Wow: Amex Cutting Centurion Lounge Guest Access

Filed Under: American Express

Update: Amex has now issued a statement confirming these changes, which is reflected below. There had been some confusion since Amex’s website was updated on Wednesday evening, and then the verbiage was removed after a few hours.

This is major — American Express has revealed significant changes to Centurion Lounge access, but they only kick in as of early 2023, in just under two years.

Amex Platinum Centurion Lounge guesting changes

According to the Amex Centurion Lounge terms & conditions, many Amex Personal Platinum and Amex Business Platinum cardmembers will no longer be able to bring two guests into lounges for free:

  • These changes kick in as of February 1, 2023
  • Both primary and additional cardmembers on the Amex Platinum will continue to receive lounge access
  • Those with the Amex Platinum will be charged a $50 fee for each guest they bring into Centurion Lounges
  • Amex Platinum cardmembers who spend at least $75,000 per year on the card will continue to receive complimentary lounge access for two guests
  • The Centurion Lounge guesting policy will remain unchanged for those with the Centurion Card

Currently those with the Amex Platinum can bring two guests into Centurion Lounges at no extra cost.

The Amex Platinum Centurion Lounge guesting policy is changing

Amex’s statement on Centurion Lounge changes

American Express has issued the following statement regarding the changes to Centurion Lounge access:

“The Centurion Lounge is one of the most popular benefits of the Platinum Card. We want to make sure we continue to back our Card Members when they travel by delivering a comfortable space for our Card Members to recharge and relax, which is why we are making some changes to our Centurion Lounge guest access policy.”

American Express has also confirmed that:

  • There are no changes to the guesting policy for those with the Centurion Card or Corporate Platinum Card (which is different than the Business Platinum Card)
  • There are no changes to the guesting policy for the Amex Platinum Card when it comes to partner lounges, including the Priority Pass membership, Escape Lounges, etc.

Nothing is changing with access to Escape Lounges

Is this good or bad news?

On the surface this of course sounds like a devaluation, since a benefit is objectively being taken away here. Centurion Lounges are no doubt more impressive than most US airline lounges in terms of the food, drinks, and other amenities.

However, one major downside to Centurion Lounges has been how consistently crowded they’ve been (pre-coronavirus, at least), given how popular they are. While the lounge network keeps expanding, and while individual lounges are also often expanded, it seems the lounges don’t get any less busy.

We’ve seen Amex try to add new policies in the past that would reduce crowding, but nothing made a material difference. Unlike the other solutions we’ve seen, I think this change should significantly thin out the crowds in these lounges.

Odds are that if you frequently take guests into Centurion Lounges you won’t be happy about this policy change. Meanwhile if you often enter Centurion Lounges alone and find them to be too crowded, you might find this to be a positive development.

For example, Miami is my home airport, but I always skip the Centurion Lounge and just go to the American Admirals Club — while the former is significantly better, the latter is significantly quieter, and that’s what matters most to me.

Centurion Lounges are excellent, but also tend to get crowded

The best Amex Platinum strategy going forward

If you’re thinking “oh no, I usually travel with a couple of other people,” keep in mind that adding additional users on the personal version of the Amex Platinum is a particularly good deal (unfortunately on the business version this isn’t nearly as good of a value).

You can add up to three additional cardmembers for a total of $175, which comes out to under $60 per cardmember. Those additional cardmembers get many benefits, including Centurion Lounge access. This is a rather affordable way to deal with this change, assuming you value Centurion Lounge access and consistently travel with the same people.

There’s quite an opportunity cost to spending $75,000 per year on the Amex Platinum, unless you spend a lot on airfare (a category in which the card earns 5x points). There are much better cards for everyday spending.

Note that there are some other rumored changes coming to the Amex Platinum, though again, those are just rumors as of now.

Adding additional cardmembers on the Amex Platinum can be a great deal

Say goodbye to kids in Centurion Lounges?

I have to say, I feel kind of bad for parents here:

  • You can only add those 13 years of age or older as additional cardmembers on Amex cards
  • In other words, if you have a child who is 12 years or younger, your only options for getting them Centurion Lounge access are to spend $75,000 per year on the Amex Platinum, or to spend $50 per visit for them

That definitely seems drastic, and I could see a lot of parents canceling their Amex Platinum cards. Then again, perhaps having fewer children in these lounges is the goal, and to refocus these lounges more around road warriors.

This will likely lead to a significant reduction in children in Centurion Lounges

Could this have to do with Amex’s new rumored card?

There have been rumors for quite a while of Amex introducing a new ultra premium card. One has to wonder if this change could be related to that:

  • Amex has to provide significant notice of benefit changes like these, so it makes sense that this change is being revealed so far in advance
  • At the same time, could this be part of a card repositioning? Maybe lounge access is being reduced on the Amex Platinum, but we’ll see a new ultra premium card that allows guesting privileges at no cost, regardless of how much you spend on the card?

This is purely speculation on my part, but a lot can change in ~22 months, so I wouldn’t be making too many decisions one way or another just yet.

Bottom line

As of February 1, 2023, those with the Amex Platinum will no longer be allowed to bring guests into Amex Centurion Lounges. The exception is for those who spend at least $75,000 per year on the card.

This is an interesting change, and your opinion of this will likely vary based on whether you usually take guests into these lounges or not, and also based on whether you have kids.

What do you make of these changes to Amex Centurion Lounge access?

(Tip of the hat to Bill)

  1. I think this is a bit harsh. Why not split the difference and allow one guest instead of two?

  2. I normally travel alone.

    There’s going to be winners and losers.

    Centurion lounges will definitely be less crowded and this will be nice for me in finding a space to eat and socialize.

    American Express will surely win too assuming this drives people to obtain their own Platinum membership.

  3. This is the tip of the iceberg to the what’s coming down the chute for Platinum card members. However I completely love this change.

  4. “On the surface this of course sounds like a devaluation” There is no “on the surface” about this. It is a devaluation. I often travel alone but it is rather absurd they don’t allow in one other guest. So now if you are in a couple you can’t go in together? I don’t like the people who show up to PP lounges and bring in a dozen relatives (I’ve seen this done), because that is inappropriate and when I am in a lounge I don’t really want to deal with children running around. It is supposed to be a relaxing space but having one companion with you isn’t asking much.

  5. So as two Plat card holders with my wife, we must pay $50 for our minor daughter to enter with us?

    Seems rather nonsensical.

  6. I always thought two guests was too generous, and that one guest would be totally fair.

    Whenever I’ve been in a crowded Amex lounge, I don’t get the sense that its full of groups with guests. I think its mostly solo road-warrior types.

    However those who are traveling with kids (like myself) will be affected. I would get my 4 yo her own Platinum card but that is below the age limit and also just a patently absurd idea.

  7. @Bill, “There is no “on the surface” about this. It is a devaluation.”

    It’s a devaluation for people who used to bring in guests for free.

