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Lifetime Member Edition: UC access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner)

Lifetime Member Edition: UC access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner)

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Old Mar 2, 20, 9:19 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: texd
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So, is anything happening with this? Just curious (Oct 3, 2019)



If you paid cash for a lifetime Club membership and would like to join a potential class action due to this material change, please post your username here:
ctownflyer
hog Heaven
AAdmiral
nsx + 1
RichardInSF
Sykes
soartoday
lax2jfk2lax
libuser + 1
Xyzzy + 1
Buster CT1K
1K Student
Elitefreak
flyer austin + 1 (wiki-restricted member, added by IAH-OIL-TRASH)
Radonc1 + 1 (not a FT member but has LT membership)
Halo117
mikey
Mnmag
Vulcan
lateacher
kmersh
MazdaMP
bajong
sandiego1k
thesilb
HnlJay
nachosdelux
wtigerFF
a1bengal
benolaa
LeslieandDiane
SPN Lifer +1
YRKInsider
texd


If you received a lifetime Club membership from the UA MM program and would like to join a potential class action, please post your username here:
deek
honmani2
lax2jfk2lax (recd 2nd lifetime for hitting 2MM which I gifted)

Related thread: Club member/one-time pass access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner) Original thread -- focused on the basic access issue, most lifetime membership posts have been moved to this lifetime thread



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Old Feb 18, 20, 12:17 am
  #991  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,497
Originally Posted by ContPlat View Post
It now has virtually no value as I get the lounges when flying Star anyway.
What the heck does that mean?
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 4:20 am
  #992  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: JAX
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 5,199
Originally Posted by ContPlat View Post
I don't subscribe, so I can't post. Follows is what I tried to say to JIM442 and OldTx,,,

I wonder how JIM442 and OldTx would feel if they bought a car and the seller decided to take out the seats? We bought full time, anytime the club is open, access. I paid thousands of dollars for mine. It now has virtually no value as I get the lounges when flying Star anyway. Sharp Practice.
I would check the terms of sale to see if they are allowed to removed features such as seats.
TomMM is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 5:31 am
  #993  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,634
Originally Posted by ContPlat View Post
I don't subscribe, so I can't post. Follows is what I tried to say to JIM442 and OldTx,,,

I wonder how JIM442 and OldTx would feel if they bought a car and the seller decided to take out the seats? We bought full time, anytime the club is open, access. I paid thousands of dollars for mine. It now has virtually no value as I get the lounges when flying Star anyway. Sharp Practice.
Not true. You never could access the Club whenever it was open. No, you had to have been flying from that airport, have a valid BP, and have cleared security. Yes, that’s obvious but the point is there has always been limitation on when you could access the Club. It’s just a question of what those limitations are.
JimInOhio is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 5:35 am
  #994  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI) [1991 - 2010]; LAS
Programs: Lifetime: UA United Club, AA Admirals Club & Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
Posts: 9,574
Originally Posted by ContPlat View Post
It now has virtually no value as I get the lounges when flying Star anyway.
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
What the heck does that mean?
It means that as a Star Alliance (*A) Gold member, he already has access to international lounges when flying *A carriers anyway -- and domestic United Club lounges if a *A frequent flyer other than MileagePlus.

The only net benefit of United Club memberships for *A Gold members is the ability to utilize United Clubs when not flying *A carriers!

I would often meet friends flying into SFO at the (airside) Presidents Club. There was even an FT thread on which CO Presidents Clubs were airside, as well as extensive discussion of CO and UA gate passes.

My spouse and I also spent about $2.5K near the turn of the Millennium on our ​​​CO (UA) memberships.

And a similar amount with US (AA), which fortunately has honored our contract and allows us access without requiring any flight on AA or oneworld.

Last edited by SPN Lifer; Feb 18, 20 at 5:57 am
SPN Lifer is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 5:56 am
  #995  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI) [1991 - 2010]; LAS
Programs: Lifetime: UA United Club, AA Admirals Club & Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
Posts: 9,574
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
You never could access the Club whenever it was open. No, you had to have been flying from that airport, have a valid BP, and have cleared security. Yes, that’s obvious but the point is there has always been limitation on when you could access the Club. It’s just a question of what those limitations are.
Previously members could receive gate passes for admission through TSA solely to access the lounge.

There are entire FT threads discussing the procedure, including quotations from the internal UA system instructing check-in agents how to do this.

When we spent our thousands of dollars on these lifetime memberships, there were literally no limitations on when we could go in during opening hours.

It was advertized to us as a good place to do business with travelling colleagues, a place to meet travelling friends and family during stopovers, an airport oasis, a home away from home.

Only after UA sold numerous discounted quasi-"memberships" through credit card companies, resulting in overcrowded conditions, did UA restrict the access of its annual and three-year members.

In applying those same limitations to life members, UA flagrantly breached our membership contracts.

In presenting our potential case to class action counsel, perhaps the possibility of adding Chase as a codefendant might be mentioned.

