Last Day to Purchase Lifetime United Club Membership

Tomorrow marks the final opportunity to purchase lifetime membership to the newly-branded United Clubs through Continental Airlines. As of today, the lifetime membership options have been removed from Continental's site, but will still be available for purchase over the phone through 30 September. At a cost between $4,600 (for Platinum members) and $5,900 (for general members), the price is steep, but it is something to seriously consider if you plan on traveling (like me) for the next half century.

I ultimately chose not to purchase lifetime airport lounge membership because I fly enough to earn Star Gold status each year with bmi, giving roughly me the same benefits. While United and Continental lounges are certainly better than the waiting for flights at the gate, I simply could not stomach paying out over $4,000 for something that I do not value at more than $400 per year. Maybe in 10 years when I am paying $1,000/year for membership I will look back with regret, but I doubt it.

United debuted the new "United Club" today that now replaces the Continental President's Club and United "Red Carpet Club". Does that not strike you as a dull and uninspired name...what was wrong with Red Carpet Club?

United Club


Rob September 29, 2011 at 07:39 pm

And by "$7,300 (for Platinum members)", you really mean "$7,300 for lifetime plus a spouse (for Platinum members) or $4,600 just for me (a Platinum member)"

@Rob: Correct! TY.

MrLincoln September 29, 2011 at 08:36 pm

Well, red is not part of the merged UA's identity package.

Dan September 29, 2011 at 09:55 pm

My issue is that I just don't see the UACO domestic lounges as worth paying for period. I just don't see the value (even with the free Bud Light)

Now, if the clubs were like the LH lounge at IAD, I can see that being worth paying for. A decent hot/cold snack selection, self serve soda (pre-flight caffeine ftw), and various free adult beverages make quite the difference. I understand the economics are different for US based carriers, but I really don't see the value they are providing any more with these lackluster lounge offerings.

@Mr. Lincoln: True, but "red carpet" has a connotation that sounds much better than just "United Club" IMO.

@Dan: I hear you, but I do value the wi-fi, granola/yogurt/toast for breakfast, and especially avoiding the customer service lines during irr/ops.

But I do love the LH lounges!

At a 7% after tax cost of capital, at $400 a year for access, it would take 25 years to recoup the upfront investment. That assumes the carrier doesn't fold during that time.

Dennis Lyons October 6, 2011 at 08:16 am

Does anyone want to purchase my Eastern Airlines Ionosphere Club lifetime membership from me? Eastern went belly up three years after I purchased it. :)

Spiro G. vassilopoulos June 22, 2013 at 04:29 am

In 1982, at age 29, I purchased a lifetime subscription for my wife and I. It cost an astronomical $2000 (I think!). Fast forward 31 years later, the clubs are remain haven from the packed gate areas,the blaring TV's, and casual travelers bothering gate agents with "is my ticket alright". The only complaint with I have with United, is that since it was bought by Continental, all of a sudden Continental lifers are being sent to the back of the bus.

Super Scott September 4, 2014 at 02:38 pm

I guess I lucked out. I purchased a lifetime Red Carpet Club membership in 1978 for $350. My Dad thought it was the biggest waste of money, but after using it for some 35 years, it was a great "investment". At the time I was single and living in Hawaii. I miss the days when I would take a couple of my friends and go out to the RCC have have a few beers and pupus and watch the air force fighter jets take off from the HNL airport (my brother was in the USAF at the time).

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