American Express announced today that it will add access to three Escape Lounges as a new perk for Platinum cardholders.
In the U.S., Escape Lounges are located in Hartford, CT, Minneapolis and Oakland airports. (In Europe, there are three Escape lounges at Manchester and one each at East Midlands and Stansted airports- but these are not part of the Platinum plan.)
The new benefit starts today. Fine print says: Platinum Card Members receive complimentary access and may bring up to two guests. To enter the U.S. Escape Lounges, simply present your American Express Platinum Card, a same-day boarding pass and valid government issued I.D. to the front desk.
Escape Lounges are not affiliated with specific airlines, so anyone can enter for $45 per visit. Some Escape lounges have agreements with airlines in the airports where they operate to allow complimentary access to business or first class passengers. The lounges offer free wi-fi, hot and cold food and bar service.
This is welcome news for Platinum members, but I’m worried that the new benefit could result in crowding at the Escape lounges. Just last month I enjoyed the Escape Lounge in Oakland prior to a British Airways flight to London, and one of the highlights of the visit was that the lounge was only half full.
Below is a snippet from that Trip Report: Oakland-London, British Airways business class
Last year Oakland International Airport opened a new Escape Lounge that’s open to all passengers for a $45 one-time-use fee. (British Airways business class passengers and Norwegian Air’s Premium passengers are comped.) It is located in Terminal 1 between gates 8 and 8A, across from gate 9. The 2,700-square-foot facility can accommodate 50 travelers, and has separate zones for relaxing, dining/drinking and work. It’s open daily from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m.
When I was there around lunchtime, The Escape lounge buffet had a nice selection of hot and cold items, including these cute cast iron ramekins of yummy macaroni and cheese, avocado toast, soup, salad, fresh fruit, cold cuts, crackers, cheese and chips. There’s also a separate full complimentary bar with waiter service. Food and drink is service on china and glass. Nice tarmac views out big windows. I found this lounge almost as nice as any Amex Centurion Lounge I’ve visited recently, but only half as crowded.
H/T: USA Today
Have you been to an Escape Lounge? What did you think?