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United Devalues Clubs - Makes sure they are packed beyond capacity.

United Devalues Clubs - Makes sure they are packed beyond capacity.

Old Jun 18, 22, 3:04 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Maybe you have the United Club for the paid lounge/*G/int'l business riff-raff and have a new club with a more luxurious name, maybe a "Red Carpet Club" or something like that. Charge big bucks for it, and if they do it right, have some real VIP service like using GS secret security and tarmac transfers a la LH HON service.
I've got an idea; let's call it Classified. By invitation only, and no cell phone use allowed.

To reiterate what others have said here, the UCs are noisy and crowded, with subpar snacks. By no means is it a relaxing experience. I would pay some serious coin for a club with no cell phone use and no children but, alas, nothing like that could ever happen.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 3:07 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
That is, essentially, what Polaris Lounges are. Demand is intentionally controlled because UA knows it will essentially never practically exceed (#J Seats)x(#Long Haul INTL flights departing/arriving that airport) -- with the small number of PLounge-at-non-Polaris airport flyers being offset by local passengers who don't use the lounge -- no membership, no passes, limited (no?) guests -- and much better amenities at least pre-C19. IIRC, LH's F lounges are similarly "no passes, no membership". I don't think there's sufficient market demand (or available real estate in enough airports) to make two different membership-based lounge products viable.

Given that UA has gutted premium services (see: chauffeured transfers) I wouldn't count on them making a business case for a return in the near future.

In other words... For the "charege big bucks for it" option by the time you make it expensive enough add on to make sense for UA to meaningfully limit availability and combine it with airfare you're probably getting close enough to the charter/fractional charter ranges that a significant number of potential clients would go that route.
AC is even more restrictive (paid J only and only their metal). But LH allows their HON members access as well , so there is "membership" , and now AX Cent's though its a limited in #'s. One could imagine they could offer polaris memberships if they wanted to (at the high price point) and in limited numbers. There are plenty (enough) of domestic flyers/or ppl who travel a mix, who would appreciate the step up... and would be willing to pay more.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 3:31 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Maybe you have the United Club for the paid lounge/*G/int'l business riff-raff and have a new club with a more luxurious name, maybe a "Red Carpet Club" or something like that. Charge big bucks for it, and if they do it right, have some real VIP service like using GS secret security and tarmac transfers a la LH HON service.
Red Carpet Club to the left, No Carpet Club to the right. Brilliant
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Old Jun 18, 22, 4:02 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
AC is even more restrictive (paid J only and only their metal). But LH allows their HON members access as well , so there is "membership" , and now AX Cent's though its a limited in #'s. One could imagine they could offer polaris memberships if they wanted to (at the high price point) and in limited numbers. There are plenty (enough) of domestic flyers/or ppl who travel a mix, who would appreciate the step up... and would be willing to pay more.
AC SS lounge is actually for paid J and flexible award tickets. But AC SS is really designed to be a departures only lounge, since you can't use it on in-bound connection or arrivals. So theoretically, if UA wanted to limit capacity, they could also limit arrival access for Polaris passengers, and open it up for more exclusive paid access (?). But I'm really not sure that would really impact the numbers.

But at the end, I think it's too complicated to tier and bifurcate everything. So it's either everyone suffers the same with high capacity and sub-par experience, or you start tiering and cutting of people off that a small minority who gets cut off will make a huge stink about it (like the DL club access on arrival).
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Old Jun 18, 22, 6:57 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
It's a bit funny to see a thread like this when other threads complain that United doesn't open the clubs to all domestic premium cabin passengers and MP Gold members. Just imagine what it would be like if those people got their way.
If they build more UC to match the number of people with access? I don't imagine any issue.
This is the main issue at UC, not enough lounge space to match traffic.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 8:34 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
In other words... For the "charege big bucks for it" option by the time you make it expensive enough add on to make sense for UA to meaningfully limit availability and combine it with airfare you're probably getting close enough to the charter/fractional charter ranges that a significant number of potential clients would go that route.
Not even close, especially in the current market. UA could build a lounge to accommodate hundreds of the high paying pax daily for the cost of 0.1h in a private jet each.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 9:07 pm
  #37  
 
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I visited the new UC in EWR on Day 3 - with a one-time CC pass. For those who haven't been there, real estate wise it's at least 3X-4X the size of the ole C74 club. The club was extremely busy at 11:00am on a Saturday, with a lot more people than the old C-74 lounge could hold. While I never saw or used the Pop-up lounge, I'm sure the new lounge still holds a lot more people than the C74 and pop-up combined. The only explanations are people being turned away, people choosing not to visit the old lounges (assuming because they were so crowded), and maybe the novelty of being there newest and nicest UA club in the network was causing more one-time passes to be purchased.

I'm curious to know what Chase has to say about UA turning their customers away. Last year I had 4 UA club passes for a short period and didn't get to use any of them on a family trip to Disney. We traveled the week before MCO opened and EWR denied us. When all 4 of them expired, unused, I sucessfully pressured chase into giving me a $200.00 statement credit for the denied benefit.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 6:27 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingHoustonian View Post
Why 'adults" (whatever that definition is these days) as my children travel in paid Polaris and are entitled to access per UA's rules and regardless one gets a membership through their credit card for regular lounge access anyway. They could limit guests which would help for sure, but I do not see age as a problem, but general capacity.