I did not add myself plus one to the list in the page-one Wiki because of a reluctance to commit myself to unknown costs, but we are definitely interested.

The likely problem will be finding counsel with resources to withstand the onslaught of UA legal obstructionism.

I am a retired litigator, and none of my comments in this thread should be deemed as legal advice, nor a solicitation to provide same.

With Chase as a codefendant, there might be greater possibilities of obtaining discovery, and an increased pressure to settle, to avoid potential punitive damages if willful and knowing tortious interference with prospective economic advantage can be proven, as mere breach of contract might have lesser remedies.

However, I am not qualified to knowledgeably opine on the full extent of contractual remedies versus those sounding in tort.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 18, 20 at 6:06 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
SPN Lifer is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 7:01 am
  #996  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AS Gold, Hyatt Diamond, Starriott LTPP
Posts: 281
Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
I did not add myself plus one to the list in the page-one Wiki because of a reluctance to commit myself to unknown costs, but we are definitely interested.
The wiki list is not a commitment. It's users who are potentially interested in joining for action. Any further considerations (cost if any, UA MP impact, etc.) will be up to each person if and when we move forward.
soartoday is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 7:05 am
  #997  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: united
Posts: 1,187
Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
Previously members could receive gate passes for admission through TSA solely to access the lounge.

There are entire FT threads discussing the procedure, including quotations from the internal UA system instructing check-in agents how to do this.

When we spent our thousands of dollars on these lifetime memberships, there were literally no limitations on when we could go in during opening hours.

It was advertized to us as a good place to do business with travelling colleagues, a place to meet travelling friends and family during stopovers, an airport oasis, a home away from home.

Only after UA sold numerous discounted quasi-"memberships" through credit card companies, resulting in overcrowded conditions, did UA restrict the access of its annual and three-year members.

In applying those same limitations to life members, UA flagrantly breached our membership contracts.

In presenting our potential case to class action counsel, perhaps the possibility of adding Chase as a codefendant might be mentioned.
This isn't a good argument, because nobody sued when they took away the TSA passes.

Because the actual right you folks are asserting here is not to use the club as an oasis, a home away from home, but a place to use when flying United's competitors.

So that's the sort of rhetoric you need from UA or CO- saying you can use the club even when flying a competitor airline.
dilanesp is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 8:41 am
  #998  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI) [1991 - 2010]; LAS
Programs: Lifetime: UA United Club, AA Admirals Club & Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
Posts: 9,574
Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
Previously members could receive gate passes for admission through TSA solely to access the lounge.

There are entire FT threads discussing the procedure, including quotations from the internal UA system instructing check-in agents how to do this.

When we spent our thousands of dollars on these lifetime memberships, there were literally no limitations on when we could go in during opening hours.
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
This isn't a good argument, because nobody sued when they took away the TSA passes.

Because the actual right you folks are asserting here is not to use the club as an oasis, a home away from home, but a place to use when flying United's competitors.
As post #1000 in this thread, I would like to point out that even after Gate Passes were eliminated, we still had ready access to United Clubs by flying competitors or purchasing fully refundable fares for later in the day.

Also, the change in Gate Pass policy seems to have been due in part due to resistance by (or inspired by) TSA, so there was not then the same level of actionable beach of contract by UA.

Originally Posted by soartoday View Post
The wiki list is not a commitment. It's users who are potentially interested in joining for action. Any further considerations (cost if any, UA MP impact, etc.) will be up to each person if and when we move forward.
With that understanding, I have added myself and my spouse to the list.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 18, 20 at 6:09 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
SPN Lifer is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 8:59 am
  #999  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: united
Posts: 1,187
Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
As post #1000 in this thread, I would like to point out that even after Gate Passes were eliminated, we still had ready access to United Clubs by flying competitors or purchasing fully refundable fares for later in the day.

Also, the change in Gate Pass policy seems to have been due in part due to resistance by (or inspired by) TSA, so there was not then the same level of actionable beach of contract by UA.
Here's what I think happened here. And this is not a moral argument- I think UA's decision to screw you folks is contemptible as a business strategy.

1. The reality is that despite all the talk about using the clubs when one wasn't flying, I doubt too many people ever did that. Yes, it was offered. But come on- probably at any given time 98 percent of all the people in all the United Clubs (or RCC's and President's Clubs before then) were flying. Even with the gate passes, it was a pain in the butt to get to the airport, clear security, and use the clubs without flying.

2. While it is possible there was pressure from TSA to end gate passes, I doubt the TSA cares that much, due to both (a) the fact that there weren't a large number of people doing this (see point 1) and (b) as long as TSA security is thorough, gate pass holders pose no security risk.

