Random Passengers Are Raiding Food From United’s Grab ‘N Go Lounge In Denver

At United’s grab ‘n go club in Denver called “Club Fly” is a place where lounge members and Star Alliance Gold members can pick up packaged food. It’s just 1582 square feet. This isn’t a traditional lounge.

Delta offers grab and go food instead of entering their lounges at several locations as a way of reducing crowding. This is in a different location at the airport. Some people may grab food and sit elsewhere. Others will pick something up between flights on shorter connections. This is packaged food, so not exactly good, but it’s sustenance.

To control costs, United allows club members but no guests to have access to its takeaway options. But this isn’t enforced because no one on site has an incentive to do so.

Just landed in Denver and wanted to grab a drink at the grab and go club and watched the guy ahead of me scan guys boarding pass over and over yelling at his 3 teenage children and wife to “go go go” so that they could get in. Also watched the guy behind me bring in a guest. The alarm went off for all of these people but the staff didn’t care less (which seems to be the norm).

…I went to the regular club afterwards and watched someone set up a pee pad for their dog in the lounge. Nobody seemed to care.

I witnessed about the same as you did and after the family entered grabbed what they wanted and left, I saw them eating in the hallway.

One bite into a sandwich and Dad threw the sandwich away, pretty soon the entire family was throwing away most of what they grabbed.

So I decided to ask why they bothered to grab anything if they were going to throw it away.

The Dad was surprisingly honest, it was free and he figured why spend money to have a late lunch when he could get it from UA for free. He then said that his sandwich was about gas station quality and it wasn’t worth the calories.

What really drives me nuts is watching people bring a grocery bag and think that this club is a grocery store. You don’t need 12 smoothies and a half dozen yogurts.

It’s not very good! But it’s free food! Of course the schnorrers are going to come out in droves and take the food, even if they don’t eat it.

United Airlines Club Fly

They do this with “gas station quality” food. Back in the day United Airlines passengers would stuff copious amounts of packaged Tillamook cheese into their laptop bags when leaving the Red Carpet Club.

It’s even more dramatic when the food is decent! Delta Sky Clubs have more robust food options, and one woman shares video of herself taking salami: “If you get 36 slices of salami per Delta sky club lounge visit, you break even on your annual fee after just 30.5 lounge visits.”

“Delta executives hate this 1 money saving trick,” she says. Except you’re going to want to break even far faster if this calculation is a concern to you. Bring plastic bags. Wait around for trays to be refilled several times. And load up on around 80 slices of salami?

@meat.slut Delta executives hate this 1 money saving trick #meat #traveltiktok #travel #foryoupage #fyp #meatslut @delta ♬ Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

Members loading up on food to go in order to get the most of their paid memberships is verboten, but ineligible passengers loading up on food they haven’t paid for is at a whole different level.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Why are people so cheap they will eat almost anything if it is “free”? If you can afford to travel you can afford to actually buy something you like. The cheapness of people and how they grovel for things just makes me sick. If you can’t afford to. It what you want stay away from those of us that can!

  2. And this is why we can’t have nice things. I saw someone bring a cooler to the DFW Capital One Lounge and totally fill it up with grab and go items. Won’t be surprised when they stop offering Grab and Go.

  3. These people will ruin it for everyone else. Does the United club membership skyrocket to mitigate theft, or “Grab and Go” will be “Grab and Gone”? Sad.

  4. Why are people so cheap they will eat almost anything if it is “free”? If you can afford to travel you can afford to actually buy something you like. The cheapness of people and how they grovel for things just makes me sick. If you can’t afford to. It’s what you want stay away from those of us that can!

  5. I’m glad they have that venue in Denver at gate 199 as we’ve been unable to get into the United lounge for the last 2 years (sorry we are full to Chase United card holders). It provides some value to the worthless annual passes and you can get a sandwich and a coke for the $50 value.
    Theft isn’t right but neither is the United rip off.
    (I closed my account with a donation to Gary’s charity request. I was a loyal 1mm+ United hometown airline customer of over 50 years).

