Cool: Live Amex Centurion Lounge Crowding Tracker

Cool: Live Amex Centurion Lounge Crowding Tracker

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American Express is well known for its network of Centurion Lounges. The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (review) have great airport lounge access benefits, and the Centurion Lounges are probably the most popular aspect of that.

One major issues with these lounges is crowding. Amex is now rolling out a feature that at least makes it easier to manage expectations.

Amex Centurion Lounge capacity indicators

With a new feature that has just been rolled out, cardmembers with Centurion Lounge access can get a live look at how full lounges are. Lounges will fit into one of the following categories:

  • Not busy
  • A little busy
  • Very busy
  • Almost full

To access this information, cardmembers can log into the Amex mobile app. When logged in with your eligible card, go to the “Membership” section. There you should see a section for “Find an Airport Lounge.”

Then enter the airport you want to check. The closest airport should automatically populate (assuming Amex can track your location), but you can search any airport you’d like at the top. Then simply select the Centurion Lounge you want to check on.

On a particular Centurion Lounge’s page you’ll see a red button that says “LIVE,” along with the crowding level.

One thing I’m not sure of is how exactly Amex decides the crowding level of a lounge. Is it based on the number of people who entered the lounge in the previous couple of hours? Is a count of empty seats taken every so often? Is there some other metric?

Amex Centurion Lounge Denver

Amex Centurion Lounge crowding remains an issue

Amex Centurion Lounges are superior to those operated by major airlines in the United States. They’re usually nicely furnished, and have hot food and excellent cocktails. That’s both a blessing and a curse, though. In my experience Centurion Lounges are also consistently packed, more so than virtually any other airport lounge.

I get that some people value food and good drinks in airport lounges, though personally what I care most about is a quiet and calm environment from which to work… and that’s something that Centurion Lounges typically don’t offer, in my experience.

This is why I’ve largely started to avoid Centurion Lounges altogether. For example, the Centurion Lounge at my home airport of Miami? Every time I’ve visited it has felt so crowded that it made the terminal look peaceful by comparison. While the American Admirals Club is far inferior, personally I usually visit that, since I prefer a quieter environment.

Admittedly the crowding isn’t really Amex’s fault. These lounges are extremely popular, and Amex has added all kinds of restrictions to limit entry to the lounges, from limiting when you can visit them, to raising the annual fee of the card. As of 2023, guesting privileges will even be cut significantly. Furthermore, airport space can be really hard to come by, and Amex has done everything it can to even expand existing lounges.

I’m not sure what else Amex can do. The lounges seem to work for enough people, based on the fact that they’re typically close to capacity.

Amex Centurion Lounges have great food & drinks

Bottom line

Amex now lets cardmembers see how crowded a Centurion Lounge is at the moment, and that’s a fantastic feature. Lounge crowding is the biggest downside to Centurion Lounges, and it’s a reason I typically choose to skip these lounges when at the airport, instead using other, quieter (but inferior) lounges.

I’ll absolutely be using this new feature to try to find a Centurion Lounge that’s not overcrowded for once. In the event that I’m at an airport with a Centurion Lounge that doesn’t show as “very busy” or “almost full,” I can finally look forward to a visit.

What do you make of this new Amex Centurion Lounge crowding tracker? Will you use it?

(Tip of the hat to Zach Griff)

Conversations (22)
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  1. Alan Guest

    Good addition, but they need to stop being so generous with their access rules to help prevent this.

  2. TurningLeft Guest

    Was in PHX last week in Terminal 4. There was an Escapes Lounge next to Centurion Lounge. Considering the food offering is the same, I went to the Escape Lounge with minimum entry time and a lot less crowd.

  3. Matt Guest

    PHL based. Been to Centurion lounges 100+ times, mostly PHL but also DFW, LAS and SFO that I can recall. Can only remember one time around the holidays pre-COVID where I could not immediately find seats for me and my companion (this was at PHL), and have never been denied entry. Maybe I am just lucky.

  4. Wkc Guest

    I must be the luckiest guy, never had to wait to get in the amex lounge at dfw or lga. At times it did have more people, but never had problems with finding sitting for 2. Food still blows ua and delta away. And I don't drink alcohol. You can actually have a full lunch and dinner. But I travel mainly for leisure, so perhaps my scheduling is different.

  5. 1987 Guest

    As the other blog site guy said "Really? if you have an app to do this- then there is a systemic issue"
    I canceled my AMEX card due to the horrible management of those "Clubs" which are horribly over crowded with families of 7+

  6. Ekrem Guest

    This feature does NOT work, it's a joke. We went to the lounge in IAH and it said that it wasn't busy but the reality was that there was a line out the door 20 - 30 people waiting and they told us 75 - 90 minutes to get in. Amex needs to get their systems working before they roll it out!

  7. travel4b Guest

    What a joke. I’m sitting in the lounge at DFW right now. Online it’s rated “a little busy”. In reality I’d be charitable to call this “very busy”; it’s actually “almost full” with a few open seats here and there.

  8. Weymar Osborne Gold

    Had my first experiences with Centurion Lounges this year. The first was the Denver lounge not too long after it opened. It's a nice space, though very small and thus was pretty crowded both times I visited. The food was slightly above the United Club, but by no means blew me away. If I'm flying UA (which I do most of the time out of DEN) I don't think I'd go out of my way...

