I saw that but I was not asking about the Polaris lounges, I was more interested in United Clubs. Polaris is for international and demand is not back yet but domestic demand is.
Reference was to all clubs. They said demand would drive their reopening.
Today domestic biz travel is still down 80%+ for United, which certainly must be a key driver in club decision making.
UA obviously has good data on who has holds club membership, and what percentage in what cities are flying to help determine when it makes sense to open more.
Clubs are busy but IMO not as busy as they were at times in 2018-2019 during the most recent peak, especially with reduced seating. Definitely the case at EWR. UA also probably has insight on the mix of club members/people with lounge access actually flying, and I would assume the ratio is quite a bit lower than normal.
Anecdotally the crowd skews leisure and I suspect outstation clubs (besides vacation destinations like MCO, FLL, LAS) would be ghost towns if reopened now.
I did note that Bondar stated he expects the UC network to have more locations post-pandemic than it did pre-pandemic. I can see it getting there with a reopened PHX (T3 move happened pre-pandemic and lounge wasn't ready), MSY (opened as the pandemic was exploding in Europe), DEN A concourse and new EWR C-3. I know HNL and IAD renovations were in the pipeline, too, and TPA/MIA were always on my wish list...
I know this is one time of day but Monday morning at ORD:
-Club was VERY crowded. No seat blocking...lots of laptops being used (business travelers).
-ORD Club was also very crowded last week as well, must have been a line of 50 people to get in the door (took 5-7 minutes to get in).
-I was on a 50 seat CRJ-550 ORD-OMA. First Class (10 seats) were all full and I was number 9 on upgrade list as a United Gold on a $900 ticket. Between the upgrade list and the first class cabin, about half the plane with Elite or more (pretty standard pre-covid from lots of experience)
-Prices were terrible, booked 2 weeks in advance too. Flight full.
-At Omaha Airport, the place was a zoo, looked just like it used to look pre-covid in the Southwest/ United terminal.
-Just looked at a trip to Nashville early May about 10 days out. Good times were well over $1,000. Had to book American unfortunately for a fraction of the price.
I don't disagree, the outstation clubs could be empty but they need to get additional lounges opened at their hubs. ORD should have 3 open, F, B and C and keep the second B one closed for now.