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As UC members have no access to Polaris lounges, what will be the impacts on the UCs?

As UC members have no access to Polaris lounges, what will be the impacts on the UCs?

Old Jun 10, 18, 7:53 pm
  #1  
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As UC members have no access to Polaris lounges, what will be the impacts on the UCs?

So after dealing with the overcrowded upstairs lounge in C while the downstairs one gets overhauled (a few weeks ago they actually gave me a voucher to go eat at a restaurant because it was so crowded! - which is not what I pay hundreds of dollars a year for) I find that my club membership will not allow me access to the new lounge unless I fly Polaris. So, no showers upstairs, it's super crowded and I'm not happy. I'm thinking it may be time to explore other options. Am I being unreasonable or is it time to check out other options? Amex Platinum? Chase Sapphire Reserve? I'm off again to Europe later this week and wondering if there's a better option. Maybe something that will give me wider overseas access well.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 10, 18, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by VoiceActor View Post
So after dealing with the overcrowded upstairs lounge in C while the downstairs one gets overhauled (a few weeks ago they actually gave me a voucher to go eat at a restaurant because it was so crowded! - which is not what I pay hundreds of dollars a year for) I find that my club membership will not allow me access to the new lounge unless I fly Polaris. So, no showers upstairs, it's super crowded and I'm not happy. I'm thinking it may be time to explore other options. Am I being unreasonable or is it time to check out other options? Amex Platinum? Chase Sapphire Reserve? I'm off again to Europe later this week and wondering if there's a better option. Maybe something that will give me wider overseas access well.

Thanks!
You're being unreasonable. Why don't they let economy passengers in the United Club? It's the same issue. I will be on a Polaris flight later this year. I expect to be able to use the lounge because I've paid (with miles) for a Polaris flight.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:04 pm
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Fellow UC member here. As much as Iíd love to access the Polaris Lounge on every trip, I know the only way Iím getting in is with a same day Polaris business boarding pass. Never had an expectation to the contrary.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:05 pm
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Originally Posted by VoiceActor View Post
So after dealing with the overcrowded upstairs lounge in C while the downstairs one gets overhauled (a few weeks ago they actually gave me a voucher to go eat at a restaurant because it was so crowded! - which is not what I pay hundreds of dollars a year for) I find that my club membership will not allow me access to the new lounge unless I fly Polaris. So, no showers upstairs, it's super crowded and I'm not happy. I'm thinking it may be time to explore other options. Am I being unreasonable or is it time to check out other options? Amex Platinum? Chase Sapphire Reserve? I'm off again to Europe later this week and wondering if there's a better option.
You are being unreasonable considering how nice the Polaris Lounge is. You do you have options in EWR as a paid UC member.

You can visit the following clubs, albeit with some annoyances:

- Pop up club near C124 (limited amenities but not as crowded)
- UC Club in Term A (requires bus transfer but is the nicest UC club)

The following you also have access to as a member, but require clearing security twice:

- LH lounge in Term B (ok-ish food on the biz side but limited hours)
- SAS Lounge in Term B (limited hours but large space)
- MLL in Term A (nothing great to say about this one)

So yeah, you have options. AMEX and Chase won't do anything else for you except get you into Art & Lounge in Term B which is terrible.

Originally Posted by VoiceActor View Post
Maybe something that will give me wider overseas access well.
Edit to add: If you're flying *A airlines overseas, you have access to all of the normal *A biz lounges with your paid membership. Those are almost always infinitely better then whatever Priority Pass will offer.
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Last edited by pushmyredbutton; Jun 10, 18 at 8:11 pm
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:13 pm
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Please complain often about the lack of showers in the core United Club product; thatís an area in which United significantly lags AA and DL.

With respect to PL access, Iím sorry that we disagree. The value of the concept is, among other things, its exclusivity.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:33 pm
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I'm GS and I don't get the Polaris lounge when flying Y either. Makes no sense to me since I spend boat loads but that's life.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:40 pm
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I do not fly through EWR (if I can help it) but as I started to do more domestic travel last year, based on input from some friends and looking at the other benefits, I got myself an AMEX Platinum card. At SFO and LAS I am able to use the Centurion lounge which I really like. In SAN I am able to use the Airspace lounge. In LAX I am able to use the AS lounge. At LHR if I was not in Polaris, or arrive after 12 noon, I use the Priority Pass lounge which is right next door to the United Arrivals lounge for a shower. The AMEX card also gives me $15 or uber each month and pays for my GE, and much to my surprise gives me gold status with Hilton. I liked the new Polaris lounge at SFO but am not a huge fan of UCs.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by VoiceActor View Post
So after dealing with the overcrowded upstairs lounge in C while the downstairs one gets overhauled (a few weeks ago they actually gave me a voucher to go eat at a restaurant because it was so crowded! - which is not what I pay hundreds of dollars a year for) I find that my club membership will not allow me access to the new lounge unless I fly Polaris. So, no showers upstairs, it's super crowded and I'm not happy.
I'm going to buck the trend, and say it's not at all unreasonable for EWR UC members to be upset that they've had showers taken away (permanently) and had to deal with unacceptable crowding while UA built out the Polaris lounge, without any commensurate reduction in the annual membership fee. And will for the foreseeable future be stuck with domestic lounges which are on average objectively inferior to the competition (DL and AA). That's different from saying that UC members should have Polaris access, because that's not going to happen.

