Lounge Access w/o card

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by bthobe, Mar 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. bthobe
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    bthobe Silver Member

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    I tried searching through the threads but to no avail on this issue. Here is my concern, the girlfriend and I will be traveling to Europe soon and I just recently became a UA Premier Gold. We would like to use any and all of the Star Alliance lounges we have access to but I do not have a card to present them with. I know my boarding pass will show my status (I hope) but is that enough? Also, she is on a separate PNR then myself.

    The lounges we hope to use are the UA lounge in LAS, AC or NZ lounge in LAX, BMI in LHR and whatever they have in DUB. Also want to use the lounge in CPH on the way home. We are flying Star alliance carriers the whole way to and from.
     
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  2. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    If it's on the BP, you are probably okay, although some people have reported difficulties when they don't have the card, particularly in Frankfurt at the LH lounges. But IME, they just scan/look at the BP, and as long as it says *Gold on there, you should be golden. Might want to print out a duplicate card if the function has been restored on United.com
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    My recent experience with LH has been that if the reservation is one that their system sees (i.e. it is in Apollo) then the scan from the BP works fine. But if it is a reservation that their system doesn't see (i.e. in SHARES) then they've wanted to see my card.
     
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  4. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Oh, interesting. That's a new downside to SHARES that I was not aware of. OP might be SOL then.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In my case it was a CO itinerary versus an LH itinerary. I have no idea how it would have seen a UA/Apollo itinerary. But, yes, this is a potential integration issue.
     
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  6. flyingbrick
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    flyingbrick Silver Member

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    But weren't all itineraries converted over to SHARES 3/3? So now an issue for anything booked pre/post UA/CO?

    IME, somewhat over half of * partner lounges have insisted on the card. Hopefully for this March they will be more lenient.
     
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  7. chrislacey
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    chrislacey Milepoint Guide

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    I've been able to access the AC/MLL lounge in YYZ (transborder) and YUL (international) with a PMUA boarding pass and no card. I don't always travel with my card (although I have been lately just in case).

    In general...I've never had an issue getting into a lounge, even when my BP did not scan correctly (LX and TG both come to mind as recent examplels - both times I did not have my *G card). I would bring an old card (if you have it) along with something that shows your status...maybe a screen print of your MP account main screen showing both airline status and *A status (along with your MP#)? A positive and friendly attitude going in, along with (if necessary) a line about the merger and you not receiving your card, will probably go along way. That said...I have read about people having issues without a valid card. I wish you the best of luck! Let us know how you make out!
     
  8. sonoma

    sonoma Silver Member

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    You can print a temporary card on united.com when you logged in to your account. Click on "Print Duplicate MileagePlus Card".

    Edit to add: Sorry...just realized this option is not available...
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    This had been my initial reaction to the OP.

    Some carriers will fax a letter indicating status and alliance status for lounge access before a card can be received, but I would be very surprised if UA/CO were able to offer this service during the merger.
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes; my point was that it might have been a problem in the past for a UA/Apollo res so this wouldn't be so much of a change but I don't have the experience to know for certain.
     
  11. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    My experience with the NZ lounge is they will fight to avoid giving you access.I would think not having the card is just the excuse they need to avoid it.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The good news is that the official rules no longer require that the card be presented. It is one of the acceptable ways for the status to be demonstrated but it is no longer the only acceptable one. :-:
     
  13. bucketlist
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    bucketlist Silver Member

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    You may be able to get lounge access by asking along the way - ask the carrier you're flying to give you a lounge pass as you are star gold and their systems surely show your status for luggage and the like but as your card has not arrived, you need a lounge pass.

    The dragon ladies at LH have always wanted to see the card - one mentioned it's easy to photoshop a card w/ star gold on it and hard for the LH agents to do the research to confirm if you are star gold.
     
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  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Earlier today, I left PRG to return to LGA through FRA and IAD. With nearly 3 hours to wait for my connecting flight in FRA, I set out to run a small experiment that I had been meaning to run following claims in one thread here that a *G card was necessary to get into *A lounges. FRA is a good place for this "experiment" because the LH lounge agents are known to be rather strict. Although I am United Club member and have Priority Pass, which would have gotten me into the LH lounges, I was determined not to use either to gain access. Moreover, I was traveling in E+ so I could not get access to the business lounge due to my class of service. With my BP in hand, I headed over to the LH lounge in Z concourse. There was a line in front of the lounge with several passengers in front of me, which gave me the opportunity to see how often the LH agent requested to see their *G cards. For every single person, the only thing that the agent requested was the BP, which he scanned. When it was my turn, he simply said, "your BP says Star Gold, but what is your elite level in MileagePlus"? I told him that I am 1K and that this should be printed on the BP. He could not see it but let me in anyway. After I got in, I found out why the agent could not see the 1K printed on the BP. It was covered by a small sticker that another agent had affixed to indicate that I had passed inspection in the check in line (another of many annoying things about FRA!).

