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USA Lounges with UA *G Access When Flying Domestic

USA Lounges with UA *G Access When Flying Domestic

Old Jun 27, 18, 11:51 pm
  #1  
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USA Lounges with UA *G Access When Flying Domestic

Hey FTers,

As UA elites all know, access to lounges when travelling within the 50 states of the US is prohibited. However, there have been reports that there may be a major loophole to that rule, namely if you access a non-UA *A Gold lounges. While I cannot confirm this rumour as it is rare for me to fly a strictly domestic UA itinerary (I'm a Canuck you see!), in solidarity to my fellow UA flyers (and due to the fact that I had a couple extra minutes on my hand), I thought I'd compile a list of airports that UA serves which have non-UA *A lounges.

To summarize the findings of my research:
  • There are a total of 29 lounges in the US that are operated by *A partners (or for *A partners as a contract lounge)
  • If we exclude contract lounges, that number drops to 13 including @ EWR, ORD, IAD, LAX,MIA, LGA, DTW and BOS
Here again is the link: List of USA *A Lounges Not Operated by UA

If anyone has experience accessing any of the lounges (especially the contract lounges) in the list please let me know so I may colour code them (i.e. Green = Access, Yellow = Uncertain, Red = No). I'd also love to hear the practicality of getting to these lounge (in particular the ones at EWR, IAD, LAX and ORD).

Safe Travels,

James

Last edited by FlyerTalker70; Jun 28, 18 at 12:29 am Reason: Made link to the list clearer
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Old Jun 28, 18, 1:15 am
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Access to non-UA domestic lounges is not a rumor and is a clearly stated policy. FTers have long been making use of this stated policy and there are multiple existing threads on accessing domestic *A lounges.

Access to LH Lounge at EWR includes the SAS lounge
Access to Lufthansa lounge in Boston as a domestic itinerary *G
Consolidated "Access to Lufthansa Lounge at IAD" Thread [Merged]
Access / reviews for TK's IAD *A lounge
Best IAD Lounge
Lufthansa Lounge Access in DTW/Detroit
Better lounge in LGA: United Club vs Maple Leaf?
UA domestic itin and LGA AC MLL ?
International Chicago*G Lounge includes LX & SAS
UA/*A gates & lounge situation at MIA
Maple Leaf club access at LAX
Using AC MLL in the US?

I think this is most of the *A *G lounges presently in operation (there are threads on others but now closed such as the SFO BR/SQ lounges)

Essentially if you can get to the lounge and are UA *G, you have access unless closed due to crowding (SQ & BR in SFO did this regularly). Some of the *A lounges are pretty good and a few are not really worth the effort.

BTW, this access also apllies for UC members, Does United Club Membership Give Access to * Gold Lounges in the USA?
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 28, 18 at 1:23 am
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Old Jun 28, 18, 1:22 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Access to non-UA domestic lounges is not a rumor and is a clearly stated policy. FTers have long been making use of this stated policy and there are multiple existing threads on accessing domestic *A lounges.

Access to LH Lounge at EWR includes the SAS lounge
Access to Lufthansa lounge in Boston as a domestic itinerary *G
Consolidated "Access to Lufthansa Lounge at IAD" Thread [Merged]
Access / reviews for TK's IAD *A lounge
Best IAD Lounge
Lufthansa Lounge Access in DTW/Detroit
Better lounge in LGA: United Club vs Maple Leaf?
UA domestic itin and LGA AC MLL ?
International Chicago*G Lounge includes LX & SAS
UA/*A gates & lounge situation at MIA
Maple Leaf club access at LAX
Using AC MLL in the US?

I think this is most of the *A *G lounges presently in operation (there are threads on others but now closed such as the SFO BR/SQ lounges)

Essentially if you can get to the lounge and are UA *G, you have access unless closed due to crowding (SQ & BR in SFO did this regularly). Some of the *A lounges are pretty good and a few are not really worth the effort.
Thanks for the feedback on this. I'll be reviewing those threads late this week and make updates to the spreadsheet accordingly.