    It’s an enhancement for the people who didn’t.

  8. So, a family of 4 – cardholder, spouse and two kids over 2 – will be charged $150 for access?

    Lol. GFY, AMEX.

  9. Seems like they would make an exception for children traveling with you. Both my wife and I have platinum, but paying for kids is absurd.

  10. @ Bill — We’ll have to agree to disagree. I’m someone who absolutely would theoretically take advantage of the guesting privileges sometimes, but the reality is that I simply skip Centurion Lounges altogether because of how full they typically are. If this means they’ll be less crowded, I’ll start using them again.

  11. I’m guessing they are doing this before they launch a new card positioned between plat and cent. The new card may allow two guests.

  12. @James, “So as two Plat card holders with my wife, we must pay $50 for our minor daughter to enter with us?”

    Is she 13? Assuming you’re already paying for your wife as an additional cardmember (or she, you) they your daughter’s card is free.

    Is she under 13? Yep, $50.

  13. Solo travelers are jumping for joy. Those who travel with their “+1” however are faced with a difficult decision: pay the $175 AU fee, pay the $50 guest fee, or drop the card entirely.

    I would’ve been content meeting somewhere in the middle. Perhaps cut the limit to 1 guest. Or add a cap to the number of guest visits, say somewhere around 5 visits per year.

  14. I don’t mind adding up three people to my Platinum for them to get lounge access but also don’t want the cards to show up adding to their 5/24. Since Amex usually requires SSN, I don’t know if it’s possible to get around this.

  15. Oh and this essentially makes the kids rooms useless. Kids under 13 cannot be added as AUs. So the only way to allow kids in now is to pay the $50 fee per kid. And I don’t foresee many parents coughing up the $50.

  16. On top of the rumors for $650 AF with more worthless credits.

    Every day cash back cards make more and more sense.

  17. @Aaron, “Oh and this essentially makes the kids rooms useless.”

    Two years is plenty of time to redesign those rooms!

  18. Exactly why I haven’t bothered signing up for Amex platinum… overcrowded lounges… monthly hoops with Uber/other credits … airline incidental credits which are unuseful for flyers with elite status… $550 fee… chase CC fan here and likely not changing with this minor adjustment in 22 months -_- I can see Amex marketing people in a boardroom clapping not thinking about their consumers lol

  19. This is good news. I agree that the crowding has gotten unpleasant. (Can they also add a $50 fee for people who insist on facetime/speakerphone calls without headphones?) I wonder why they put the effective date so far out. I’d think one year (so, past everyone’s annual fee renewal date) would have been sufficient.

  20. I wonder what percentage of Plat cardholders spend 75k on their cards per year. I bet that a lot of them do.

  21. Finally. I have never been to an Amex centurion lounge that hasn’t resembled like a zoo with feral kids roaming wild.

  22. I hope everyone whining today cancels their Platinum cards.

    The only downside is that it’ll take 22 months to kick in.

    Uncrowded lounges, here we come!

  23. Not a devaluation. Crowding has been a major bummer. I applaud this change. A lounge should be a quiet place that shouldn’t feel like every seat is taken.

    Tossing all but actual cardmembers is a welcome policy change. Too bad they’re waiting so long to implement it.

  24. Subjectively, I love this change, but objectively, it seems like they could’ve gone with 1 guest first to test the waters rather than to go straight to 0.

    I suppose they have a lot more data about how many people are guested in, so maybe this is the better move in light of that data?

  25. FYI you can add your kids to any AMEX card. You can just make up a birthday as they don’t ask for SSN for additional cardholders. I even have added some family members that live abroad and they have no way of knowing what their true birthday is. For SSN I just use their passport # and never had any issues. I’ll probably do that in this case as we all travel together.

  26. There’s gotta be some middle ground. Allow just one guest, require reservation ahead of time, buy guest passes ahead of time for “just” $25, guests can be free if they have any AMEX card… countless ideas.

  27. This isn’t quite as significant as it might seem at first. If I remember correctly, Amex has publicly disclosed that the average plat cardholder spends ~65-70k per year on their card. So really they’re only cutting off the bottom half or so of cardholders from guest access.

  28. Hot take—love this. Centurion lounges have been overcrowded for at least the past 3-4 years, and frankly I don’t really think children belong. (Yes, I know, harsh!) this will significantly decrease the overcrowding and make for a better experience overall in my opinion.

  29. This is a huge devaluation, and nearly completely removes my desire for a platinum.

    Some would claim I’m part of the “problem” – as a family with 4 children my wife and I have both had a platinum card for the last 5 years or so in order to get all 6 of us in. My kids love the Centurion lounges and look forward to it as a part of travel. Since nearly all of my travel is as a family, and that centurion lounges are the single biggest perk and reason to keep a platinum card for me, I’m not going to keep the card past my renewal in Jan ‘23.

  30. @ Aam — Personally I think there’s a significant difference between average and median when it comes to Amex Platinum spending, but I could be wrong.

  31. @ James
    Yes you are part of the problem of overcrowding by bringing in 6 total people. That’s ridiculous.

  32. I wonder what the policy will be regarding lap infants. Are they really going to charge $50 to bring in a stroller?

  33. Big devalue… I was already on the fence about the value proposition of the Amex platinum after the Amex priority pass stopped allowing restaurants. I kept it a second year due to a retention offer. I kept it a third year due to the $200 travel credit and $360 Paypal credits. I’ve never had trouble finding spots at my home Centurion lounge. I commend Amex for giving us a heads up, but I will be cancelling unless they add more to the card or I get another solid retention bonus. Spending 75k makes you miss out on a ton of points elsewhere unless it’s on airfare. If they made it 75k across all Amex cards, I think that would be doable.

  34. Finally !!! I love the changes, wish they would be instated immediately.
    We’ve all been tired of overcrowded Centurion Lounges. Hopefully with less people, once again they will serve better food as it used to be in the beginning.

  35. I’d be fine with this, I’m all for getting rid of Amex day care…if they weren’t about to drop a bomb with the increased $695 annual fee on cardmembers (and I 100% believe it’s coming from these SOBs). It would make far more sense to just drop the guesting to +1 than to pull this maneuver.

  36. @Ben absolutely on average and median, especially if this includes biz plats.

    Split on this. I think 4 all-day guest passes per year per primary and 2 per AU is fair.

    Amen on less rugrats. I say full ban under 13. Nobody likes your kids except for (maybe) you.

  37. Agree lounges had gotten crowded, but see this move as excessive especially if there is no waiver on minor children.

    While the majority of my visits over the years are alone, I definitely also travel as a family and idea that I would need to pay for my 8 year old is a rather insensitive move.

  38. Quite a move going from 2 to 0. Also not allowing minor children in with their parents for free seems over the top.
    Certainly would be a good way to discourage me from keeping the card if I still had small children.