    Bottom line: All you need is for your BP to say "FF program * G" (e.g., UA * G) to get in. Sometimes they may ask to see your passport, but the BP is your key to *A lounges. I have never had to show my UA MP card, which I often travel without...

    There may be instances when an over-zealous agent would request to see an FF card, in addition to a BP; it has never happened to me. The way I got into the LH lounge in FRA has been the norm.
     
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  15. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Why would he need to know your elite level in Mileage Plus? If you are Star Gold you have access to the Senator Lounges (and the Tower Lounge in Z). 1K doesn't get you anything further?

    You may be right that scanning the BP is now sufficient, but until pretty recently LH both scanned the boarding pass and swiped the Mileage Plus card.I assume the BP showed them that you were traveling, and the MP card showed the status. Now perhaps they can look up the status from the PNR via the BP
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    They can if their systems can read the reservation. That was the differentiating experience for me in mid-January with the two different tickets a couple days apart.
     
  17. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I prefer to have a valid card with me to document my status, just in case they cannot read the PNR.
    If I recall correctly when I used the SK lounge at OSL last November they just looked at my card and didn't swipe or scan anything, so not all *A lounges are automated.
     
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  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am not sure why but on my way out of the LH lounge, I had stopped by to show the agent my BP, after partially lifting the sticker that had obstructed my elite status. Part of the reason for this was to ensure that this agent would be aware for future references that UA BPs in FRA do have the elite status information printed on them. He just thanked me and said that it really did not matter. Maybe his asking me about my elite status level was a trick question, but I did not hesitate to say 1K so he was satisfied... Before leaving the check in counter ensure that UA*G is printed on your BP!!!

    By all means, if you have your elite status card, then do carry it with you (I just got mine and I will put it in my travel organizer with all my other travel documents) but it is NOT a requirement for one to get *G benefits. The BP and your passport are the minimum requirement and they have always worked for me.

    One more thing about FRA: in the check in line and at the counter, they have this annoying habit of asking you if you know where you are going. In contrast to nearly all other *A check in counters where all I need to provide is my passport to enable the agent to find my PNR, the "UA" counter in FRA usually acts as if they cannot find your PNR using your passport. They will ask you if you wouldn't happen to have a printout of your itinerary. Fortunately, I always print out my itinerary from AwardWallet before every trip so as soon as this charade started, I just produced the printout. In fact, a frequent traveler should be in the habit of carrying a printout of his/her itinerary, even if they can access it on their smart phones, since the signal might be low or they may not be able to connect for what ever reason.
     
  19. bthobe
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    bthobe Silver Member

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    I just wanted to thank everyone for shedding light on this issue as I was a lot more worried about it then my girlfriend was. Fortunately, I printed out a copy of my membership card online before they temporarily disabled that feature. If all else fails, I have priority pass which is my standby at a few of the lounges we plan to hit.

    Thanks again all!
     
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  20. bthobe
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    bthobe Silver Member

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    Well.... Just got back from the trip and all went well. Granted, if it was not for the temporary card I had printed out before the trip, I have a feeling things would have gone the opposite way. The only issue I ran into was the NZ lounge in LAX. Actually, they let us in but held our passports, tickets and my temp card hostage for about an hour while they updated a few things. Granted I think this had more to do with me being on a award ticket issued by USAir with multiple partners and I think UA screwed something up on the first leg. Other then that, it was smooth sailing through all the lounges.

    On a side note, while the SAS lounge in CPH is quite nice, their food selection is no bueno. Just some cold cuts, cheese and slices of bread. :( Granted, I do not know what it takes to get upstairs as I suspect they had better food.
     
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  21. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Been to Toronto and Frankfurt since the transition, ticket booked pre-March 3rd, and everything went fine with just scanning the BP.
     
  22. Geo
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    Geo Gold Member

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    I hit the FRA lounge (B) on the 5th. Presented my then expired PPlat and GS cards. They said "these are expired and I can't take them, but you haven't received your new one so all I need is your boarding pass to see it say *G."
     
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  23. kilo

    kilo Silver Member

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    I suspect the LH lounges may be responding to a request from UA to relax the requirement to show a card.
     
  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    An occasional over-zealous LH lounge agent notwithstanding, access to LH lounges has always been possible with a BP+passport...
     
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  25. redwoman

    redwoman Silver Member

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    Slightly different topic: have any United Club members received a new card with their new MP number on it? I last accessed UC on March 5 and it was OK at that point for them to accept my UA MP number. I was told by the dragon that "soon" the card wouldn't work anymore, which is a drag since my membership expires Dec 29,2012.
     

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