New Three Hour Amex Centurion Lounge Access Restriction

New Three Hour Amex Centurion Lounge Access Restriction

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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 DallasHong KongHoustonLas VegasMiamiNew York LaGuardiaPhiladelphiaSan Francisco, and Seattle. American Express also plans to open Centurion Lounges in Los AngelesNew York JFKDenverCharlotte, 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

Bottom line

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?

Conversations (77)
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  1. Nic Guest

    There will always be overcrowding and yes - that is a result of more AMEX users. When I travel and I see that the lounge is crowded, I do not make a fuss about it and just find a restaurant nearby - most of the time, the food at the restaurant is much better than what is in the lounge. I do not think restricting AMEX member users not to get in the lounge more...

    There will always be overcrowding and yes - that is a result of more AMEX users. When I travel and I see that the lounge is crowded, I do not make a fuss about it and just find a restaurant nearby - most of the time, the food at the restaurant is much better than what is in the lounge. I do not think restricting AMEX member users not to get in the lounge more than 2 or 3 hours before departure or upon arrival to control crowd defeats the essence of the value that AMEX says comes with being a member. Controlling crowd is one thing, resrtictions - No.

  2. robertw Member

    The demeanor at the AMEX lounges has changed greatly. When they started it was far more welcoming in every way possible. The lounge I first used was Las Vegas since I travel there alot. Over the years they dont seem to be happy that I know they have a shower and wish to use it. They may not get that many requests for it. They certainly hope customers don't know about it. I went there...

    The demeanor at the AMEX lounges has changed greatly. When they started it was far more welcoming in every way possible. The lounge I first used was Las Vegas since I travel there alot. Over the years they dont seem to be happy that I know they have a shower and wish to use it. They may not get that many requests for it. They certainly hope customers don't know about it. I went there a few months ago and was told to stand the counter for 5 mins since I was 3 hours and 5 mins early for a flight. Insane. Since it was an evening red eye I got there early to relax and have a meal and watch some movies while I wait. Also for a place like Las Vegas the morning hours are very quiet. There are many times I arrive in the morning and want to work prior to going to the hotel since the room wont be ready. So on arrival, I used it frequently. I know how to work around that policy as do any frequent flier. Per the comments abotu the MIA lounge (I fly out of there alot) that place is a zoo no matter the time. I mean a zoo. The food choices there I think not as good as other places. Also the food in Vegas is a little to artsy. I say keep it simple. Soups tend to be pumpkin, squash or something like that.

  3. J Guest

    Centurion Lounges have gone down hill in service and cleanliness.

  4. Lisa Guest

    Member for twenty years and owner of three Amex Cards denied access to Centurion Lounge in Miami because my flight departed more than 3 hours after arrival (even though lounge closed within two hours). Totally unapologetic despite two calls to customer service and two visits to lounge and lounge’s manager. I cancelled two of my Amex cards from the airport and even that didn’t prompt them to make an exception. Lounge was totally uncrowded. I...

    Member for twenty years and owner of three Amex Cards denied access to Centurion Lounge in Miami because my flight departed more than 3 hours after arrival (even though lounge closed within two hours). Totally unapologetic despite two calls to customer service and two visits to lounge and lounge’s manager. I cancelled two of my Amex cards from the airport and even that didn’t prompt them to make an exception. Lounge was totally uncrowded. I was a solo business traveler.

  5. Allan M Horwitz, esq. Guest

    As an Amex member since 1970 as noted on my Platinum card, I was totally offended when I was denied access to the Centaurian Lounge upon my arrival in Philadelphia and had a one hour wait till my pickup to Rittenhouse Square. After always being told when I make reservations thru Amex travel or any time I speak to an Amex representative “I see you’ve been a member since 1970, thanks for your loyalty “,...

    As an Amex member since 1970 as noted on my Platinum card, I was totally offended when I was denied access to the Centaurian Lounge upon my arrival in Philadelphia and had a one hour wait till my pickup to Rittenhouse Square. After always being told when I make reservations thru Amex travel or any time I speak to an Amex representative “I see you’ve been a member since 1970, thanks for your loyalty “, it would be nice to know that this really meant something such as having the discretion to having the common sense to extend a courtesy to permit access to your Lounge upon arrival today.

  6. Adam Guest

    Just checked into the Centurion Lounge in Vegas before our flight. The restrictions are getting a bit crazy. My partner and I sat down within several feet of the bar. When I asked the bartender for 2 glasses of wine, she said he would have to come up and get it himself. I smiled, pointed to my husband, and said, “he is sitting right there, is it be okay if I just bring it to...