Unfortunately, your options at EWR are basically zero. If you can fly out of JFK, DL and AA both have better lounges - with showers - and AMEX is also building a Centurion lounge at JFK T4.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:57 pm
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The food - especially the paper plates and bowls - in the Delta clubs are inferior to United Clubs. I canít comment on AA clubs.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by SAN 1K View Post
The food - especially the paper plates and bowls - in the Delta clubs are inferior to United Clubs. I can’t comment on AA clubs.
Sorry, the food in the better DL clubs is objectively much better than domestic UCs. That's not subject to reasonable debate. At SFO, DL uses china. Additionally, their plates, bowls, and glasses are all larger than the tiny, portion minimizing plates, bowls, and glasses that UA makes available.

ETA: If you're just comparing the clubs in SAN, I agree UC is better. But that's my favorite domestic UC, and the SC is pretty weak.
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Last edited by Kacee; Jun 10, 18 at 10:20 pm
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Old Jun 10, 18, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by SAN 1K View Post
The food - especially the paper plates and bowls - in the Delta clubs are inferior to United Clubs.
Have to disagree with you there.

As for the UC's, it is ridiculous that they pulled showers out of existing lounges. Unless I significantly increase my non transcon UA flying, I can't foresee paying for a membership going forward.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 10:13 pm
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Not sure why the OP possibly thought he/she would be accorded access to a Polaris lounge without flying Polaris. As a Club member I’d like access to Polaris lounges when not flying front-cabin long-haul, but I also recognize how ridiculously crowded the Polaris Lounges would become If they let United Club members in. I don’t think people realize how many Club members there are. It’s not exactly a trivial number. Pretty oblivious to think access should be available to all UC members. Maybe UA needs to change the United Club name - some might feel over-entitled as "members" and expect more than reality. Real "clubs" are member-managed and my guess is United Clubs would be significantly different if UA let us complainers run the show . UA should just call it the United Lounge. "Club" seems to promise too much.

You need a shower? Fly Polaris or look for other (non-UA) options. Certainly not defending removal of UC showers, but it is what it is.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jun 10, 18 at 11:03 pm
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Old Jun 10, 18, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
You need a shower? Fly Polaris or look for other (non-UA) options. Certainly not defending removal of UC showers, but it is what it is.
Why I now fly DL T-con.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 10:24 pm
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United's "improvements" to the United Clubs seem like one step forward and two steps back. I don't object to an exclusive Polaris Club for those flyers, but I don't think it's unreasonable at all for United to provide showers in their UCs at their international hubs as a minimum. Clearly DL and AA understand the needs of long haul flyers (as did Continental) much better than United does.

I was recently sent a MP survey asking me for my opinion on a variety of topics and I told them removing showers from United Clubs at hub airports is a big mistake.

Supposedly United is planning a new United Club in Terminal C at EWR to replace the one they converted to a Polaris Club. It would be great if United management brought showers back in the new UC, but I don't have confidence in their management. It is readily apparent United doesn't really care about your flight and terminal experience unless you pay for Polaris flights. Given how United is "nickel and diming" us for everything, one would think they'd even consider bringing back showers in UCs at hubs and charging UC members a fee (or miles) to use them.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I'm going to buck the trend, and say it's not at all unreasonable for EWR UC members to be upset that they've had showers taken away (permanently) and had to deal with unacceptable crowding while UA built out the Polaris lounge, without any commensurate reduction in the annual membership fee. And will for the foreseeable future be stuck with domestic lounges which are on average objectively inferior to the competition (DL and AA). That's different from saying that UC members should have Polaris access, because that's not going to happen.

Unfortunately, your options at EWR are basically zero. If you can fly out of JFK, DL and AA both have better lounges - with showers - and AMEX is also building a Centurion lounge at JFK T4.
I do not share your sentiment, although your points seem valid, and hard to disagree with individually.

Overall, however -and considering we are talking UNITED here- I look at it much more simplistic (naive maybe?):

- before we had crappy UCs that we all shared
- United built nice Polaris lounges and separated the business class traveler away from the UC
- they improved the UC to some extent (the one in A at EWR is pretty nice, for instance)

Looks like the main issue is that they removed showers at the UCs, but overall I'd say it's a HUGE improvement of what was before.
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