This week American Express announced that non-Platinum-card members will no longer have the option of paying a $50 fee for day passes to its network of popular Centurion Lounges. At the same time, it announced the opening of two new lounges this month.
Confirming the access change, a spokesperson told TravelSkills: “Access is an exclusive benefit for American Express Platinum Card and Centurion Members. In an effort to support Card Member’s questions surrounding overcrowding concerns, American Express has updated its policy to no longer offer day passes to other American Express Card Members.”
In the past, any American Express cardholder could enter the lounges for a $50 fee. It was a popular feature– especially for those cardholders who did not visit lounges enough to warrant the Platinum card annual fee of $550 (up from $450 this year).
While this is too bad for non Platinum members who relied on this access, it’s a step in fixing a big complaint about the lush Amex lounges: Overcrowding. Nearly every time I’ve visited the lounge in SFO, for example, almost every seat is taken and its tough for staff to keep the buffet sufficiently stocked at peak times.
Current lounge locations include Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Miami International Airport (MIA), Houston’s George Bush International Airport (IAH) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). The Centurion Lounge is part of the broader American Express Global Lounge Collection which provides cardholders with access more than 1,100 lounges, in 120 countries– including Delta Sky Clubs.
The Centurion Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)—opening today October 2nd—is the first Centurion lounge in Asia, and will feature a unique selection of premium amenities, food and beverages inspired by the local culture. The Centurion Lounge at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)—opening in late October—will make it the 8th U.S. location. In addition to the two new locations, The Centurion Lounge at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will be relocating to a larger space in Terminal D, opening in the first half of 2018.
The Centurion Lounge in Hong Kong International Airport is located in Terminal 1. Covering approximately 8,000 square feet, Amex says, “the lounge offers an expansive escape for Card Members to relax, refresh and reboot. The space features a unique selection of premium amenities, food and beverages inspired by the local culture.” Shower suites are also available.
See updated lounge access policies on AMEX website here.
What do you think of the changes in access to Centurion lounges? Will this help with overcrowding? Please leave your comments below.