine.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 15, 15 at 8:36 am Reason: Updated quote to reflect Mod edit and response to deleted material
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Old Aug 14, 15, 9:15 pm
  #62  
 
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United seem to go out of their way to make customer unfriendly decisions. Like many of the others, I doubt that there is a huge amount of people that are going into the clubs without a same day ticket. Therefore, United have just made another negative statement that will cost them at least some business and gain them ZERO business.

Almost every decision they make is anti customer
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Old Aug 14, 15, 9:21 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Then why don't they just discontinued the gate policy policy instead?
We don't know that is not what they are doing, just in a stupidly (typically United) communicated way. The signs says same day boarding pass, it doesn't say same day UA boarding pass, some here have assumed that interpretation, but it's not been confirmed.

Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite
United seem to go out of their way to make customer unfriendly decisions. Like many of the others, I doubt that there is a huge amount of people that are going into the clubs without a same day ticket. Therefore, United have just made another negative statement that will cost them at least some business and gain them ZERO business.

Almost every decision they make is anti customer
+1 I can't see that this policy if it is only about gate passes is a change that would benefit UA financially much, if at all, why go out of your way to just piss off your customers? I suppose there might be more people using the club on arrival, or something that fills it up? I don't know, I've only done that a few times, when arriving at LAX to kill time waiting for luggage. Now if they really wanted to copy DL on something how about 20 minute luggage delivery???

Last edited by transportbiz; Aug 14, 15 at 9:30 pm
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Old Aug 14, 15, 9:26 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Miles Ahead
That's very interesting.

I have been told twice in the last few months (once a week ago), once in SEA and once in ORD that I was not allowed to enter because I had a ticket on another airline.
Are you a UA Club member? If so, denial of entry was completely wrong. If you were a *G traveling on an international itinerary on a non *A airline then they were crrect.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 9:32 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by LBJ
This would match DL's policy -- same-day boarding pass on any airline is required for entrance for Sky Club members.
Originally Posted by LBJ
I doubt they will require that you fly on their metal for entrance. DL just requires that you have a same-day flight (any airline) for entrance, and it is likely UA is just copying DL's policy.
I'm a DL SkyClub member and I have never been asked for a boarding pass for entry. I always show my ID and membership card. They usually look in their system to see what flight I'm on, as they generally tell me the gate and boarding time for my flight.

I frequently use the SkyClub when I am flying UA, and when they see I don't have a flight in their system they've never asked to see a boarding pass.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 9:47 pm
  #66  
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This is the 2nd bullet under misc on the terms and conditions page, bolding mine:

United reserves the right to modify pricing, benefits, services, hours, club locations and reciprocal lounge agreements at any time with or without written notice to its members and customers.

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...virtual_expert
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Old Aug 14, 15, 9:53 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
I am in them quite often and I'm telling you, I constantly (nearly every visit) see people in front of me and/or people behind me using those passes. I stand by my assessment.
I average about 50 visits per year. I rarely see passes. I see a lot of people on international tickets, often having a discussion about whether or not they're eligible to enter, while I wait impatiently behind in line.

Besides, the cc only gives you two passes. I can't imagine a lot of those people are using them when they're not flying.

I really can't figure out the point of doing this unless they're trying to get rid of people arriving on red-eyes, or for clubs like LGA where it's outside of security. If this really prevents people arriving on red-eyes from using a club, especially in LHR/NRT/HKG, that's completely ridiculous. It's only effect will be to make a very small % of good customers very mad and won't do a thing for UA.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 9:57 pm
  #68  
 
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I just don't see the financial benefit here for UA. I see cleaning out the clubs from some of the crowds, but I thought terminating Priority Pass access would have accomplished that much more than this would.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 10:00 pm
  #69  
 
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Given all the complaints, I don't understand why frequent flyers ever both to join the United club, especially given how easy it is to get lounge access through credit cards. As a *G, I have access to United club anyway when I'm flying internationally. I also have access to LH and SQ lounges when flying domestically. With my Prestige card (way cheaper than united club given $200 airplane ticket rebate, and pays for itself with hotel benefit), I get access to all priority pass lounges except UA, with no need for a boarding pass, and including two free guests. Through AMEX, I get access to the centurion lounge, which has vastly better food, and actually provides real value. (I usually eat a free meal at the Centurion lounge before boarding a flight at SFO, and, better yet, if you have kids, even the most finicky eaters seem to love the food there.)

The only circumstances under which I regret not having UA club membership is during irrops, when I have to wait in a long customer service line to get my bags back when I'm taking the last flight of the day and it's cancelled or something equally unpleasant. The thing is, that happens way less than 8 times per year, and I could always get a one-time pass to the UC for $50 (1/8 the price of membership). However, I bristle at the idea of paying $50 for customer service that ought to be my right when United canceled my flight, so I never actually pay it. But if I'd already blown $400 on a membership I would of course go there and get the benefit.

Oh, I guess there's one more circumstance--in some airports, like BOS, all the drinking fountains are broken, so I'd go into the lounge to fill by water bottle before a flight. But even at inflated airport prices, I could buy 100 bottles for the price of UC annual membership. Oh, and I just discovered that if you go to the AA gates at BOS terminal B they have working drinking fountains.

So why would a 1K ever shell out money for these clubs that everyone agrees are badly maintained, unless maybe you are a segment warrior qualifying on 120 domestic segments (in which case, whatever it takes to make it easier)?
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Old Aug 14, 15, 10:07 pm
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy
Are you a UA Club member? If so, denial of entry was completely wrong. If you were a *G traveling on an international itinerary on a non *A airline then they were crrect.
I am a UA Club member. And while they have tried to deny me entry, on the two occasions mentioned they were not successful.