    Just checked into the Centurion Lounge in Vegas before our flight. The restrictions are getting a bit crazy. My partner and I sat down within several feet of the bar. When I asked the bartender for 2 glasses of wine, she said he would have to come up and get it himself. I smiled, pointed to my husband, and said, “he is sitting right there, is it be okay if I just bring it to him” (she could easily see him sitting down well within her view). In a curt and rude manner, she stated I could only take one glass and he would have to walk up to get his. Assuming this the policy, a nice explanation and a smile doesn’t seem like too much to ask. I’m all for making sure that every person’s experience is protected - however, a little common sense would go a long way. It is SO sad that there’s a lack of common courtesy and kindness.

  7. James Guest

    Agree with Ben, no logic with these rules. Few days ago I flew into DFW in early evening, place wasn't busy at all, wanted a quick bite and maybe a shower before had to attend a reception for work. No dice, was turned away without even an apology, just that the rules had changed. I only fly airports with a Centurion lounge a few times a year, totally not worth $500+, time to switch to Sapphire Reserve.

  8. Ben Guest

    Denied access as I was more than two hours before my flight, but the lounge would actually CLOSE by the time that 2 hr window opened. What a completely stupid policy, thanks AMEX SFO lounge for winning the award for most illogical and inconvenient application of an already annoying policy. Oh and yeah family with young kids all piling in, others with guests all heading straight in. Traveling alone, on business and “Member Since” 2014...

    Denied access as I was more than two hours before my flight, but the lounge would actually CLOSE by the time that 2 hr window opened. What a completely stupid policy, thanks AMEX SFO lounge for winning the award for most illogical and inconvenient application of an already annoying policy. Oh and yeah family with young kids all piling in, others with guests all heading straight in. Traveling alone, on business and “Member Since” 2014 denied... that’s just perfectly sensible isn’t it.

  9. Michael Johnson Guest

    They have over promised and under delivered this programme. Welcome to the “fine print” of Amex.

    Further, they have been doing a global blitz to get more platinum members and making no investments to handle the growth.

    Here I sit in LGA just arrived in-bound and waiting for a colleagues flight to land with loads of luggage but denied lounge access of course per the new policy. Not loving it!

  10. George Guest

    Taking away the option of using the Centurion lounges upon arrival IS a deal breaker for me! I paid the $450 annual fee with that benefit in mind and do use it, in past, at Philly and LaGuardia.
    I have already made plans to drop the card entirely. All should keep in mind that most companies gradually figure out ways to remove amenities rather than expand them.

  11. Yeti Fan Guest

    How about they find a way to make larger lounges (it’s not like they’re not benefitting from out business) or stop giving out what are supposed to be exclusive cards to the hoi polloi? Shame on you AMEX! Stop punishing your supposedly valued customers for your greed.

  12. Donn Kittrell Guest

    Time to cut up the card! I know I am being dramatic but the time restriction is a huge devaluation to me. Who voluntarily spends an entire day in an airport lounge? We just returned from a cruise in Miami. We have a late flight out, our day plans were cancelled and we arrived to the airport early. So now I am sitting outside of a Centurion l cannot access. And being as this lounge...

    Time to cut up the card! I know I am being dramatic but the time restriction is a huge devaluation to me. Who voluntarily spends an entire day in an airport lounge? We just returned from a cruise in Miami. We have a late flight out, our day plans were cancelled and we arrived to the airport early. So now I am sitting outside of a Centurion l cannot access. And being as this lounge is not in my departing concourse, which also does not have precheck, we will not be able to spend any time in it before our flight. I was already on the fence about the value of the card, this makes the choice an easy one.

  13. Roc Guest

    Well Southwest doesn’t have any confirmed seat numbers, just boarding order so what would they do about that?

  14. Gary Campbell Guest

    I am a travel companion of an employee of United Airlines and I also have an American Express Platinum credit card. As a United travel companion, I almost always travel "standby". Since my boarding passes are "standby", I do not have a confirmed seat assignment until final boarding at the gate. I was informed by a Centurion Lounge attendant in Houston while waiting for my connecting flight, that they would no longer accept by connecting...

    I am a travel companion of an employee of United Airlines and I also have an American Express Platinum credit card. As a United travel companion, I almost always travel "standby". Since my boarding passes are "standby", I do not have a confirmed seat assignment until final boarding at the gate. I was informed by a Centurion Lounge attendant in Houston while waiting for my connecting flight, that they would no longer accept by connecting flight boarding pass unless it had a confirmed seat assignment. If this is indeed, the correct policy, then I will no longer be able to access the Centurion Lounges, which is a big reason why I have an American Express Platinum card. What are my options?

  15. steve Guest

    I get medical treatment every month and this is a real inconvenience. I’ve always counted on the longest to give me a few hours to relax before my flight and have done it for years. I specifically look forward to it and want to have that access. I also dislike that this month it was spring on me with no wiggle room. They could ha e allowed me a grace visit for the extra hour and said “next time”.