  39. I often take family in. But this is the right move. Lounges were overcrowded and how else are you going to reasonably cut down?

    I will say though, I’d any day prefer young children in the lounge to the obnoxious show-offs on their phones. No contest there.

  40. Great news. Sick of kids and all the guest mooches in the lounge slopping around with overstuffed plate and too
    much champagne. Great move! I’ll gladly pay increase fee.

  41. That’s too bad if this occurs but as others have said going from +2 to 0 feels anti family and misses any middle ground.

    Maybe going to +1 or offering single use passes annually like other Travel cards do is a better option.

  42. 1) great move announcing a full 2 years in advance. Lets people plan accordingly.

    2) families of 4 should pay more than 1 person. If you use the benefit often paying $175 a year for additional card is cheap. Most people have one for their spouse already so this wont really affect couples, only families/friends

    3) Big spenders over $75k in a year are exempt.

    4) While some kids are well behaved, many are not and Ive seen on way too many occasions kids running amok and their parents having not a care in the world. If I acted out of line in public I got spanked and was made to go apologize to the adults I bothered in whatever place I was in. Good luck getting any parent to do that today first for fear of someone calling DCFS/CPS on them. Please note, if your child is well behaved and doesnt run amok I congratulate you on good parenting. But you are in the minority.

    Good move well in advance with options to avoid guest fee

  43. In reality, many will simply pay the $50 fee to bring their family/guests in, so I doubt this will really have as big impact of on impact on crowding as many hope for. Still an overdue, fair change.

  44. Did it state if the american express platinum business and platinum count? I.e. I put over 75k per year on my business card but not my personal

  45. I fully understand the two guests that are non-related, let them get their own Amex Plat, but for families this is silly.
    There could be a pretty simple middle ground here:
    You can bring in 2 related guests up to 3 or 4x per year and after that , there is a charge . If you are travelling a few times per year with family , let 2 guests in , if you have a family of 6 , you know there are going to be expenses having that big a family , pay the guest charges after the first 2

    Then maybe for each $25K you spend , you receive an additional 2 guest passes.

    Thoughts ?

  46. About time!…Should only be for Members,too many “outsiders” getting in,and unruly children….Bring on the changes earlier I say..

  47. I don’t even have a Platinum card and I’m all for this change. Why? Because the stature of the Platinum card has been watered down and so has the Amex brand. Everyone and their mother has a Platinum card right now. It’s time to make sure that the folks who actually spend money on the card, receive access to the lounges first. Not just the people who suck up the benefits and just pay the annual fee and spend like 2k-3k per a month. Good job Amex.

  48. The Centurion portfolio is clearly not large enough to maintain the lounge network, and the Platinum portfolio is apparently not profitable enough to expand the lounges to meet demand…somethings gotta give (either higher membership fees and/or fewer credits/rebates for the gamers out there..)

  49. I agree the lounges have been getting more crowded but I think this is a drastic response. I would rather they allow a one guest policy (age 12 and above) per cardholder or give cardholders a number of guest passes for the year (e.g. four passes in a year) or make guest passes cheaper (like $25 per pass with a maximum of one or two passes). While I don’t typically travel with guests, I view this as a serious devaluation. I want the ability to bring in a guest or two occasionally. Also $75k spending on one card is just not something I’m interested with much better CCs for everyday value.

  50. I will be dropping my membership. Being knickle and dimed after I stuck with them during covid hurts, paying my fee and not traveling.

  51. Agreed….business travelers like me will pay more annually for better more exclusive benefits. Im all for less gamers playing the system by spinning cards every year and rewarding loyalty and spend. Love the 75k exemption.

  52. Since I fly early and late in the day, the shorter hours at lounges I use are the most significant take-away.

  53. Oh no. I’ve got two kids (under 13) and we love the Centurion lounges.

    The thing is — this card is a linchpin. If I drop it, then maybe I should get the Citi Prestige for airfare. If I do that, then I should definitely put unbonused spend on a DoubleCash… And now Amex loses all my transactions.

  54. I will be cancelling my card. There are so many benefits and offers I do not use and this was one of the ones I did use (only +1 actually). I would prefer that Amex Platinum lets you opt out of some of their benefits you don’t use and keep the ones you do use. Time to move on for the annual fee I pay if the services I currently use are taken away. Seems simple.

  55. @Matthew

    I’m not sure how you game the Amex system since it’s once a lifetime bonus. Obviously you can get retention and referral bonuses, but other than that it would just be utilizing the credits and benefits.

  56. @James, you should try the Spirit Airlines lounge. I hear they are much more accommodative. And cheap.

    Yes, harsh. Or, is it?

  57. Yea so I usually travel alone, or with my SO and we both have our own cards… so this won’t affect me. However, the better strategy would be to only allow guesting for the primary cardholder. When people add three authorized users/family members — that is 4 + (8 guests) = 12 total. I was just in DFW and with COVID spacing it’s hard to find seats. And the good seats (by the windows) are reserved now for families who bring in a dozen people, when I pay essentially the same annual fee. The seating for singles or couples now is in the back corner in library styled study cubicles like we had in law school where you turn your head and can’t see right or left. The extended family stuff going on in lounges is like some awful Golden Corral with free booze. I think one guest is fair— and no guests for the additional cardholders. This new policy just screws single people like me who occasionally (1-2x a year) travel with others who aren’t card members.

  58. While I’m not too thrilled with this, I do get it. In recent years, the lounges are overcrowded whenever I visit, with often no room to sit. I wish they’d limit guests though, rather than cut them out all together.

  59. Not a Platinum card holder, but like the change. All I remember reading before the virus was how overcrowded the lounges were. This is a premium card and I’m sure they have a lot of cardholders that are already at $75K in spending or close to it where this is a nice advantage. I would get most high income earners don’t have 20+ cards in their wallet and for the ones they have they use a lot and don’t want watered down benefits. If one travels a lot with the family doesn’t seem like the additional card user fee is that bad.

  60. When I’m traveling alone, great! If I’m with someone I’ll pay the $50. Not sure why there seems to be a problem here.

  61. Remember when AMEX promised that platinum card redemptions would be worth 2 cents and then stole that defined cash value from everyone who had it in their amex bank account in the form of MR points? Yeah, this is a different Amex today. One that can’t be trusted to do things in the best interests of their card members.

  62. Many of those complaining about kids in the lounge will get their time to relax much earlier than 2023. Times of corporate-financed travel excesses are over, they will be able to relax far away from kids in their offices in between video meetings. Private travel does and will lead the air travel recovery.

  63. I can’t say I’m sad about this. Wife has her own Plat card. We’ll see if it actually makes a difference with crowding.

  64. Hallelujah.

    My only objection is the lengthy amount of time before the changes begin. A two year leeway on this seems overly generous in my mind.

    These lounges are just too crowded (yes, even now) that it dilutes the experience.