I thought I'd just create this central resource for all UA flyers so they don't have to search through countless threads to determine the lounge situation.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Jun 28, 18, 1:28 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
...I thought I'd just create this central resource for all UA flyers so they don't have to search through countless threads to determine the lounge situation.
....
The refreshing of the list of clubs is a good idea but there is no access issue to be concerned about (with the SQ & BR SFO lounges closed). All non-UA A* Gold lounges, in the USA or elsewhere, are accessible to UA *G regardless of itin type.

The older thread -- Consolidated Star Alliance Lounge Access Thread -- is a bit dated.

The easist way to find *A lounges is *A Lounge Finder
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Old Jun 28, 18, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The refreshing of the list of clubs is a good idea but there is no access issue to be concerned about (with the SQ & BR SFO lounges closed). All non-UA A* Gold lounges, in the USA or elsewhere, are accessible to UA *G regardless of itin type.

The older thread -- Consolidated Star Alliance Lounge Access Thread -- is a bit dated.

The easist way to find *A lounges is *A Lounge Finder
Good to hear that non-UA *A Gold lounges are accessible to domestic UA*G flyers! Agreed that the *A lounge navigator is one of the better tools to find *A lounge availability (in fact that's how I "discovered" the domestic *A lounges).

One thing I'll need to investigate further is the question of "Contract lounges" like the BA lounge used in SEA by several *A partners. My gut is saying they shouldn't be open to *A Gold travellers just those flying J/F with the airline in question but I swear I've seen *A Gold contract lounges in my travels (i.e. at DXB if memory serves me correctly). I'll also need to add in notes on how to access these lounges as some of them seem to be tricker than just walking to a specific gate (i.e. at EWR where there are 3 lounges outside the UA concourses: AC, LH and SK).

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Jun 28, 18, 2:00 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
... One thing I'll need to investigate further is the question of "Contract lounges" like the BA lounge used in SEA by several *A partners. My gut is saying they shouldn't be open to *A Gold travellers just those flying J/F with the airline in question but I swear I've seen *A Gold contract lounges in my travels (i.e. at DXB if memory serves me correctly). ....
Contract lounges are very specific to the air carrier and to the best of my knowledge UA does not contract with any lounge operator domestic. UA does use some contract lounges internationally --- but it up to the air carrier if they contract and who is included -- premium cabin is the usual but elites are sometimes included. But not UA domestically.

You may find the *A Reference Guide an useful resources, especially internationally, on lounge locations including contract lounges used by *A carriers.

BTW, you may be thinking about the LH lounge at DXB -- it is available for *G. The rest of the DXB lounges are contract lounges.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 28, 18 at 2:17 am Reason: LH lounge at DXB
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Old Jun 30, 18, 11:40 am
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I was at LAX Terminal 7 recently and was bored with the United Club. Over at Terminal 6, connected airside, there is an Alaska Boardroom that was not accepting Priority Pass for second time I tried, 2 weeks apart. Down a corridor is the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge. The relatively nice lounge attendant said I had to be on an Air Canada flight. I asked if she could try my United 1K Star Alliance Gold card anyhow and she scanned it and typed something and let me in. Nothing special but it exists so might as well try it.It was still breakfast food. They had hard boiled eggs and blueberry muffins which the United Club did not.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:45 am
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Good news - I've had a chance to review the FT threads and updated the listing to provide an accurate account of how to access the lounges and fellow FTers anecdotal thoughts of them:

Non-United *A Lounges in the US

I'll be updating this list later on with discussions on the contract lounges since that will require further research.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
You may find the *A Reference Guide an useful resources, especially internationally, on lounge locations including contract lounges used by *A carriers.
I took a quick glance at it and have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand it's a great reference since it discusses a lot of the nitty gritty details about how *A is supposed to work for us elites (i.e. IRROP and OpUp policy for member airlines). However, there were numerous errors in the guide, most notably all the AC lounges in Canada were missing from the lounge guide. I've contacted *A to have them correct this glaring omission!

