Lounge access on united award flight through 1k

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by afakhori, Sep 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    So my friend is a 1K member on United (but will be dropping to gold after 1/31/13) and I'm having him book my reward travel so his benefits trickle down to me. Does being on his 1K also entitle me to lounge access with a *Alliance partner?

    http://www.united.com/web/en-us/content/mileageplus/premier/staralliance.aspx

    the information on this link says 1K member= gold on *Alliance, and allows access. So since an Award ticket shows the 1K status on boarding pass, does that alow access without actually flying with the 1K member?
     
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Unless I am missing something, I do not think that any of his 1K benefits would "trickle down to you" just because the ticket was booked by a 1K. You would still be you...meaning whatever status you have with UA would apply; not the 1K's...
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Many/most *A lounges require that you show your *Gold card for entry. They tend to check that the name matches the name on your *A ticket or boarding pass as well as your ID, so don't even think about borrowing the 1K account owner's card.
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The ticket will not show *G unless it is booked under the *G's name. It would be a nice trick for a *G to just book an award ticket for someone else and also bestow the *G status upon that someone. The ticket would have to have the *G's name, meaning that a valid ID would be required to check in, etc, which would be possible only if you also swap identities... a dangerously fraudulent game.

    "Many/most *A lounges require that you show your *Gold card for entry"

    This is actually not the case if the BP says "carrier*G". A passport or a valid picture ID suffices in most, if not all, cases...
     
  5. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    The ticket does show *G. It was booked through the 1K's account, using points, 1k is not traveling, and it says "UA-XXXXXXXX Premier 1K / *G" on the confirmation under "frequent flyer"

    It is a trick to bestow your status by booking an award for someone else, at least it is in this situation. We're not going to swap identities because the person traveling is a different race and sex. My question is, since it says 1K/*G, can the traveling party show their ID and have lounge access?
     
  6. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    If you have status, and book award travel for someone else, they will benefit from your status. So far a 1K booked an award ticket for another traveller and they now show as having free bags, economy plus, and 1K/*G on the confirmation
     
  7. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Post-merger status of the redeeming party has been reflected in the ticket, regardless of who is traveling. Apparently this existed on PMCO as well, but was widely reported around the time of the integration.

    Lounge access, particularly going outside of United, may bring different results, and I would not expect the inherited status to carry over to partner flights. Those details likely matter and probably best to defer to someone whith experience and accurate information in this matter.

    afakhori: what airline(s) are you flying, on what routes, and what lounges do you wish to visit?
     
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  8. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    the flight I'm talking about now is for my mom, and she'll be flying HNL->IAD on UA metal in Oct. She's not a very big flyer (2nd flight in 30 years) so I was hoping she could relax in the lounge preflight, tough it's not the end of the world.

    The wife and I (along with the new baby) will be traveling from HNL to...destination unknown :) not sure where we want to go, but the wife has time off she needs to take and I just know id rather sit in a quieter spot with a few snacks, than out in the cattle pens. Usually we hang out in the USO, but at some airports it's outside security or not in the same terminal.
     
  9. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    For a domestic itinerary there would not be access to UA lounges anyway.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I believe that this is a bug because you would have a hard time receiving the *G benefits under scrutiny, e.g., if you need to show *G proof, but I guess that was your original question with respect to *A lounge access. The answer is still the same: If your BP shows *G then your passport or picture ID should be enough to get you into a *A lounge. However, I have never checked an award ticket I'd purchased for someone to see if it says *G.

    Does this "trick" also mean that you also "inherit" E+ privilege if a 1K books your award ticket? I book tickets for relatives all the time and E+ has never appeared as an automatic benefit...

    This would not work either, even if the 1K were the traveler, because *G lounge benefit kicks in when one (*G) is traveling internationally...unless HNL has a special classification.


