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Wrongly Denied access to UC at ORD? - UA *G intl partner flight without MP account

Wrongly Denied access to UC at ORD? - UA *G intl partner flight without MP account

Old May 14, 2023, 6:25 am
  #31  
 
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For those that are saying the rules are complicated enough that you're cutting the agents some slack... If you know the rules well just from being a frequent flyer, how much more solidly should you know the rules if it's your job to admit people to the lounge hundreds of times per day as your job?
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Last edited by JayhawkCO; May 14, 2023 at 8:01 am
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Old May 14, 2023, 7:22 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by chicitip
This actually reminded me of another post
https://eturbonews.com/united-airlin...-to-lufthansa/
where attitudes described would make it likely to believe that LH doesn't like to see or blocks other *a FTNs.
I've flown many UA issued award tix on LH Group carriers and for as long as I can recall the BP has included my MP number and properly ID'ed me as *G. So I don't really find this theory credible.

Ironically, for many years with LH Group, the problem getting into lounges was that agents wouldn't accept a BP scan and insisted on seeing the physical card. The exact opposite of what happened here (and complete opposite of this "suppression" theory).
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
How would they know? Isn’t it all automated by boarding pass?
They ought to know. That's the point.

It's not that long ago there were no BP scanners.

This reminds me of schools not teaching arithmetic anymore because everyone just relies on calculators now. Just another indicator of the decline of western civilization . . . .
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Last edited by Kacee; May 14, 2023 at 7:33 am
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Old May 14, 2023, 10:45 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by JayhawkCO
For those that are saying the rules are complicated enough that you're cutting the agents some slack... If you know the rules well just from being a frequent flyer, how much more solidly should you know the rules if it's your job to admit people to the lounge hundreds of times per day as your job?
Well, one of the most common questions on FT (and redit) by frequent flyers is "am I eligible for UC access?", so not sure most frequent flights or less frequent flyers actually know the rules. Those of us on FT are a small bubble for even the frequent flyer community. And we have a vested interest to understand the corner cases, such as ineligible BP but eligible second carrier *G status.

Secondly, there has been a large turnover in agents and not sure the majority handling UC admission have actually been doing this that long and have gotten much in-depth training besides -- let the computer handle it.
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Old May 14, 2023, 10:57 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Secondly, there has been a large turnover in agents and not sure the majority handling UC admission have actually been doing this that long and have gotten much in-depth training besides -- let the computer handle it.
Personally I don't believe UA deserves a pass for failure to adequately train its staff. This holds across positions - including check-in agents (see recent thread re agents unable to read Timatic properly), phone agents (numerous threads on phone agents getting basic stuff wrong), and yes, lounge staff.

There's of course a broader topic of why UA has so many new hires, the answer to which is in part that it shed a whole bunch of employees right at the beginning of the pandemic despite taking billions in taxpayer funds based on its promises NOT to do exactly that.
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Old May 14, 2023, 11:32 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Well, one of the most common questions on FT (and redit) by frequent flyers is "am I eligible for UC access?", so not sure most frequent flights or less frequent flyers actually know the rules. Those of us on FT are a small bubble for even the frequent flyer community. And we have a vested interest to understand the corner cases, such as ineligible BP but eligible second carrier *G status.

Secondly, there has been a large turnover in agents and not sure the majority handling UC admission have actually been doing this that long and have gotten much in-depth training besides -- let the computer handle it.
I think this is kind of a cop out. I could print a cheat sheet with the rules for the agents to reference and define some terms and have a staff trained up after an hour.

I've was in the restaurant biz for a long time and got folks trained up on far more complicated computer systems, menu items, wine and cocktail lists, etc. in a far more stressful environment than sitting at a desk at a United club. This is a failure of training systems, plain and simple.
​​​​​​
​This is also not agents saying "I don't know". This is agents very confidently saying incorrect information. If United actually did some auditing of their own staff, they'd see the shortcomings.
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Old May 14, 2023, 12:11 pm
  #36  
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Not disagreeing this is a UA training issue, how to handle exceptions (although this particular incident is a pretty extreme corner case which I doubt arise often). But UA has decided to use the computer versus individual knowledge. Prior to the scanning approach, there were regularly postings on misapplication of the rules by the agents. Suspect UA believes (and there is some reason to accept) the "scan and let the computer decide" is a more consistent application of the rules -- which is a constant mantra here on FT. I would posit there seems to have been less issues since scanning vs individual agents knowledge.