  65. I sure wish AX would allow the multiple platinum cards in foreign markets too. In Europe only one plat partner card and the rest are worthless gold cards 🙁

  66. This is fine but they should then let you in with a standby boarding pass. I’m paying the AF so I don’t know why they care if the ticket is standby or not.

  67. I see myself getting rid of this card and burning down my points. Already traveling significantly less, and still usually alone. But if I can’t bring my wife I’m when we are traveling together it strikes me as crazy, One guest. Regardless of age (sorry parents, not kid shaming but ONE is ONE).

  68. @ Gerardo — Okay, I’m genuinely curious, when did Amex promise that Platinum redemptions would be worth two cents each?

  69. @ Ed Eishen — The Delta Reserve Amex allows the cardmember to access the lounge, but additional guests are $50 each, so nothing is changing there as far as I know.

  70. @ Noah — It’s not clarified one way or another. I would imagine so, but I’ll try to find out for sure.

  71. All these people saying they are cancelling their cards altogether further reducing crowding makes me absolutely giddy.

  72. I’m actually a little surprised that no one has mentioned: Why doesn’t Amex allow you to use the annual $200 travel credit for guest passes (and maybe even make them $40 when using this credit).

    Anyone who travels frequently probably struggles to use these credits with existing status and otherwise it’s blown on silly expenses like overpriced bad airplane snacks.

    I know Amex enjoys the breakage on this PITA benefit but this would actually make me feel better about that darn futile credit.

  73. Last time I visited it was like a bad Greyhound waiting room, out of food, I only got to sit because they had “saved” three sad chairs for Centurion members. (SEA). Went to the Delta club 250 feet away, like night and day, spacious and airy.
    This change will be for the better and is long overdue.

  74. My guess is that the Platinum cardholders this change affects mostly travel by themselves for business purposes and then 2-3 times per year bring their spouse or children when traveling for leisure. I think I am fine with the change, though I think they ought to have had a carve-out to allow couples who are both paying cardholders to bring in up to 2 of their minor children (i.e., those who are ineligible to become AUs) when traveling on the same itinerary.

    Though, I also believe that the shouts of glee from those who think this move will magically solve the overcrowding problem are premature. There are going to be plenty of people who put less than $75k in spending on the Platinum (which offers a relatively terrible return on that spending) but nonetheless will find the value in paying $100 a pop to bring the family with them on vacation. A couple of glasses of wine apiece for mom and dad + a full meal for everyone and that value is still there.

  75. Children in lounges ruins everything for me. I don’t care if they’re quiet or well-behaved–they just don’t belong there. They’re simply too distracting. I always end up thinking about them the whole time I’m in the lounge and can never get any work done. Kicking them out will be a welcome change.

  76. Just a few thoughts.

    1. Kudos to Amex for providing a two-year notice. In a universe of lightning-fast devals, this behavior is exemplary.

    2. We all realize that lounge overcrowding is a problem. As I’m a majority-solo traveler, I can’t honestly say that this development is anything but an improvement from my perspective. When I’m traveling with a friend or family member, would I kick out $50 to provide them with c. 2 hours of a comfortable seat, a clean bathroom, and quasi-edible food and drink? Yes.

    3. I believe, however, that we are seeing the beginning of the gradual erasure of several key Platinum benefits in order to boost the value of a new card. I wouldn’t be surprised to see personal Platinum-cardholder access eventually fade away altogether or be limited to a once-per-quarter basis.

    4. We all draw the line somewhere. For me, the most valuable physical travel benefit is admission to Delta lounges when flying any class of Delta service. When that goes, I will require a heartfelt chat with myself.

  77. I love this. I love every part of this.

    The lounges are high quality and beyond most other offerings. We all know this. In the past, I’ve brought friends who all remarked, “wow.”

    Well, that “wow” didn’t turn into more AMEX platinum holders – it turned into overcrowded lounges as people kept tagging along. I even had co-workers boldly state they weren’t getting a Platinum card because “it’s too expensive” and “I know you’ll guest me in anyway.” Why buy the cow, right?

    AMEX is focusing on their business and shifting lounge policies to reflect a high quality status that is regularly accessible…for their card holders. I love this. This is the right move. You can now decide whether the “wow” is worth $50…or becoming a card holder. For my colleagues, I’m more than happy to now say, “sorry Mike. I know you love the lounges. No card? See you at the gate.”

    I read all of the other comments and can understand “it sucks” – especially if you have a family – but AMEX really offers this perk to grow business. I agree – $50 for an 8 year old is a bit steep. As I experienced pre-pandemic, however, your family complete with 4 teenage boys can mow down the buffet before anyone gets a chance AND take up an outsized chunk of the lounge – forcing staff to gently intervene. Sorry, no. This policy reduces the friction for staff and card holders and makes the lounges pleasurable again. Sure, you can pay to make your family authorized users…but are you going to? Based on posted comments, my guess is no.

    For those that are slamming their keyboards and threatening cancellation, you win!! You are absolutely right. Show AMEX. Go ahead and cancel. Sure, you don’t provide AMEX enough revenue (or else you’d be exempt!). You are also likely the overcrowding culprit, the yelling on conference call culprit, the DYKWIA culprit. You’re actually doing all of us a favor by cancelling, really. But good for you – you win by knowing what you simply won’t tolerate – and I commend you for following through. Cancel the card, close the lounge door, and don’t look back.

  78. I canceled my Plat card when COVID hit. Was going to renew this week since I am getting my second jab. Since my wife and I have a 3 year old I’m going to say no thanks. Frankly thinking of cancelling my other AMEX in protest. 1 guest or a minor child per card holder seems completely reasonable. This is BS.

  79. @Tom Sounds like you have your own issues you should be dealing with, why is your mind on someone else’s quiet, well behaved child? I’m not a fan of irritating or noisy children either but can’t fathom paying any mind to one that isn’t bothering anyone…weird.

    Change seems odd either way, the Platinum card definitely isn’t worth what it once was with all the useless credits but I’d reckon a lot of people, especially with the business version put $75k on the card and this really won’t impact the crowding.

  80. Centurion lounges have always been a zoo. But in my view the problem is not family with children but adults with friends. This change won’t affect me since my kids are older than 13 so I can easily add them to my card but very bad for families with young children. Now, usually families get a corner on the lounge or go to a kids room and kids don’t eat or drink much. Now, I find adults bringing co-workers the biggest problem. Your friend or co-worker can afford a credit card so enough with the free alcohol for them. Young kids cannot apply for the card and they do not eat or drink enough to justify a $50 charge. Yes, families that travel a lot will dump the card.

  81. We need to cut capacity, what should we do?
    Ok first – let all the people who have the delta reserve cars in.
    Wait what? We are trying to CUT crowds!
    Ooh, ok. Then after that, let’s remove the guest option people probably only use once a couple times a year with clients, bosses and family?
    Right on! That sounds great!

