Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

How to get UA to open a UC at an airport (TPA) where they don't have one?

How to get UA to open a UC at an airport (TPA) where they don't have one?

Old May 25, 23, 4:08 pm
  #1  
st3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: TPA
Programs: National Exec, United Plat, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 430
How to get UA to open a UC at an airport (TPA) where they don't have one?

While I typically try to minimize the amount of time I wait at the airport, my home airport of TPA doesn't have a United Club, even though both AA and DL have their respective clubs here. Last year, IIRC, I looked and TPA has the largest amount of UA traffic for an outstation that does not have a UC. There are several other airports, both SAT and MSY come to mind, that are smaller with fewer pax yet have a UC.

As part of TPA's planned expansions and upgrades they announced a new airside was going to be built and had a public feedback session. I asked if they knew what airlines were going to be there and shockingly enough I got some information back from their staff: (note: this isn't their complete response, just the relevant parts)

While its still very early in the process, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authoritys current planning documents for Airside D allocate space in the project for two clubs/lounges. Our expectation is that one will be airline- or alliance-affiliated and one will be common use. We are, however, quite a bit of time away from activating those conversations, and these plans may evolve as the design-build process continues.

As for existing options, our team encourages passengers to reach out to their airline of choice to discuss airline-specific club facilities at TPA.
Having said all that, is there an official way to petition that UA work with the airport to secure a location for a UC? I know this isn't a simple process on their end but the time to do it would be now when the expansion is ongoing and airlines will be moved around. Due to the overall design of the airport if there was a UC or *A lounge in a different airside from the one you are departing from, it wouldn't be accessible. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people on here so I though there might be some input on the person or department at UA to reach out to.
st3 is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 4:54 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southern California
Programs: United MileagePlus Premier 1K, Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion
Posts: 1,051
A UC at TPA is sorely needed, and I will aggressively push to get one opened at TPA
st3, EWR764, jonisflying and 2 others like this.
unitedbusiness is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 5:01 pm
  #3  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.9MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 63,082
There is nothing about TPA that you know that UA does not already know and they know a great deal more about the customer based. They are were aware of UC situation and likely have a list of airports under consideration. But suspect adding more / refreshing capacity at hubs are much higher on their list (vs a destination outstation), SAT is a legacy club from the pmCO days and MSY has some very special circumstances.

You could write at letter to the CEO's office or the Senior Exec in charge of the UCs but information would you bring that they do not already know? Their tentative capital improvement plans are probably 5 years or more already set.

Note a outstation has no connecting traffic needing a UC, Originating traffic probably minimizes time at the airport. And destination travel would not use the UC. And very little *A partner activity. Seasonal AC, CM

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 25, 23 at 5:07 pm Reason: CM
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 5:13 pm
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: At home in the PNW
Posts: 51,740
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
There is nothing about TPA that you know that UA does not already know and they know a great deal more about the customer based. They are were aware of UC situation and likely have a list of airports under consideration. But suspect adding more / refreshing capacity at hubs are much higher on their list (vs a destination outstation), SAT is a legacy club from the pmCO days and MSY has some very special circumstances.
MSY has “special circumstances?” It’s only 4’ above sea level?
halls120 is online now  
Old May 25, 23, 5:58 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 9,028
TPA is at or near the top of the list. UA has right of first refusal on the mezzanine space above A1. As I understand it, every time CO or UA has been close to announcing a lounge there, some global catastrophe gets in the way. I have it on very good authority this was the case in 2007-2008 (WFC) and 2020 (COVID). Now, Uniteds priority is hub lounge expansion/renovation, but I would wager a small amount that UA opens one there in the next 5 years.
goodeats21, SPN Lifer and st3 like this.
EWR764 is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 6:03 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: UA silver, Bonvoy silver
Posts: 1,866
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
There is nothing about TPA that you know that UA does not already know and they know a great deal more about the customer based. They are were aware of UC situation and likely have a list of airports under consideration. But suspect adding more / refreshing capacity at hubs are much higher on their list (vs a destination outstation), SAT is a legacy club from the pmCO days and MSY has some very special circumstances.

You could write at letter to the CEO's office or the Senior Exec in charge of the UCs but information would you bring that they do not already know? Their tentative capital improvement plans are probably 5 years or more already set.

Note a outstation has no connecting traffic needing a UC, Originating traffic probably minimizes time at the airport. And destination travel would not use the UC. And very little *A partner activity. Seasonal AC, CM
I originate from IAH and I make sure I get to IAH early enough to enjoy the UC. There is a market for those who originate who likes to use the UC
Unitedloyalflyer is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 6:05 pm
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.034MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CCC Elite+; MSC C-12; CWC Au-197; WoH Dis
Posts: 51,448
Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer
There is a market for those who originate who likes to use the UC
The same holds true for every outstation in United's network. That doesn't mean that every one deserves a UC.
TXJeepGuy and Adam1222 like this.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 6:08 pm
  #8  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.9MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 63,082
Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer
I originate from IAH and I make sure I get to IAH early enough to enjoy the UC. There is a market for those who originate who likes to use the UC
I would doubt their is sufficient demand willing to purchase membership to pay for the operation of the UC. And for those who have "free" access, operating a U is a significant demand and there would need to strong proof that attracts sufficient business to justify the cost of the UC.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 7:34 pm
  #9  
st3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: TPA
Programs: National Exec, United Plat, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 430
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Note a outstation has no connecting traffic needing a UC, Originating traffic probably minimizes time at the airport. And destination travel would not use the UC. And very little *A partner activity. Seasonal AC, CM
There are around 20 outstations in the US that have UCs and a handful outside the US. Aside from NRT, would there be connecting traffic at any of them? 4Y and WK could use a *A lounge here as well.