This experience is why I am making the inferences that I am.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 10:39 pm
  #71  
 
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So basically a membership is now nothing more than pre-paying for 9 entries? UA management wants to remove all ancillary benefits and strip it down to the core?

Sounds about right.

They are doing the same thing with the sunsetting of GF, reductions to/movement of P.S. product, reducing benefits for elites...I'm sure others could come up with a more comprehensive list.
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Old Aug 14, 15, 11:41 pm
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by ftweb
Given all the complaints, I don't understand why frequent flyers ever both to join the United club, especially given how easy it is to get lounge access through credit cards. As a *G, I have access to United club anyway when I'm flying internationally. I also have access to LH and SQ lounges when flying domestically. With my Prestige card (way cheaper than united club given $200 airplane ticket rebate, and pays for itself with hotel benefit), I get access to all priority pass lounges except UA, with no need for a boarding pass, and including two free guests. Through AMEX, I get access to the centurion lounge, which has vastly better food, and actually provides real value.

The only circumstances under which I regret not having UA club membership is during irrops, when I have to wait in a long customer service line to get my bags back when I'm taking the last flight of the day and it's cancelled or something equally unpleasant. The thing is, that happens way less than 8 times per year, and I could always get a one-time pass to the UC for $50 (1/8 the price of membership). However, I bristle at the idea of paying $50 for customer service that ought to be my right when United canceled my flight, so I never actually pay it. But if I'd already blown $400 on a membership I would of course go there and get the benefit.


So why would a 1K ever shell out money for these clubs that everyone agrees are badly maintained, unless maybe you are a segment warrior qualifying on 120 domestic segments (in which case, whatever it takes to make it easier)?
SFO is your home airport so you've got more options at home than most with the AMEX lounge. In SEA if I gave up the Club and instead got an AMEX Plat then at my home airport I'd either have to use the newish Lounge Club (close to UA gates) that has limited hours..and guests cost $27 each. Or, I could go way down to the Alaska Board room. But I don't like limits on cocktails...it's irritating...and it's not close to the UA gates. And then there's all the other airports.. I don't like the idea of having to always go to a lounge that's in a different part of the airport than UA's gates..and these lounges may not be open as early or late as the UA Clubs are. And as you mentioned.. for IRROPS the Clubs are good. I've got the Chase Club card and I'm good with it.. not a segment warrior.

Now, would I like it if all of the Clubs were like the one in London?? You bet!! Now that would be a great value. If I lived in SFO..maybe I'd consider making a change.. or maybe I'd just get a Plat AMEX so I could use the AMEX lounge in addition to the Club..
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Old Aug 15, 15, 12:33 am
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR
..and guests cost $27 each.
This is a big advantage of the Citi prestige card. You get priority pass select, but with the additional ability to bring in two free guests each time. For $200/year (well $450, but you get a $250 refund on your first plane ticket), it's half the price of the MileagePlus Club card. Plus the other benefits are worth way more than $200/year, vs. the MileagePlus Club card where most of the benefits (premier check-in? free checked bags? priority boarding? waived close-in award booking fee?) and even probably the RDMs are a complete waste to a 1K. It's a total rip-off to get only a $60 (13%) statement credit when 80% of the benefits are totally redundant.

I do agree that the United clubs are often in more convenient locations, except at SFO, where Centurion was the most convenient. (Is that why UA moved elite check-in further from BART--to spite Centurion club members?) But other than the aforementioned irrops, the times I really want the club are when I have time to kill anyway, so I don't mind the walk. The prestige's precursor Chairman card used to get me into the IAD red carpet club, but whenever I had a lot of time to kill I would always go to the LH lounge anyway and flash my *G United card, even when I needed a bus to get to the B gates.

So I guess the main answer is that people value club location over comfort. An interesting question is how many more Centurion lounges AMEX has to build and lose money on before UA becomes more willing to negotiate some kind of UC deal with them. UA and AMEX may be playing a game of chicken here...

Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR
Now, would I like it if all of the Clubs were like the one in London??
You mean free for all 1K's to enter with no membership? Absolutely I would use the club at that point... but obviously without a credit card.

That said, I forgot there are two other options besides the club card. You can pay $450 for a straight-up membership (Why??? The credit card is $390/year and comes with a $100 statement credit instead of a $50 initiation fee), or 60K RDM. 60K RDM is too steep, but I might consider paying something lower (like maybe 7K RDM per visit if I could bring in two guests).
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Old Aug 15, 15, 12:47 am
  #74  
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In how many US airports is the UA Club the only show in town?

Last edited by zrs70; Aug 15, 15 at 12:58 am
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Old Aug 15, 15, 1:21 am
  #75  
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Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite
United seem to go out of their way to make customer unfriendly decisions. Like many of the others, I doubt that there is a huge amount of people that are going into the clubs without a same day ticket. Therefore, United have just made another negative statement that will cost them at least some business and gain them ZERO business.

Almost every decision they make is anti customer

There could have been a small handful of users abusing this, so they're dealing with it.

I've personally used the club when not flying (e.g., picking someone up), but only a couple of times over the past several years.

But I could see someone over-utilizing the club, maybe using it as their office. You get a cubicle, power, all the crappy coffee you can drink, etc. Maybe there were a few dozen customers with hundreds of entries per year. Who knows.

And maybe with the food improvements, club utilization, and over-use has become more of a problem.
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