United Club Worth it?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by cjl425, Nov 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. cjl425

    cjl425 Active Member

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    I am trying to decide if it is worth it... Here is my train of thought as to why I should get it now.

    My work requires me to travel 60-80% of the time. I am based out of IAD and starting June 2013 I will be based out of PHL. For the next three months I will be flying into ORD. I was thinking of pulling the trigger on a Club membership before the rates go up the first of the new year. So basically I'm buying it at discount. Then hopefully in 2013 when it expires I can renew with some sort of United status/discount (either silver or gold). I should almost have silver for 2012 but my current project is for UAL so I can list for flights... Since, I can list I don't get the miles but I do get to fly business on any wide bodied plans which is nice.

    But my main concern is... Is it really worth it?
     
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  2. mherdeg
    Original Member

    mherdeg Silver Member

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    The big value of having United Club access is getting priority rebooking during irregular operations — instead of queueing at the gate agent's counter with dozens of people in front of you you can talk to someone who has fewer people in line and will work harder to help you.

    If most of your travel is as a non-revenue passenger ("listing for flights") then this perk isn't such a great deal. In the event of irrops when you're flying nonrevenue, (1) you are already kind of SOL because you're prioritized behind paying passengers and (2) you might already have access to a pretty responsive phone agent who will do what they can for you.

    For revenue flights, having some kind of lounge access on a stormy day can mean a huge qualitative improvement in your travel experience. There may be times where you'l end up getting home hours earlier after a delay or cancellation.
     
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  3. cjl425

    cjl425 Active Member

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    Thanks for the quick response with great points. Just for my current project are my flights non revenue.

    Most likely starting early January my flights will all be revenue.
     
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  4. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    For me, the United Club is most useful during connections. If you fly direct everywhere, the need for a UC membership is pretty low, because you aren't hanging around airports for too long, because more often than not you won't be hanging around the airport for very long.
     
  5. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Just FYI, there have been reports on TOBB of people unable to be rebooked during irrops because the people in the UA club come from pmUA and haven't been trained on SHARES yet. This problem will (eventually) be worked out, but it may be an issue near term.

    Now, if you're going to be traveling a lot, the other benefits of club access may be worth it.
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The people in the clubs absolutely have been trained in SHARES. Whether they're willing to use that training to help customers or not is a different story.

    I don't find the lounge to be worth paying for. And if I were going to pay for it I'd do so via the Chase CC since that's cheaper anyways.
     
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  7. pyndasky

    pyndasky Silver Member

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    I agree with genemk2, if you don't have a lot of time between your connections, the value is minimal... free drinks and wi-fi are nice, but if you don't have time to use them, why bother..... However, during a couple of extended flight delays, I put a serious dent in the cost of the annual membership fee!!!
     
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  8. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    I have to say this was my last experience with irrops, though I wasn't told it was because lack of Shares training.
    When I knew a flight EWR-ZRH was going from mx delay to being cancelled I called the premier desk to reschedule the flight (instead of waiting in the huge line at gate) While I was talking to them I was walking to the UC to get my new BP's for the next day and hotel voucher. They agent on the phone told me I had to go back to the gate and wait in line for the new BP and hotel voucher. I was a little taken back asking why I couldn't just do it in the UC as normal, but the reply back was firm I had to wait in the 1.5 hour line at the gate :(
     
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  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    As one you travels extensively and exclusively with United but does not live in United hub city, nearly all of my flights require a connection through IAD, ORD, DEN, IAH, SFO, etc.... Therefore, access to a lounge is a must for me. In sum, a UC membership is definitely worth it if you can use it with your requirement to "travel 60-80% of the time"...

    Should you decide to renew, I would suggest getting it through the Chase United Club card, which not only comes with a UC membership for which you can still pay with miles, but also offers lots and lots and lots of perks...
     
  10. Black Cloud
    Original Member

    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    I thought you lived in NYC?
    I know it's in a different state, but EWR is far more convenient than a connection in almost every scenario.

    Back on topic, I agree that the club branded CC is the way to go.
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I hate EWR, have never flown into or out of EWR, and I live just 12-15 min from LGA...
     
