Lesson Learned: Don’t Lose Your Lounge Membership Card

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As you know, I recently applied for the United Club Credit Card, mostly because it gave me free access to Star Alliance Lounges. My lounge membership card arrived separately from the credit card a week or two ago, and instead of doing the smart thing, which would be to immediately put it in my travel wallet, I put it somewhere safe.

And by safe, I mean either somewhere I thought I’d later remember or, more likely, a pile of mail that I was going to sort through but wound up throwing out.

And of course I discover this the night before I leave, right before I’m about to be traveling the next 3 weekends. So what’s the matter? Can’t United just look up my membership # using my Mileage Plus account? Yes, they can. Unfortunately, I’m flying US Airways all 3 weekends.

So I go to the United Club website to see how to replace my card. There’s a $25 replacement fee and it sounds like you can only have one replacement during your membership. Yikes. And your options are to write them and enclose a check or call them and pay with credit card. So I call. I pay. And then I find out it will arrive in 2-4 weeks. Hmmm….that’s definitely not coming in time for next weekend, possibly not the weekend after.

Lesson Learned: DO NOT lose your lounge membership card if you’re planning to use it for partner lounges.

However, I had a few options for that day.

1. Ask reception in the US Airways lounge if they can look up my United Lounge Membership Number to let me in.

2. Use the 1 club pass I got for signing up for the US Airways Mastercard

3. Use my SkyGuide Privilege Membership to get reimbursed for the day pass (which still costs you $5.60 to mail via certified mail, and time/hassle).

I started with Option #1 and was told that they can’t look up the number, so I go for Option #2, planning to use SkyGuide for the next weekend. As she’s processing my club pass, she tells me I can just have them email me confirmation of my membership, which US Airways will accept as proof. Wait!!! I have that email!! Give me back my pass! Too late.

So next week I will come armed with a print out of my “Welcome to the Club” email from United and we’ll see if that works.United Club Lounge



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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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