RCC Advice

 
Old Sep 10, 06, 2:33 pm
  #1  
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RCC Advice

Have a ton of flying coming up over the next year and, after reading as many threads as I could, am seriously considering getting an RCC membership for the first time -- as much for the customer service (mentioned by lots of folks) if things go wrong as anything else.

2 questions:

I have flights booked (but not flown yet) to get to 1K this year. Anyone ever have any luck getting discount pricing in this situation? I guess it is only $50 savings .... and my guess is they won't do it (and I wouldn't blame them), but suppose it doesn't hurt to ask (especially since I am thinking of getting mrs. flymetokix a membership as well -- increasing the savings).

Second, what is the up-to-date skinny on the food offerings? From reading a bunch of the RCC forums, I take it that it varies. I would be spending time at the following clubs (at a minimum) in the next few months:

BWI, DEN, MCO, SEA, LAX, PDX, IAD, ORD

Any info on these in particular would be helpful -- or any others folks feel like commenting on.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 2:51 pm
  #2  
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I am almost certain that they would not give you the discounted price, since that defeats the purpose of it. Since most people who get the membership plan on flying a lot, this is the situation for a lot of people.

As for the food offerings, don't expect a lot. It is an ok place to relax, but I would first eat outside of the lounge. You can expect nothing more than some chesse and crackers, vegetables, and toblerones at absolute best.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 3:00 pm
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Whether it is worth it or not is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I enjoy having somewhere to wait other than the gate esp on busier days.

Food offerings are basically snacks that vary by the time of day and location to location. SFO nice selection, DEN poor or nothing usually. There are some hidden gems like LGA, PHX, and SNA too which are relatively well-maintained and pleasant. Don't show up hungry and expect to leave well-fed at any of them though. Eat in the terminal if you are _hungry_.

As you mentioned, during irrops the RCCs can be very helpful as well in so much as at least the line you will have to wait in before you get your typical lackluster service is shorter.

Other than DEN, I haven't been to many of the ones you listed other than ORD or IAD for very brief moments so I can't really comment on those.

As for DEN: East is almost always closed when I'm there it seems. West is tired looking and the barkeep frowns at you when you ask for Pepsi and not some alcoholic beverage. Snacks are extremely limited there. Most of the time it's Y-cabin nuts and Ruffles. When they do put out cheese and crackers people take handfuls of them and they are gone in minutes. Rarely do I see veggies there. Bathrooms are not well-maintained at all. Personally I think the ones in the terminal are cleaner, esp upstairs in the B Concourse. (yes really!).

The rest that I've been to: DFW, PHX, SNA, and LGA aren't on your list... I might stop by LAX on my way out though if it's convenient when I head to JFK later.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 3:06 pm
  #4  
 
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If you need Wi-Fi, the fee-based T-Mobile in the RCC is generally better than fee-based "no name" Wi-Fi in most terminals.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 3:08 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by KansasMike
If you need Wi-Fi, the fee-based T-Mobile in the RCC is generally better than fee-based "no name" Wi-Fi in most terminals.
Or you can sit really close to a Continental Club, and try to use their wifi for free.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 3:48 pm
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I've typically seen the following on offer at the ORD RCC at different times of day:

The world's smallest apples, occasionally with oranges and/or bananas

The world's nastiest cello-wrapped poundcake-type breakfast item (I'm not that picky, and these are gross)

Good brands of fruit yogurt

Mediocre miniature bagels and cream cheese

Pleasant cello-wrapped cheese & crackers

Dried-out, but edible, crudites with little cups of ranch

Most of the time, only one or two of the above will be available at once. If there's yogurt and bananas, IMHO that's a banner day at the RCC. The RCC reservations people are a great perk, but I wouldn't join for the food.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 3:57 pm
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If you're joining the RCC for the food, you're joining for the wrong reason.

Airports are really crowded today...and so are RCCs...but it's nice to have a seat in a quieter environment.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by UNITED959
If you're joining the RCC for the food, you're joining for the wrong reason.

Nope, not joining for the food -- just don't know what they have.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 4:23 pm
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Let's see now ...

Originally Posted by flymetokix
BWI, DEN, MCO, SEA, LAX, PDX, IAD, ORD

Any info on these in particular would be helpful -- or any others folks feel like commenting on.
Haven't been to some of these in years (only a few years). Here's what I remember:

/*Philosophy on*/
Funny -- as I think about what to write, I find it is kind of like giving someone directions to a place you drive to so often you don't even think about it or pay attention -- it's automatic. And how do you describe an automatic behavior to someone else?
/*Philosophy off*/

BWI, Small club, good but overworked (shorthanded) staff, next to UA's only two gates. Food might not get replenished if there is a crowd or irregular ops which forces the staff to pay attention to upgrading the waiting passengers rather than upgrading the amenities. Crowded, much better than waiting in the gate area, though. Gotta leave the club to go.

DEN, 2 clubs, one East and one West. Both are pretty much the same as I remember. Clean, Spacious, quiet. I think I was really disappointed by the lack of munchies. I try to avoid DEN. Far better than the club at the old Stapleton airport, though! Both have internal toilets?

MCO, Don't remember

SEA, Downstairs at the bottom of the escalator. Departing, walk straight behind the escallators from the subway. Arriving, turn left at the bottom of the escalators and look for the door almost behind the escallators. Nice club. Remember it fondly, but not a lot of detail about amenities.

