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Lounge Dragon at SFO (refused guesting a traveler to save them from buying UC access)

Lounge Dragon at SFO (refused guesting a traveler to save them from buying UC access)

Old Apr 8, 21, 5:59 am
  #1  
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Thumbs down Lounge Dragon at SFO (refused guesting a traveler to save them from buying UC access)

Was transiting through SFO on Sunday morning. In line for the desk saw an old lady in a wheelchair about to pay for access ($65 ?) - told lounge dragon I'd be happy to guest her in with my +1. Someone behind me wanted to use a (companion ?) lounge pass. Lounge dragon would have none of it - "it's discouraged".... "you don't know her".... "you have to be on the same flight" (which is not true - yet...).

Maybe UA has been hammering home revenue/sales messages. Yes, she got that extra $65 for United.
However definitely NOT the friendly skies. ...
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Old Apr 8, 21, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by dand99 View Post
Was transiting through SFO on Sunday morning. In line for the desk saw an old lady in a wheelchair about to pay for access ($65 ?) - told lounge dragon I'd be happy to guest her in with my +1. Someone behind me wanted to use a (companion ?) lounge pass. Lounge dragon would have none of it - "it's discouraged".... "you don't know her".... "you have to be on the same flight" (which is not true - yet...).

Maybe UA has been hammering home revenue/sales messages. Yes, she got that extra $65 for United.
However definitely NOT the friendly skies. ...
Had this happen to me at IAD. Was kind of surprised. I was checking in and someone next me was trying to get in, but didn't have the right access. Anyways, I asked the agents if I could guest him in and they both answered at the same time, one saying yes and the other saying no! It ended up being a no, but the one agent was very firm about it and seemed annoyed that I offered.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 8:04 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by UAFLYER22 View Post
Had this happen to me at IAD. Was kind of surprised. I was checking in and someone next me was trying to get in, but didn't have the right access. Anyways, I asked the agents if I could guest him in and they both answered at the same time, one saying yes and the other saying no! It ended up being a no, but the one agent was very firm about it and seemed annoyed that I offered.
Definitely a crapshoot... sometimes, agents frown upon it, and other times, they seem delighted by it... usually those cases are when someone is trying to locate a club pass, fumbling through an app, arguing over whether their credit card has access, etc., and there's a line of people waiting to get in. Luck of the draw, I guess. I don't do it often.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Definitely a crapshoot... sometimes, agents frown upon it, and other times, they seem delighted by it... usually those cases are when someone is trying to locate a club pass, fumbling through an app, arguing over whether their credit card has access, etc., and there's a line of people waiting to get in. Luck of the draw, I guess. I don't do it often.
I think some of it may stem from how "possessive" an agent is over "their" club... On the "delighted" side of the equation one of the important metrics for setting things like club hours and staffing (at least pre-pandemic and at outstations, I imagine it's the same at hubs) is number of club users -- more people means more shifts are available and potentially longer hours. I have, on a couple occasions, for example, stopped by a club at some point in the trip just to get my BP scanned/say hi/use the restroom to help keep numbers up.

Haven't tried guesting a random person as yet -- perhaps I'm too paranoid about risk to go really looking for it but I'm open to the possibility in the right and discreet circumstance...
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Old Apr 8, 21, 8:48 am
  #5  
 
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On the other side, I was once at FRA (tells you how long ago that was!) and there was an extended family at the desk begging people to guest in one or two of their brood. I can understand why United would want to discourage this behavior.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
I can understand why United would want to discourage this behavior.
With the clubs getting more and more crowded - I don't think guesting in complete strangers is a great idea and I can see why lounge agents would discourage it.

On the other hand, I'm a bit surprised they have that discretion, a guest is a guest.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
On the other side, I was once at FRA (tells you how long ago that was!) and there was an extended family at the desk begging people to guest in one or two of their brood. I can understand why United would want to discourage this behavior.
If I was trying to guest a spring breaker looking for free shots - fine, frown upon it. Old lady in a wheelchair ? Sorry, lounge dragon has to be a complete a$$ not to allow it.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 9:59 am
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Did you write it in to let UA know?
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Old Apr 8, 21, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
On the other side, I was once at FRA (tells you how long ago that was!) and there was an extended family at the desk begging people to guest in one or two of their brood. I can understand why United would want to discourage this behavior.
Originally Posted by dand99 View Post
If I was trying to guest a spring breaker looking for free shots - fine, frown upon it. Old lady in a wheelchair ? Sorry, lounge dragon has to be a complete a$$ not to allow it.
Exactly, the more someone is actively asking for it the less likely I am to encourage the behavior -- but if I happened to notice someone whos day I could make, particularly if it were someone who could be my grandmother/grandfather traveling alone it would be an easy decision to make.

Kind of like the (one time so far, knock on wood) I got pulled over for going a little, er., I mean significantly over the speed limit somewhere in the middle of Minnesota headed back toward MSP. I saw the Minnesota Highway Patrol dude, was pulled as soon as his lights were on and when he came up to the window and asked if I knew why he stopped me I replied "I imagine it was my speed, sir." -- I didn't play him for dumb, I didn't beg for a warning instead of a ticket, but when he came back "I'm going to give you a verbal warning for your speed; have a safe trip home and in the future try to keep it to 10-15 over...we're really stepping up enforcement in this area". I imagine had I been "Oh please, sir, may I have a warning" "No I wasn't speeding" or playing other games with him he probably would have enjoyed writing that ticket.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 10:19 am
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Unfortunately SFO has always been like this. EWR too has been like this on the 1-2 times I've tried in similar situations.

I think there's a high correlation to the emptiness of the lounge though.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 10:24 am
  #11  
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Best to look at the rule rather than pass moral judgment about what the policy ought to be.

United Club members may bring one adult and dependent children under 21, or up to two guests, into any United Club location. Members must accompany their family and guests during their United Club visit. Members are responsible for ensuring guests and family members comply with these Rules.

Seems quite clear that so long as you are prepared to be responsible for the individual's conduct and "accompany" them (presumably they leave when you leave), your membership gets you that person's entry. It is not for an individual UA employee to determine entry rules on their own.

Having said that, as traffic returns and overcrowding comes back, if the guesting issue remains a significant problem, expect UA to change its rules to either require that the guest be om the same PNR or have memberships which include a limited number of guests per year rather than per visit. But, that is for the future.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 10:33 am
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While not yet true, the agent did state something that is changing across *A lounges, including UA, for *G access
The guest must also be traveling on a flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline and departing from the same airport.

Starting May 3, 2021, the guest must be traveling on the same flight.
The good samaritan guesting of random folks inline has been an issue with a few UC agents (especially for crowded UCs) and one could argue it was not the intent of the prior rules, but this new requirement will effectively shutdown that option

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 8, 21 at 10:42 am Reason: add "for *G access"
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Old Apr 8, 21, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
While not yet true, the agent did state something that is changing across *A lounges, including UA
(For clarity since the quote without context scared me a bit -- often my wife and I are heading different directions at a hub) That appears to onlyapply if you're gaining UC access via *G status. If you're a club member or a in the international first class cabin on a *A partner no such restriction is noted for guests [...yet...].
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Old Apr 8, 21, 10:41 am
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Lounge dragon is a degrading term.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
(For clarity since the quote without context scared me a bit -- often my wife and I are heading different directions at a hub) That appears to onlyapply if you're gaining UC access via *G status. If you're a club member or a in the international first class cabin on a *A partner no such restriction is noted for guests [...yet...].
intl. F will go to 'same flight' as well AFAIK. Has been that way for LH for some time already.
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