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United Clubs recently started posting a sign saying starting in August 2016, a ‘same day boarding pass’ will be required to enter the clubs.
It’s vague and could have two meanings:
The good news is United Club customer service phone agents are saying you will be able to use the clubs with *any* same day airline boarding pass.
So you can breathe easy that United won’t require members to fly United to enter a club.
You can fly Delta, American, or any other airline and still access the club. As a United Club Card or Presidential Plus credit card holder you’re a full member and will get the same benefit.
The sign is poorly worded and really should say ‘same day boarding pass on any airline’ to avoid confusing members.
What is changing is that you won’t be able to request a ‘gate pass’ to get into the club if you have no flight at all.
That shouldn’t impact the vast majority of members.
But there is a small group of heavy users who will lose out on this change, and are upset.
They are able to show up at an airport any time and ask an agent for a gate pass, which lets them use the United Club freely at any airport, even without a flight. Some meet business colleagues, others meet family, while others have less clear intentions.
Comparing it to Delta and American, the new policy is not draconian.
So if you’re a United Club member and see the sign, breathe easy.
Very little is changing.
You’ll still be able to get into the clubs while flying any airline.
But if you were enjoying gate passes, unfortunately a perk that was more generous than other airlines is going away.
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