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  12. Black Cloud
    Original Member

    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    I live closer to LGA too; but the extra time getting to/from EWR far outweighs (for me) rolling the dice by connecting in ORD, IAD, or DEN for most of my trips.

    Maybe it's just me, but having such a staunch opinion on something you've never experienced, first hand, is startling. EWR has better clubs than JFK or LGA, significantly more airside concessions, better parking and public transport options than LGA. If you have Pre-check, security is a non-issue. The C terminal is also much less depressing than LGA's dungeon of dank.

    In the immortal words of the Life Cereal commercial, "try it, you'll like it."
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Please stop trying to introduce rational thought into the community. The impact of such behavior may horribly alter the space-time continuum. ;)
     
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  14. Mudder

    Mudder Silver Member

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    The UC is most useful if the cities you are flying/connecting through are heavy delay prone airports. To me, this means LGA/EWR, ORD, and SFO. And at that, there is a huge gulf between the NYC airports and the other two. The rebooking availability alone makes it a necessary purchase and worth the cost if you are an NYC flier.

    For IAD, IAH, DEN, CLE, LAX and spoke airports, it's nice, but not a requirement. They certainly have IRROPS, but not in the same league as the other airports. For those airports you are more weighing the comfy chairs, light snacks, and free cheap booze in your purchase decision.
     
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  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Speaking of "rationality", you have to see where I am coming from: EWR was not a UA hub until the merger, so, as someone who is focused on achieving the MM milestone and thus flies exclusively with UA, there was no point. In addition, I never heard of anything good about EWR as an airport. Meanwhile, I have developed a pattern of traveling which is painless and suits me (in fact, I am not even sure how I could conveniently get to EWR from where I live). Lastly: I do not mind the connections because they are usually a stop on my way out of the country and often add a few miles to my PQMs...

    Bottom line: You can have EWR...;)
     
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  16. BuckleandBoots

    BuckleandBoots Silver Member

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    Echoing others, here are my 2-cents.
    1) Do you plan to have connections?
    2) Do you drink alcohol?

    If the answer to one or both of those is "no" then at face value, it may not be worth it. The biggest ROI is during IRROPS or an extended delay, but it may be worth asking yourself how often you've experienced that during the last year. Also, are you going to have to fork out the cash for it personally or can you bill it as an expense?
     
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  17. Flying Machine

    Flying Machine Silver Member

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  18. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    I'll +1 the Club card as well as everyone else - assuming one gets approved for it, plus 1K's should remember that they currently also receive a $60 statement credit per year (one per person who has a chase mileageplus card, not one per chase mileageplus card).
     
  19. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    All the baby carrots you can eat!
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It has been a couple years now that the flights have counted to MM status. Is that really still your reason??
     
  21. Rob
    Original Member

    Rob Gold Member

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    Can we leave the discussion of EWR to another thread, and leave this one for discussing whether the UA Club is "worth it"?
     
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  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Read the whole post...
     
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  23. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    As a 1K for nearly 10 years, I've bought a RCC membership once, and it was going into a year when I hadn't requalified for 1K and expected to temporarily lose access to the 1K desk. No, I don't think it's worth it. If I were making more connections in terrible places, that answer might be different.

    If I desperately need rebooking help, that's what day passes are for. Get an Explorer card and hoard the passes until you need them.
     
  24. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Regardless, the point is that if OP needs help during irrops from the club, he may not be able to get it.
     
  25. cjl425

    cjl425 Active Member

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    I appreciate all the replies... I went over the pros/cons last night and I am starting to lean more toward no. It would be nice for IROPPS, but I could always just purchase a day pass or use one of the two passes I get a year for the MileagePlus CC. For 2012 all my flights are hub to hub/direct flights so I am not really spending too much extra time in the airport. As for my travel in 2013 I have no idea where I will be sent.

    The only thing that has started to sway me toward yes again is the US Airways deal currently going on... $400 for new membership with the $50 initiation fee waved and 5k PQM. Which saves me $125 and gives me 5k of US Airways miles.
     
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