I had to buy a last minute ticket from Newark - Atlanta for over $1200. The only seat back available was in first class, which was nice but added to the cost of course. Having flown international on business, my understanding was (confirmed by an United agent) that when flying in first I could go to the President's lounge. When I got to the airport, a United women at check-in confirmed that indeed this was the case. She was very nice, and actually corrected me "It's not the Continental lounge, it's the United lounge, and it's right next to your departure gate".
Turns out this was not correct. The policy, which I learned when I went to the lounge, was that first class only applied to international flights. I explained the the woman that worked at reception in the lounge at Terminal D that I was told it WAS ok on the phone, and that in fact I had just confirmed that minutes before at check-in. My assumption is that people try to get into the lounge alot, because that's the only way I can explain the treatment I received. She looked askance at me the entire time, telling me things like "We don't work for the front check-in people". She then turned to "Who was it that told you that at check-in?" I described her as best I remember
Me: "She was African American"
Her: "Was she wearing a red outfit"
Me: "No, it was a blue outfit"
Her: "What was her hair like"
Me: "I think it was shoulder-length/long?"
Her: (after scanning some document, then looking up at me with a scowl). "Sir, there's no one that meets that description that's working".
Me: "I'm sorry, but are you saying that I'm lying. I would be happy to call upfront, or have you come with me to meet this person".
I'm sure you can figure out the rest. The gentleman next to her working gave me Presidential service number. Called that, they referred me to Customer Relations. Asked him to transfer me. He did, waited 20 minutes. And when I finally reached someone, after explaining the situation, he said "I'm just reservations, you need Customer Relations".
I realize what a "First World Problem" this is (just a nice place to sit before a flight), and fully understand and accept that I was misinformed (by United personnel). That's bad enough. But to add to that, and what I think I'm most upset by, is the inference that I was lying about being told this.
After repeated attempts to reach Customer Relations, I sent an email that hasn't been responded to seeking a formal complaint about this treatment. No response thus far.