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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.
(SEE ALSO – Our review of the Centurion Lounge PHL)
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?
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Face it there has been abuse since day one tighter would be nice. Free? my average monthly bill is 45K thats four of us in the company so however one looks at it I have earned it and the right to bitch.
The three hour restriction is reasonable but the restriction on arrival will be a problem for business travellers arriving somewhere in the morning for work. Why can’t AmEx give a limited number of passes that can be used for guests a well as for arrivals. That should put a cap on abuse
I agree that if one is landing from an international flight it would be especially nice to take a shower. Problem is how do you monitor domestic ? Surely there maybe a solution. For me its the massive extended families and this sitting there for hours on end.
At the end of the day finally there is a movement to crack down on hacking and abusive use of lounges.
I agree with most, the restriction on arrival is a bad plan, they should just limit it to one hour. There are times when you need to send a few emails, use a clean bathroom and taking a shower after a long international flight. changing your clothes is important. I have done that before in other countries helps get the day under way. I think it is great they are trying to solve the problem of overcrowding but I would be curious to know what kind of impact will this have, how many people arrive more than 3 hours.
Very good points on the restriction on arrival access, I agree with you guys, I’d be happy to see them put a 3 hour limit on arrival access too. That’s more than enough time!
I personally would prefer 3 hours prior to “boarding time”, as printed on the boarding pass, no limit between connecting flights, and 1 hour post arrival, based upon the time you actually check into the club. I agree that the major problem is the abuse by some card holders with large “families/groups” who ruin it for everyone. As far as the post arrival use, upon presentation of our used Boarding Pass, we could be given a color coded time stamped ticket that would expire 1 hour later as a means of identification/ policing.
As for use post arrival from an international flight, I must be missing something here, as the Lounges are “Airside, not Landside, how would you have access to them after you have cleared C & I?