  6. Hmm… I have a friend in finance at United. I should suggest a cost savings project… put in a camera, monitored remotely (heck, I can view my warehouses in other states from my cell phone in bed if I want), and they know who scanned in and alarmed. Just like a red light camera. People do it once? Send them the photo via email/text and a warning. Second time? Club membership is terminated, no refunds due because you violated the terms. I think one could make a great case for this financially!

  7. @Aaron That’s wild! I already feel bad filling up the official to go bags to the brim.

    Its interesting how now if the lounge is full, Cap1 won’t let you just grab n go — you have to get access into the lounge first. At first that didn’t really make sense to me, but now I kind of get it from a business perspective

    From a food waste perspective hearing those stories is a bummer, I’m sure to will only lead to policies that just hurt the honest and legitimate patrons at these lounges/clubs, sigh

  8. Make it less appealing, people won’t come and eat. I really come for a quiet place to relax before a trip or if my flight gets cancelled. EWR is my base and I don’t see this behavior.

  9. The airlines have turned people into scavengers, since they Nickle-and-dime them for everything imaginable, even if you are a high-level flyer as I am (I am a 1K flyer with United). If you are treated like an animal, you behave like one. We’re just a bunch of cattle herded onto the flying tin can, crammed into smaller and narrower seats, no reclining backs (or ones that move a whole inch at most), are not given anything in the way of entertainment, food, blankets (remember those? And pillows?), and our luggage is crammed tight into the overhead bins. It’s like a feed lot.

  10. Grotesque vulgarity seems to be a hallmark of anything in U.S. public life in recent years. This just degrades an already nasty chore of airline flying a new lower level of civility…

  11. About 1O yrs ago, I saw a guy in the OZ lounge in Seoul take a 3lb block of cheese and stick it into his rucksack. Could not believe it. What the hell would you want with that much cheese and given the heat and humidity its gonna stick real fast.
    In Singapore hotel last summer, I saw 2 Chinese guys come in with carrier bags and proceed to clear the entire lounge evening food service before going outside to the pool area where they had extended family (no lounge access) who ate the lot.

  12. Credit card companies count their beans differently than midle-class flyers. Bad publicity is worth it for these credit card companies. The psychology of “free” is so powerful that credit card companies revel in the publicity of these cheapskate boorish behabior stories.

  13. Like almost everything else, I bet these misbehaving folks account for maybe 1% of all lounge goers but of course get outsized publicity. Or I live a charmed life, because I haven’t had a single encounter with them in my 35 years of flying.

  14. I don’t condone stealing food however United has engendered this behavior by mistreating their customers. For example, United recently blocked access to award flights in economy from alliance members.

    Rather than take action against United for their misconduct, some passengers steal food to feel like they are getting even.

    United customers and shareholders both lose as a result of the poor decisions by United management.

  15. Ohh no!
    The multi billion dollar corporation that’s nickel and diming us on EVERYTHING, down to the tiny bag pretzels and our freaks ng luggage, may lose a TINY FRACTION of its money!
    Quick! Let’s see if they can get another Government bailout!

  16. How poor do you have to be to fly United? Whatever happens happens. It’s not a real airline.

  17. Unfortuantely..this is Americans. This is what we have become. Go to other countries and u won’t see this self entitled low class behavior. This is specifically am American thing.

  18. @Kevin – passengers used to raid tillamook cheese packages from united red carpet clubs back during the george w bush administration

  19. For such an affluent country why are we behaving like unfed dogs? Where are your manners! I think school curriculum should teach this as one of the life skills.

    I generally use these lounges to work on my laptop and may get a few soft drinks. The food at best sucks and I eat my main meals at better places in the airport. The exception is the first class One world lounge at LAX or many other international locations, where is meal is made to order.

  20. Perhaps if rules were enforced once in a while (not just in this context), people would take them seriously. Rules mean nothing without consequences.

  21. @Kevin Yes, people only started doing things like this in January 2021. Get a life beyond making random, irrelevant political comments on posts that have nothing to do with politics.

  22. Ummm, we are in the United States of America. Y’all know good and well we can’t have nice things, and always act a fool in public. Why people are surprised at this behavior is beyond me.

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