  16. Marta Guest

    It's crazy to eliminate arriving members because of a multitude of reasons but here are a few: many members may not have an airport in their departing city so obviously the arriving lounge would be valuable for them. What about business travel and utilizing showers before heading to a business meeting, etc. Completely stupid. Limit guests period. Or provide 5 guest passes per year. If you need more than 5 per year the guest needs...

    It's crazy to eliminate arriving members because of a multitude of reasons but here are a few: many members may not have an airport in their departing city so obviously the arriving lounge would be valuable for them. What about business travel and utilizing showers before heading to a business meeting, etc. Completely stupid. Limit guests period. Or provide 5 guest passes per year. If you need more than 5 per year the guest needs to get an american express card or you need to seriously stop showing off to your friends. Lol

  17. Greg Guest

    Lucky, you write "One of the best perks of The Platinum Card® ...is access to Centurion lounge"

    Well this perk is just cut in half. Exactly what I will do with my Amex Platinum card once the renewal fee comes up in the fall.

  18. Peter Guest

    Arrival access is important to me and the new policy is a devaluation. If I am coming in to a city with a CL I will often stop in for 10 - 15 min to grab a bite or coffee, check email, and confirm ground transportation. Arriving passengers tend to stay much shorter times than departing and having a shower option on transcon arrival is useful, so this doesn't make much sense as it is...

    Arrival access is important to me and the new policy is a devaluation. If I am coming in to a city with a CL I will often stop in for 10 - 15 min to grab a bite or coffee, check email, and confirm ground transportation. Arriving passengers tend to stay much shorter times than departing and having a shower option on transcon arrival is useful, so this doesn't make much sense as it is not going to contribute that much to decreasing the number of person-hours in the club at peak times. I am OK with three hours on departure. The two hour limit at SFO has been problematic as I often need to change terminals which requires going through security again.

  19. Roc Guest

    Lounge access is one of the prime reasons we have platinum Amex. Since we both have them my wife and I aren’t worried about guests (which is rare for us). Arrival access is important though and we frequently use lounges after arrival especially if we have to wait for our pickup ride. Have not been in a Centurian lounge recently because our various routes don’t take us to those airports but other lounges we use...

    Lounge access is one of the prime reasons we have platinum Amex. Since we both have them my wife and I aren’t worried about guests (which is rare for us). Arrival access is important though and we frequently use lounges after arrival especially if we have to wait for our pickup ride. Have not been in a Centurian lounge recently because our various routes don’t take us to those airports but other lounges we use don’t have those rules. Now with unknown TSA times/functioning we leave a lot of time to go through security just in case along with allowance for traffic can mean very early arrivals.

  20. juniorsdca Guest

    For those of us who live in a city without a Centurion Lounge, we are effectively barred from using one unless we are connecting onward in another city that is lucky enough to have one? Paying $550 a year, American Express is going to let one card member and 2 guests in free of charge in cities that have a lounge but I alone can't use the CL just because I arrived and didn't' depart...

    For those of us who live in a city without a Centurion Lounge, we are effectively barred from using one unless we are connecting onward in another city that is lucky enough to have one? Paying $550 a year, American Express is going to let one card member and 2 guests in free of charge in cities that have a lounge but I alone can't use the CL just because I arrived and didn't' depart from that particular airport? I was on the fence and decided to apply for the Amex Platinum card over the Chase Sapphire Reserve mainly because of the benefit of using Centurion Lounges on arrival. I've used the DFW lounge once (for 15 minutes, connecting on AA and that was all the time I had, total zoo anyway). I used the Miami lounge because I arrived late at night (because I didn't know what food options would be near my hotel, there were none) and also because a drink at the lounge is cheaper than a hotel bar before bed. The only other time I've used a lounge was again in Miami after arriving from Paris...I wanted to shower before my day. (I got my card last October.) I used the Air France lounge and shower when I arrived in Paris because I was in Business Class, but there are no showers in the Sky Club in Miami that I know of. So with the new policy, I would only get a 15 minute benefit for an annual fee of $550. Are you kidding? American Express should reduce the guest policy to 1 guest per person or eliminate it entirely and charge $50 extra per non-cardmember. Why would you punish a cardmember just because they don't live in a city with a Centurion Lounge? If American Express doesn't change this new policy, I will definitely be cancelling the card. The other perks are nice, but Centurion Lounges are the main difference between this and Sapphire Reserve. The earnings rate on the Platinum is worse than the free EveryDay card. Why they would punish an arriving member over 2 freeloading guests is beyond me! Guess they would rather have crowded lounges and less people paying an annual fee. This new policy is totally unfair to solo travelers in cities without Centurion Lounges.