LAX, 1 club (prior home) near gate 71 at the entrance to terminal 7. UA runs flights out of terminals 6, 7, and 8. Only one club. It's at 7. Anyone from UA RCC reading this? Rather spacious considering it is the only club at LAX. I have seen lines out the door of people waiting to get in. Seems to be a kid's RCC. Bring earplugs. 2 coffee areas. Snacks, juice, and coffee are spread out along a wide area, so people don't seem to get in each other's way as much as LGA or IAD C17.

LGA -- upstairs before security. Nice folks. Light on snacks, but does have a fridge with juice and sodas if I remember. One floor above the gates. Great view of ops and Riker's Island. Internal toilets!!

PDX, Don't remember

IAD, 3 clubs (home airport) D8, C17, and C7. I like C7 the best then C17 then D8 for the ambiance. D8 is more cramped than the other two. In all of them, you can help yourself to free cans of soda and juice. The fridge is right under the coffeee pot and ice water so you have to wait for people mixin' their fixins to get out of the way or it might appear that you are trying to look under someone's skirt. All have internal toilets. Oh, don't expect to use any of the clubs if you are on a 6 AM flight.

ORD, 3 clubs, have to look at a map (oh, my -- 4 clubs -- one if the F terminal. How did I miss that?) -- one at the end of B next to the Ted gates (the high numbers) and one by gates 9 and 10. C entrance is at gate level in the middle somewhat near the B to C tunnel escalators. A few weeks ago, I hit all three on a one-day MR through ORD twice. For my money, I liked the one near Ted -- much less busy and better quantity of same snack stuff as the other two. Cans of soda and juice at ORD??? You've got to be kidding! Oh, yes ... all but the one near Ted have internal toilets. The one near Ted requires you to go out back.

ATL, small and cozy like BWI. Fridge, cans of drinks, unisex internal potty.

SFO, the king of all RCCs (I'm talking only about the SFO domestic club), especially after their massive upgrade a few years ago. I think they got rid of the mezanine club outside of security. I also noticed on the SFO map the last time I looked at it that there is also an RCC in the new UA International terminal. Haven't been there, but I remember the old common international RCC and it was fabulous.

NRT -- Awesome. Fabulous service. Can't say enough.

LHR -- Older than NRT, but similar.

HKG -- Fabulous (actually, all of the international clubs are)

PHX -- I think I remember using that club 30 years ago when it was Western Airline's, I think. Still there. Now an RCC. Nice people. Glad to have an RCC at PHX.

MIA -- NO RCC!

LAS -- NO RCC!

SAN -- do I recall that they are using the old PSA then USAIR then USAIR abandoned the west coast 16 years ago right after I bought a 3-year USAirClub membership club? Not bad. Nice to have an RCC in SAN.

EWR -- don't remember being either impressed or disappointed.

HNL -- recall that it was OK.

Another point -- RCC has reciprocity with USAir if you are flying US on that day. The US CLT clubs remind me of RCC international clubs in ambiance and friendliness (well, one of them, anyway). Same as RCC for food and drink.

I definately recommend an RCC for irregular ops. Oh yes, many of the larger clubs have checkin kiosks as well as real people. The people are better.

Now it's time for others to respond.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by lucky9876coins
Or you can sit really close to a Continental Club, and try to use their wifi for free.
I've used the RCC T-mobile wi-fi at JFK from outside it -- sitting on the floor in the hallway around the corner from the entrance (across from the BA lounge entrance). IIRC there's a power socket right there too. Not free (well, it was for me, I have an unlimited work account) but at least available, and it was 100% stable.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 6:15 pm
  #11  
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Each club and the timing at the club will likely bring a different offering.

Candy - I've seen jelly bellys, twix, m&ms (tiny bags and only once) and shortbread cookies.
Breakfast - usually some type of yogurt or the little cake thing (sort of like an orange sponge cake but not quite) and fruit
Mid-Day - veggies and cheese/crackers -- the cheese selection has definitely decreased.

I've also seen cut up oranges as a frequent option, esp at IAD. The ruffles and snack mixes you see on flights has definitely been around.

It's a nice break from the hub-bub in the terminal and the knowing you can get wifi there, as opposed to maybe something via the airport, is a nice thing when travelling for work.
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Old Sep 10, 06, 6:18 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jd2000
Not free (well, it was for me, I have an unlimited work account) but at least available, and it was 100% stable.
You paid for CPC wifi? It is free I thought...
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Old Sep 10, 06, 6:22 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by lucky9876coins
You paid for CPC wifi? It is free I thought...
his post said RCC and the floor position supports that (for JFK)
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Old Sep 10, 06, 6:25 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by GoingAway
his post said RCC and the floor position supports that (for JFK)
Oops! Thanks!
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Old Sep 10, 06, 6:44 pm
  #15  
 
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NRT RCC lounge... better than united's lounge, who can use?

in Narita, i usually head to united's lounge, 4th-floor if i'm flying IFC, 3rd-floor otherwise (for biz class, 100k and prem exec flyers).

is the red carpet club there better than united's IFC lounge? how so? and can 100k members get in if they're on an IFC ticket (i ask that because at SFO, if you arrive on an IFC ticket and xfer for domestic travel, you can use the RCC lounge there)?
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