  82. I’m of two minds. When I’m traveling with my family, I do like taking them to the Centurion lounge, except for when it’s too crowded (which is often). And when I am traveling solo for work I would love a less crowded lounge.

    That being said, I’ve never really found the source of the crowding to be families or people with numerous guests. In my experience, the vast majority of people in the lounge are solo or couples (and I’d imagine that both in the couple are/will be cardholders/AUs). During weekdays it’s all solo business travelers, even now during COVID. And on Thu/Fri evenings and weekends it’s often couples and maybe a smattering of families. So in the end, I’m not sure this will really solve anything.

  83. I’m mixed on this benefit. I found myself at more priority pass lounges when I traveled over the last year and I never signed up for this benefit via Amex since I already had it through my Chase CR. The one time I was at an airport with a Centurion Lounge it was early and they opened about the time I would start boarding. The main reason I got the card was due to the fact that the lounge was opening at DEN, but that date kept getting pushed, and then we had COVID. The next annual fee comes in March, so Amex has a little under a year to wow me before I make a decision. It’s sitting at 50/50, and while this isn’t a huge devaluation for me personally, it would have been nice to bring friends into the lounge the couple times a year I traveled with friends. Granted, the last time we did that pre-COVID we left and went to a bar because the offerings at the priority pass lounge were pretty sad. So what to do with almost 200K points?

  84. Both Husband and I have platinum. We also have 2 children (7&4) we all love the lounges, it’s a place to chill and be able to use consistently clean bathrooms. We actually don’t use centurion lounges but Delta lounges have a similar policy. So we pay $38 for each child unless the check-in staff are feeling generous and only charge for 1. I have no issue paying for them but same price for adults/children is annoying. I’d like to think our children are well behaved, but none of us are perfect. But 100% I have seen far more badly behaved adults in lounges and 1st class on the planes than children. In lounges they drink and eat everything in sight whilst having loud ‘business’ calls and on the plane they complain if children are there but the funny thing is the complainers are usually the ones who have all of their travel funded by employer and expect their status to get the upgrades so think they have been cheated of their rights when children are there because they paid

  85. This new policy is what it should have been all along from the get go. If you give free guest access, people will simply take advantage, that’s human nature. Time to enjoy it again like when they first opened.

  86. I just read elsewhere that AMEX has taken down the changes. Not sure what the deal is – if true – an update would be welcome!

  87. Great news. This lounge is not meant to be a Chuck E Cheese and the majority of us do not want to see all these kids running around with little to no discipline. Pre-pandemic one of the worst things was watching the bad parents let their kids go up and touch all the food with their dirty hands. They should go all the way and make the lounges 21 plus.

  88. Best news EVER! I wish all airline lounges would take similar steps to reduce the crowding, especially from kids. In February I was at the MIA Centurion lounge and there were at last 4 families with 4+ kids in tow. It was a joke – poorly behaved, yelling, running around. My opinion may be unpopular but kids have no place in airline lounges. If you want to bring them on your travels, get them a McD kids meal and hang out by your gate.

  89. I barely travel solo, I’m either with my S/O or my pre-teen, who will be will be going on 15 when this goes in affect. She’s been enjoying lounging ever since she was 6. She sits with headphones and snacks. She’s never been a kid to run around. The highlight of her travels is the lounges.
    I think they should at least allow 1 guest. Because even when I travel for work, I’m sometimes with a colleague. And it’s nice to sit with them before the flight.
    Well this means, if you’re a couple or a parent your tossed out or get more cards.
    A world of single people who want to be alone. Sounds sad to me.
    The noise and crowd doesn’t bother me as long as I get a seat.
    I usually have my headphones on and tune everything out anyway.
    I live in NYC, I’ve learned to live in harmony with crowd and noise.

  90. I’m more for a limited number of passes each year to use as needed.

    Hate to say, but I often get a refundable Delta ticket just to access a Sky Lounge. Which are definitely quieter, less crowded, offer better food options, and often faster Wi-Fi. Then cancel the ticket before departure.

    I do so more now as the few Centurion Lounges that are open, I’m usually greeted with a “wait list” which spans 20 minutes to (usually) an hour. Then I spend another 10 minutes once/if I do get in looking for a seat.

  91. I am happy to pay $175 for three authorized users to get my partner into the lounge and ill give my parents the other cards if that means me and my partner can go without having kids or a million cluby euro guys playing loud music on their bluetooth speaker for everyone to hear.

  92. For years and years I worked and travelled, earning lots of points. Now retired, my wife is the one that gets hurt the most from the devaluations. She sat at home with kids, carpools, and playing the single mom, while working, when I was away on business.

    When Marriott, Hilton, Amex makes these changes, they don’t hurt me, they hurt my wife of 45 years. Shame on them.

  93. Does this mean you might be able to visit again upon landing? That to me was a bigger devaluation. I used to love landing home at DFW going to the lounge to eat a good dinner while i could allow traffic to die down before ubering home.

  94. @ Steve_CC — There’s no indication the current policy will change in regards to being able to use lounges upon arrival.

  95. As a predominantly solo traveller this is a good thing, as let us be honest, they were too crowded. A couple of guest passes annually would be helpful though, for travelling with spouses etc

    Platinum card holders also have their priority pass which gives guesting, so those with guests can either pay up the $50 each, or you can all go to the priority pass lounges.

    @ TONY – “I sure wish AX would allow the multiple platinum cards in foreign markets too. In Europe only one plat partner card and the rest are worthless gold cards”
    In the Uk at least, you do get one supplementary platinum for free and five gold/greens, but you can indeed also pay for additional platinum supplementaries…..I found this out when they mistakenly had two on my account due to an error, and they notified me that although they would let me keep it for a year as it was their error, it would be something like £180/year to keep any additional ones beyond the first year.

  96. I love how some folks (business travellers and road warriors) think the amex platinum is their rights and benefits should be amended according to their needs, the last time I checked the personal platinum card has not been labeled or marketed for those folks only
    Just because you have it doesnt mean it is only meant for you, there are others too who have it too
    AMEX platinum is not property of only biz folks,
    On other side, myself and my wife both can afford platinum and are frequent travellers but, under no circumstances, I am going to pay $50 for minor kid to access the lounge.
    Is amex okay to loose those kind of clientele (and believe me in my vicinity, many folks have it and making more than half million year but none of them are biz or road warriors)
    Then I guess it is fine on Amex end,
    Never sour the relationship with one set of customers to please other set of customers, in a end you loose both

  97. Alonzo – I would be happy to spend more on my Amex Platinum – if they made regular spend more rewarding. As it is now, I spend a bit on Amex Platinum, but spend more on cards ranging from Citi Premier, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Amex Delta Reserve, Amex Bonvoy Brilliant, heck even Citi Double Cash and Apple Card. Add bonus categories, or maybe even a spend threshold (let’s say double MR points for every $25,000 spent or something).

