Friday, December 18, 2015
United Airlines -- How About Taking Care of Your United Clubs?
I've been a longtime, loyal flyer with United Airlines. The past two years I've even had a membership to their United Clubs, something I never would have considered in the past. The Club membership comes with a United credit card that I use a lot.
Flying United in the past two years has been a test. Their flights are rarely on time. However, I remain loyal to United and have even been happy learning and using their award travel system in the past year.
The United Clubs are not very good. They are generally very crowded. Still, I enjoy using my Club membership because staying for a six hour layover in an airport in a United Club is better than wandering the airport and trying to find a quiet place.
The one thing about United Clubs that I wish that United management would fix is the sorry, permanently "not in service" automatic coffee machines that they have in all the clubs. I actually liked the coffee that came out of these machines. In the past six months of travel, I've encountered more of more of these machines that are out of order or being serviced. The staff at the United Clubs are universally dispirited and spectacularly unhelpful. They seem to enjoy getting in customers' way while the customer is trying to get a drink, coffee, or snack.
Here's a photo of a coffee machine at the Houston United Club. I've seen the same sign on my recent visits to United Clubs in San Francisco, LAX (so crowded that there was literally nowhere to sit!), and Atlanta (a pitiful Club). The United Club in Terminal 4 at Heathrow London was, on the other hand, really nice.
I've only seen the Virgin Australia lounges in Brisbane and Sydney, but they put all US-based United Clubs to shame.