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Club member/one-time pass access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner)

Old Nov 4, 2018, 10:34 am
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Effective November 1, 2019, United Club customers, including members and their guests, and one-time pass holders will need to provide a same-day boarding pass for travel on United, Star Alliance™ or a contracted partner for entry into all United Club locations. Admittance to United Club locations is permitted only at the departure and arrival airports for United, Star Alliance or a contracted partner operated flights.
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...e/default.aspx

"Contracted partner" appears to refer to non *A partners and those flights will need to be on a UA ticket to qualify.
*A partner flights also qualify even if not on a UA ticket.

"Admittance to United Club locations is permitted only at the departure and arrival airports for United, Star Alliance or a contracted partner operated flights" appears to mean that passengers are only permitted to access the United Club at the airport(s) at which their same-day flight either arrives or departs.

This requirement also applies to guest(s).


Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
This thread has had two parallel discussions, which will become even more confusing as the new UC access policy is implemented, so the original thread has been split into two separate threads.

Lifetime Member Edition: UC access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner) will be for the discussion of if UA should offer an exception to the new UC access policy (only with same day BP with UA or partners) for Lifetime United Club members.

This thread will continue as the discussion thread for the base policy and issues in its implementation. But please discuss the lifetime membership concerns in the other thread.

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
Related thread Starting 18 Aug 2016: United Club Access (including members) Only w/ Same-Day BP
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Club member/one-time pass access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner)

Old Nov 10, 2018, 10:36 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by LegalTender
God only knows what "commercial agreements" are extant.

"United reserves the right to extend access to customers traveling on partner carriers with whom United holds commercial agreements outside of Star Alliance."
.
They are listed here

Scroll down a bit -- note there are additional details for each non-*A partner
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 11:55 am
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
Maybe it will be less crowded with people cancelling their card 1 year ahead of when the policy actually takes effect.
Praying nightly for that outcome.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 1:15 pm
  #78  
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If UA wants to reduce crowding in the UCs, the single biggest change it could make would be to reduce guest privileges, specifically unlimited access for minor children under 21. DL has done this by distinguishing an "Individual" membership (pay $29 per guest) from an "Executive" membership (guests free), which costs $250/year more.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 1:58 pm
  #79  
 
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I think Air Canada also sells Star Alliance Lounge Club membership. Need to investigate if United can force members carrying lounge membership from Air Canada to show a boarding pass.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 2:05 pm
  #80  
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Originally Posted by hokiebuy
I think Air Canada also sells Star Alliance Lounge Club membership. Need to investigate if United can force members carrying lounge membership from Air Canada to show a boarding pass.
Access to any *A lounge based on AC MLL membership is governed by *A lounge access rules, and *A rules always require a departing *A boarding pass.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 2:29 pm
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
If UA wants to reduce crowding in the UCs, the single biggest change it could make would be to reduce guest privileges, specifically unlimited access for minor children under 21. DL has done this by distinguishing an "Individual" membership (pay $29 per guest) from an "Executive" membership (guests free), which costs $250/year more.
This actually makes a lot of sense - the guesting is out of control from what I can tell - even my gym requires a fee for a guest.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 3:19 pm
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
If UA wants to reduce crowding in the UCs, the single biggest change it could make would be to reduce guest privileges, specifically unlimited access for minor children under 21. DL has done this by distinguishing an "Individual" membership (pay $29 per guest) from an "Executive" membership (guests free), which costs $250/year more.
I've never seen crowding in UA lounges. Given I don't travel a whole lot, but I've never seen them more than 50% full as far as seating is concerned. Think it has to do with them encouraging people to fly United.

On a different note, many Priority Pass Lounges in IAD, Turkish, Virginia Atlantic, Air France, refuse access to people flying other airlines at peak times. Turkish Lounge receptionist told me that during peak times, they limit access to Priority Pass. If lounge is packed, they refuse entry to Star Alliance Gold, but they never restrict entry for eligible Turkish Airline flyers. I think they violate their commitment to Star Alliance Gold when they do that. It's understandable if they restrict access to all flyers; however shouldn't block access for *Alliance Gold, but then allow entry to people flying J on Turkish Airlines.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 3:44 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by hokiebuy
I've never seen crowding in UA lounges. Given I don't travel a whole lot, but I've never seen them more than 50% full as far as seating is concerned...
When I'm at IAH C North and South, I think they routinely are pushing Fire Code limits. SFO Rotunda I often pretty full. Even LAS, which used to be pleasantly-uncrowded, is getting routinely busier. I can't recall too many recent Clubs visit where one was more than 50% unoccupied - maybe LAX late at night.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 4:25 pm
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
I can't recall too many recent Clubs visit where one was more than 50% unoccupied - maybe LAX late at night.
ATL, SEA, PDX, SAT were 50+% unoccupied on my 2018 visits. BOS, marginally busier.

The Atlanta Club is substantially a DL refuge from SkyClub pandemonium.
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Old Nov 10, 2018, 5:00 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by hokiebuy
I've never seen crowding in UA lounges. Given I don't travel a whole lot, but I've never seen them more than 50% full as far as seating is concerned.
I don't doubt your experience, but that is completely different from what most of us as frequent UA flyers experience at the UA hubs, where the UCs are pushed beyond their reasonable limits on a regular basis.

