United Clubs Leaving Priority Pass As Of May 15, 2015

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Priority Pass is the most extensive independent lounge membership program in the world, and has over 700 partner lounges. Rather than buying access to lounges individually (either in the form of a day pass or a yearly membership for a specific club), you can buy a whole year of access to all their partner lounges for a set amount.

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United Clubs are leaving the Priority Pass network

Of the “three” remaining legacy US airlines, United is the only one which still participates in Priority Pass. Unfortunately we’ve just found out that United Clubs will be leaving the Priority Pass network as of May 15, 2015.

So as of May 15, 2015, a Priority Pass membership will no longer get you into United Clubs. This includes all 49 United Clubs in 34 airports.

That’s quite a loss, as I know some people who purchased Priority Pass memberships in place of United Club memberships. In many cases they were similar prices, and a Priority Pass membership would also get you access to all kinds of other lounges as well.

Alaska-Board-Room
A Priority Pass membership also gets you access to Alaska’s Board Rooms

No impact on credit card Priority Pass membership

There are a few cards which come with a Priority Pass membership, including the Citi Prestige® Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express. This change doesn’t impact the membership offered by these cards.

Why? Because the Priority Pass memberships offered by those cards are called Priority Pass Select memberships. The major distinction is that Priority Pass Select memberships don’t come with United Club access:

Priority Pass Select cardholders receive all of the benefits that Priority Pass membership brings, with the exception that Priority Pass Select cardholders will not be able to use United Club lounges (the new brand for Continental President Club and United Red Carpet Club lounges) after September 30, 2011. For more detail, see our FAQs on Priority Pass Select.

That’s a function of Chase having the exclusive rights to issuing credit cards which allow United lounge access, meaning that they specifically added that exclusion so you couldn’t get United Club access with an American Express or Citi card.

That means nothing is actually changing regarding the lounge access benefit being offered with a Priority Pass Select membership, which is probably what most of us have.

Bottom line

I’m not surprised to see this change. Ultimately the airlines would rather sell memberships directly or through their co-branded credit card, rather than giving people more “efficient” ways to gain access. So this change isn’t surprising, in my opinion.

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Comments

  1. Bummer, especially since I just got the Citi Prestige partly because of United access through the PP.

  2. @ Jason — The Citi Prestige Card only came with a Priority Pass Select membership, which doesn’t include United Club access anyway.

  3. Really a bummer as I used the UA Club at SNA quite a bit using the card. Nothing special about this Club (more like a loft above the masses) though.

    Lucky, can you recommend a card that allows access to both AA Admiral’s Clubs AND Alaska Airlines Board Rooms?

    Thank you!

    Mark

  4. Big hit to the International Platinum cards that come with a full Priority Pass membership. No different from PP Select now, except our annual fees are a lot higher!

  5. I have a Priority Pass that comes with Canadian Amex Plat, which allows free access for two people into many lounges, including United Clubs. Is this access going away?

  6. Since I never fly United I couldn’t care less about this change. However, I have to say that the Priority Pass Select membership that comes with my Amex Platinum has been quite useful since I get access to lounges in Europe where Delta or AA do not have one. For example, used several times at the Priority Pass lounge in MXP while flying Delta MXP-JFK. There is nothing special about the lounge but their food selection is quite good and since it is an early morning flight it is a great option to get breakfast before boarding. In terms of the food and drinks available it puts Admirals Club to shame.

  7. Mark –

    Citi Prestige does (although you need to be travelling on AA/US to access AC). You get board room access by way of PP.

  8. Totally sucks for me! I live in Houston and IAH is my main airport. I have had priority pass for over 8 years (courtesy of a Venezuelan bank visa card) and had full access to United lounges as well… the only lounge left now at IAH is the KLM lounge in Terminal D.

  9. Actually it’s only US based PP Select memmberships that don’t allow access to US Club. Non-US memberships did.

  10. IS THERE ANOTHER LOUNGE ONE CAN UUSE WITH PRIORTY PASS AT TULLAMARINE AIRPOT MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA

  11. @ echino — Is it a Priority Pass Select membership (it would say so on the card)? If so, yes.

  12. @ Mark Diver — The Citi Prestige gets you access to Admirals Clubs when flying American or US Airways, and access to Alaska Board Rooms through Priority Pass.

  13. Thanks Lucky for the reply. I’m looking for a new card tough to replace PP. Is there such a thing that allows access to both the AA Admiral’s Club & AS Board Room?

  14. OK, one last question if you don’t mind. That card sounds perfect however I often don’t fly AA out of SNA (SW usually). Is there a card that allows access to the Admiral’s Club without having to fly them (and still the AS Board Room)?

    THANK YOU for all your assistance!

    Mark

  15. @ Mark Diver — The Citi Executive AAdvantage Card includes an Admirals Club membership, and that includes access to Alaska Board Rooms when flying either American or Alaska. However, there’s not a card which gets you an Admirals Club membership and a Priority Pass membership.

  16. Is there another lounge in Denver that PP is adding? United are the only two. 🙁

    Can you give a good recommendation on credit cards that you can use to replace. Denver is an important one for me. It doesn’t have to be a united lounge.

  17. @ David — Unfortunately the only credit card which will get you United Club access is United’s co-branded Club Card, so there’s not really another alternative if United access is most important. Hopefully they work out a replacement for lounge access in Denver.

  18. I have 3 flights booked out of Toronto Canada, and now I find that the priority pass that just arrived today is no good at all. It is only good if I am flying to the United States. No good for international flights and no good for domestic flights. False advertising when you say access to 600 lounges all over the world. It’s a rip off and I am so disappointed!

  19. Priority Pass is great at Toronto Pearson since Plaza Premium has 6 lounges, one in each of the terminals dedicated to domestic, trsnsborder, and international. Plaza Premium lounges welcome Priority Pass. Can’t beat that unless you are flying out of Billy Bishop, where AC & Porter give you lounge access no matter what (as long as you are well-behaved).

  20. Bought this card for myself and wife and worked out would get use out of the 10 visits as had 5 breaks booked.
    First went to gatwick they were refurbishing it, second to Manchester would only let their Swiss guests in for the next 2 hours! Last went to Newark who haven’t accepted this car for nearly 12 months! The customer services is not interested when we contacted them. Don’t waste your money awful buy

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