    Had my first experiences with Centurion Lounges this year. The first was the Denver lounge not too long after it opened. It's a nice space, though very small and thus was pretty crowded both times I visited. The food was slightly above the United Club, but by no means blew me away. If I'm flying UA (which I do most of the time out of DEN) I don't think I'd go out of my way to get to Concourse C and would probably just stick with the United Club. In the summer, I visited the DFW lounge, but there was a wait and I had to wait outside for around 20 minutes before I could go in. I had a five-hour layover and my flight ended up being significantly delayed so it was well worth it, but on the return of the same trip I visited the SEA lounge with much less time and again was told the lounge was at capacity and I would need to put my name on a waitlist. I decided not to bother and went to the Alaska Lounge since I was there during the brief period it was a part of Priority Pass.

    I'm hoping that maybe there were capacity restrictions or something at DFW and SEA because if crowding of the kind I saw continues I'm going to have to seriously reevaluate whether the Platinum Card is worth it to me.

  9. Steve Gold

    No way that is based on actual metrics, its likely going to say the same status at the same time every single day regardless of how crowded or empty the lounge is.

    Also what is the fuss with lounges anymore, with TSA, global entry, clear combined with more point-to-point and less hub-spoke travel, i seldom find any need for a lounge. Id rather just get to the airport as late as possible and walk right...

    No way that is based on actual metrics, its likely going to say the same status at the same time every single day regardless of how crowded or empty the lounge is.

    Also what is the fuss with lounges anymore, with TSA, global entry, clear combined with more point-to-point and less hub-spoke travel, i seldom find any need for a lounge. Id rather just get to the airport as late as possible and walk right onto my boarding flight. This isnt 2010 anymore when lounges meant something.

  10. BradLAX New Member

    Cool, now do a story on why the LAX Centurion Lounge has been closed since June due to mysterious "building repairs."

  11. Omar Guest

    There's no need for a tracker. It should just say full at all times.

  12. Donna Diamond

    Your comment about the terminal being preferable to the lounges, is fast becoming the new normal. Beyond crowding, the food is terrible and there is very little of it in the AA and One World clubs I’ve been through. Many lounges remain closed. I wouldn’t buy a membership with anyone currently.

  13. Carl Guest

    Every time that I have used the app for every lounge it has told me "Almost full". That message is useless. What I need to know is whether the lounge is on a waitlist, and how long the expected wait is. Then I can make the decision whether to go to the lounge or go elsewhere. Anything else is useless. The employees who manage the waitlist have that information and it would not be hard to integrate it into the app. Or even just have a webpage to check.

  14. Kneemuh Guest

    I was at the Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas yesterday (10/18/2021) and when I used the mobile app to check in, I noticed that the app was showing the lounge as "almost full". When I approached the entrance, there was a gentleman with an iPad who was taking names to put on a wait list that was running 20 minutes long at the time due to the lounge being full. When I showed him my...

    I was at the Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas yesterday (10/18/2021) and when I used the mobile app to check in, I noticed that the app was showing the lounge as "almost full". When I approached the entrance, there was a gentleman with an iPad who was taking names to put on a wait list that was running 20 minutes long at the time due to the lounge being full. When I showed him my phone with the mobile check-in that said the lounge was "almost full" (i.e. not full), he stated that I should ignore that information because it automatically gets set to "almost full" from the moment the lounge opens each day. "Our engineers are aware of the problem and are working on it."

  15. Never In Doubt Guest

    I saw this news today, but I swear I’d seen those indications in the app as early as July & August.

    Oh well, my memory plays tricks on me.

  16. Kev Guest

    This is not new. This has been the norm at US lounges for almost a year now.

    “Almost full” is the norm although every once in a while you get lucky and get “a little busy.”

    Note that the app warns that they reserve the right to deny you entry if a lounge is “almost full.”

  17. Andrew Guest

    "Amex has done everything it can to even expand existing lounges."

    Except for open the LAX lounge. Did you know Amex Platinum customers have exactly zero LAX lounges (and naturally restaurants) to visit, assuming you're not on Delta?

    I've never seen $695 provide so little.

    1. SubwayNut Guest

      ORD is worse. No lounges in the main terminal (except a tiny SkyClub), only ones are in International Terminal 5. I only keep my Amex platinum because my relationship with Morgan Stanley reimberses the annual fee each year.

    2. Darin Guest

      Can you imagine what the waitlists will be like once they reopen? As you note, there are no other alternatives unless you’re flying DL. The location at TBIT makes it centrally located airside for any terminal (if you’re willing to enter at TBIT and take a long walk to your gate). Even when they open, it will likely be inaccessible/impractical most of the time.

    3. Anthony Guest

      Why don't you guys just fly Delta :)

      But honestly if you generally fly domestic with a carrier other than Delta, you probably should just get the Citi Executive or United Club cards, and maybe sure you value the other perks associated with Amex Platinum if you are going to keep it

    4. Jerry Gold

      The SkyClub in Terminal A at ATL yesterday felt about as crowded as the front 10 rows of a Motley Crue concert, and there was a line down the stairs to get in.

    5. Anthony Guest

      I hear you. Overcrowding is an issue in almost all US lounges. Tons of people in the US have access to lounges, especially Delta and Amex lounges, as those cards are popular. We can blame people like Lucky and others who have popularized these cards, along with a strong consumer. I've always said, if you want quiet empty lounges, go back to early 2009.

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BradLAX New Member

Cool, now do a story on why the LAX Centurion Lounge has been closed since June due to mysterious "building repairs."

1
Andrew Guest

"Amex has done everything it can to even expand existing lounges." Except for open the LAX lounge. Did you know Amex Platinum customers have exactly zero LAX lounges (and naturally restaurants) to visit, assuming you're not on Delta? I've never seen $695 provide so little.

1
Alan Guest

Good addition, but they need to stop being so generous with their access rules to help prevent this.

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