Wake up, United!

Well, it seems that United has decided it’s a good idea to raise the cost for RCC membership starting February 28. While American raised prices by $50-75 back in September, United thinks that’s not enough. They’ll be raising prices by as much as $200 or 30,000 miles for a 1K spousal membership. Check out the new fees here.

What the hell are you thinking, United? We’re in the middle of a recession and you think it makes sense to increase the cost of membership by up to 64%?!?!?!

So incredibly short sighted, and so stupid. Now, in all fairness I think this is possibly a sign of things to come, maybe in the form of free alcohol given the Continental partnership coming up, but if that’s the case, they should announce that first and then make these changes. Idiots.

Oh, how happy I am to be a BMI Gold and get free RCC access, at least for the next year.

Filed Under: United
  1. In all fairness, for General members the price is only going up $25. It appears the “enhancement” is bringing the price for elite members closer to the non-elite prices.

  2. Fair enough, Gregg, but realistically how many GM’s are RCC members? I’d guess it’s a very small percentage, probably less than 1%, so I have a hard time using that as a basis for justifying the increase.

  3. Always gotta love it when those who don’t drink end up subsidizing those who do……

    Thanks for the BMI tip Lucky. Just carded into two RCCs today with my BMI gold card. That should bring UA a little extra money!

  4. I’m a 1K and would never dream of paying for the RCC. Certain can’t imagine many GMs or even 2Ps to pay for it. I did get my BMI Gold match today, though 🙂

    Quite frankly (and ignoring the fact that I am not going to pay either way), I wouldn’t be a big fan of increasing the price in order to afford the give-away of free booze. What about those of us who don’t want free booze?

  5. – Normally, there is no free alcohol in UA’s domestic Red Carpet Clubs.

    – RCCs overseas normally do have free alcohol, because everyone
    is an overseas passenger.

    – If one is at the final US airport for an overseas destination, and one
    is seated in business or first class, then one gets admission to the
    RCC [even if not an RCC member ] — and the RCC entry agent will
    usually offer 1-2 “free drink” chits BECAUSE one is flying overseas
    in business or first class.

    So folks who think they are subsidising “free booze for all RCC
    members” are confused about the facts.

  6. Very lame. I usually pay with miles .. and the 1P cost goes from 45k to 60k. No way I can justify spending that many miles on RCC membership.

    Oh, well… I was just enjoying the Continental lounge at LAS, too.

  7. >Normally, there is no free alcohol in UA’s domestic Red Carpet Clubs.

    That’s true now. If, as Lucky says, booze becomes free for everyone, AND the price goes way up, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that the extra fee is helping to cover booze?

    I don’t see your point about international clubs. All that matters is the change in service vs. the change in price. dS/ dP for us geeks. If the only change in service is free booze, it would seem that the change in price was directly related to it. And I, for one, wouldn’t want to subsidize someone else’s drinking.

  8. @anonymous coward — a bit early to be drunk, it seem 😉

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. But hobo13 pretty much said it already: If RCC members get a $100 increase and free booze, then it seems pretty straightforward that those who don’t consume alcohol pay for something they don’t benefit from. I’d call that a subsidy.

    Now, I am not against alcohol, but I also don’t drink just for the sake of keeping myself occupied or because it’s free. I have plenty of RCC drink chits from international trips to prove my point. I always take them when offered, but I rarely have a drink (and certainly never two) while I am waiting to depart.

    Now if they were to offer decent coffee drinks…

  9. My card expires March 2009. Should I renew last day of Feb to save on fees? Will that be possible or must I wait until end of March. My company pays for my membership anyway so I guess it is moot since it is a pass-through but curious anyway.

  10. Annoying even if you get it reimbursed. Lounge access is a taxable benefit so your paycheck gets Tax Rate * RCC Rate deducted from it when you expense it.

  11. I started typing your blog url from your card and firefox auto-completed the link to this page… turns out I was actually just reading this in the RCC before I boarded 907. 🙂

    p.s. I originally googled for “free alcohol RCC” to get to this page

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