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Old 05-23-2019, 11:08 AM
Location: Miami-Jax
6,319 posts, read 6,981,922 times
Reputation: 3504


Originally Posted by IonRedline08 View Post
The Club at PHX is the worst one I have ever been to, so, it should be uphill from there!!!!
That's what I am hoping!!
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:10 PM
2,119 posts, read 727,487 times
Reputation: 5427
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I think the era of 'club access' has run its course.
Not really, but the stakes change. The first time I ever heard of one was when my boss, who traveled frequently on company business, was made a member of "The Admiral's Club" at a job I left in 1978, so this was awhile ago. I remember he showed me the letter; it started out, "Dear Admiral (his last name)". It was an early attempt at perks for the most lucrative customers. I don't think he even had to pay for it. I first joined the Eastern Airlines Ionosphere Club a few years later, after you could get in by paying for a membership. My home airport was EWR and they had a nice one. For a long time you could buy Lifetime passes. Now I wish I'd gotten one!

In subsequent years it became another revenue stream. Sell access privileges to Priority Pass. Sell access privileges to certain credit card holders. Sell day passes. Let people use their miles for Club membership instead of free flights. Some have become almost as bad as the gate areas except without the beeping carts and blaring announcements.

And now there's another tier. The Polaris Lounge in ORD is accessible only if you're flying United/Continental International in Business Class. No day passes to be had. (Sadly, the one in EWR was built by permanently decreasing the size of United/Continental's regular Club.) American has a "Flagship" lounge but I've never seen the inside of one. I do know that key employees working on the AA account at a consulting firm where I worked were offered some Exalted Status that would allow them access, but they turned it down because it was against my employer's policy. And last year when I was flying BA to London in Business Class, I was politely turned away form the lounge for First Class passengers.

So... there ARE better lounge experiences out there but they're not too visible.
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