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Jul 1, 18, 11:16 am
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"USA Lounges with UA *G Access When Flying Domestic"

I think including contract lounges that are mostly departure lounges for other carriers (and riding flying their metal is the main, sometimes only, criteria for access) is not particularly useful relative to thread title and may actually lead to confusion. Most of those contract lounges do not allow *G access while flying domestic. It's Jekyll and Hyde listing.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jul 1, 18 at 12:05 pm Reason: Added a relatively important "not"
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Old Jul 1, 18, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
I took a quick glance at it and have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand it's a great reference since it discusses a lot of the nitty gritty details about how *A is supposed to work for us elites (i.e. IRROP and OpUp policy for member airlines). However, there were numerous errors in the guide, most notably all the AC lounges in Canada were missing from the lounge guide. I've contacted *A to have them correct this glaring omission! ....
The guide does not cover all *A airports. Not sure of the criteria *A used but it may be based on the total *A traffic or the number of *A carriers serving the airport. I don't believe it claims to be 100% inclusive.

BTW, while publicly accessible, the document is "REFERENCE GUIDE 2017/2018 - FOR EMPLOYEES OF STAR ALLIANCE MEMBER CARRIERS"
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Old Jul 1, 18, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
One thing I'll need to investigate further is the question of "Contract lounges" like the BA lounge used in SEA by several *A partners. My gut is saying they shouldn't be open to *A Gold travellers just those flying J/F with the airline in question but I swear I've seen *A Gold contract lounges in my travels
Contract lounges are almost always available to *G travelers, but only when actually flying with the airline that it is a contract lounge for.

For example, at SJC, Lufthansa, Air China and ANA all provide access to "The Club at SJC" for *G travelers (as well as business and higher passengers obviously), but that doesn't mean that someone that someone is flying UA can use it, even if they are *G.

If one of those *A carriers was to open their own lounge there, then UA *G customers would have access for all flights.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Contract lounges are almost always available to *G travelers, but only when actually flying with the airline that it is a contract lounge for.

For example, at SJC, Lufthansa, Air China and ANA all provide access to "The Club at SJC" for *G travelers (as well as business and higher passengers obviously), but that doesn't mean that someone that someone is flying UA can use it, even if they are *G.

If one of those *A carriers was to open their own lounge there, then UA *G customers would have access for all flights.
and that’s the difference between a contract lounge and *G lounge. Any *G can use a lounge branded a *G lounge, which are typciallly the business loungnges of a * carrier, while only those contracted to use a contract lounge can use it. Hence the inability of UA pax to use the club at SJC (unless said UA passenger has priority pass or another membership they accept).



Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 9, 18 at 2:33 am
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Old Dec 6, 18, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Hello again,

Just thought I'd let everyone know that the Upgrade Offers Spreadsheet has been updated to this point.

Apologies for the delay in updating the sheet - I've had quite the busy term in Master's programme in the UK (assessments finished on Tuesday and was in transit since then).

I'll try updating the other United resources in the coming days as I transit to DPS (currently in YYZ).

Safe Travels,

James
Is there a link to get to all your spreadsheets? You had a spreadsheet on *A lounges I can't seem to find.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 9, 18 at 2:33 am Reason: moved to relevant thread
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Old Dec 6, 18, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by hokiebuy View Post
Is there a link to get to all your spreadsheets? You had a spreadsheet on *A lounges I can't seem to find.
Here are the links to the various UA/* spreadsheets I've created over the past little while:N.B. let me know if there's interest in combining all of them into a LX Army Knife Spreadsheet (would be tons of tabs though!)

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Dec 7, 18, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Here are the links to the various UA/* spreadsheets I've created over the past little while:N.B. let me know if there's interest in combining all of them into a LX Army Knife Spreadsheet (would be tons of tabs though!)

Safe Travels,

James
Thanks for posting this James - very helpful!

- Tom
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