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February 14, 2009

Beware of United’s New Automatic Red Carpet Club Renewals.

Filed under: United Airlines — Chris @ 1:01 am

If you are like me, you hesitate to provide magazines with your credit card number because you don’t like the idea of having them automatically renew your subscription each year. (So yes, I pull out the old-fashiondy checkbook and send a check each time I subscribe to a mag so I can decide whether or not I want to renew each year…) Anyway, now I hear from Janice Hough over at Tripso that United is pulling the same sort of funny business with those $500 per year Red Carpet Club memberships. That’s right: According to her latest blog, United recently sent a letter reminding Red Carpet members to renew. In it, the airline states, “As a new customer convenience, memberships renewed with a credit card will now automatically renew each year.” The fee will be refundable only if the member calls within the first seven days of the new membership period, assuming they notice that they have been charged. Gimme a break! How IN-convenient.



  1. (Sent to be via Email from “B”
    Re auto renewals for United Red Carpet memberships, I just got a card from our lady “O”, the Oprah Winfrey, she is doing the same thing with her subscriptions. No doubt that’s how she is adding to her coffers. I didn’t think SHE would lower herself to that level as all the other magazines. Oh well~

    Comment by Chris — February 14, 2009 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  2. I’m a Million Mile Flyer living in Palo Alto, and joined the RCC back in 2002. It used to be a good deal. These days, the domestic and international clubrooms at SFO are often crowded and the tables filthy, the coffee undrinkable, and the snacks minimal. It’s usually similar in Denver, where I fly often, though much better at Washington Dulles, another frequent airport for me. But it’s no longer remotely worth the outrageously high annual fee they now ask for. From now on, I’ll grab a decent cup of coffee at Starbucks, find a quiet seat near a gate that does not have an imminent flight (there almost always are some), and use the free airport wifi that is now commonplace. Faced with a long layover and a crowded airport, I might buy a one-time pass to the RCC, but for me, annual membership no longer seems worth the cost. I suspect I am not alone. Southwest now gets most of my west coast business, which has brought me down from my regular 1K level to around 60,000 miles a year – doubtless a revenue loss to United considerably more than they were hoping to get from the increase in my RCC membership (which they are not getting anyway). What happened to their successful policy of keeping the business traveler happy?

    Comment by Keith Devlin — March 10, 2009 @ 7:05 am | Reply

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