3. Eliminating the gate passes and then, a couple of years later, requiring a *A ticket strikes me as exactly what a corporation that was seeking to eliminate this benefit would do. Indeed, I know corporate legal departments well enough (including through my own law practice) to recognize what I think are their fingerprints all over this. United wanted to force you guys to have to defend the use of clubs while flying competitors, both because that's just the least favorable ground for potential plaintiffs and it's also the least likely type of access to have been promised by UA or CO.

At any rate, absent an actual government directive prohibiting the issuance of gate passes, there's no reason to think that there wasn't a potential breach of contract action back then. (And if the TSA did cause it, a plaintiff who used the clubs when not flying could still get his or her contract rescinded or reformed based on a frustration of purpose.) What happened is that almost nobody cared about that, whereas a lot of people want to use the clubs while flying UA's competitors. United played you.
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dilanesp is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 11:31 am
  #1000  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,497
It is not getting into late February - and while I see a lot of posts about class actions - it seems to be all talk and no actual action.
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old Feb 18, 20, 5:02 pm
  #1001  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI) [1991 - 2010]; LAS
Programs: Lifetime: UA United Club, AA Admirals Club & Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
Posts: 9,574
Legal action costs money. As set forth upthread, at least two law firms have declined to represent us.

I suspect it will come down to how much we are willing to pay to pursue such a case, as it appears unlikely counsel will take this matter on contingency.

How much would you pay to fix this wrongdoing, as opposed to simply acquiescing in the new limitation?

As a lifetime member of the Admirals Club, I am grateful AA has much more ethical in-house counsel. In particular, D. Douglas Cotton, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, a former Saipan resident and CNMI OAG lawyer.

I clerked for a federal judge whose favorite aphorism was “For every wrong, there is a remedy.”

But he also had a framed New Yorker cartoon on his wall, showing a lawyer behind his desk, talking to a client seated before him. The caption, “How much justice can you afford?”

The bottom line is that lawsuits are not the solution to all the problems of the world.
SPN Lifer is offline  
Old Feb 19, 20, 12:59 pm
  #1002  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO
Programs: UA GS 4MM, RCC life member (paid), Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Hilton Silver. CLEAR
Posts: 1,143
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
Not true. You never could access the Club whenever it was open. No, you had to have been flying from that airport, have a valid BP, and have cleared security. Yes, that’s obvious but the point is there has always been limitation on when you could access the Club. It’s just a question of what those limitations are.
I am afraid ContPlat is completely correct. When I purchased my lifetime RCC membership, many RCCs are on the landside. I can access them without having to fly from the airport. In fact many airport workers bought membership so they can use the clubs for their lunch and other breaks.

Edit: My post (#120) was too far upthread, so I copy part of it here:


I purchased my lifetime membership for $2500 in the late 1990s in Taipei. Shortly afterward UA announced that all business class travelers can use RCC free of charge. I wrote to UA and wanted my payment refunded. A VP in Chicago wrote back to offer me a refund, but reminded me that the membership also allows me to use the RCC when I do not fly UA and when I meet friends at the airport, and also use RCC meeting rooms to hold meetings. I decided not to return my membership because I travel to HKG frequently on other airlines, and the meeting rooms were indeed useful to me at SEA and SFO. After UA stopped selling lifetime membership I contact them about meeting room usage, and was told that yes, your right to use RCC meeting rooms for 3 hours(? can't remember) is in the lifetime membership contract and will continue be effective.

I also remember a conversation with a UA manager at TPE who complained to me that some people working at the airport were using RCC nearly daily but not flying to anywhere, That was the time the RCC was in the land side. She said they asked HQ and suggested some way to limit the use, but was told that there was nothing UA could do until these people's annual membership is up for renewals."
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Last edited by PanAmWT; Feb 19, 20 at 1:14 pm
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Old Feb 19, 20, 1:49 pm
  #1003  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: CLE
Programs: UA GS+LT UC, AA LT PLT, Fairmont LT PLT, SPG PLT, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, Avis CHM.
Posts: 3,844
I've successfully used the UA Club in CLE several times while flying other airlines. The agents there know me as the guy with the exemption letter, but boy were they shocked the first time they saw it.
Shame that UA couldn't just that the policy. So petty!
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ctownflyer is online now  
Old Feb 19, 20, 7:44 pm
  #1004  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: Continental Onepass, Hilton, Marriott, USAir and now UA
Posts: 3,620
Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
I've successfully used the UA Club in CLE several times while flying other airlines. The agents there know me as the guy with the exemption letter, but boy were they shocked the first time they saw it.
Shame that UA couldn't just that the policy. So petty!
May I inquire as to who you contacted and how in regards to that letter. My wife and I both have LT club memberships and fly out of CLE. We certainly would like to be able to use the UC when flying another airline.
Thanks
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radonc1 is offline  
Old Feb 19, 20, 10:11 pm
  #1005  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 2P, UC, Hertz 5*
Posts: 488
It's too bad lifetime members aren't exempt from this rule especially the fact that as time goes on there will be less and less lifetime members and they will probably never open the door to sign more lifetime members up.
am1108 is offline  

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