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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 15, 2023, 8:52 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
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.
Either would be fine, but agent in OP's account started and stopped at 0 (do nothing).
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Old May 15, 2023, 12:41 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by dinoscool3
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.
I do the same with my lifetime AC*G. They key in the number then I scan the BP.
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Old May 15, 2023, 1:37 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by fumje
Either would be fine, but agent in OP's account started and stopped at 0 (do nothing).
Granted they should have been more helpful, but it was a LH boarding pass. Can UA agent re-issue or rectify the boarding pass? Doesn't the carrier have control of the ticket by then?
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Old May 15, 2023, 2:14 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by hirohito888
Granted they should have been more helpful, but it was a LH boarding pass. Can UA agent re-issue or rectify the boarding pass? Doesn't the carrier have control of the ticket by then?
They could pull up the itinerary in their system (as it was an 016 ticket) and note the frequent flyer number on it and then verify the status from there. But it sounds like the agents don't understand 90% of their job (providing access to those who are entitled to it).
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Old May 15, 2023, 2:33 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by JayhawkCO
But it sounds like the agents don't understand 90% of their job (providing access to those who are entitled to it).
If that was remotely true, there were be regular issues reported on FT. In fact, the reverse is true -- most using this corner case access, BP not reflecting their status account but having *G) report no issue using a separate *G . This one recent report seems to be blowing well out of portion. (Like caused by LH error on the LH issued BP)

Yes, the OP deserved admission and the specific agents were wrong / mis-trained -- but this has not been reported as a widespread / systemic issue.
There are equally rare occasional reports of partner lounges having issues, anything a human gets involved, expect occasional errors.
Gald UA has tried to automate this to take the human judgement out, believe it has improved the process and false positives.
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Old May 15, 2023, 2:44 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
If that was remotely true, there were be regular issues reported on FT. In fact, the reverse is true -- most using this corner case access, BP not reflecting their status account but having *G) report no issue using a separate *G . This one recent report seems to be blowing well out of portion. (Like caused by LH error on the LH issued BP)

Yes, the OP deserved admission and the specific agents were wrong / mis-trained -- but this has not been reported as a widespread / systemic issue.
There are equally rare occasional reports of partner lounges having issues, anything a human gets involved, expect occasional errors.
Gald UA has tried to automate this to take the human judgement out, believe it has improved the process and false positives.
I believe that 100%, the agents know how to scan the boarding pass and see if a light is green or red. Sure, that works most of the time. I don't believe for a second that they know the actual access policy which is the guts of what their job entails. More often than not, I agree, this will have little impact, but my point remains that it would take so little effort to have a backup plan for these edge cases, i.e. a simple cheat sheet as I referenced earlier. This isn't even training people. This is, "Hey, when you have a question, reference this sheet". The agents don't have to memorize every *A carrier and status level name. Just look at the doc.

I don't expect UA to be perfect. I do expect companies to put systems in place to achieve perfection as closely as possible, especially when it takes as little time and energy as a simple wiki to reference.
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Old May 15, 2023, 3:13 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by JayhawkCO
But it sounds like the agents don't understand 90% of their job (providing access to those who are entitled to it).
I don't think that this is a fair characterization. Agents are trained to follow what the computer says; agents are not trained to question the computer -- therefore agent saying "Computer says no" understands their job, as UA is currently training them for it, even if it's not the right answer for the situation.

The lounge access software is programmed to apply all of the myriad of corner cases and rules (Are you a UA club member? Are you *G traveling domestically and if so are you a UA*G or any other *G? Are you any *G traveling internationally? Are you in a premium cabin (is that a city pair that qualifies as "international" or "premium")? Do you have guests (how many?)? and provides more consistent results (and better cost recovery) than depending on agents referencing and applying and cheat sheets -- and as we start to see more automated admission (e.g. EWR C130, ORD C, and DEN Club Fly) there isn't an agent to interpret these rules or reference a cheat sheet.

