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Starting March 22nd, 2019, American Express is instituting new accessibility rules to their flagship Centurion Lounges. I’d argue these aren’t that bad, really…here’s the deal.
From View From the Wing:
- The Centurion Lounge will welcome Platinum Card Members who arrive within 3 hours or less prior to their original scheduled departure time or can provide proof of a connecting flight. Card Members who arrive at the Centurion Lounge as their final destination will no longer be permitted entry.
- Children under 2 years of age will be admitted free of charge and will not count towards Platinum Card Member’s 2 complimentary guest count, so long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is able to produce a “lap infant” boarding pass or proof of age.
What do you think of the changes?
Now, for a lot of people, this might not seem so bad. The changes boil down to limiting the time you’re allowed to be in the lounge. You can’t just show up at the airport and hang out all day prior to your flight. And with these changes, you can’t hang out after your flight at all. That one stings a bit, I regularly stop by a lounge on my way out of an airport, grab a snack and send a few emails, and then head out to my hotel or AirBnB. After March 22nd, you can only use the Centurion Lounge within 3 hours of a scheduled departure. No earlier. We should note though, that this change will only affect Platinum cardholders, not Centurion cardholders.
Families have already been affected by changes to the Centurion Lounge access policy, so it’s good to see the guest rules aren’t getting more strict. Hopefully AmEx won’t ever limit us to a zero guest policy!
Whatever your opinion on these changes is, it looks like American Express is at least trying to fix the overcrowding at their lounges. Packed Centurion Lounges have been an issue for the past few years, and despite the card giant’s attempts to grow their network and expand existing lounges, it continues to be an inconvenience. Now, I’m inclined to think American Express is taking steps in the right direction. They’re building new lounges. They’re renovating old lounges. And they’re just asking you to come visit, not spend the night.
What do you think? Is this a just decision by American Express? Or are they getting too strict?