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Priority Pass Holders No Longer Have Access to United Clubs

United Club London Heathrow

Priority Pass

Starting May 15, 2015, all Priority Pass members will not have access to United Airlines club lounges.

Details

Priority Pass sent emails to its members with the following statement: “We regret to inform you that United Club lounges, one of our partners, has unfortunately chosen to no longer participate in the Priority Pass lounge access program, effective May 15.”

“While this does mean that our members will no longer have access to United Club’s 49 lounges (41 located in 26 airports in the US and eight at international locations), we are pleased to advise that alternative lounges are immediately available at 17 of the 34 airports affected (ten in the US and seven at international airports) meaning minimal disruption for Priority Pass members travelling through these locations.”

Analysis

Priority Pass

Priority Pass was established in 1994 and runs one the largest airport lounge provider program in the world with access to over 700 lounges. Cardholders had access to lounges operated by different airlines and airports.

American Express (AMEX) Platinum(R) or Centurion(R) cardholders in various countries had access to either the Select or Full levels. The major difference between Select and Full is access to United Clubs. The impact of this change may not be as significant as US cardholders were left without United Clubs access over a year ago when they were downgraded to Priority Pass Select.  Cardholders will still have access to the Centurion Lounge in SFO along with ones in New York LaGuardia(LGA), Las Vegas (LAS) Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and soon in Seattle Tacoma (SEA) and Miami (MIA).

AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco
AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco – – Image taken by Experience The Skies (All Rights Reserved)

With United Airlines leaving the program entirely, the Priority Pass club counts would be down around 7%. Some of the cities would without any club access includes: Austin (AUS), Cleveland (CLE), Denver (DEN), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Melbourne (MEL), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Orange County (SNA),  Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), San Antonio (SAT), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), Washington Reagan (DCA).

United Clubs

Back in March 2015, United Airlines (refer to link for United Club) unveiled new club food offerings that bring the airline inline with domestic rivals American Airlines (AA) and Delta Air Lines (DL). The new menu includes:

New Morning Food Selections

New Afternoon Food Selections

Hot Old-Fashioned Oatmeal

-assorted toppings-

mixed fruit, granola, cinnamon, raisins, honey, brown sugar

Fresh Bagel Sticks

plain and everything bagel sticks with cream cheese, assorted jams

Fresh Hummus

-assorted toppings-

pita thins or pretzel crisps, Greek olives, freshly sliced red bell peppers

Mediterranean Salad

wheat berries, peppers, tomatoes, black olives

Greek Vanilla Yogurt

-assorted toppings-

mixed fruit, granola, cinnamon, raisins, honey, brown sugar

Cage-Free Hard- Boiled Eggs

served with fresh chives and paprika

Soup du Jour

hearty garden vegetable soup

Cured Salami and Cheddar Cheese

served with hearty wheat crackers

Scones

flavors rotate between cinnamon

vanilla, blueberry, cranberry orange

Spicy Bloody Mary Trail Mix

with pretzel sticks and assorted nuts

(peanut-free)

Healthy Fitness
Trail Mix

with assorted dried fruit and seeds

(peanut-free)

Salty Ranchero

Trail Mix

with sesame sticks

(peanut-free)

Assorted Cereals
+ Milk

Corn Flakes®, granola, 2% milk, skim milk

Fresh Fruit

apples + bananas

Sheila G’s
Brownie Brittle™

Artisan Breads

 Pictures

Brownie+Brittle_United+Club3
Brownie+Brittle_United+Club3 – – Image taken from United Airlines’ website on April 16, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)
Peppers+and+Humus_United+Club
Peppers+and+Humus_United+Club – – Image taken from United Airlines’ website on April 16, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)
Scones+and+breads_United+Club
Scones+and+breads_United+Club – – Image taken from United Airlines’ website on April 16, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)
Greek+Yogurt_United+Club
Greek+Yogurt_United+Club – Image taken from United Airlines’ website on April 16, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)
Corn+Salad_United+Club2
Corn+Salad_United+Club2 – – Image taken from United Airlines’ website on April 16, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Experience The Skies caught up with an UA insider at the Passenger Terminal Expo and found out that the Chicago based airline is keen on improving its lounge program to be inline with industry standard. The changes highlighted above is the a step to the right direction. The recently opened lounge London Heathrow Airport (LHR)’s Terminal 2 received high marks for decor and food offerings (refer to reviews at our affiliate loungereview.com)

Given the high cost of running the program, it is not surprising to observe that UA wants to maintain access exclusivity to only paid members and premium class travellers.

Refer to this link for an update on Priority Pass lounge access here.

2 thoughts on “Priority Pass Holders No Longer Have Access to United Clubs

    1. Priority Pass holders currently have no lounge options in San Francisco International Airport. They used to be able to use the Alaska Airline’s Boardroom but that has been closed.

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