    Again, for an intl destination, no problem with lounges IF *G...
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Definitely a YMMV case. During my last trip, the agent at the *A lounge in LHR told me not to worry as I started fumbling for the card and pointed to the *G indicator on my BP. A few days later, at the Austrian lounge in Vienna, the agent asked for the card even though the BP had the same indicator (and was not home-printed, so no chance I could have just edited/photo-shopped it in).
     
  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This is a recurrent theme. You will find places where an over-zealous agent would try to enforce the "show *G card" thing, but for the most part, a BP that says "carrier*G" and a valid picture ID suffice, EVEN in FRA, which folks claim is notorious for denying access without *G "proof". The *G proof is that little inscription, and following reports here about how FRA is "tough", I have made it a point to experience this by not presenting my 1K card. They have not asked for it a single time the last three times I have been through there. For years, I did not even carry my 1K or Prem Exec card with me and I always got into *A lounges around the world. If you run into an over-zealous agent, explain that the computer put the UA*G inscription on the BP and ask whether s/he does not believe the BP is real (then act angry and ask to see the manager if s/he does not relent, but this should not be necessary).
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I should have mentioned that the guy guarding the Tower lounge in FRA demanded the card, too. Same trip, three weeks ago.

    Like I said, YMMV. Perhaps I don't look like a *G member.

    Or I could just show my little plastic card and move on with my life. Maybe have an extra beer or pretzel to make up for the inconvenience.

    Yes, it's utterly ridiculous that they don't trust their own boarding passes printed on their own card stock. And yes, life is short.
     
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    By all means, show your status card if you have it and it would be the end of the story, but if you are a legit *G, you can get in without the status card. The OP seems to have a unique situation where a traveler is NOT a *G but has a BP that says s/he is. In the case of an over-zealous agent like you ran into, the non-*G traveler may be out of luck, which is why I am surprised that just purchasing an award ticket for someone who is not *G would issue them a BP that says s/he is. A lounge agent could decide to be "difficult" and that person would have no recourse because even the computer would not be able to prove that s/he is *G.

    BTW, it's been a while so I will not be able to find the post easily, but I did report of my transiting through FRA and purposely tried to see how often the *G card would be asked for, and it was not asked of anyone who did not present it while I was in the queue. When it was my turn, the agent just asked me whether I was 1K or Prem Plat; I just said 1K and that it should be on the BP, and he just waved me in. Then I found out why he'd asked about my status: the little sticker that is issued in FRA to indicate that you have undergone verbal security check had covered my 1K status. On the way out, I told the agent that my status had been covered by this sticker, and he simply said that it did not matter.
     
  15. pyndasky

    pyndasky Silver Member

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    over the past couple of months, all I've shown is my BP to gain access to the United Club...
     
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  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You are missing something. ;)

    Certain benefits - notably E+ seating and checked baggage allowance - follow from the account the award ticket was booked from when redeeming points and flying on UA metal. Lounge access is a bit less consistent in the "trickle-down" application but it has worked from time to time. Don't be surprised or confrontational if it doesn't work as it is decidedly not a prescribed benefit, but no harm trying and seeing if you get lucky.
     
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  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This is news to me! I have booked award travel for relatives and never got E+ for them as a benefit or maybe I just did not notice? ( I seem to recall that more RDMs might have been required to "purchase" E+). How does that work? Throughout my posts above, I pointed out why lounge access would be a problem (if *G credentials were required all the time, such inherited lounge benefit would be meaningless because access would always be denied).

    Got a link? Is this a PMCO schtick?

    I should add that if the 1K books the award travel and s/he is also part of the PNR then the benefit inheritance makes sense...

    That has been the case with me for several years, and it is why this supposedly inheritable *G lounge access would even be possible...
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There has never been an option to book E+ via RDMs. If you book an award ticket for a non-elite passenger you can choose an E+ seat for them for free. Just don't change the FF# in the record for the traveler and the credentials of the elite "stick" in the record. This is a vestige of the sCO systems and has survived into the new program. It also applies to the priority associated with upgrade instruments or award redemption rules/fees which come from the account the redemption is initiated from, not those of the passenger.