Originally Posted by EWR764
TPA is at or near the top of the list. UA has right of first refusal on the mezzanine space above A1. As I understand it, every time CO or UA has been close to announcing a lounge there, some global catastrophe gets in the way. I have it on very good authority this was the case in 2007-2008 (WFC) and 2020 (COVID). Now, Uniteds priority is hub lounge expansion/renovation, but I would wager a small amount that UA opens one there in the next 5 years.
Interesting to know, I wasn't sure how large that space was. Where gate A1 is would be pretty sweet and there are already bathrooms down there plus escalators. Where would 3M go though? I'm not sure if there any other gates at ground level.
st3 is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 8:02 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 9,028
Originally Posted by st3
There are around 20 outstations in the US that have UCs and a handful outside the US. Aside from NRT, would there be connecting traffic at any of them? 4Y and WK could use a *A lounge here as well.

Interesting to know, I wasn't sure how large that space was. Where gate A1 is would be pretty sweet and there are already bathrooms down there plus escalators. Where would 3M go though? I'm not sure if there any other gates at ground level.
It would actually be a level up, above the concourse (elevator through the double doors).

One consideration for lounge location is to drive partner visits, which can be a nice revenue stream. Unfortunately for TPA, the other *A carriers are in different airsides (AC in E, others in F), all of which are behind different security checkpoints. It's an inefficiency of the TPA landside/airside design, with security in each satellite. I am surprised that after all these years, AC never co-located with UA in A. Their operation isn't huge and could be absorbed in common-use A gates, if not within the United-exclusive leasehold.
EWR764 is offline  
Old May 25, 23, 11:59 pm
  #11  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.9MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 63,082
Originally Posted by st3
There are around 20 outstations in the US that have UCs ....
and did not you mention TPA was smaller then all but two

Originally Posted by st3
4Y and WK could use a *A lounge here as well.....
Neither is *A (and just 1? flight daily each). Even if they approached UA to be a contract lounge for business class passenger, not sure they do that, relative small number. And as mention the gate locations of other carriers is a problem.

I would not be surprised TPA is on the bubble, that has been rumored for years, the business case is marginal and the hubs are fare greater urgency.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old May 26, 23, 6:01 am
  #12  
TBD
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: TPA
Programs: All The Programs
Posts: 2,084
OP: TPA airport staff is pretty fantastic. I've emailed them before, too, and got an immediate response. Their social media (IG) team is pretty good, too.

I also heard that TPA was on the list before covid.

Perhaps the IAD expansion (another thread) will "close the gap" and make Tampa more relevant in the United schedule .... and lead to more traffic and a club.

Fingers crossed. I agree it's disappointing.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Neither is *A (and just 1? flight daily each). Even if they approached UA to be a contract lounge for business class passenger, not sure they do that, relative small number. And as mention the gate locations of other carriers is a problem.
Not *A, but owned by UA's JV partner, so it isn't completely out of the blue. VS contracted with a lounge (the only contract for this particular lounge) for their single flight to LHR.

Last edited by TBD; May 26, 23 at 6:06 am
TBD is offline  
Old May 26, 23, 7:41 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,864
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
. and MSY has some very special circumstances.
Originally Posted by halls120
MSY has special circumstances? Its only 4 above sea level?
Our special circumstances are that we have the only UC that serves jambalaya, chicken and sausage gumbo and crawfish touffe. 😉

While not packed (thankfully), Ive seen a lot more people using the MSY UC lately.
FLYMSY is offline  
Old May 26, 23, 9:54 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 480
For better or for worse, TPA (lived there for a short time) will always be seen as a leisure market first. SAT has a lot of daily business flyers to/from DFW and IAH, so they have good reasons to have a club. I'd also add that AA and DL both do >1.5x the traffic of UA at TPA.
ORDflyer92 is offline  
Old May 26, 23, 10:05 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TOA
Programs: HH Diamond, Marriott LTPP/Platinum Premier, Hyatt Lame-ist, UA !K
Posts: 18,636
Originally Posted by ORDflyer92
For better or for worse, TPA (lived there for a short time) will always be seen as a leisure market first. SAT has a lot of daily business flyers to/from DFW and IAH, so they have good reasons to have a club. I'd also add that AA and DL both do >1.5x the traffic of UA at TPA.
Sure - if your business acumen is based on looking at either current and/or past activity. If UA is actually going to rely on non-business travel, it and its management will then need to make some real decisions that go beyond simple bean counting.

David
DELee is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread