Amex Limits Centurion Lounge Access For Platinum Cardmembers

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Centurion Lounge Access

Amex Limits Centurion Lounge Access To Fight Overcrowding

American Express is taking steps to fight overcrowding in Centurion Lounges by limiting access for Platinum cardmembers. We’ve all seen full lounges, especially at peak times so this could be seen as good or bad depending on how many people you travel with.

Lounge Access

Amex Platinum cardmembers receive complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges across 120 countries, including The Centurion lounge network, the International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and Airspace Lounges. You can also enroll in Priority Pass Select for free.

Platinum cardmembers currently have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Centurion. Card Members may bring immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and their children under 18) OR up to two (2) companions into The Centurion Lounge. That generous policy has led to overcrowding in many locations, especially during peak hours.

Changes Coming

After reading this TPG post, I reached out to one of the media contacts for consumer services at Amex. I was provided the following information.

Beginning March 30, 2017, the Centurion Lounge guest policy for Platinum Card® Members will change.  All Platinum Card® Members will be limited to two total guests at no additional charge. One-day passes for any additional guests, including immediate family members, may be purchased.

Conclusion

This is a surprising move Amex who have been touting improved benefits on their Platinum cards. This will mainly affect larger families, with more than three members, who will have to pay for extra family members to have access to The Centurion Lounge. On the other hand it might be good news to others who travel alone or in smaller groups.

I don’t recall seeing many families of four or more in Centurion Lounges, so I’m not sure how much will this help with overcrwoding. But the news is ill timed, with the fee on the personal Platinum card going up to $550.

Is this good or bad news to you?


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10 COMMENTS

  1. I think it should be main card holder and 1 guest. Authorized users can bring one guest in as well. I avoid DFW lounge because its way too packed now :(..IAH lounge is getting there too. But it is what it is..

  2. During my last flight from Seattle, I stopped in the Centurion lounge only to find a family of six stretched out sleeping on every available couch. Even though there were not that many people in the lounge, seating was limited due to all the couches/benches being utilized by one group. While I realize that this could still happen with the change (the family could always buy extra passes), the new rule will hopefully reduce this from happening. On the other hand, I think the staff in the lounge could be empowered/required to request that guests not lay down and sleep in the lounge. During other visits in MIA & DFW I have experienced overcrowding, messy lounges, wait staff that is hard to track down, food not being replenished, & messy restrooms. All the staff that I have interacted with have always been friendly and helpful. I just think it is hard for them to keep up with the demand. I don’t know if the rule change will help, but I hope so.

    • That’s always very frustrating. Specially considering the limited seating. I wonder if the staff would have been any help if someone had complained.

  3. Seems like a very reasonable change to fight the over-crowing issues. Also, it aligns with the new Priority Pass guest policy they introduced. 2 Guests, any lounge, period.

  4. I think this makes sense in that it could prevent some cases of overcrowding where a few families come in together and take up 20% of the seating in a lounge. It also impacts/angers a low number of card holders.

    That said, I don’t think this solves the problem. I think the annual fee increase is not going to dissuade many people who use these lounges a lot from keeping the card and the lounges aren’t getting bigger (except in Seattle). So they will either need to further limit guests or come up with some other method of crowd control.

  5. I simply don’t see that many families of 4+ with children in any of the Centurion Lounges I’ve been to. Perhaps it’s the other kind of “guests” they need to limit.

    Anyhow my spouse and I both have Platinums, so our kids are still fine.

  6. […] Limits on Centurion Lounge Access for Platinum cardmembers:  American Express has been beefing up their Platinum cards lately.  Placing limits on the number of guests allowed per cardmember seems to be a negative change on the surface.  However, if you consider how crowded these lounges can get, since they are much better than many of the other domestic lounges available, it can help with overcrowding.  This could result in a much more peaceful lounge experience…. If you can get in!!! […]

  7. I don’t see this cutting down on the traffic at the LAS Centurion. Most visitors look to be traveling alone.

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