FWIW in my experience travelling millions of miles I find drunk "adults" (not kids) as the biggest cause of issues both in the clubs and on the aircraft. YMMV of course.
Spot on. I guarantee most people would rather sit next to my son in the UC or on a flight than almost anyone else. Quiet, respectful, well behaved, courteous of others and cleans up after himself.

That right there makes him a better seat mate than 80% of folks in the UC.

and yes, he truly enjoys a Polaris burger. ;-)
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Old Jun 19, 22, 6:33 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
There's a zero chance of that ever realistically happening anywhere. Even when they try it, there are always people who violate the rule and no agent is ever willing to say anything.
In the old UC at ORD concourse C, there was a quiet room, and during the few times that I used it, it was wonderfully quiet. It was one of my favorite lounge spaces in the world. True peace and quiet with awesome tarmac views.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 6:55 am
  #40  
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
Can we create two different clubs for the airlines?
United Club - Anyone admitted with a membership, first ticket, business ticket, Day Pass, CC pass. Comes with snacks and limited drink options for free, food and adult beverages for purchase.
United Lounge - Only adults with a membership or with a first or business ticket admitted. Top notch service with no charge food and drinks. Quiet areas where no phone conversations are allowed.
United Club: Anyone admitted with a membership plus guests, Day Pass, CC pass. Comes with snacks or light meals and drinks with premium adult beverages for purchase.
United Polaris Lounge: Only those with an overseas first or business ticket admitted. Top notch service; full meals and and top-shelf drinks. Quiet.

So what are you asking United to do to their lounge product? Have 3 tiers like Lufthansa?
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Old Jun 19, 22, 9:49 am
  #41  
 
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I am intrigued why these clubs are so crowded if they are banning OTP (which I assume also comes with the bundles?) and international travel (G*) is still limited.... who is getting access? Are there really that many people with Club cards?
flying INT? (even Canada?)
are people buying the bundles because they expect to be at the airport longer?

I can understand the AMEX Cent lounges with the Plat card......

I also have 2 UA branded CC that give me 2 OTP and I an considering giving them up - rarely do I use them (I would only consider if I had a >2-3 hour layover or got stuck with a delayed or missed flight) using them for an 1 hour layover is hardly worth it...although tempted to get rid of the 2 cards and get a single club card.....
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Old Jun 19, 22, 10:04 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
I am intrigued why these clubs are so crowded if they are banning OTP (which I assume also comes with the bundles?) and international travel (G*) is still limited.... who is getting access? Are there really that many people with Club cards?
flying INT? (even Canada?)
are people buying the bundles because they expect to be at the airport longer?
My understanding are the bundles are coded on the PNR (similar to *G/Intl Business/Club members) and are distinct from the OTPs.

Seems like (at least this weekend) it's a lot of members or INTL travelers with families -- I don't think I've seen as many hordes of 4-6 people in family units in clubs as I have recently
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Old Jun 19, 22, 10:11 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
I am intrigued why these clubs are so crowded if they are banning OTP (which I assume also comes with the bundles?) and international travel (G*) is still limited.... who is getting access? Are there really that many people with Club cards?
flying INT? (even Canada?)
are people buying the bundles because they expect to be at the airport longer?
my hypothesis is the shift in the travel demographic post pandemic. the club members are may now be traveling with their families more often than before which leads to more guests.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 11:13 am
  #44  
 
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All the airlines are slum lords. The clubs when not at peak capacity are an under utilized asset. There is zero incentive to do anything but cram people in. The clubs control the costs of operation by limiting the staff and refreshes of food. Ever try to get a drink? Line is 50 people long and takes 30 minutes. So unless you are 3 hours early you really wont get more than maybe two drinks. If you really want the exclusive experience then its time to fly private. Private jets have the quiet lounges with little overcrowding.

Ultimately this is the airlines fault. They trained us to think they were giving us something for nothing. The status game is an incredible racket where airlines train you to fly suboptimal routes and at horrible times to get a shiny badge that gives you just about nothing. There are so many people who are self entitled that they never stop to think they are the reason for this mess. I wish the UC was 2.5k a year. No passes. No free membership. of course if it was, many here would howl that UA was ignoring their loyal base and that they should be exempted from having to pay such an exorbitant fee. I would have a quiet place to get a drink though, and afterall - isn't that what the clubs are for?
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Old Jun 19, 22, 11:45 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
Yeah. EWR is the outlier except for DEN (which has been ridiculous for a year, with 50 person lines), and, um Chicago. Oh, and SFO. Funny, I was just in IAH and guess what? Another outlier!
In SEA on Friday. Hah! must be an outstation outlier. That would I guess apply for MCO too.
So many outliers. Are there any "in-liers" beside LAX in the early morning?
DEN and EWR will improve once the "new" renovated clubs are opened. Admittedly the Chicago situation is really bad. SFO my home base actually I find not too bad, I know a lot of staff and tend to always get a seat where ever I want. I typically hit the rotunda club even if that one is not the closest to my gate. That is not saying it never gets crowded as it does. I also go in and out of CLE with some regularity and that UC is never busy, so much so I am fearful they will close it. It is a super nice UC with great staff, sadly I do wish they were all like that. Hands down my favorite UC. In the thread Why CLE UC is the best. you will see the place is basically empty in most the images and as I recall that was Monday afternoon.
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