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Why no United Lounge access with domestic first class tickets?

Why no United Lounge access with domestic first class tickets?

Old Mar 29, 17, 5:11 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by Ifti Khan View Post
Why is it that if you are flying 1st class domestic...one is not allowed access to the lounge? I called UA, and was directed to buy a membership
For the same reason that you don't get a massage, car wash, or limo ride to and from the airport. It's not part of what they are including with the domestic F ticket.

Don't worry though, you really are not missing much. Not missing anything at all, really unless you have an extremely long wait for your flight due to IRROPS, or you really enjoy drinking cheap beer and wine. If you prefer decent alcohol, you will spend more at the UC (even with free admission) than you would at an airport bar.

I have a UC membership and my last 8 trips, I have had time, but have walked right past the UC on the way to a bar. My advice if you really like lounges, is to get a Platinum Amex card. They have lounges that are actually worth visiting.
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Old Mar 29, 17, 6:01 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Letting domestic F passengers (paid, ToDs, CPUs, instruments, whatever) would swamp the lounges.
It would definitely increase the load, and they're already jammed enough.
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Old Mar 29, 17, 7:25 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by james dean View Post
to me Domestic "F" is a misnomer, its should be called something different. Their "real F class for international operations is actually First Class. Then they have this other category for North American flights in the front cabin, they call that Business Class and in my experience they can access the United Club lounge..
There are different names for international and domestic premium cabin, to distinguish different benefits/services. The recent UA iterations are Polaris Business and Polaris First for international service (aside from closer destinations, essentially anywhere in North America, Central America, Carribean and the most northernly South America destinations (I think)), United Business for the front cabin of international locations that don't have Polaris (as well as for the business cabin on 3-class domestic flights) and United First (domestic premium cabin). Only the latter doesn't get lounge access. I think its dumb to have different names for the same cabin/service on domestic routes vs. international routes with domestic aircraft/service standards, but for the lounge access differentiation, it does make sense. Whether they call it First or Business doesn't really make a difference, though.
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Old Mar 29, 17, 7:49 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by DrewGzy View Post
I've often wondered this same thing and I blame the agreement between Chase and UA (whatever it may be). I figure they're both making a hefty amount off the annual fee's and allowing basically anyone in so as long as they have the right credit card.
I would be curious to know what the breakdown is between people holding cards that give them club membership (like the MP Club Card or one of the legacy cards) and folks utilizing the one-time passes they get from MP Explorer.

They also sell one-time passes for $59...if you are delayed/have a long time to spend in the airport, that is not a terrible price (depending on which airport you are at) to have a little bit of peace and quiet, not to mention free food (which is definitely better than it used to be) and drinks.
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Old Mar 29, 17, 10:12 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There is no "why" other than to say "because".

Perhaps the more precise answer is that the people who purchase domestic F tickets in the US do not wish to have lounge services bundled in the price of their ticket as they do elsewhere in the world. Thus, it is sold as an add-on service.

The same can be said to the "why" question for pretty much all services in all classes. Nothing is free, it is simply a question whether the cost is bundled into the ticket or charged for separately.
I think that it is reaching to say that people who purchase domestic F tickets in the US do not wish to have lounge services bundled in the price. Rather, more that by historical custom in the US is to sell this as a separate service in the form of a club.

In the rest of the world, it is the opposite. Lounge access is governed by status and class of service. There is no club you can join for lounge access.

Because both of these arrangements are of long historical standing, they have each designed their clubs to meet the needs of their expected customers. So, those who say that US Clubs could not meet the demand if the standard rules that apply in the rest of the world apply in the US. They are right, but that just reflects the way lounge access is structured. The design follows how lounge access is structured, not the reverse.

In one sense, I think that your first answer is best, simply "because". I presume that the OP is relatively new to the US and simply was unaware of this anomaly.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 4:20 am
  #36  
 
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Airlines have varying business models for their clubs. While UA/AA/DL/AC/QF have memberships and/or single entry for purchase, other airlines determine club entry by FF status and travel class.

For every person who says 'why can't I get in' there is another person who says 'they should be more exclusive' so it depends on your situation.


SL
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Old Mar 30, 17, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by You want to go where? View Post
I think that it is reaching to say that people who purchase domestic F tickets in the US do not wish to have lounge services bundled in the price. Rather, more that by historical custom in the US is to sell this as a separate service in the form of a club.

In the rest of the world, it is the opposite. Lounge access is governed by status and class of service. There is no club you can join for lounge access.
Yes - it's probably easiest to think of the United Club as simply that - a 'club' based at airports that you pay for access to, without much connection to actual flying. The limited exception is for international travelers with either premium status or paying for premium class travel - and that exception is governed by United's calculation that it's easiest to provide the expected access for those international travelers by granting access to an existing club rather than providing something separate.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 12:35 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Yes - it's probably easiest to think of the United Club as simply that - a 'club' based at airports that you pay for access to, without much connection to actual flying. The limited exception is for international travelers with either premium status or paying for premium class travel - and that exception is governed by United's calculation that it's easiest to provide the expected access for those international travelers by granting access to an existing club rather than providing something separate.
Except that last year UA required a same day BP to get in, even for members. So it is tied to flying. Doesn't have to be a UA BP, just any BP for that day.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 2:18 pm
  #39  
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Thank you!

Thanks to y'all for the really precise enlightenment.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Ifti Khan View Post
Why is it that if you are flying 1st class domestic...one is not allowed access to the lounge? I called UA, and was directed to buy a membership
Capacity
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Old Mar 30, 17, 5:44 pm
  #41  
 
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BTW AA has the same restriction to domestic F, plus they including the Caribbean as not being eligible for the lounge, Im *A at UA lounges so it's no issue, but prior I at least had lounge access for USA-Carribean (Grand Cayman) flights on UA
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Old Mar 30, 17, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by james dean View Post
BTW AA has the same restriction to domestic F, plus they including the Caribbean as not being eligible for the lounge, Im *A at UA lounges so it's no issue, but prior I at least had lounge access for USA-Carribean (Grand Cayman) flights on UA
IIRC before the merger CO didn't allow Canada, Mexico, Carribean in the lounge. I remember when I found out by trying to go to the lounge (above the food court EWR C) and she said it was only for international passengers. I questioned as to why I needed a passport to travel to Mexico on that trip.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 7:20 pm
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Just to check, I'm assuming that my *S (AC E35k) won't get me into a UA lounge traveling domestic F? Only *G qualify outside of Canada, unless I want to cough up $118 for two of us.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 7:51 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by jc94 View Post
Just to check, I'm assuming that my *S (AC E35k) won't get me into a UA lounge traveling domestic F? Only *G qualify outside of Canada, unless I want to cough up $118 for two of us.
correct - silvers don't get lounge access under any circumstances (unless you have it through other methods). Also wouldn't get it transborder traveling in Y.
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Old Mar 30, 17, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
correct - silvers don't get lounge access under any circumstances (unless you have it through other methods). Also wouldn't get it transborder traveling in Y.
What does *S actually get anyone? Seems pretty worthless in comparison to all the benefits that *G confers...
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