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United Club membership now $650 effective 8/13/19

United Club membership now $650 effective 8/13/19

Old Jun 18, 2019, 10:54 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Programs: UA LT Gold, American Kettle, Hertz #1 Presidents Circle, Marriott LT Platinum
Posts: 927
Originally Posted by mahasamatman
That's OK, Amex people are always bragging about their Centurion Lounge anyway.
The Centurion lounges are nice, but at some airports they are small and packed. SFO is probably the worst. I've almost never seen it not packed to the gills and often they are turning people away as they reached the fire code maximum occupancy.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 11:12 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Colorado
Programs: UA 1k 1.75 MM
Posts: 208
I let my UC membership expire last August, and I haven’t regretted it.

My wife still has a membership and on the occasions that we travel together, and I do end up in a UC, I am reminded why I dropped my membership. We frequently cannot find 2 seats together because the clubs are packed. The crowds also mean that the clubs are noisy. I seem to always be near some idiot yelling into his hands-free phone. The food is still the same cheap prepackage food service gruel.

I thought I would miss the IRROPs handling, but that can be handled just as effectively on the phone.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 12:02 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: AUS
Programs: BAEC Gold, AA PPro, Hyatt Globalist, Amex Plat
Posts: 7,162
Originally Posted by ContinentalFan
Yes. I get value out of the clubs.
Well, actually I do too, but I'd get even more value out of them if someone else was paying for it. I guess my point is that when you make statements implying UA should raise the cost even higher, it might be valuable for other posters to understand that you may have a bias in that said cost increase isn't shouldered by you.

And actually, I don't completely disagree with you that one way to reduce lounge crowding is through price increases, even though at some point, it would hit a level that I'd probably no longer be willing to pay, but just pointing out that its easier to actively wish for that path when someone else covers the bill for you.

Regards
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 12:07 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: AUS
Programs: BAEC Gold, AA PPro, Hyatt Globalist, Amex Plat
Posts: 7,162
Originally Posted by spin88
<snip>
and P.S. There is also a Centurion at HKG - which is vastly superior to now dumpy UC - and right near the UA gates and also LAS, and they are adding lounges at DEN, LAX, JFK, CLT, LHR, and PHX all of which are currently in the works. The difference in the AMEX PLT card is that it is airline agnostic. Works anytime you travel on DL or AS (where you get same day lounge access to their lounges) and also if you fly UA in places where their is a lounge.
I don't think anyone here is debating that Centurion Lounges aren't nice, BUT over the last couple years it's becoming incredibly clear that Amex is not going to be able to scale that offer in order meet demand (i.e. crowding) nor in terms of the number of locations. So yes, the lounges are nice, but given the tiny overall, global and domestic foot print and the significant crowding issues, it's largely irrelevant.

Regards

Umm... wow... had no idea so many people were so passionate about soup?!

Regards

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 12:51 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: PDX
Programs: AA LT PLT (3.6+ MM), UA 1K LT Gold, Hilton LT Diamond, Bonvoy Gold.
Posts: 1,666
I've had the UC chase card for years, but I am cancelling it as of this month. Between this price hike and the coming change in Nov to *G only access I am done. I am not in a captive hub (PDX) so I have been taking more AS and AA flights this year. There is a very poor choice of clubs in PDX, and with the current PP/AS Boardroom spat showing no signs of abating, I'm giving up on clubs as a viable concept altogether. It was fun for a decade but the race to the bottom is nearly done; there isn't much else left to eviscerate. Oh and my company does not pay for UC membership, but they do pay for food and drink (in moderation) so this further 'enhancement' doesn't affect me as far as day-to-day travel is concerned.
Finally I do wonder what will happen when the next downturns hits... Will the clubs become dead space? We'll see....
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 1:18 pm
  #96  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Colorado
Programs: UA Gold (.85 MM), HH Diamond, SPG Platinum (LT Gold), Hertz PC, National EE
Posts: 5,867
I don't recall the last time I actually had any food in the UC beyond some crackers and maybe a glass of wine. The food offered is sub par unless you compare it to grade school slop. The free wine gives instant heartburn so I now avoid that. The coffee machines (if they actually work) I do enjoy, but that doesn't justify the money spent looking back. Now with the increase 2019 will likely be my last year, after 10+ years.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 1:26 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 9,491
Originally Posted by timfountain
I've had the UC chase card for years, but I am cancelling it as of this month. Between this price hike and the coming change in Nov to *G only access I am done.
Has a price hike for the Club card been announced? The Delta Amex Skymiles Reserve and AA Citi AAdvantage Executive are the comparable DL/AA cards and both come with a $450 annual fee.

Perhaps this is to push standalone club members to the credit card product?
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 1:26 pm
  #98  
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
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Posts: 14,933
Originally Posted by timfountain
Finally I do wonder what will happen when the next downturns hits... Will the clubs become dead space? We'll see....
Theyll do what theyve done before: lower the barrier to entry, so the clubs remain full. I gave up membership for a few years around 2009the effects of the Great Recession were I full swing. The clubs were too crowded. I dont recall what I did back then, as I was flying a lot. I didnt miss using them. I joined up again four or five years ago: theyre crowded, but not nearly as bad as I recall in the run up to the last recession. Of course, it helps that I fly out of LAX as we have, IMHO, one of the best clubs in the system.

