Given that Red Carpet Club membership fees are going up at the end of the month, a lot of people seem to be wondering how Continental and United will deal with reciprocal lounge access. The issue was brought up this past weekend at the Continental Do, and the “in the know” people indicated to us that they didn’t even know what was going to happen, so there aren’t really any facts yet.
Nonetheless, throughout the course of the explanation and follow-up questions, I started to form a conclusion. Given that Continental is moving to many United terminals (for example, they’re moving into UA’s terminal at ORD and are likely shutting down their Presidents Club), it’s going to be tough to not allow members to at least access the Red Carpet Clubs. I’m sure this kind of thing will be happening all around the country, be it Continental moving into United’s terminals or United moving into Continental’s terminals.
There’s only one logical conclusion to draw from this: There will be full lounge reciprocity for Continental Presidents Club members and United Red Carpet Club members. I won’t even speculate as to the details, like whether you need a boarding pass or not to access the lounges, but I’d say that if you’re a member of either club and traveling on either carrier, you’ll have access to either club.
The next logical conclusion I’d draw is that Red Carpet Clubs will offer free drinks. Given the membership hike of $100, this only makes sense. Continental is dedicated to providing a quality product, and they won’t let their members not get free alcohol. They’ll find a way to get the Red Carpet Clubs to supply free alcohol, at the very least to their members.