  98. As someone with twin, 2-year-olds this SUCKS. I can’t add them as AUs since they’re not 13. And they can’t get in on my or my wife’s cards. Amex hasn’t thought this through or doesn’t want young kids (or their parents) in the lounges.

  99. Post-covid travel will be essential travel and private travel. Travel in the name of pomposity is so … 2019. We will see how many of the kid haters around here will still stick around.

  100. *Great news*

    Now, hopefully, I’m less likely to deal with hordes of people in the CL (and their kids).

    Even though the caliber of customer the CL attracts is mostly a mid-level flier (or below), I can hope this change makes the lounge feel less like a bus station and more like someplace I’d actually want to quietly relax before a flight.

  101. I’m out. I primarily access the lounges when traveling for work, but on the handful of times we do travel as a family I’m not leaving the wife and kids sitting outside while I enjoy the lounge. When traveling with a coworker, I will guest them in for the half hour before our flight.

    I imagine most of us who ‘crowd’ the lounge with guests and children are in the lounges solo 95% of the time and have a guest or two 5% or less. Still, the card benefits were already getting borderline and the increasing hoops and free credit at places I don’t, or don’t want to, spend money were already getting out of hand.

    At the same time, my client meetings and business travel have dropped drastically in the past year and I don’t know if/when it will go back to the previous levels. The value isn’t there anymore. As we do open up, its time to cash in my membership points for travel and then drop the car.

    Ce la vie.

  102. I love this!! Had a 45 min wait at DEN this past week which is annoying. Would rather have immediate access for myself as opposed to a 30min – 1hour wait to bring a guest in.

  103. I know others have said it – by just want to add another voice so everyone knows how many people hate children in any lounge – I hate children in a lounge, too. They touch everything, including food, with filthy hands. They leave the bathrooms a mess. They have no volume control.

    @Mikito speaks to how Delta SkyClubs are quiet and less crowded – exactly, after they instituted the change to charge for guests, including children. The freeloaders won’t pay and it effectively keeps them and their children out.

    Also @Mikito: expect to get busted by Delta soon. Buying a refundable ticket over and over just to access a SkyClub for free is not only a violation of their terms, but totally unethical and fraudulent if you purchase the ticket with no intent of ever flying. Many people have been busted by many carriers for doing the same.

  104. This is a tough one. As someone who doesn’t have kids yet I can definitely can tell you that on one end of the spectrum it can be a nightmare going into the centrion lounges seeing kids running around and touching food from the buffet table and putting it back among other horrific things that I have witnessed but I also think that it sucks for the parents who actually raise their kids properly. We can’t forget about the parents that quickly find a table, tell their kids to sit down, mind their manners and go to the food table and get the food for their little ones. Far and wide but they are out there. Imagine traveling with your kids and not having access to the lounge especially during international travel and not to mention the high membership fee of having amex plat. My husband and I both have amex plat so you mean to tell me if when we have a child we would still have to pay? That’s crazy. As for the guest thing I could care less. The times we have a guest we will simply pay the fee and move on or they will pay it either way. To be honest I’m still upset at the whole no access to lounge upon arrival especially since the city I live in has no lounge. That’s the real problem in my opinion. For myself I will probably just cancel my card once I have kids. Waiting 13 years to put them on my amex card is beyond idiotic and I would rather put 50.00 I would pay for them to be a guest towards their college savings or trust but to each their own.

  105. @Lena most travelers who fly internationally with children, do so without any lounge access, and they get by just fine.

    It does not require imagination because you can see it in any airline terminal, every day. It’s really not a big deal and beyond first world problems.

    Plenty of food options exist in the terminal. Or bring your own. Or eat on the plane.

    You make it sound like lounge access is life or death when in reality, it’s just a nice to have. Except people who bring children often ruin it for everyone else. And it doesn’t matter how many are well behaved – all it takes is the one family to ruin the lounge experience that day for everyone.

  106. I’ve been to various Centurion lounges probably a hundred odd times over the years. I’ve never seen children “running around” as so many commenters have eloquently stated. More often than not, they’re sitting in a chair, glued to their tablets, with headphones on, and not making a peep.

    Contrast that to the adults I’ve seen, carrying on loud phone conversations, oblivious to their surroundings. Or taking their shoes and socks off, and kicking their feet up on an adjacent chair or table (thus taking more space away). Or using a surrounding chair to lay their jacket over, and then using a third chair to put their carry-on bag on.

  107. @Matthew B, “Post-covid travel will be essential travel and private travel. Travel in the name of pomposity is so … 2019. We will see how many of the kid haters around here will still stick around.”

    Wait, what?

    Intra-US leisure travel is *already* back to 2019 levels.

    The TSA screenings over the past month were at 56% of 2019 levels. That’s with almost no international travel, and drastically reduced business travel.

  108. My wife and I each have our own Platinums cards (not additional cardholders- entirely separate accounts) in order for my family of 4, which includes our two 5 year olds, to have Centurion lounge access. My kids either sit quietly on their tablets and munch on snacks, or go in the kids room and play supervised by us. Allowing our kids lounge access costs Amex $0 in F&B, but earns Amex an additional $550 annually in membership fees for my wife’s account. If Amex thinks not allowing at least one guest per member- hell, even restrict it to children of cardholders under the age of 13- is not going to cost them membership, good luck to them. They will be losing $1,100 in annual fees just from my family cancelling our two Platinum cards when this takes effect. Our situation is far from an aberration.

  109. @matt actually we opened various cards so that we could have lounge access when flying internationally with our kids. Our flights often leave in the evening and the airport restaurants (the ones that are open after Covid) are often closed. The bathrooms are often disgusting and how often do you see a block of 4 seats available? So we found paying the fees to be worth it so that we could sit in peace and quiet before our flight the best option. I have no issue paying for kids but charging them the same price as an adult seems ott and also even if there were no children in any lounge, what about the entitled business travellers that use one seat to sit on, one for their coat and another for their bag, then take off their shoes and put their feet up on another chair, while talking loudly and eating and drinking as much as they can possibly fit in while they are there………it is a small minority but they definately exist and I’m not sure they are any better than children ……to be honest lounges in general are a first world problem and that probably applies to all users

  110. @Matt is probably the guy that pisses all over the toilet seat and dribbles all over the floor if using a urinal… and that is okay, cause he is has a Platinum Card and somebody will clean it off for him. The men’s bathrooms have always been nasty!!! Direct correlation to all that free booze you feel entitled too, you pompous ass.

  111. The number of replies stating how much they hate children is striking in the comments. The same people that argue about “children don’t belong in business class” say the same about lounges. “it ruins it for everyone else” is just one of those nonsensical comments. it’s the usual bunch of elitist, self entitled people that like to brag about their shiny metal card in their wallet.

