United Airlines recently unveiled a revised bar menu at United Clubs across the United States that adds more choice but also increases prices, notably charging for some drinks that were once free and downgrading the branding of some top-shelf liquor.
The changes are not all bad–regional specialties will be available at select clubs and your Chase United Club credit card or Presidential Platinum credit card will give you $3 off. Still, the cutbacks continue and the consolation prize is small…
Here is the LAX menu (click through for a readable menu):
One nice enhancement I have noticed is a new snack mix that includes sesame chips and corn sticks–very enjoyable, but again a small consolation prize.
Is United Club membership worth it? Only you can answer that question, but if you are a big drinker consider the new menu before buying.
Charging $9 for what used to be free is a big slap on the face to existing club members.
How did you miss pointing out that this was a massive devaluation in the brands of liquor/win? Specifically the ‘well’ drinks are now of a ‘frat party’ vintage and the mid-bottom shelf liquor that was free is now $9ea, more than most airport bars.
It’s a pretty terrible devaluation across the board. Even the decent deals among the Premium wines are now gone and replaced with highly marked up so-so replacements.
Jim bean use to be free and is now $9!!! WOW I’d say this is all bad….whats are the options for free spirits now?? Well guess it’s going to be only wine for me or a mixed drink to cover up the taste of well drinks!
wowowowowowowowowwo. interesting changes!!
so im flying United tomorrow (or tonight?) depending on whether or not I do SDC….and my UC membership is expiring on 9/30, so I’ll have a chance to visit a few clubs along the way in MSP, ORD and IAH as I travel the next few weeks. I’ll give y’all a full report on the changes.
Personally, I chose to cancel my United Club card back in June; while the perks are nice, not sure whether its worth the annual fee, especially if they’re charging for liquor that basically is not wells drinks.
I would hope though that as a compensation, UA starts to provide free beer and wine on transoceanic flights. I mean, for heaven’s sake, US Airways has even started doing that now!!!
Another cut back…very annoying. I rarely drink in United Clubs, but this pricing scheme is a joke. What is the benefit of membership? They can no longer help with ticketing, there is no real food, and drinks are more expensive than in the terminal. Many airports have free wifi already. I like the cheese, bananas, and some of the breakfast options, but this is really frustrating. I think drink chits should return. At least give some benefit to paying members!
@Rohan beer and wine is still free on United on Trans-Pacific and intra-Asia flights.
They’ve got to make up the revenue for those mistake fare tickets somehow… 🙂
Another cut back after they took the potato chips out, now they charge me $9,00 for a lousy shot of Dewar’s. So now I can buy a better pour in the terminal for $7.00 and a double for a buck more. Wifi is now in every terminal, better strength than in most clubs. Add to all that, that these lounges are often over crowded and my conclusion will be; See you. Stay tuned what Smisek will cut next, likely they will start charging for toilet paper.
I joined Continental’s President’s Club in 1988 – paid for life membership on 1991 – now I am stuck using United – I thought that Smiszek would mainain the best of Continental since that was his origin – but instead he lowered Continental’s decent service and reputation to a dismal United Airlines. Some clubs are nice (Chicago E2) but others are just trash (Dulles Airport International) – the old Presidents clubs are generally good (Houston, SFO). But it is true, I can’t see why anyone would actually pay money these days to go into the mostly crowded clubs. As a life member, my membership is listed to stop in 2099 – by which time I will be around about 140 ish…..I might really need these clubs by then!! My personal view is I paid a farily high price as an “investor” (that is what Life Membership was basically about) many years ago. I put my money up front, based on the promise of future service based on the expectration of services I was already receiving. You can’t buy life membership any more and United keeps putting more people in the clubs – I wonder if Smiszek has ever visited the United Clubs at Dulles….probably not as if he had, he would wonder why people fly on United at all….
@JPR: The good news is that United has announced much better food offerings at United Clubs and that will debut soon. That was my single greatest gripe about UA clubs (compared to Alaska or Delta) or even AA (which at least offered decent food for sale). This will be a welcome change.