As long as UA doesn't cut staffing, this frees the agents for, IMO, far more valuable and brain-intensive tasks like figuring out how to get someone from "middle of nowhere, US" to "middle of nowhere, India" for a wedding the next day (!) when every Eastbound hub is suffering from some kind of weather event and every normally-viable option has fallen apart. (I watched half of that itinerary get rebuilt by hand and it was both a work of art snaking through Europe and made me realize even more how much I value the experience that works in more UA clubs, though I hope to never hear the phrase "Looks like you're going to have to spend the night in London or Frankfurt, do you have a preference?").

The problem of course is when the computer isn't given the appropriate input to make the appropriate decision -- e.g. if the boarding pass doesn't reflect the entitlement. In this case it seems this is a LH root cause issue. Sure UA should probably have a more graceful way to handle these "input does not match expectation" cases but I don't think putting it on the agent is fair.
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Old May 15, 2023, 3:20 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
I don't think that this is a fair characterization. Agents are trained to follow what the computer says; agents are not trained to question the computer -- therefore agent saying "Computer says no" understands their job, as UA is currently training them for it, even if it's not the right answer for the situation.

The lounge access software is programmed to apply all of the myriad of corner cases and rules (Are you a UA club member? Are you *G traveling domestically and if so are you a UA*G or any other *G? Are you any *G traveling internationally? Are you in a premium cabin (is that a city pair that qualifies as "international" or "premium")? Do you have guests (how many?)? and provides more consistent results (and better cost recovery) than depending on agents referencing and applying and cheat sheets -- and as we start to see more automated admission (e.g. EWR C130, ORD C, and DEN Club Fly) there isn't an agent to interpret these rules or reference a cheat sheet.

As long as UA doesn't cut staffing, this frees the agents for, IMO, far more valuable and brain-intensive tasks like figuring out how to get someone from "middle of nowhere, US" to "middle of nowhere, India" for a wedding the next day (!) when every Eastbound hub is suffering from some kind of weather event and every normally-viable option has fallen apart. (I watched half of that itinerary get rebuilt by hand and it was both a work of art snaking through Europe and made me realize even more how much I value the experience that works in more UA clubs, though I hope to never hear the phrase "Looks like you're going to have to spend the night in London or Frankfurt, do you have a preference?").

The problem of course is when the computer isn't given the appropriate input to make the appropriate decision -- e.g. if the boarding pass doesn't reflect the entitlement. In this case it seems this is a LH root cause issue. Sure UA should probably have a more graceful way to handle these "input does not match expectation" cases but I don't think putting it on the agent is fair.
Then maybe this is ignorance on my part, but what else does the person that is at the welcome desk of the United Club do during their shift outside of checking credentials for entry? Typically, there are agents inside the club who handle rebooking during irrops and such.
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Old May 15, 2023, 3:38 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
The lounge access software is programmed to apply all of the myriad of corner cases and rules (Are you a UA club member? Are you *G traveling domestically and if so are you a UA*G or any other *G? Are you any *G traveling internationally? Are you in a premium cabin (is that a city pair that qualifies as "international" or "premium")? Do you have guests (how many?)? and provides more consistent results (and better cost recovery) than depending on agents referencing and applying and cheat sheets -- and as we start to see more automated admission (e.g. EWR C130, ORD C, and DEN Club Fly) there isn't an agent to interpret these rules or reference a cheat sheet.
I think that this is the case, and they want to computer to have all the information for access without needing the agent to know all the corner cases. As a related note, I hadn't been in a UC in a long time with a guest, and I didn't know that when you scan a *G BP, the next BP that is scanned is considered the 1 guest you are allowed to bring in. Since we had 3 of us (2 *G and one general member), I just started scanning BPs and was informed that the order matters. Again, the agent knew how to use the computer, and the rule, but they do seem to be trying to get this as automated as possible.
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Old May 15, 2023, 3:58 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by JayhawkCO
Then maybe this is ignorance on my part, but what else does the person that is at the welcome desk of the United Club do during their shift outside of checking credentials for entry? Typically, there are agents inside the club who handle rebooking during irrops and such.
Premium Services Agents cover all premium services roles (everything in a club, Global Services, actual VIPs, etc.) -- the dedicated "Credential Desk" (e.g. 'gate keeper') roles/locations are being phased out/hybridized and even those lounges that have a staffed inside+credential desk for the current time the credential desk handles overflow for protection (at many clubs these days they are the only agents you get) and agents to tend to rotate through positions. I've been aware of credential desk agents handling proactive protection for local passengers when there's a lull in people trying to gain admission.