  21. Lemony Snicket Guest

    Under 2 years of age admitted free of charge? Yea, that same 18 month old is screaming and dancing over 2 seats munching on a moist sugar free cookie dropping crumbs everywhere, parents with a stroller and diaper bag taking up additional seats. Smh. I go to the Miami lounge, only for departures, and it's a kiddy park. Charge them all!

  22. CES Guest

    No entry on arrival is penalizing loyal cardmembers. The cardmember only should be allowed entry on arrival. Member since 1980 will be member until 2019!

  23. Peter Brown Guest

    Bmw suggests Centurion card holders be lumped with Platinum card holders. I f you knew how much the fees were you'd realize why they get precedence. In some Centurion lounges there are area only for Centurion card holders

  24. Eric Gilbert Guest

    The card is not worth the $550.00 fee. The membership rewards program is the WORST program as far as redemption value and what you earn. I liked the platinum card for the lounges because I was able to fly to Vegas from Miami, use the lounge in Miami and take a quick shower when I arrived in Vegas. Now that my access will be revoked upon my arrival, I see no reason for this card....

    The card is not worth the $550.00 fee. The membership rewards program is the WORST program as far as redemption value and what you earn. I liked the platinum card for the lounges because I was able to fly to Vegas from Miami, use the lounge in Miami and take a quick shower when I arrived in Vegas. Now that my access will be revoked upon my arrival, I see no reason for this card. I have suggested to American Express that they limit the lounge access to 20 visits per year per cardmember and my suggestion was ignored. For someone who travels 4 or 5 times per year, $550.00 is to much. I have learned something else. It no longer pays to be a loyal credit card customer. You get a no annual fee card for a year, accept the bonus, keep the card for a year, and then move on to another bonus with a one year fee waiver and do it yearly. There is no reason to be loyal to any card as it ends up hurting you.

  25. dan Gold

    AMP
    I would say these are all reasonable.
    I would add no children between 2 and 18 during peak hours or travel times (spring and Christmas breaks etc.) The sky clubs are overrun by unruly brats during these times, wasting food, and making it almost impossible to get work done. I am sure its the same with Centurian clubs.

  26. AMPfromBNA Guest

    +1 for limiting to one total guest
    +1 for Stricter card requirements (eg, 700+ FICO)
    +1 for AmEx building out more capacity and/or sites
    +1 for One hour use on arrival
    +1 for Kids count as guests
    +1 for 3 hour rule, if flexible for sites with disconnected terminals

  27. Zebra NZ Guest

    They sold a product and now because they are too successful are changing the conditions?

    Most of my visits are international locations (except SFO). My connections (whether on 1 or 2 tickets) are more than 3 hours. In addition, you do not leave the lounge when your flight departs but 45-60 minutes prior. Therefore a 3 hour rule is really 2 hours in the lounge rule.

    I switched from Citi Prestige to Amex Plat card...

    They sold a product and now because they are too successful are changing the conditions?

    Most of my visits are international locations (except SFO). My connections (whether on 1 or 2 tickets) are more than 3 hours. In addition, you do not leave the lounge when your flight departs but 45-60 minutes prior. Therefore a 3 hour rule is really 2 hours in the lounge rule.

    I switched from Citi Prestige to Amex Plat card because of Citi devaluation with AA.

    A big negative in my book.

  28. Ktc Guest

    Everyone is letting them off the hook easy, they should limit the card application once it gets crowded in the lounge.
    So they keep charging the same $ while giving out less value. Why is that OK?

  29. dan Gold

    I like to go into the vegas lounge in the morning on arrival and grab a quick bite 15 minutes max. I agree that no guests or one guest and count the spawn as guests. No one wants to deal with a zoo. I never see the vegas lounge crowded.

  30. CT Guest

    How about ban children completely or have a separate section for them?

  31. farsighted99 Guest

    I hardly ever travel to the cities that have these lounges. There aren't many of them, and my main hub is Chicago. The one I get to visit occassionally is SFO. I'm going to San Francisco in early Feb. and was planning to drop in to the lounge in SFO for a drink after I get off my flight (on a Tuesday at around 6 pm). Since this new ruling isn't effective until March, I...

    I hardly ever travel to the cities that have these lounges. There aren't many of them, and my main hub is Chicago. The one I get to visit occassionally is SFO. I'm going to San Francisco in early Feb. and was planning to drop in to the lounge in SFO for a drink after I get off my flight (on a Tuesday at around 6 pm). Since this new ruling isn't effective until March, I suppose I can still try to get in. Last year I was there before a flight, and it wasn't that crowded... had a nice lunch...

    People who depart from cities where there are Centurion lounges get a great deal if they can hang out in them for every flight out. I'm lucky to go to one twice a year. Maybe they should put limits on the lounge usage? If I flew all the time, say from DFW, I'll be visiting that lounge all the time. Casual users however, get punished by these people who fill them up on a weekly basis.

