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Airline Club Prices1986 Including Red Carpet Club

Airline Club Prices1986 Including Red Carpet Club

Old Jul 14, 20, 8:07 pm
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Airline Club Prices1986 Including Red Carpet Club

While searching for information on TWA's Ambassador Clubs, I found this article from WAPO from 1986. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-d9cb7e467eeb/


"Red Carpet Club (United Airlines). With 170,000 members, United is out to expand its system of 27 lounges, including facilities at Washington National, BWI and Dulles. It will open a second lounge in Chicago next May and is renovating the Detroit club. Most provide conference rooms, and most are equipped with a financial news wire, weather services and stock tele-quote machines. All offer free coffee, tea and rolls, and a cash bar. One-time initiation fee is $ 100; annual dues are $ 75, or $ 100 with spouse. A lifetime membership is $ 1,125, $ 1,500 with spouse.
Based on the paragraph above, sounds exactly like it is today minus the outdated business tech, just with a much higher annual fee for access now. Can any of the old timers on here provide some insight into what the clubs were like back then? Based on the prices, listed in 1986, it seems the club fees are the only thing that is keeping up and beating inflation.

In 1986, they had 170,000 members, how many does United Club have now? At least a million?
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Old Jul 14, 20, 8:34 pm
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Originally Posted by seat38a View Post
Based on the paragraph above, sounds exactly like it is today minus the outdated business tech, just with a much higher annual fee for access now. Can any of the old timers on here provide some insight into what the clubs were like back then? ....


As an annual member for most of that time, the RCC/UCs have never been known for the F&B but the past few years pre-COVID F&B was generally better than it had been for most of that time. Including some free bar items. And the initiation fee, greater than the annual fee in 1986, has generally been dropped or much smaller percentage. And crowding is nothing new.

Search "RCC" in United Mileage Plus (Pre-Merger) to find pretty much the same comments about RCCs as you see for UCs.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 14, 20 at 8:50 pm
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Old Jul 14, 20, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post


As an annual member for most of that time, the RCC/UCs have never been known for the F&B ...
... with the welcome exception of the HNL RCC. In the late 70's it was self-service, all free, cocktails. Then it went to all free, but no self-service, and then continued down the path to conformity with all the other RCCs.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post


As an annual member for most of that time, the RCC/UCs have never been known for the F&B but the past few years pre-COVID F&B was generally better than it had been for most of that time. Including some free bar items. And the initiation fee, greater than the annual fee in 1986, has generally been dropped or much smaller percentage. And crowding is nothing new.

Search "RCC" in United Mileage Plus (Pre-Merger) to find pretty much the same comments about RCCs as you see for UCs.
So back then, there was no free undrinkable house stuff at all? But reading through the article, it does sound like Delta, even back then offered more than others.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by seat38a View Post
So back then, there was no free undrinkable house stuff at all? But reading through the article, it does sound like Delta, even back then offered more than others.
I can't be 100% sure, but I think all the non-HNL RCCs had complimentary house drinks, but they weren't self pour. HNL left out the bottles and you helped yourself, and I remember thinking how odd that was at the time. I moved to Hawaii in 1979, and that's how it was then, but not sure how many years before it changed to non-self-serve.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post


As an annual member for most of that time, the RCC/UCs have never been known for the F&B but the past few years pre-COVID F&B was generally better than it had been for most of that time. Including some free bar items. And the initiation fee, greater than the annual fee in 1986, has generally been dropped or much smaller percentage. And crowding is nothing new.

Search "RCC" in United Mileage Plus (Pre-Merger) to find pretty much the same comments about RCCs as you see for UCs.

Originally Posted by 1984SW View Post
I can't be 100% sure, but I think all the non-HNL RCCs had complimentary house drinks, but they weren't self pour. HNL left out the bottles and you helped yourself, and I remember thinking how odd that was at the time. I moved to Hawaii in 1979, and that's how it was then, but not sure how many years before it changed to non-self-serve.
I just saw the bolded text. I was born in 79 and in first grade in 86 so to me, if you all been enjoying airline lounges then and paying for it with your own money, then you're definitely an old timer to me, the wise and learned kind of course.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 11:56 pm
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Originally Posted by seat38a View Post
So back then, there was no free undrinkable house stuff at all? ,,,.
But you did get a number of RCC drink chits - 2 per entry (and separate drink chits for on the plane). Later RCC got rid of the drink chits and the certain items became free.
RCC/PC annoucement - free WiFi and snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (Oct 2010)

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 15, 20 at 12:02 am
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Old Jul 15, 20, 12:24 am
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We bought lifetime spousal memberships in 1973 for $250 iirc.
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Old Jul 15, 20, 3:52 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
But you did get a number of RCC drink chits - 2 per entry (and separate drink chits for on the plane). Later RCC got rid of the drink chits and the certain items became free.
RCC/PC annoucement - free WiFi and snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (Oct 2010)
The free drink chits were only two per person in international business or first class though. You could accumulate them and use them whenever you wanted, but only got them when flying long haul in business or first.

Last edited by uanj; Jul 15, 20 at 3:54 am Reason: clarity
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Old Jul 15, 20, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by 1984SW View Post
I can't be 100% sure, but I think all the non-HNL RCCs had complimentary house drinks, but they weren't self pour. HNL left out the bottles and you helped yourself, and I remember thinking how odd that was at the time. I moved to Hawaii in 1979, and that's how it was then, but not sure how many years before it changed to non-self-serve.
The Miami RCC was self pour, too, the club itself was an inheritance from Pan Am. As far as I can remember HNL and MIA were the only two US locations. Some of the international locations like NRT, HKG (in Kai Tak!) and TPE had limited self serve alcoholic beverages. I cannot remember if MEX did or not. FRA did, but I am not sure when it opened.
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Old Jul 15, 20, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We bought lifetime spousal memberships in 1973 for $250 iirc.

Is UA still honoring?
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Old Jul 15, 20, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by elbejt2 View Post
Is UA still honoring?
No:
Lifetime Member Edition: UC access changes Nov 1, 2019 (same day BP on UA or partner)
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Old Jul 15, 20, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by elbejt2 View Post
Is UA still honoring?
Yes, though it now requires same day travel on UA.
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Old Jul 15, 20, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by seat38a View Post
So back then, there was no free undrinkable house stuff at all? But reading through the article, it does sound like Delta, even back then offered more than others.
The Delta Crown Rooms were quite nice. If memory serves, I think my annual fee was $100 when I first started using the Crown Rooms back in 1986. The alcoholic beverages were complimentary (and tended to be higher quality such as JW Black scotch) and one did not have to be flying with Delta in order to use the CR. The main CR in ATL tended to be a bit crowded but the one I used the most at LAX (I lived in California at the time) usually wasn't. I also remember the Crown Room at JFK had formerly been a Pan Am Clipper Club and was rather elegant.
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Old Jul 15, 20, 12:53 pm
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So I'm seeing a pattern where if the club was formerly owned by PanAm, it was better than the airlines original clubs, including Delta at JFK in the post above. So were PanAm's clipper clubs just better when compared to other airlines back then?
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