    This is an obvious devaluation for everyone. Everyone one day or another wants to bring a guest in a lounge and now has to pay. The fact that with this policy they are excluding kids below 13 (really, kids 2-11 – cuz in most cases Amex or Delta did not care about below 2 yo in strollers, speaking from experience – are the most annoying ? c’mon) because you can’t add them as AUs is ridiculous. And it won’t address overcrowding because adults will get in as AUs, bigger kids as well. Or people can still pay you know. Lounges are just lounges, they are not “for road warriors” or for business travelers or whatever. They’re just a service that you pay for through your card or your money.

    So let’s not be amex fanboys and applaud devaluations

  112. @reaper: exactly, *leasure* travel, you got my point. Corporate travel and international travel is still a fraction of 2019.

  113. Now after I pay 50 USD for my kid, it has every right to enjoy its life inside this holy place. The place some of you guys mistake to be a library or private suite. You all will have no more ground to be bothered or distracted. This kid paid cash, you paid nothing but a credit card fee with bonuses.

  114. They could have just allowed you to register one “guest” that you couldn’t change that often (if at all), kind of like how the Companion Pass works. So you would still be able to bring a spouse but wouldn’t be able to get just anyone in the lounge. Kind of lame they don’t include spouses / SO if you ask me.

  115. They should just ban anyone under age 18 into the lounges. It’s these families with strollers and kids that just crowd the lounges. All the people that don’t have a train of kids at the airport are subsidizing those that do.

  116. one guest would be fair, but yeah to no kids. I hated traveling when the brats were on break at least in the sky clubs. They ran around grabbed all the food and the parents didn’t do crap. Never say kids in centurian clubs

  117. “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.” [Berra]

    If the problem to be solved was high value solo travelers with Platinum cards were dropping AMEX due to overcrowded Centurion lounges, you solved it. If the problem was too many young children creating havoc in the lounges, you solved it.

    However, if the problem was too many adult guests crowding the lounge access to eat and drink in abundance, you probably booted it big-time.

    Many cardholders that have regular personal travel with children under 13 will almost undoubtedly drop the card. As they do, all remaining Centurion lounge users should expect the F&B quality and service to deteriorate.

  118. As a frequent traveler pre covid, the lounges were always packed – I thought the benefit was nice in a crowded airport to be able to get some quiet time and a meal and to get some work done, until you walk into the romper room of kids and a crowd of people that do not appear to spend $7,500/yr on the card. I sometimes spend $75k-90k+ per month on mine which is what I though the Plat and Cent cards were really designed for..

  119. This is loooooooooooooong overdue. It’s ridiculous how crowded the lounges are. So much so that it’s not even a benefit at all since it’s not worth going when it’s wall to wall people. If you are traveling with your family, then pony up for the extra passes and pass it off on your overall vacation expense.

  120. Add me to the pile of people happy with this. Lounges are largely pointless for me if they’re not a place you can relax / get some work done. I’ve ended up leaving a number of them in the past and finding a quiet corner of the airport instead because they’re so incredibly crammed.

  121. GREAT NEWS! I’ll happily pay $50 for my ten year old. I like lounges that aren’t crowded.

  122. @Road warrior with kids

    WRONG. Your children cannot be disruptive and bother others just because you paid $50 to get them in.

    From the Centurion Lounge T&Cs: “American Express reserves the right to remove any person from the Lounge for inappropriate behavior or failure to adhere to rules, including, but not limited to, conduct that is disruptive, abusive or violent.”

    Please encourage your children to continue to be disruptive! It’ll be even sweeter when you’re kicked out after paying $50 per.

  123. Wonder whether AmEx policy will change for military members? Some clubs – like DFW – can be overwhelmed and look like a USO club. The card is free them – and I guess each person with a card can guess 2.

    I also prefer to go to the quieter and less crowded AA club at DFW. The food at the Centurion Lounges is not what it used to be – more like mess hall food.

    Seems like AmEx should at least allow one guest – otherwise I see many cancelling the card.

  124. @ Dan, Andrew, James etc: Absolutely agree, two guests was very generous, they should allow one guest free of charge, then reevaluate and see how crowded the lounges are. I’m not going to pay $700 a year and then another $50.00 for a guest.

  125. Not going to lie: I cancelled my platinum a while ago. At first, the lounges were amazing. But about the 4th time I walked back to the AA lounge to shower after a transpac because the wait at the centurion lounge was dozens of people long, I realized it was nothing more than an expensive and noisy buffet restaurant. It made me think hard about why I had a card that provided useless travel credits (what fees do elites/premium cabin passengers pay?), useless lounge benefits (chase priority pass is better), and no real reward for spending. Clearly I’m just not the target market for this card, and don’t think fixing the lounges is really going to change that.

  126. Cyril et al
    I personally dont hate kids – I have 3 of my own. What alot of us hate are unruly kids that get no discipline by their parents who take xanax. The “johnny please stop, I’ m going to count to 100 ” type while their kids mock them and continue to scream. A lounge is not a jungle gym. You want your kids to run around, airports offer play areas.
    Change the policy to be effective as of 2/22 is what I say

  127. @Matt that was your take away from my response? Someone’s reading comprehension is way….way off. No, lounge access isn’t a matter of life and death Matt. Quite honestly with all of the rules it’s becoming more of a hassle. Yes it would be nice when you and your spouse both pay membership fees to be able to have access with your child (provided they know how to behave) especially international travel since you are traveling for more extended periods of time. That’s common sense. Of course all it takes is one idiot parent who hasn’t taught their kids manners to ruin it for every one. That is essentially what has happened. It still sucks for the parents who have managed to raise kids that know how to behave in such settings. I don’t have a dog in this fight as I don’t have kids yet. Guess you missed that part in my response too. But that still doesn’t make it any less unfair. Again, as I stated in my previous response that you either skimmed through too fast or maybe didn’t finish reading….im more concerned about access upon arrival that actually affects me in present day. 😉

  128. This is largely due to all the web/reddit type sites telling people how to scam the benefits available.

    I never post my hacks/hints due to the fact when they are well known the company will close any loophole.

  129. @Lena
    Thank you for being so kind as to personally attack me and my reading comprehension. You’ll note that my reply to yours did not personally attack you or your abilities in any way.

    I replied to a scenario that you began with “Imagine if.” That scenario included traveling with children.
    And my point was that many, many, many people travel with children without having access to such a lounge (whether it is either unavailable at their airport, or they lack access credentials) and those parents/families get by just fine, so there is no need to imagine.

    Many folks take a selfish view of things without giving any consideration to a macro view – something that Amex, for example, has to take. They have access to all the data indicating who is coming into their lounges, and clearly, all the guests are either making the lounges unappealing, costing them too much, or both. They have the right to make these changes – which I think are welcome – and folks can vote with their wallet and cancel their card.

    I imagine those threatening canceling are the customers that were not very profitable for Amex to begin with, so they will be happy to see them go. And in turn, make their best customers who continue to access the lounges happier.

  130. I love this – I travel alone and the Centurion Lounges can become unbearably crowded. So happy about this change, long overdue.