    The price for the Platinum business card has gone up to $595. This is absurd. I'll probably ditch this card now when it comes up for renewal. I'm not getting my money's worth and don't want to subsidize others who happen to live right next to one. (not really blaming anyone for using the lounges, but don't like the way Amex is handling this Platinum card).

  32. Bill K. Guest

    LAME!

    Overly limiting my occasional use of this amenity will reduce the valuation that I place upon my PLT card.

    They just raised the fee $100/yr and now they limit the access to the Lounges.

    TBD on this one.

  33. Diego Guest

    I want to see how they will track these people to leave the place after 3hours. Security guard pushing people around. LOL The lounge in Vegas is nice I don't know why they shut down for improvements. La Guardia is a terrible designer! The new DFW is always full but it's huge!

  34. FlyByNIte Guest

    I always used the Centurion Club as an arrivals' lounge (at least once a week) or when a delay occurred. This is a massive dis-service to me. I think limiting guests to one instead of two would have been more efficient.

  35. KN Guest

    It does pretty much negate the need for the showers. I don't know anyone who showers before departure.

  36. Noah Guest

    I think people don't understand the 3-hour rules do not apply with connecting flights. I got pinged at SFO for the 3 hour rule but showed my boarding pass from HKG and they let me in.

  37. dan Guest

    on arrival, book a same day flight with pts then cancel; an extra step but will work

  38. The best Paul Member

    I just renewed and would not have done so if I knew this in advance. I only want and use the lounge upon arrival, so basically the card is useless to me now. Hopefully I can cancel and still get my $$$ back since it was only 4 weeks ago.

  39. carl Guest

    Until Amex drastically reduces the number of humans in their lounges the value of the lounge benefit will continue to be devalued to zero. MIA is effectively my home airport and on 4 of my last 5 visits to the lounge I have simply done a lap and exited due to lack of seating and noise. It was actually one of the most stressful areas in the entire airport. The Admirals lounge is a far...

    Until Amex drastically reduces the number of humans in their lounges the value of the lounge benefit will continue to be devalued to zero. MIA is effectively my home airport and on 4 of my last 5 visits to the lounge I have simply done a lap and exited due to lack of seating and noise. It was actually one of the most stressful areas in the entire airport. The Admirals lounge is a far better option or even finding a quiet space in the terminal. My $.02:

    1. Enough with the free access to kids. Children generally take up an outsized amount of space and resources – strollers, luggage, food, noise, mess, etc. This is not an anti-child stance. If you choose to use your guest privileges for a child then by all means you should be able to come in with your child and expect the exact same level of treatment as any other visitor. However, as many have mentioned the Centurion Lounge has (especially in MIA) resembled a day care center for some time now.

    2. Limit the number of guests to one. If it is important to a family to have access for more than one guest the option to add an additional card exists.

    3. Reinstate the arrival privilege, possibly with limits. As a business traveler I often will meet (usually other cardholders) in the lounge while connecting to a shared international flight out of MIA. Or I will use the shower before heading to a meeting upon arrival. This is a key feature for me.

    4. Raise the cost of the card or raise the cost of lounge access.

    I just applied for an Amex Everyday card. That’s so I have a no-fee home for my Membership Rewards points (A quarter of Million of them!) If this isn’t sorted out before my next renewal I will certainly cancel my card and spend those down. The Centurion Lounge – as it is currently delivered - has almost zero value to me.

  40. Adam Guest

    3 hour / connection rule makes sense. I'm happy to see them implement reasonable restrictions like this.

    But what is the point of the showers if you can't use them on arrival?

  41. TimF New Member

    @Kevin I agree. Please everyone complaining, cancel your card!!!!

  42. Kevin Guest

    I can't wait for the overcrowding to die down as the cheap skates, big families and knee jerk reactionaries cancel their cards.

    More room for me. Thank you Amex!

  43. Robert Diamond

    AMEX continues to make the CSR/Plat decision easier. The AMEX Plat is not compelling. And for those who keep it, forget about getting a spa appt during your visit.

  44. 100K New Member

    I don't mind the 3hrs if it's your originating airport but they should not have a time limit for connections. I couldn't get a short connection time in the small HKG lounge (SIN-HKG-LAX) so it was nice to have access for the entire 6 hr connection (though I didn't stay in there that long).

  45. Andy 11235 Gold

    I don't know how much research they've put into this, but it sounds like they are just grabbing at straws to try and limit crowding. During peak times there will simply be far more people who are within 3 hours of departure than the lounges will fit. Similarly, tweaking the guesting policy just doesn't seem that effective either. The only thing that I can imagine that will work is to put a hard limit on...

