Reply To: AA will not get my business…ever again

Back to Forum


Re: AA lounge access – Lounge access in a wide perspective

It has been years since my last visit to Admirals Club. We are a small company trying to concentrate on one of the three large frequent flyer systems (Star Alliance, main reason is destinations we fly). Domestically we are in enrolled in Southwest fr flyer progr and there are some older AS, DL and what you miles but none of them enough to help much. Thus I cannot comment on the AA or Skyteam lounges; however I know, priding myself, a lot about the Star Alliance lounges in its various forms and shapes, as I visited most of them inc. their affiliates in the US as well as in Europe. I would like to point out that I have no affiliation whatsoever with Star Alliance, its airlines or lounges. I am an interested and experienced consumer. Since about 6 years a Prem Ex (PE); I believe soon a Prem 1K, however I looked into the conditions; when it comes to lounge use, same as PE.

In order to use the Red Carpet, US and CO lounges on domestic itineraries, it’s condition to be a paying member of the Red Carpet (or US/CO) Club, or to use a complimentary voucher. No begging on knees or throwing a fit may change the attendant’s mind. To the best of my knowledge this is a fact.

Anectode Red Carpet lounge DEN
About three years ago we in the U.S. experienced near breakdown of air transportation services. Correct me if I am wrong, the reason was grounding of many Southwest planes, domino effect on AA and on to UA et al, literally. I had to travel from SAN to CLE; my choice via DEN, good connection, decent price, with Gold Card always in UAPlus more legroom section, life is good. However flights delayed or cxled. In DEN we arrived two hours late, no connections. I ended up having to wait until 11pm once a delayed flight to Chicago departed; arrived 2am local. Next day 7am or similar on WL for CLE. I had to give a presentation to give at the destination, turning around was no option. All ORD hotels full except the last room at the Chicago Airport Hilton, $600 one night (actually, less than 4 hours). I had to get some rest at least, shower and change clothes. Needless to say UA did not reimburse any moneys for this forced night. [Please read my second message following this one]

Back to the Red Carpet Club in DEN. Once I realized that it would be many hours before I could move on, I took the escalator up, stood in line at the Red Carpet Club ushers, showed ticket and Gold Card; agent’s reponds, sorry no access (regardless class of service on domestic flight). Now, at that time, a gentleman checked in with the attendant #2 next to me. He overheared the conversation and said, pointing to me: this gentleman next to me is my guest please, for today. Please provide access. So they let me in. I thanked him of course; he mentioned that someone had done this to him, so he is giving back, thought this was a good idea because with paid membership one always can take a companion inside. No need of same itinerary, just fly UA on the same day.
One more thing: they flight I eventually got on from DEN to SFO was double overbooked, with literally hundreds of people hanging around the gate at boarding time. I was on WL. However, UA seemed to let in the WL people according to their status, I was one of the first ones. Prem Ex helped. Red Carpet lounge membership, on that occasion, would not have helped.

Though this event happened before Red Carpet switched to inc compliment. alcolic beverages and more than cookies, I was happy. One thought – I trust I am not suggesting something against the law: when flying domestically, how about placing oneself outside a Red Carpet Club, waiving coupons for two admissions to an AMC theater, or $20 gift certificate for Trader Joes or a large beverage retailer? just kidding, 🙂

Anectode #2 – Red Carpet ORD
Domestic flights, my adult son and I. I had voucher for one free visit, for one person. I asked attendant nicely wether exceptionally I could take my sun with me inside: the attendant said yes, welcome!


Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription

To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below