The lesson I learned is that if you walk away, habits adjust, and you dont miss the clubs.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 1:29 pm
  #99  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: PDX
Programs: AA LT PLT (3.6+ MM), UA 1K LT Gold, Hilton LT Diamond, Bonvoy Gold.
Posts: 1,666
Good to know. I've been slowing weening myself of the single airline reliance and flying more direct flights on whatever airline makes sense. I'll pay for E+, premier access etc on an ad-hoc basis.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 2:00 pm
  #100  
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Programs: UA Gold 1MM, AS 75k, AA ExPlat, Bonvoyed Gold, Honors Dia, Hyatt Explorer, IHG Plat, ...
Posts: 17,301
Originally Posted by spin88
What a joke. I have an Amex PLT card, SO has one too, the AMEX lounges are far, far, far better than UA's lounges, are in most of the airports I frequently, and as long as I fly AS or DL, I can use my AMEX card to access the lounges on them (or internationally) as well. Costs me $550 x2, and I get a great credit card to boot. @:-)

The package UA is offering is just inferior, to go with an inferior lounge. These kinds of things just make UA non-competitive. Faced with flying AS the other day (lounge access) vs. UA (no lounge access) guess who I flew....
How does your Plat card get you into the AS lounges? The Priority Pass Access for AS lounges ended in many locations a while ago. Did they announce a new Amex Plat specific access plan that I missed? (I was sitting outside the AS lounge at the SEA C Gates last night and would have loved to go in)

As a free agent, I have little interest in buying an airline specific lounge membership program. Amex Plat and Priority Pass, UA *G and international business class travel give me sufficient coverage. $650 would pay for plenty of airport meals in restaurants.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 2:19 pm
  #101  
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff


How does your Plat card get you into the AS lounges? The Priority Pass Access for AS lounges ended in many locations a while ago. Did they announce a new Amex Plat specific access plan that I missed? (I was sitting outside the AS lounge at the SEA C Gates last night and would have loved to go in)

As a free agent, I have little interest in buying an airline specific lounge membership program. Amex Plat and Priority Pass, UA *G and international business class travel give me sufficient coverage. $650 would pay for plenty of airport meals in restaurants.
Priority Pass gives access to all the AS lounges other than SEA's at present.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 2:34 pm
  #102  
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Originally Posted by fumje
Priority Pass gives access to all the AS lounges other than SEA's at present.
but how often do you actually get in?

I stopped following this thread in the AS forum because PDX pretty much always denied me ... (my AS connection points are PDX and SEA)

Priority Pass and Denied Entry at Alaska Lounges Because of Space - 2019 and Later

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Old Jun 18, 2019, 2:44 pm
  #103  
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff
but how often do you actually get in?

I stopped following this thread in the AS forum because PDX pretty much always denied me ... (my AS connection points are PDX and SEA)

Priority Pass and Denied Entry at Alaska Lounges Because of Space - 2019 and Later
OK, that's a good point. Theory and practice may differ.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 3:21 pm
  #104  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,115
Originally Posted by StuckinITH
Question: Why is the warning sign in French?
IIRC from my visits to the ORD club, there are a CAUTION-HOT text and an ISO hot surface warning sign above the French line, but you can't see it in the picture as they are obfuscated by the shadow of the pan and the pan itself. If you zoom in well, you can see excerpts from the CAUTION-HOT line.

As for why the French line, I'm guessing either maple leaf import or more likely the device has been produced for sale in both the US and Canada, and the French line was added to comply with Canada's regulations. It's a pretty common sight in the US.
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Old Jun 18, 2019, 6:14 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,533
I have two lines of questions to understand this change better:

(1) When was the last price increase? What price was it before that? (What % increase is this over inflation?)

(2) I know these could only guestimates but what percentage of humans in a given lounge are (a) paid club members (b) club cc holders (c) one-time pass from Explorer card (d) paid $59 at the door (e) *G on int'l Y itin (f) foreign *G on domestic F/Y itin (g) short-haul int'l J itin (h) long-haul J/F itin at a station with no Polaris Lounge?

People complain UCs are overcrowded, to solve this UA can either restrict access or build more / bigger UCs. In most stations that already have a UC I'm guessing expanding UCs is not possible or prohibitively expensive, though they expanded LGA and have been opening some Polaris lounges which at some stations have diverted pax (though at some stations they've replaced an existing UC). They've been trying and failing to expand at EWR. So what can they do to reduce the number of people using the UC?

Access categories (b) (c) (e) (f) (g) and (h) are all tied up in multi-year contracts (and the *A rules aren't likely to change anytime soon), so if United wants to make a change unilaterally and now it's likely change (a) or (d), and remember United also has way more info than we have about which categories of access make up the bulk of the overcrowding (though we do have some anecdotes about people thinking the beer is free, who are probably not (a) or (b)).

It could be that the $59 cash entry is not significant enough to bother doing away with, and that club members are contributing the most to overcrowding, that the Club CC price will also increase shortly as soon as the Chase contract renews, and that the two free Explorer passes will also change in some way at next contract renewal (or maybe most of those expire unused and it's a sweet deal for UA).

In essence, United is saying they'd like to reduce the number of people who get in by paying [by raising the price] and leave more room for int'l pax who are *G or flying J. Rough for you if you're a domestic road warrior, but can't say I see it as a bad choice for them.

Or it could all be short-sighted and the 10%-20% of people who cancel their memberships because of the price increase will float away from UA/MP in general and cost UA a lot of ticket revenue. But for all the people who are saying "I'm cancelling my membership!" on this thread, that's what UA wants you to do. They aren't betting that demand is inelastic and they can extract more cash, they're betting that demand is elastic and they can preserve a less-crowded product for their premium pax.

That's my guess, anyway.
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