    I don't know how much research they've put into this, but it sounds like they are just grabbing at straws to try and limit crowding. During peak times there will simply be far more people who are within 3 hours of departure than the lounges will fit. Similarly, tweaking the guesting policy just doesn't seem that effective either. The only thing that I can imagine that will work is to put a hard limit on free entries. Each warm body you bring with you uses one of your entries. Maybe if you put spend on the card, you can earn more entries?

    In a sense, this would be similar to the idea behind AA's sticker upgrades. It forces you to choose how and when that lounge access is truly the most valuable to you. Amex has to decide what sort of benefit they want. Right now, it's random: everyone discounts the value because the lounge may or may not be too crowded to access when needed. It is only a truly valuable benefit if I know that I'll be able to use it on a given trip.

  46. Mizzou Guest

    This makes the Centurion lounge access benefit useless for me. I use lounges only on arrival. I never like to go early to the airports, even if I have a palace there to stay before flight. I just want to rest a few minutes after the flight and get a drink and bite. I am shocked that they believed it is ok to limit the access to "before departure flights only".

  47. Matt Guest

    I still don't understand why Amex allows 3 AU's for 1 fee. Paying a fee for each AU and limiting it to 1 guest would solve a lot of the issues.

  48. Erica T Member

    @Dylan, this is true. I had a six hour layover in MIA last weekend and they let me in, even though they were enforcing the three hour rule for those originating.

  49. Erica T Member

    It's 9 AM right now at Sea-Tac. There was a 20-30 min wait for the Centurion lounge. I called the Platinum line and asked for $30 so I could get a drink, coffee, and food someone else. They gave me the credit.

  50. John Member

    I think you should get access on arrival at least while you’re under, say, 10 visits in a calendar year and the lounge isn’t too crowded. I mostly fly United out of New York/Newark and while I fly enough to get 1K there are no AmEx lounges most times I fly except in San Francisco. AmEx has been completely shut out of United hubs in the northeast and midatlantic (no AmEx at Newark, Chicago O’Hare,...

    I think you should get access on arrival at least while you’re under, say, 10 visits in a calendar year and the lounge isn’t too crowded. I mostly fly United out of New York/Newark and while I fly enough to get 1K there are no AmEx lounges most times I fly except in San Francisco. AmEx has been completely shut out of United hubs in the northeast and midatlantic (no AmEx at Newark, Chicago O’Hare, or Washington Dulles). Just about the only time I can visit an AmEx lounge is when I happen to be in SFO — or very occasionally in LGA. I think last year coming back from Chicago I popped into the LaGuardia lounge with two colleagues for 20 minutes so I could show them the lounge and we could all have a quick drink after our flight. Lounge wasn’t crowded at all since it’s an off-peak departure time and we didn’t stay long. I’d keep the Platinum Card for occasional visits for that but if that’s not going to be allowed and I can only access on departure, I’m not sure I see the value anymore since I don’t depart frequently enough from airports with an AmEx lounge. I only get a few visits a year as it stands.

  51. Dylan Member

    Never mind, read the official statement:

    "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. "

    So for those on a long connection, or a delayed flight, there's no change.

  52. Dylan Member

    I assume this is 3 hours from scheduled time of departure, and not 3 hours from actual if the flight shows a delay that far in advance?

  53. Bryan Guest

    From what i've read on the comments i think it might actually solve the problem.....because it will piss enough people off to the point that they'll drop the AMEX-P and not use the CL's anymore. overcrowding problem solved...(tongue in cheek)

  54. rich Gold

    I'd agree with Dale. Either restrict the number of visits and then charge $20 or whatever per visit once you exceed it, or implement a copay with each visit and for each person. I know the latter won't make anyone happy but when you have a demand, you can increase the fees, and it isn't practical to keep expanding the size of the lounges.

  55. Uday Guest

    This does impact how much I value AmEx Platinum compared to other cards. As a frequent flyer into and out of Seattle, the main reason I got this card was to access Centurian Lounge. I don't see the point of paying a premium if I end up using Priority Pass lounge all the time. Ahh well, I guess they might loose some customers who got this card specifically for this benefit.

  56. Steve_CC Guest

    Thats the final straw for me, i use it upon arrival more than i do for departures. I like showing up as late as possible. Nothing better than landing grabbing a nice lunch/dinner especially at 5/6pm when you can get a free dinner let traffic die down and uber home. Fortunately the amex/amazon promo has worked 4 times for me in the past 12 months otherwise no arrival doesnt justify the annual fee.

  57. David S Gold

    This has been the case at DFW for a while now. If I’m outside the limits I just smile and flash my platty to someone in the elevator and become their guest. If Amex wants to play games so will I.

  58. Beachfan Diamond

    It will mean the end of spa services unless you have a long connection. In MIA, those are common for folks on international flights.

