RCC agent doesn’t know that BMI Golds have access to the RCC!!!

So I’m coming into the “incomparable” RCC here at ORD, and hand the agent my BMI Gold card and boarding pass for ORD to SFO on United. She looks at her computer for a second, and then says “Are you traveling to an international destination?” I simply responded “no,” and then she asked whether I just came in from an international destination. I said no again. She then told me I don’t have RCC access because I need to be traveling internationally to have lounge access as a Star Gold.

She was polite, so I politely explained to her that this restriction only applied to United and USAir Star Gold members, and that all other Star Gold members could access any Star Gold lounge with any departing Star Alliance flight. The other agent, who overheard this, said under her breath “he’s right,” while this one firmly (but politely) insisted I didn’t have access. Since she was nice about it, I showed her the relevant portion of the profile, which explains why I am entitled to access. She read it, and then picked up the phone to call a service director. No service director answered, so she said “OK, I’ll let you in this time,” which sounds to me like a “one time exception.”

I politely explained to her that I don’t want a one time exception, and that I just want the rules to be followed, because making a one time exception this time won’t help me (or anyone else) next time. She then explained that when she swipes my boarding pass (which has my UA number on it), it doesn’t allow her to admit me. I explained that she should be entering my BMI number instead of swiping my boarding pass. She then responded that being Star Gold with two airlines was so unusual, and I responded by apologizing for flying over 200,000 miles a year (in a nice, fun way, of course).

I asked her to call a supervisor to clarify the rules, and she once again invited me into the lounge. I responded by asking for her name (which she was happy to give me) and also asking whether she was letting me in as a one time exception, or whether she was letting me in because I was entitled to access. She politely responded that I was entitled to access.

I have no plans to report her, since she was genuinely friendly (despite our heated conversation, although we both kept our cool) and in the end she said I was right, although I know she didn’t mean it.

On the plus side, I have a date with the “international premium travel experience” 767 in about an hour! Gotta freshen up. 😉

Comments

  1. Freshen up,I can’t believe they have show access for domestic passenger.
    That RCC agent need to be working at the RAMP instead.

  2. The RCC agent at the PHL club yesterday wouldn’t initially let me in with an INTERNATIONAL boarding pass! Only upon consulting printed materials was I allowed my rightful admittance…

  3. I’ll look forward to this when I pass though the “incomparable” lounge in March.

    I wonder how they’ll like dealing with a Brit with a BMI *G card 😉

    Makes me wish I booked that mileage run whilst US side… At least I have the joys of the IAD RCCs on the way home too ….

    Ah, the fun of US based airlines 😉

  4. Interesting. I’ve used the ORD clubs three or four times the past year with my BMI status and haven’t had any issues. I think that it was at the PHX US Airways club that an agent I encountered hadn’t heard of BMI, but didn’t give me any trouble admitting me. There has been two or three instances where the club agent had some trouble because they were trying to use “BM” as the airline code; I had to gently inform them that it was actually “BD”.

  5. Dude, you are hardcore. You just don’t want to be admitted… you want to be admitted for the right reason! 😉

    Good for you. Makes it easier for the rest of us. I’m sure the new rates at the RCC will make it every harder to get in as less people have actual RCC memberships and more try and get in through alternative – though legitimate – means.

  6. Ben, did you put both UA and BD number on your itinerary?
    Or was it just MP number on the BP and showed your BD*G card?

  7. First, unfortunately there weren’t any showers. My freshening up as all mental. 😉

    That’s pretty pathetic, ua_to_ord. It never ceases to amaze me how some RCC agents still don’t understand the rules. It’s not that complicated!

    Kevincm, I guess I don’t really play the part of a brit well, so hopefully you can do a better job in that regard. 😀 Please report back on how it goes.

    Ken, I was quite surprised by my problem as well, as I’ve used at least a dozen RCC’s with my BMI card, and have never had a problem. Like I mentioned the other agent knew the rules, but didn’t actually tell the agent. I guess it’s the whole “I got your back” mentality they seem to have. Don’t even get me started on the US PHX club….. oh, the horror stories I’ve heard!

    That’s how I do it, uniter. While some people like to post complaints online in a forum which can’t help them solve a problem, I prefer to address issues when they arise, so they can hopefully be fixed. Perhaps I’m a bit too straightforward, because when I have a service issue I tend to tell that person directly, and not just write their supervisor. I think that’s why about five UA employees (the number of run ins I’ve had) DESPISE me.

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