The solution in this case would have been to scan *G card, that was the failure here -- wonder how often that alone is used for access. Not sure how that conversation went. And yes at times there are rogue / under-trained agents that don't handle exemptions but as mentioned it feels there are fewer issues with the scanning method than before -- but not 100% problem free. The folks here who regularly use this corner case, know the drill and fewer failures are reported than before.
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Old May 14, 2023, 12:59 pm
  #37  
 
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Old May 14, 2023, 3:04 pm
  #38  
 
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This is a case where the computer canít resolve the access question with a single document which itís likely only programmed to do. INTL doesnít grant access nor does *A Gold grant access. Itís strictly the combination of those two factors that lets the traveler in. The only way the computer can get it right is if the BP is fixed first. Now how the UC agent didnít recognize that is a whole other question.
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Old May 14, 2023, 5:02 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
The only way the computer can get it right is if the BP is fixed first. Now how the UC agent didnít recognize that is a whole other question.
Not at all. the BP is not relevant. If it encodes SAG then everything is set ... if not, it needs to be manually entered. It's not a problem that the BP does not have *G on it for lounge access.
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Old May 14, 2023, 5:34 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Not at all. the BP is not relevant....
It is very relevant because you need a *A flight and *G status get entrance. Only one is insufficient
Originally Posted by cfischer
It's not a problem that the BP does not have *G on it for lounge access.
All agree that is true, but it is getting from here to there that is the issue!
And how common for non-FTers to be doing this? It probably is uncommon for FTers. I certainty have never needed to this for an UC.

Yes realized some on here do this on a regular basis and that is proof it can be done but I still posit it is rare for an agent and not surprizing they need a little coaching to make it happen from time to time.
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Old May 14, 2023, 8:08 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Not at all. the BP is not relevant. If it encodes SAG then everything is set ... if not, it needs to be manually entered. It's not a problem that the BP does not have *G on it for lounge access.
The BP is relevant from the standpoint that itís what the UC agents (computers) use to determine access. If the BP is wrong, notably missing FFP number, access wonít be granted. As much as you or I think itís strictly about program rules, itís not how itís all working out.
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Old May 14, 2023, 8:39 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
The BP is relevant from the standpoint that it’s what the UC agents (computers) use to determine access. If the BP is wrong, notably missing FFP number, access won’t be granted. As much as you or I think it’s strictly about program rules, it’s not how it’s all working out.
On the flip side I have not had any trouble flying domestically on a UA number but entering the UC with my OZ number. This is at several stations throughout the US including ORD. The BP should refuse me, but they have no problem letting me in.
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Old May 14, 2023, 10:31 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
The BP is relevant from the standpoint that itís what the UC agents (computers) use to determine access. If the BP is wrong, notably missing FFP number, access wonít be granted. As much as you or I think itís strictly about program rules, itís not how itís all working out.
Exactly!!!! It is all about the boarding pass.

This notion of a faulty agent/not remembering training isnít relevant. I highly doubt agents are trained except in a minimal manner. Training is likely as simple as: scan boarding pass - if yes, let them in - if no, deny.

Airlines rollout systems based on business cases. Iím sure part of the business case to offset the development cost was not training. And another part - when program rules change - just reprogram the scanner and interface. No need to tell agents - you are either in or out based on the scan.
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Old May 15, 2023, 7:41 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
Exactly!!!! It is all about the boarding pass.

This notion of a faulty agent/not remembering training isn’t relevant. I highly doubt agents are trained except in a minimal manner. Training is likely as simple as: scan boarding pass - if yes, let them in - if no, deny.

Airlines rollout systems based on business cases. I’m sure part of the business case to offset the development cost was not training. And another part - when program rules change - just reprogram the scanner and interface. No need to tell agents - you are either in or out based on the scan.
But you can have a piece of paper on the desk that says this:

Scan boarding pass: If it beeps green, let them in. If it beeps red, politely decline.
If the guest claims they should have access to the lounge despite the red light, here are a list of the qualifications that would permit entry: Business Class on *A, *G on any *A airline (here are the list of programs and statuses, etc.), club membership, one-time pass based on availability, etc.

Technology goes awry. A simple piece of paper would not.

It's like going to the grocery store. Yeah, most of the time you just scan an item and move on. Occasionally, it requires a little bit of manual intervention (produce without a tag, etc.). If we didn't train the checkout folks with produce codes and/or give them a list of codes, those that are saying "it's all about the boarding pass" are basically saying, "That cantaloupe doesn't have a sticker? You can't buy it.". That's absurd.
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Old May 15, 2023, 8:44 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by JayhawkCO
But you can have a piece of paper on the desk that says this:

Scan boarding pass: If it beeps green, let them in. If it beeps red, politely decline.
If the guest claims they should have access to the lounge despite the red light, here are a list of the qualifications that would permit entry: Business Class on *A, *G on any *A airline (here are the list of programs and statuses, etc.), club membership, one-time pass based on availability, etc.

Technology goes awry. A simple piece of paper would not.

It's like going to the grocery store. Yeah, most of the time you just scan an item and move on. Occasionally, it requires a little bit of manual intervention (produce without a tag, etc.). If we didn't train the checkout folks with produce codes and/or give them a list of codes, those that are saying "it's all about the boarding pass" are basically saying, "That cantaloupe doesn't have a sticker? You can't buy it.". That's absurd.
There are two solutions to the cantaloupe missing the sticker problem:

1) Put cantaloupe on scale. Look up price per pound of cantaloupe. Enter price per pound on register. Register records total.
2) Print new sticker for cantaloupe and rescan.

The airlines want to use the analogy to #2 above for dealing with lounge access.
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