  131. I guess I’m lucky that my younger son will be 13 in May, long before this goes into effect, so the change won’t have any effect on me. I’m already paying the AU fee for my wife, so adding the kids is free.

    We put well in excess of $75k on personal cards/year, but I’m no fool and don’t put any spend besides airfare on my platinum card. But I have plenty of business partners who just have the card, use it for everything, and tell me things like, “the points are kind of cool — I just used some to get new ear buds on Amazon.” I doubt anyone who follows this website puts $75k/year on this card though, regardless of financial ability to do so.

  132. I was about to sign up for the card in the next 2-3 months when I would have had some spending line up with the intro offer – I might hold off at this point. My wife travels with me about 50% of the time – it doesn’t make sense to take on another premium card when we won’t both be able to enjoy the best perk. Plus there’s the rumor of the fee going to $695. I think this shift is a bit much, as others have said 1 guest would be great; or even an AMEX reimbursement of $200/year for guest fees; which would essentially give you 4 guests per year.

  133. Excellent news. As a single traveler I feel like I’ve been paying full freight for families and friends to enter lounges free over the years.

  134. @road warrior without kids:
    I never said my kids should be disruptive. Kids are able to enjoy their life within the lounge and comply perfectly with T&Cs (95% of the kids which you don‘t notice in the lounge). But never mind, in 2023 they will have paid more for being in there than you, well behaving or not. Sorry for that.

  135. I think a more equitable approach would be to have a visit limit after which a fee would apply. For example, there could be 10 complimentary admissions per year. After that, each visit would cost $50. If you brought guests, they would count against 10 visit limit.

    I travel infrequently and use Centurion Lounges 2 or 3 times a year, typically with my spouse. Having to pay an extra $50 each time seems very unfair when a frequent business traveler might make 20 or 30 visits a year with no added fee.

  136. This is so great! Less people (especially kids) in lounges = better experience. And It’s not like kids are banned, just pay the premium for being allowed to inconvenience everyone else with your annoying children.

  137. Excellent news… The one paying customer, plus two guests was out of hand… every business traveler or vacationer tramped through all of these extra people and made the experience unbearable… you wanna come in PAY. One guest per card please… welcome news, this is not a devaluation but value added

  138. I’m a Centurion member and I just received an email from Amex confirming the above. It also says:

    “As of February 2023, Platinum cardholders will no longer have Centurion Lounge access unless they are willing to undergo a vasectomy or tubal ligation procedure prior to entering the Centurion Lounge. We will be converting the existing “Kid’s Rooms” into state-of-the-art minor surgical procedure suites where we will offer relaxing cucumber water and neck massages while you are sterilized.”

    For those of you who plan to recover from your procedure in the lounge, please try not to moan out loud. I don’t want you to ruin my quiet and restful lounge experience.

  139. I believe many charge more than 75K annually on the Personal & Biz cards for this to have an impact.

  140. Yes, the lounges were a bit crowded, but this change kind of kills the Platinum for families with children. I am sure Amex ran the numbers on this, but if I had to guess some customers will be lost. For the singe player folks here, yes, it might be less crowded but there is a good chance that the annual fee will go up if enough people leave the network.

  141. Yes, I am one of the customers lost. No more American Express. It will certainly delight the arrogant elite travelers, who want less of the families, riff raff, er, people, and they will get it. I’ve had more than enough of the snobbery that I found myself participating in, and the exclusionary practices of Amex in general (Oh, no, not the optics, just the real practices). Years of the Platinum Card, Gold for staff execs, nope. Done. I say NO. It really started when they changed from having real people working for Amex customer service that you could speak to intelligently and receive compassionate assistance–they basically got rid of them and outsourced to the company that owns the cheesy knock off Black Card. Their customer service is atrocious. So over all of it. Aand loved your comment, Sparky Duggan, spot on.

  142. I’ve had a very difficult time justifying paying a membership fee of $550 a year for a card that continues to devalue its benefits. I don’t travel that often and the only reason I keep the card is so that when I vacation I can bring my spouse to the lounge. I’m confident that this change will reduce overcrowding because I will drop the card as I’m sure many more will do the same. Unfortunately, for the rest of you AMEX will just raise your membership fees to offset the losses.

  143. That’s a good idea. I am a AE Platinum card holder, quite a few times visiting the Centurion lounges, it’s so crowded that it feel like a Starbucks in a busy mall…. that’s is not what I expected in an “exclusive” members’ lounge. I have to stand there and wait for an empty table….so absurd. Totally agree that AE should bring back that “Exclusivity” to the Centurion lounges; this is not a Starbucks in an airport….I strongly support this !!!

  144. About time. The Club was never meant to be a baby sitter nor a family entertainment center. Businessmen rejoice. Maybe a little decorum and peace and quiet. This is what happens when spoiled Americans push the system.

  145. OK, my two takeaways are 1) it’s harsh to say folks with 2 Platinum cards bringing in 6 people are part of the problem when the policy does not eliminate the problem. Theoretically, a “two-card” married couple can still bring in 6 people and pay $200 extra. How does this eliminate overcrowding (assuming all current ‘free large parties’ would pay)? It adds to Amex’s bottom line which is what has always disgusted me about these ‘enhancements’ for our own good. If AMEX truly wanted to eliminate the problem, they would not allow any guests. The 75K spend requirement also lines Amex’s pockets for ‘our’ enhancement/benefit? Kool-Aid for the masses. i would venture that most 5-6 member families only travel as a unit once or twice a year. Most primary members travel solo the rest of the time. This is a cash grab (and doubly so if Amex is doing it to prepare to make even more money with an intermediate card on top of inducing many to increase/divert spend to achieve 75K on the existing Amex Plat product).

    2) I really like the guest pass idea. Offering 4 annual guest passes is brilliant. Family of 6 can take an annual trip and enjoy the privilege or a solo flyer like myself can bring in a single guest on a couple trips (since I still travel alone except for the spousal unit very rarely half of them would still go unused). Amex NOT making any money on ‘this option’ makes it a pure enhancement because it’s selfless without a $50/person fee.

  146. And let me also ask how does adding 3 additional users for $175 solve the problem either? Again, Amex makes more money by primary members adding 3 extra users, and the crowding continues with a ‘2 primary card’ household being able to take in up to EIGHT people total as AUs. I think the majority (majority not all) will take advantage of one of the ‘cash generating’ alternatives that make Amex money on this ‘enhancement’ and barely reduces the crowding problem, if at all.

  147. Shame on AMEX for ever having allowed non-members free access to the Centurion Lounges.

    Bubba and his buddies going on a fishing trip and businesswomen traveling with their office lovers are as guilty as are families with young children.

    I am the cardholder but had to wait in line at SFO, DEN and IAH last week while non-members came in before me, for free.

    AMEX should immediately put primary cardholders and authorized users ahead of those who are neither.

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