I wrote about the new restrictions on the United Lounge access here in a previous post. I am sad to report some new datapoints coming from our dear readers. My AD wife went to the ORD lounge on 15 Apr 2018 with only TAD orders in had, but was turned away. SHe was told she needed “R&R Orders”. Usually she would have access as one of my guests as I am a United Club Card holder, but on this day I was not traveling with her. She has United Premier Gold Status which only gets you Star Alliance Lounge access when flying overseas. We used this perk a lot when flying ANA on domestic flights in Japan.
Reader Mike writes:
Two more data points: recent layovers in Narita and Chicago. I was traveling TDY, but was taking leave in conjunction. Thankfully, I had my NSIPS leave chit printed out. They only let me in thanks to the leave chits, and even then scrutinized the dates. The agent in Narita told me she has to turn away a lot of military members who only have TDY papers.
Another reader states:
Maybe I missed it on your site, or it was inferred from the post, but for anyone wondering, TDY Orders alone will not work. I was just denied United Club entry at IAD since I was not on “Leave or RnR” orders. I presented my TDY orders and ID and was told my only option was to take my uniform out of my bag, go change, and then they could let me in! No thanks, I’ll keep the OPSEC.
There you have it! If you are under 5/24 I think it is a good time to seriously consider the United Club Credit Card for you or your spouse. They should waive the annual fee per the MLA, but I have no datapoint on this particular product. I happen to have had the United Explorer Card before I joined the military and had the thing waived under the SCRA. The United lounge is decent and the free boozes and red bulls are usually worth the visit. Or you could just fly United when you are on leave, and stick with American Airlines or Delta when flying on TAD.
Luckily my wife has $175 left on her AmEx Platinum for United Airlines and could get drinks and snacks on the plane. It is mid-April and still the registry is shut down. I’m not sure what early 2018 means, I guess it means when it stops snowing.
Be prepared with Leave orders or United Club membership if you want to get in the United Club lounge!