Tomorrow marks a new era for United Club members. Staring November 1, 2019, all United Club users, including members and their guests, must be traveling on a same-day United, Star Alliance, or partner flight. This applies to one-time pass holder as well.
This matches a change that Delta already implemented and American Airlines will also introduce tomorrow. But with one notable exception.
Delta has exempted its lifetime Sky Club members from this new policy. American has exempted its lifetime Admirals Club members from this new policy. But thus far, United has not offered a similar exemption.
While I don’t agree with the idea of selling “membership” to a club that members cannot use when traveling on any airline (or not traveling at all), at least you communicated the new policy a year in advance. Restricting members and one-time pass holders is also a reasonable move to cut down on lounge crowding.
But restricting lifetime members can really only be called a pernicious bait and switch. It is not right and should be rectified before tomorrow’s new policy change.
Ultimately, I decided against it because I feared it would not be honored.
Well, nearly a decade later it looks like my concerns were spot on.
You’ve made exceptions for high-profile complainers, like Dan Eleff of Dan’s Deals. That exception alone demonstrates the unreasonableness of this policy change. I join with Eleff in stating every lifetime member should be spared from this new policy, not just those who make the biggest stink about it.
Bottom line, you need to think beyond the short-term bean counter mentality of selling a “lifetime” membership under certain terms then changing those terms in a customer-unfriendly way. Think about the kind of customers who bought these lifetime passes and how trust is two-way street. Consider that seemingly inconsequential lounge access changes can influence and shape loyalty for decades to come.
Now go to do the right thing United.