One of the best perks of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is access to Centurion Lounges. These lounges are for the most part significantly better than what’s offered by US airlines, as the lounges have complimentary cocktails, hot food, and a couple of them even have spas.
As of now Amex’s Centurion Lounge locations include Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. American Express also plans to open Centurion Lounges in Los Angeles, New York JFK, Denver, Charlotte, and London Heathrow.
Anyway, these lounges have been extremely popular, and one of the major issues with them has been crowding. So while Amex is doing everything they can to expand these lounges, the reality is that it’s tough for them to fully meet the demand.
Amex has already added access restrictions
Up until now American Express has tried to take a number of steps to reduce crowding in the lounges.
For example, in March 2017 they reduced the number of free guests each card member can bring into the lounge to two.
Then in October 2017 they stopped selling access to Centurion Lounges for those who don’t have a Platinum or Centurion Card. Previously other Amex card members could buy a day pass for $50.
Amex Centurion Lounge Las Vegas
Amex has been testing other access limits
On top of these changes, lately Amex has been testing a couple of other entry restrictions. These haven’t been in place across the board, but rather only at some lounges at certain times.
For example, at some lounges they’ve restricted access to those with a departing flight within two hours, and in some cases they haven’t let people use these lounges upon arrival.
Well, Amex is now adding a permanent access restriction.
Amex Centurion Lounge Hong Kong
Amex now limiting Centurion Lounge access further
Amex will be updating access rules for Centurion Lounges as of March 22, 2019. They say that these changes are to “ensure that [they] continue to provide card members with a relaxing and spacious environment to visit before they head out on their travel journeys.”
Most notably, Amex Centurion Lounge access will be limited to three hours or less prior to the originally scheduled departure time of a flight. Centurion Lounge access will no longer be permitted upon arrival. Note that these new restrictions only to apply to those with the Platinum Card, and not those with the Centurion Card.
Furthermore, children under two years of age will be admitted free of charge and will not count towards the two 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.
Amex Centurion Lounge Miami
Obviously no one likes more restrictions, but at the same time if this limits Centurion Lounge crowding, I’d say it’s generally a good thing.
Obviously there will always be circumstances where some people have a reasonable use for a lounge outside of three hours prior to departure, and this is negative for those people. But if it reduces crowding overall, I’m a fan.
What do you make of Amex’s new Centurion Lounge access restrictions?