Originally Posted by LegalTender
ATL, SEA, PDX, SAT were 50+% unoccupied on my 2018 visits. BOS, marginally busier.
All non-hubs.

Any claim that the UCs at UA hubs are not seriously overcrowded will be met with derision by those of us who frequent them.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 10, 2018 at 11:04 pm Reason: m
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Old Nov 12, 2018, 7:34 am
  #86  
 
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Some thoughts from a lurker...

Long-time lurker at FT -- just some additional thoughts on this situation with the UA clubs. I'm a frequent business traveler and can't consistently fly United because they don't always offer the most efficient or cost-effective routes to some of the places I need to go (home port is Tucson). I got the UA Club card so I could have a quiet place to relax in-between flights at many airports, regardless of the airline I was on. If the clubs are overcrowded as a result of this policy and UA wants to change the policy, that's entirely their right. I'm not going to howl about it. UA will, however, probably see travelers like me drop the UA Club card (I'll be canceling mine after the 1st of the year). If I flew in and out of a United hub, it might be a different story. I can say that I've rarely seen the clubs overcrowded, although it obviously does happen. I've been to the UC in many airports such as IAD, IAH, DEN, LAS, ATL, etc. Never had trouble finding a seat and a quiet place out of the way.
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Old Nov 12, 2018, 9:37 am
  #87  
 
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I checked to see how often I visited a UC over the last 12 months while flying an airline that would ineligible after next November, and the answer surprised me: only two out of 40-some UC visits. Both were at BOS, when I was flying AA with my family.

That confirms two things: I'm getting a good value out of my UC credit card, and AA should take note that the best-placed lounge for BOS-DCA shuttle passengers is run by another airline.

But I'm still cranky about this. One, I found out a potentially significant change to UA's policies from FT and travel blogs, not an e-mail from the airline. Two, I hate seeing UA copy the dumb ideas of AA or DL on principle. If "we don't have to offer extras better than those two because our network is our sales pitch" is the governing logic, I start to get the heebie-jeebies over management deciding they no longer need to offer an SDC policy or a million-miler program that exceeds the competition's.
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Old Nov 12, 2018, 1:00 pm
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
I don't doubt your experience, but that is completely different from what most of us as frequent UA flyers experience at the UA hubs, where the UCs are pushed beyond their reasonable limits on a regular basis.


All non-hubs.

Any claim that the UCs at UA hubs are not seriously overcrowded will be met with derision by those of us who frequent them.
There is no question that the UCs at UA hubs are frequently over crowded, but I seriously doubt that this recent change will have much of any effect on that. How many people who visit the UC at EWR terminal C are flying on another airline? I would suspect very few. But at my home club at PHL, there are many people who use that club that are flying other airlines. The people who are UC members but fly from non-hub airports are the ones who will mostly be affected by this rule change.
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Old Nov 12, 2018, 1:10 pm
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by DCA writer
But I'm still cranky about this. One, I found out a potentially significant change to UA's policies from FT and travel blogs, not an e-mail from the airline. Two, I hate seeing UA copy the dumb ideas of AA or DL on principle. If "we don't have to offer extras better than those two because our network is our sales pitch" is the governing logic, I start to get the heebie-jeebies over management deciding they no longer need to offer an SDC policy or a million-miler program that exceeds the competition's.
I absolutely agree with you that UA has done a less than stellar job of getting the word out. For many people, especially those of us who have the UC card specifically for access when flying any airline (although I try to fly UA when I can), it's significant and we have a decision to make. UA at least partially marketed the UC card with the specific intention of enticing customers to the Club card who fly other airlines, and now they're retracting the very benefit I signed up for. I'm not angry about it -- this is just business -- but the EC card is going to be canceled and shredded after the first of the year.
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Old Nov 12, 2018, 1:23 pm
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by hokiebuy
I've never seen crowding in UA lounges. Given I don't travel a whole lot, but I've never seen them more than 50% full as far as seating is concerned. Think it has to do with them encouraging people to fly United.

On a different note, many Priority Pass Lounges in IAD, Turkish, Virginia Atlantic, Air France, refuse access to people flying other airlines at peak times. Turkish Lounge receptionist told me that during peak times, they limit access to Priority Pass. If lounge is packed, they refuse entry to Star Alliance Gold, but they never restrict entry for eligible Turkish Airline flyers. I think they violate their commitment to Star Alliance Gold when they do that. It's understandable if they restrict access to all flyers; however shouldn't block access for *Alliance Gold, but then allow entry to people flying J on Turkish Airlines.
At IAD, I have frequently seen them SRO in the late afternoon before the international flights (and not admitting passholders). I have seen people turned down on PP for crowding at AF (which is time limited) and TK, but never seen a Star Gold turned down. I don't keep track of when I have visited a UA lounge without a *A boarding pass, but I know I have done it a handful of times at some airports, particularly when flying domestic economy on the likes of Frontier, Spirit, Southwest and the like. I will probably keep my UA club CC, especially since *A has a lot of partners, but drop my AA club CC, as they have fewer lounges, fewer partners and I am much more likely to be flying another airline when visiting their lounge.
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