    It does not require the elite to be on the PNR.
     
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  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It must be a pre-merger CO schtick because it is so bone-headed, but it is good to know.The last time I booked an award ticket for a relative was over a year ago, and E+ was not available unless I used more RDMs. I even think that I had to say something about my relationship to the traveler since we did not have the same last name. I was logged in as me and the traveler had no FF#. Result: No E+, luggage or *G benefit trickled down.

    It is good that not many people are aware of this loophole because what it means is that anyone who is not an elite -- a stranger even -- can ask me for a "commission" to purchase them an award ticket so that they can earn elite benefits. You can compute the potential deleterious effects if this is multiplied several fold...

    It is a fluke benefit that will not stand to scrutiny (e.g. *G "benefit")...unless there is a link to this "benefit"?
     
  20. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    Was this booked on pmUA or pmCO?

    ETA: afaik, there is no link, as it's not an official 'benefit
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    pm is simply pre-merger booking system for UA or CO, before 03/03/12. It is not an "official benefit" usually means that the IT department messed up, but since it is not a big deal (yet), we will just not spend the resources to fix it...

    The "benefit" makes no business sense...
     
  22. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    I suppose we should fly international then :-P Any recommendations?

    He set up the flight and picked an E+ seat for her, and said she may even be upgraded to first. She is set in the first Boarding class, and the itinerary states that her bags are free.

    I agree, but I'm not going to avoid using it if they give it out ;-)

    Thats exactly my view, if they say no - no harm no foul. Can't hurt to ask. Usually they let us in if we're flying first domestically and we show our military IDs, but thats also hit or miss, which is why I was hoping more people had success (domestically or internationally) via this method.

    Also, do you guys think that, internationally with this senario (1k/*G showing on boarding pass) I would have better luck with a United Club, or a *A club?
     
  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Kyoto, Japan. You fly into KIX (w/ ANA) and take a high-speed train to Kyoto/Nara to experience the Land of Temples, so rich in human heritage that the Allied Forces were under strict orders not to drop bombs in the area during WWII. It might even have saved the area from the first A-bomb.

    Simple "raisonement par l'absurde" (reductio ad absurdum) will show how crazy this is. If you inherit these "benefits" from a 1K, then without being an elite or even UA MP member you would presumably be higher in the pecking order than a genuine Premier Plat. I do not think an award ticket can be upgraded (maybe for Explorer card holders) but you will definitely board ahead of the Plats and Golds.

    That is the logical conclusion of this unofficial "benefit" and it is absurd.

    Come to think of it, you might not even get in because if the carrier's computer system associates the *G with a different name after they scan your BP (most places -- e.g., UC -- simply scan BPs to let you in), they will deny you access because you are not the *G. Some SQ check in desks do not inscribe the *G on the BP. I'd once asked them how I would be able to enter the lounge; they simply said that the scan of the BP at the lounge would establish my eligibility...

    Please let us know how it turns out!
     
  24. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Seems like a whole lot of arguing that what's been true for months (if not years under CO) must not be the case.


    afakhori: I'd always recommend going international, but not just to get lounge access. If you just want to access a lounge with UA *G status, just book a domestic flight out of somewhere where there is a *G lounge that isn't a UA or US club. Without legitimate *G status for access your mileage may vary, of course, but *G does entitle access and people have had success via the mechanism you are discussing here.
     
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  25. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    Thanks all for the explanations, as well as the recommendations! We were looking at Japan, or maybe Thailand. She really wants to go to Australia, but when asked why she just says "I dunno, everyone is always talking about it."

    haha, no not just for lounge access, We want to go to a bunch of different places, we just prefer to do it in as much comfort, and with as little out of pocket as possible. That said - I'm usually willing to pay for things if they hold a good value :) we just need to plan out some trips, which may be a bit more work since the majority of places she wants to go are in Europe and we just happen to be in HNL. Maybe Bora Bora? anybody every been there?
     

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