  59. JB Guest

    Noooooooo! No! No! No! No!
    Not only is this bad for me but this change is taking place on my birthday :(
    Thanks for the Birthday gift Amex.

  60. Jack Member

    No access on arrival is tough. For SFO T3 it was the only shower option.

  61. Dale Guest

    I'd rather have X amount of visits per year on my card than 3 hour restriction. Although maybe they did some research and found a certain % of passengers check-in prior to 3 hours and by reducing it to 3 hours, lounge access should be reduced? Only time will tell...

  62. Santastico Gold

    Amex is getting this very wrong. You have the card, you have access to the lounge. If you do not have the card, stay outside. No more guests!!! I never spend more than 3 hours in a lounge but why make more restrictions to me as a cardholder and still allow guests? I went to the Amex lounge in Seattle last week. I was denied access to it and placed on a wait list and...

    Amex is getting this very wrong. You have the card, you have access to the lounge. If you do not have the card, stay outside. No more guests!!! I never spend more than 3 hours in a lounge but why make more restrictions to me as a cardholder and still allow guests? I went to the Amex lounge in Seattle last week. I was denied access to it and placed on a wait list and asked for my phone number so I would get a text message when I was going to be allowed in. I was by myself. I have many Amex cards including the Platinum and spend a lot of money with them every year but they don't seem to care. Once I was allowed into the lounge it looked like a Zoo. It was clear that many people there were just guests unless all friends together have Amex Platinum themselves. The only reason I keep it is for Delta lounge access.

  63. Stuart Diamond

    You mean the Centurion Chuck E'Cheese Lounge? It won't solve anything. It's become the sweet spot for a family with children.

  64. steve slaughter Guest

    I've already marked my calendar to cancel the $550/yr hunk of metal dog $#!+ that I never spend on. I have Reserve and will probably cancel it too now that there's a "new" product on the block with 5x air and meal, simple travel credit, travel delay ins, and more. Hint, it's not new.

  65. GuruJanitor Gold

    Ultimately, the three hour thing isn't as big of a deal as people make it out to be. By virtue of holding a platinum card, you already have other lounge options with priority pass, whether you are flying Y or J or F, and regardless, most platinum holders are probably flying on some sort of premium ticket or hold airline status that can get them into another lounge in addition to the priority pass.

    I...

    Ultimately, the three hour thing isn't as big of a deal as people make it out to be. By virtue of holding a platinum card, you already have other lounge options with priority pass, whether you are flying Y or J or F, and regardless, most platinum holders are probably flying on some sort of premium ticket or hold airline status that can get them into another lounge in addition to the priority pass.

    I think there's really only a small contingent of people on long connections that the three hour rule would truly negatively impact. Who wants to willingly show up for a flight more than three hours in advance just to use a lounge anyway? People who do that are part of the problem, unfortunately.

    To me the really big negative here is no access on arrival. Being able to shower after a long flight, especially when you have to head straight to work, should be considered a necessity for a card that carries such a high annual fee, especially when you consider Amex' target demographic.

  66. Tom Guest

    Devaluation of the product. One should be able to use the lounges within an hour of arrival. The problem with Amex is they give the card out to anyone instead of limiting it to a 700 credit score and above. The guest policy should be 1 guest or spouse and immediate children under 15.

  67. The Dude Guest

    Three hours before departures is bad. You have airlines like AA fixated on D0 who will start boarding an EMB-145 a full 50 minutes before departure time. In MIA, it takes a full 15 minutes to get from the Centurion lounge to the D60 gates, so you the most lounge time you can get in that situation is under two hours.

    In airports where terminals aren't connected behind security, folks wanting to use the...

    Three hours before departures is bad. You have airlines like AA fixated on D0 who will start boarding an EMB-145 a full 50 minutes before departure time. In MIA, it takes a full 15 minutes to get from the Centurion lounge to the D60 gates, so you the most lounge time you can get in that situation is under two hours.

    In airports where terminals aren't connected behind security, folks wanting to use the lounge but are not departing the terminal containing the lounge are really screwed by this policy. They can have a much longer haul to get back to their departure terminal, and they have to re-clear TSA when they get there. They'll be pushing the limits if they can get an honest 1.5 hours of lounge time under this new policy, best case scenario.

    Separately, long layovers are pretty common in my experience. Out of a hypothetical six hour layover, I'd far rather get to spend hours 2, 3, and 4 in the lounge rather than 4, 5, and 6 (again with you not really being able to use the sixth hour).

  68. V Bansal New Member

    Amex Cent Lounges are crowded and busy because the product is excellent. The product drives demand and I don't see this changing regardless of new rules. 1) We either await the arrival of competitive domestic lounges 2) Amex Cent Lounges will become as stale as any other domestic lounge 3) Terminals offer more private and better options for lounge geeks (already happening).

