The internet is awash with images of signs going up in United Clubs this past week. On the back of recent increases in membership rates, and enhanced food selections, United is now seeking to limit access to those travelling just on the day of their visit.
It has been possible to secure a pass to get to the Club, via TSA security, if you have a membership for several years now. I know people who use their membership and a Gate Pass from a check-in agent to provide a meet-and-greet service for their friends and family at the gate. Just like the old days. Others use it, and the free booze served to use the United Club as a local bar.
As a 3-million-mile flyer I have United Club access for life – or knowing United – until they change the rules again. But as I am not flying United any longer this doesn’t make much difference to me. There is the odd airport or occasion when I might use a United Club when not flying with them, but when not flying at all – at that point I don’t want to be at an airport.
In their usual annoying way, United have not put any notification on their web site to explain the move.
One oddity is that it appears that passengers flying on red-eye overnight flights will no longer be able to use the United Club on arrival. The law of unintended consequences – or is it a change we’re supposed to like?
(The pictures above are the United Club at JFK which is slated to close when United abandons JFK to concentrate on Newark.)