United Disavows Club Passes at O’Hare and More

I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

News and notes from around the interweb:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Yep. It’s true. I tried to use a (Hyatt) United Club pass at ORD. They said since the club was small, I’d have to go to the other club, or head to the F club. SInce I was flying to HPN, that wasn’t an issue. I didn’t realize that UA renovated the old club there, and relocated it. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Plenty of food for breakfast too!!

  2. How many clubs are there at ORD? And which ones are open/closed for day passes during construction? (I’m about to take off so I cant read the linked article) I switched to AA a long time ago but still have the UA card (since ORD is home base it makes sense sometimes to fly UA). I’m going ORD-MCO in sep and am hoping to use some 12/16 passes then. If no options, Gary you get a free give-away 🙂

  3. There are four United Clubs at Chicago O’Hare, including three in Terminal 1. The C16 club doesn’t accept one-time passes because it’s partially closed and operating over capacity while B6 is closed for renovations.

    One time pass holders may use the clubs by gates B18 (also in Terminal 1) and F4 (in Terminal 2). It’s a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, though B18 is bound to be packed.

    More details at https://loungereview.com/lounges/united-club-ord-t1-gate-c16/

  4. I was just at ORD yesterday. The club at terminal 2 at the F gates does accept one time passes. It was not a long walk from the B gates, and was perfectly fine.

  5. I get the day passes through my United card and I’d be kinda mad if I ran into this restriction. Just because it’s in the t&c doesn’t make it good for customer happiness.

  6. If you recently got the AmEx Plat card and don’t have any travel plans, you can select United as your airline and purchase $100 Amazon gift cards through the MileagePlus X App. AmEx will view the charges as airline fees and you will receive a statement credit.

  7. Re:Brazil

    And they only had to stage a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government to get it done!

  8. Allowing foreign ownership of US airlines would likely enrich US airline shareholders. Something tells me Etihad would be happy to buy AA at current market prices (2.3x AA’s 2015 earnings) — perhaps giving the Middle East airlines their best shot at actually being profitable companies!

    But other than this benefit to shareholders, it’s completely fanciful to think that foreign airlines are going to start competing in the US market. You do realize that Singapore Airlines is barely profitable, right? But they’re somehow going to want to break into the US market and challenge the most profitable airlines in the world? And with what gates and slots? The logical outcome of allowing such investments would be global consolidation of the type we’ve already seen in the US industry. Something tells me you wouldn’t like that.

  9. Yup, I was flying on a paid United First ticket and showed the pass, and was still denied entry. Have never flown United ever since.

  10. I was just in United lounge at PDX.
    There was a sign stating in August -passes will not be accepted unless you have a United boarding pass for that day.

  11. @Pat – the B18 gate lounge does not accept 1-time passes. At least they didn’t on Monday when I was there. I arrived on LH F class from FRA, connecting to domestic UA F. No lounge access at all, because UA policy is that connecting from premium intl arrival does not give lounge access unless the arriving operating carrier is UA – ridiculous!

  12. Happened to us too. Incredibly hot in terminal and our (legit) service animal was panting. Wife and I BOTH have co-branded cards and I have premier one day passes. Wouldn’t let us in. We walked our dog thru to the other club and got her some water. Outrageous.

  13. I used my 1 time pass at BOS, SFO (T3) and EWR (gate 75) and was able to use the pass at each of them. Once they come back for an annual fee $95 to renew the card I am telling them BYE BYE.

    At all 3 airports those with the United Plus Explorer card get #2 boarding. The lines for this were longer then #3+#4+#5. There are too many people getting the card to get early boarding and free bags.

  14. After a huge fiasco with United in December, when we arrived at LAX to go home, we had the same thing. Unable to use passes because of water leak in other lounge. So after the huge fiasco with them, we had to sit on super hard uncomfortable chairs for a couple of hours in LAX. To top it off, the fiasco, in a nutshell, was that we couldn’t have our first class seats and had to sit in coach and they wouldn’t even given me a blanket and the plane was freezing! If I didn’t think they were all the same, I’d change who I flew since my hometown is no longer their hub anyway. Gov’t should really step in–they need someone to tell them they can’t treat customers like this without repercussions.

  15. Newark just added themselves to the list 7/31/2016. Hard to believe. Looks like Mileage Plus is a now a second tier program. Sad to see. I guess co-branded Chase Club cards are the next whack.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *