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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 17, 2022, 5:30 pm
  #1  
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United Devalues Clubs - Makes sure they are packed beyond capacity.

As I watched the overflowing brand new EWR club turn away 1 day passes, I realized that we are destined to never again have an oasis in the airport that is not filled to the limit and overflowing at the seams. It was clear to me that over 70% of those trying to get into the club were not members.

The idea of pitching free passes with credit cards and low cost one time passes pitched at ticketing, every club will always be filled to its limit as there are unlimited number of 1 day passes issued by United.

The smaller clubs are completely over-run at peak times. I guess same for the larger clubs.

I will miss the day when you could spend $650 a year and get a quiet seat in the airport or sit at the bar and have a cocktail.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 5:46 pm
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We spent two hours in the LAX club recently (on a Monday late morning). Wasn’t crowded at all. Great experience and I was happy I had my Explorer day passes.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 5:55 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff
We spent two hours in the LAX club recently (on a Monday late morning). Wasn’t crowded at all. Great experience and I was happy I had my Explorer day passes.
OK I will give you that. LAX is ahead of the rest and I have had good experience there too. Try SFO or EWR or maybe ORD.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 6:04 pm
  #4  
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EWR overcrowding is disgusting. This is temporary problem once the new club at C95 is renovated, but all three tiers really need a very large club. UA needs to make this investment. In the meantime, I really don't see what else can be done other than doubling membership fees or blindsiding Star Alliance by eliminating guest access.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 6:10 pm
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The one time passes at booking time aren't particularly cheap, so I doubt they're driving it.

The OTP from CC signup are indeed voluminous, and thus why they're being turned away.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 6:13 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by jrquad
As I watched the overflowing brand new EWR club turn away 1 day passes, I realized that we are destined to never again have an oasis in the airport that is not filled to the limit and overflowing at the seams. It was clear to me that over 70% of those trying to get into the club were not members.....
EWR is clearly the outlier in the system. While there is occasional crowding at other hubs ( especially DEN due to closer for renovation).

Rarely see crowding at out stations

And as mentioned, EWR should be better after the prior club is renovated and re-opened. Plus the new Terminal 1 UC. There is limited space at most airports for lounges and not really possible to just add more lounges

Believe there is too much extrapolation of the EWR situation in the OP. UA has been increasing club space and moved some demand to PLs.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 6:15 pm
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Between renovations at ORD and EWR and enhanced food offerings with crowded clubs - its not a matter of if the price is going up - but when and how much.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 6:15 pm
  #8  
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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.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
EWR is clearly the outlier in the system. While there is occasional crowding at other hubs ( especially DEN due to closer for renovation).
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!

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Rarely see crowding at out stations
In SEA on Friday. Hah! must be an outstation outlier. That would I guess apply for MCO too.


Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Believe there is too much extrapolation of the EWR situation in the OP. UA has been increasing club space and moved some demand to PLs.
So many outliers. Are there any "in-liers" beside LAX in the early morning?
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Last edited by porciuscato; Jun 17, 2022 at 6:36 pm
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 6:36 pm
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Have not had issues with clubs outside EWR (before the new club opened) and DEN (before and after they closed club #2). SEA, SFO, IAH, DFW all fine in the last 2 months the sometimes multiple times I was there.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 8:35 pm
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EWR and DEN are clearly pain points given the construction/renovations ongoing at each combined with relatively strong demand throughout... but I can't say I've seen significant overcrowding for a significant period of time elsewhere in the system.

Sure clubs will peak for some time before a bank [particularly INTL] and IROPS will by their nature increase the number of people in a club... In the past couple weeks I've seen both DEN (whichever one is the one not closed) and ORD (C) and seen them go from "almost dead" to "bustling" and back to "almost dead" over the course of a couple hour visit... I'd much rather take "fully occupied" (and turning away OTP) than the DL (attempt?) at timing club attendance.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by IWontRegretThis
Have not had issues with clubs outside EWR (before the new club opened) and DEN (before and after they closed club #2). SEA, SFO, IAH, DFW all fine in the last 2 months the sometimes multiple times I was there.
IAH UA clubs get pretty full during the connection banks. It's usually 100% full then after 45min or so, it drops down to 25% full.

But I guess that's the difficulty with carrier airline clubs, there's a trade-off because a lot of the club traffic is determined by flight schedule and expensive to maintain such a large space when no one is using it.

Only airline club based on my experience that is not consistently jam-packed, even during peak hours is the AA flagship lounge, which I find kind of impressive given that it's opened to J passengers and OWS.
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Old Jun 18, 2022, 12:27 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by jrquad
low cost one time passes pitched at ticketing,
How do you get these low cost passes? Every time I'm offered a bundle at ticketing it's the exact same cost as the sum of the regular prices of the components.
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Old Jun 18, 2022, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
How do you get these low cost passes? Every time I'm offered a bundle at ticketing it's the exact same cost as the sum of the regular prices of the components.
sometimes its actually more (especially with E+).

look, every single airport lounge is busy these days. I feel like as an AMEX cardholder, I should have fairly easy access to one of the lounges that come with the card for the fee, but its not. I didnt even walk over to the AMEX lounge at SFO from T2 at just before 7am earlier this week because the app said almost full which is pretty much code for youll have to wait in line, so didnt think it was worth it. Happens about half the time or more for AMeX, particularly SFO. If I didnt get value from other card benefits, Id easily drop it.

The forum has been talking about crowded lounges for years, so this problem has been building up for a long time. Too many travelers and not enough space for eligible pax. It is what it is.
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Old Jun 18, 2022, 7:55 am
  #15  
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Really they should stop giving out or selling one time passes. It's a total scam since you basically can't use them anymore.

I know someone is going to say, "sure you can if you go to this one particular club at off hours on a certain day of the week," but the point is that most travelers are where the full lounges are and that's where they would want to use the pass!

Ultimately I think membership prices will need to go up to balance out supply and demand. Not just at United but across the board for lounges.
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