United Club Membership Rates Increasing in 2019

Not long after Delta Air Lines announced that the cost of membership to access Delta Sky Club airport lounges will increase for the first time in two years effective as of Tuesday, January 1, 2019, a price increase for membership for access United Club airport lounges has been officially announced, to be effective as of Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

United Club Membership Rates Increasing in 2019

Following the lead of Delta Sky Club and Admirals Club — which are the official airport lounges of Delta Air Lines and American Airlines respectively — access to United Club airport lounges will become more restrictive effective as of Friday, November 1, 2019, as same-day boarding passes on flights operated by United Airlines or partner airlines will be required for entry.

Although this might be considered yet another “lemming” move by United Airlines to follow the lead of Delta Air Lines, some differences do exist:

  • United Club single visit passes are available for purchase for $59.00 at club locations or through the official mobile software application program on your portable electronic device, which will allow one person one-time access to any United Club location. Once you give United Club a try, you can save on the price of membership for a full year if you join within 30 days of your one-time pass purchase, and the price of your initiation fee of $50.00 will be waived. Single visit passes are no longer sold for Delta Sky Club access as of Thursday, November 15, 2018.
  • Speaking of the initiation fee, the United Club initiation fee of $50.00 will no longer be required effective as of Tuesday, August 13, 2019. No verbiage exists as to whether or not the membership fee of 7,000 MileagePlus miles will still be in effect after Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
  • The new annual membership rate of United Club will be $650.00 or 85,000 MileagePlus miles — seemingly across the board — whereas the Delta Sky Club membership rates are as follows:
    • Executive Membership You can guest up to a maximum of two people per visit at no additional charge — which is your best option if frequent guest access is important to you. The rate for one year is $845.00 or 84,500 SkyMiles
    • Individual Membership You can guest up to a maximum of two people per visit at the rate of $29.00 per person per visit — which is your best option if you typically travel alone and rarely need guest access. The rate for one year is $545.00 or 54,500 SkyMiles

New Membership Rates

Currently still in effect is the aforementioned initiation fee of $50.00 or 7,000 MileagePlus miles for all new United Club memberships — as well as for renewals for memberships that are more than 30 days past expiration. A single initiation fee will be charged for a membership with spouse.

No definitive information is available at this time as to whether a change in fee will occur for members of United Club with Premier 1K elite level status or for an annual membership with a spouse.

Membership rates are based on the current MileagePlus status level of the member.

United Club Membership Rates
MileagePlus Elite Level Status Current Annual Membership New Annual Membership Annual Membership With Spouse
General Member $550.00 or 70,000 MileagePlus miles $650.00 or 85,000 MileagePlus miles $1,100.00 or 140,000 MileagePlus miles
Premier Silver $550.00 or 70,000 MileagePlus miles $650.00 or 85,000 MileagePlus miles $1,100.00 or 140,000 MileagePlus miles
Premier Gold $550.00 or 70,000 MileagePlus miles $650.00 or 85,000 MileagePlus miles $1,100.00 or 140,000 MileagePlus miles
Premier Platinum $500.00 or 65,000 MileagePlus miles $650.00 or 85,000 MileagePlus miles $1,050.00 or 135,000 MileagePlus miles
Premier 1K $450.00 or 60,000 MileagePlus miles No information available at this time $1,000.00 or 130,000 MileagePlus miles

Summary

A reader of The Gate was so outraged about the news pertaining to the changes to the more restrictive access policies of the network of Sky Club airport lounges that he sent to me an e-mail message to please call to your attention to them; so I can only imagine how much angrier he must be after reading about the increase in prices for membership to Delta Sky Clubs — especially as rates had already increased effective as of Sunday, January 1, 2017

…but he will get no sympathy from competitors, as American Airlines announced similar policy changes to its Admirals Club airport lounges, through which both rates will increase and access will be more restrictive. United Airlines also announced that access to its United Club airport lounges will be more restrictive as well. Even though this latest news from United Airines comes as absolutely no surprise, I have to admit that I must have been asleep while earning my Master of Business Administration degree during the class which apparently teaches that a company must exactly — or, in this case, similarly, but not quite exactly — follow the lead of its competitors in order for it to be successful. After all, why bother taking the time to come up with anything original on your own?!?

I offered my reasons in this article which I wrote on Monday, October 19, 2015 as to why I personally would not pay $59.00 for a one-time visit to a Delta Sky Club — but that is just my opinion, and the same is true for access to a United Club airport lounge. Several years have elapsed since I have been in a United Club location. My experience was nice; but it was nothing outstanding.

Although these policies will adversely affect many people, some will welcome the aforementioned changes, as they see them euphemistically as ways of the reduction of crowds in United Club lounges. This comment which was written by Donald Osborne — who is a reader of The Gate — pertaining to the more restrictive change to access to Delta Sky Clubs is one example of that mindset: “I’m good with that. A dramatic reduction in the crowds in the Sky Club is much more important to me than the one or two times a year I might visit a Delta lounge when flying another airline. Delta is smart in this policy. They know that the most loyal flyers will like it and those who fly frequently fly non-Sky Team airlines but use the lounges anyway won’t. There’s no real incentive to make them happy so I get it.”

Perhaps some members of United Club will similarly welcome the changes which have just been announced — but I have a feeling that a majority of members will feel otherwise…

Source: United Club.

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