I think DEN is the only location I've never seen the credential desk working any kind of protection -- but it still may happen and just my lack of time in DEN / the physical distance between the credential desk and everything else doesn't really facilitate people watching.

Originally Posted by tods27
I didn't know that when you scan a *G BP, the next BP that is scanned is considered the 1 guest you are allowed to bring in. Since we had 3 of us (2 *G and one general member), I just started scanning BPs and was informed that the order matters. Again, the agent knew how to use the computer, and the rule, but they do seem to be trying to get this as automated as possible.
I this case the agent must have known/been told that you were bringing in a guest (which gets "attached" to your entry) -- by default if you just scan another BP it's looking at it like a fresh admission so your *G would have been fine on their own (assuming INTL *G, etc.) but the general member would have been flagged as "NO ACCESS" -- but when the agent said "Yep, there be guests" the system was attaching the next scan it saw to your BP scan as the guest. It is a fairly similar workflow to the self-boarding gates at those clubs using them where you're [at least as a UC member] prompted to select the # of guests, but not exactly the same (since it doesn't ask for a guest count and instead relies on the agent initiating the guest add)
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Last edited by lincolnjkc; May 15, 2023 at 4:06 pm
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Old May 15, 2023, 4:16 pm
  #56  
 
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Maybe this would be better solved with retrofitting clubs to use gates/turnstyles
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Old May 15, 2023, 4:30 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
Premium Services Agents cover all premium services roles (everything in a club, Global Services, actual VIPs, etc.) -- the dedicated "Credential Desk" (e.g. 'gate keeper') roles/locations are being phased out/hybridized and even those lounges that have a staffed inside+credential desk for the current time the credential desk handles overflow for protection (at many clubs these days they are the only agents you get) and agents to tend to rotate through positions. I've been aware of credential desk agents handling proactive protection for local passengers when there's a lull in people trying to gain admission.

I think DEN is the only location I've never seen the credential desk working any kind of protection -- but it still may happen and just my lack of time in DEN / the physical distance between the credential desk and everything else doesn't really facilitate people watching.
Maybe that's why I have a different impression than some. The only United Club I've been in post-2020 is DEN. Previously, there were always agents in both spots.
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Old May 15, 2023, 8:51 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by JayhawkCO
They could pull up the itinerary in their system (as it was an 016 ticket) and note the frequent flyer number on it and then verify the status from there. But it sounds like the agents don't understand 90% of their job (providing access to those who are entitled to it).
There are plenty of cases reported here where an agent has overruled the computer to grant club/lounge access when appropriate. Now that we have one involving a faulty LH BP that wasnít rectified correctly it means UA isnít training their employees?
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Old May 15, 2023, 8:54 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
There are plenty of cases reported here where an agent has overruled the computer to grant club/lounge access when appropriate. Now that we have one involving a faulty LH BP that wasnít rectified correctly it means UA isnít training their employees?
Bluntly, yes. If the passenger is on an international *A itinerary and produces a *G card, especially a UA *G card, then yes, the employee wasn't trained very well if they deny entry.
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Old May 16, 2023, 3:37 am
  #60  
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Training issue or other employee management issue, it’s a failure of UA to deliver what UA should have delivered to the UA*G.

Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
Maybe this would be better solved with retrofitting clubs to use gates/turnstyles
More than is already the case? Still going to need some staff to deal with manually allowing people into the clubs and to restrict people trying to come in on unauthorized, close-in coattails at self-scan/automated gates.
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