Amex Clamps Down on Centurion Lounge Access Starting Today
American Express’s Centurion Lounges are some of the best in the nation, with better seating, food, drinks, and amenities than most domestic airport lounges offer. But as the saying goes: “If you build it, they will come.” And too many people are going to Centurion Lounges.
In a bid to combat overcrowding, the credit card company is enacting some tighter restrictions starting today, Friday, March 22 on who can get into Centurion lounges – and when. Travelers with the American Express Platinum card will only be able to get into a Centurion lounge within three hours of their flight. And flyers will no longer be able to get into the lounges upon arrival – only departing flights will qualify.
On the plus side, children under 2 won’t count as a guest so long as they’re traveling with a cardholder. American Express Platinum cardholders can bring in two guests for free.
While these restrictions may be disappointing, they should make the overall Centurion Lounge experience better. These lounges have become popular to a fault, making it difficult to get in or enjoy the lounge during peak travel times. Restricting access to three hours before departure and eliminating the ability to should help.
Luckily, American Express is renovating existing lounges and building new ones nationwide. In 2019 alone, the credit card company is opening at least four new U.S. locations – in Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), Charlotte (CLT), and New York City-JFK (JFK) – along with its second international location at London-Heathrow (LHR). With 12 U.S. lounges and counting, the Centurion Lounges’ reach is expanding.
Read our Master Guide to Centurion Lounges to get the full scoop on how these lounges work.
Get Into Centurion Lounges with the American Express Platinum Card
The American Express Platinum Card comes with one of richest sets of travel perks of any premier travel rewards card. Along with top-dollar travel credits and free Global Entry, the Platinum Card opens up thousands of airport lounges worldwide for you. You get into Centurion Lounges and can bring two guests for free as well.
Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express.
The card also comes with a membership to Priority Pass, which has a global network of 1,000 lounges as well as partnerships with many airport restaurants. Again, two free guests can accompany you into the lounges.
You can also get into Delta SkyClubs with the Platinum Card so long as you’re flying Delta that day. Unfortunately, you can’t bring a guest into SkyClubs for free – a $29 fee applies. And finally, you can access some one-off independent lounges like the fantastic Escape Lounge at MSP.
While these new restrictions will be a bummer for travelers with a long layover, it should be an overall positive for Centurion Lounges.
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