  69. DWT Guest

    Unfortunately, I do wonder whether the lifting of the guest restriction for children under 2 is just going to negate any alleviation of crowding the two new restrictions impose.

    A "lap child" may not take an extra seat on a plane, but in the lounge the child can certainly use up another seat.

  70. Bw Guest

    Unfortunately, they’ll need to do more than a 3h restriction.

    I’d suggest the following:

    - Amex Plat/Centurion cardholders only + 1 guest (if you always want your significant other to join without it counting against your guest number then order an addl card for them!)

    - Children should count as guests! No offense but they take up just as much room (with all the child stuff) as an adult would. Again, if you’re a...

    Unfortunately, they’ll need to do more than a 3h restriction.

    I’d suggest the following:

    - Amex Plat/Centurion cardholders only + 1 guest (if you always want your significant other to join without it counting against your guest number then order an addl card for them!)

    - Children should count as guests! No offense but they take up just as much room (with all the child stuff) as an adult would. Again, if you’re a cardholder, order addl cards for family members

    - I’m ok with the 3h rule

  71. Justin Guest

    I've never used an airport lounge (AMEX, Priority Pass or airline's) upon arrival unless it was a dedicated arrivals lounge (specifically LHR's old AC arrivals and Star Alliance arrivals lounges), so that restriction wouldn't bother me.

  72. brizone Gold

    This is the slippery slope of continued devaluation of the AMEX Platinum. Lounges are overcrowded because they've oversold the card without building the required concomitant lounge capacity, which I'm pretty sure they can afford to do if they wanted: https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-express-more-than-doubles-annual-profit-11547760972

    Next up: two hour restriction in 2020.

  73. Luke H Guest

    This change seems reasonable, it’s rare to have more than 3 hours layover and although it’s nice to use a lounge on arrival the reality is that I prefer to get out of the airport and on my way as quickly as possible after landing.

  74. Alpha Guest

    Ughhh.

    Not only is the three hour thing incredibly frustrating (Yes, I know people camp, but for those of us who take a redeye that may leave an hour or two after lounge closing this effectively limits how useful it is.), but they are going the wrong way with the child thing.

    Centurion lounges have become day care centers. I seriously cannot believe how many screaming kids there have been.

    Also the lack...

    Ughhh.

    Not only is the three hour thing incredibly frustrating (Yes, I know people camp, but for those of us who take a redeye that may leave an hour or two after lounge closing this effectively limits how useful it is.), but they are going the wrong way with the child thing.

    Centurion lounges have become day care centers. I seriously cannot believe how many screaming kids there have been.

    Also the lack of access our arrival is doubly frustrating. Being able to shower after a six hour Transcom flight was great.

    The platinum card was already barely worth it, now I don’t know why anyone would choose it over the Chase Sapphire reserve.

  75. Russ Member

    I don't know if this will work at least at DFW. This restriction has been in place the last few times I've been and the lounge is more crowded than ever!

  76. Frank Guest

    The more Restrictions the better ! Was in Miami in November and it was a disaster. I remember when the lounge opened in Vegas I was like this is awesome !it has Just gotten worse since then . I would rather be out in the terminal most of the time then be in the lounges that are packed .

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David S Gold

This has been the case at DFW for a while now. If I’m outside the limits I just smile and flash my platty to someone in the elevator and become their guest. If Amex wants to play games so will I.

1
Nic Guest

There will always be overcrowding and yes - that is a result of more AMEX users. When I travel and I see that the lounge is crowded, I do not make a fuss about it and just find a restaurant nearby - most of the time, the food at the restaurant is much better than what is in the lounge. I do not think restricting AMEX member users not to get in the lounge more than 2 or 3 hours before departure or upon arrival to control crowd defeats the essence of the value that AMEX says comes with being a member. Controlling crowd is one thing, resrtictions - No.

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robertw Member

The demeanor at the AMEX lounges has changed greatly. When they started it was far more welcoming in every way possible. The lounge I first used was Las Vegas since I travel there alot. Over the years they dont seem to be happy that I know they have a shower and wish to use it. They may not get that many requests for it. They certainly hope customers don't know about it. I went there a few months ago and was told to stand the counter for 5 mins since I was 3 hours and 5 mins early for a flight. Insane. Since it was an evening red eye I got there early to relax and have a meal and watch some movies while I wait. Also for a place like Las Vegas the morning hours are very quiet. There are many times I arrive in the morning and want to work prior to going to the hotel since the room wont be ready. So on arrival, I used it frequently. I know how to work around that policy as do any frequent flier. Per the comments abotu the MIA lounge (I fly out of there alot) that place is a zoo no matter the time. I mean a zoo. The food choices there I think not as good as other places. Also the food in Vegas is a little to artsy. I say keep it simple. Soups tend to be pumpkin, squash or something like that.

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