American Express Acquires LoungeBuddy (App Discontinued)

Update 5/31/24: As of July 1, 2024, the LoungeBuddy iOS Mobile app will no longer be accessible. American Express Card Members can still purchase lounge access with LoungeBuddy through the LoungeBuddy website

American Express has acquired airport lounge booking/review app/website LoungeBuddy. The acquisition is expected to be completed by April 2019. American Express owns and runs a number of lounges under the Centurion brand that are accessible for Platinum & Centurion cardholders. In addition those cardholders also get Priority Pass lounge access. Chris Cracchiolo, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty and Benefits, American Express had this to say:

With the acquisition of LoungeBuddy, we will be able to leverage its cutting-edge platform to develop additional ways to become an essential part of our Card Members’ digital lives.

It will be interesting to see what American Express does with LoungeBuddy. There is an obvious conflict of interest with one of the lounge operators owning a lounge review site although given the restricted nature of the Centurion lounges I’m not really sure that matters. I suspect this will give American Express a lot of data in regards to the most used lounges. The American Express app currently already uses LoungeBuddy information with the ‘Find A Lounge’ feature. I’m guessing part of the acquisition will be leveraging LoungeBuddy to sell non-American Express cardholders things like the Platinum card.


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Lee (@guest_1853437)
June 1, 2024 09:43

While I’ve had the Lounge Buddy benefit, I’ve never used the benefit. But, to understand the benefit, I explored. Lounge Buddy (web and app) would list every single lounge at an airport. Most of which Lounge Buddy itself could not provide access. What’s the point?

Eddie (@guest_1853468)
June 1, 2024 10:38

In the state it’s in now, it’s a slick UI for knowing which lounges you have access to on your trip depending on the mix of cards/class/status you have.

As someone else mentioned, it used to offer the ability to book more lounges outright – and Amex likely (pre-COVID) had the idea to use LoungeBuddy as a way to compete with Priority Pass more directly. It already powers their lounge search tool in the Amex app and the Centurion booking system, so they could offer paid booking for the lounges they directly partner with (Plaza Premium, Escape) for their other cards, while keeping free access and exclusive lounges for Platinum and up. TL;DR: Amex possibly wanted to go down the Resy credit route with LoungeBuddy on the Green & Gold and then gave up.

Kafka (@guest_1853627)
June 1, 2024 15:43

It gets more useful the more means of access you have (airline status, credit cards, Priority Pass, Dragon Pass, etc.).

Lee (@guest_1853699)
June 1, 2024 18:26

Maybe I’m wrong but it seems to me that someone who is an avid hobbyist will know to which lounges one has access. Just based on the forum of this discussion.

Kafka (@guest_1853854)
June 2, 2024 04:04

Eh, 7 years in and I’m still learning. There are so many peculiarities. Not that even Loungebuddy gets all of them, but it’s the best I’ve seen.

For example, the Ethiad lounge in IAD allows Priority Pass once per year, but CSR PP gets unlimited visits, and when they’re approaching capacity Non-CSR PP isn’t allowed at all. And that’s all changed in the last couple months.

Kafka (@guest_1853348)
June 1, 2024 01:20

Guessing there will be an update to the AmEx app moving Loungebuddy search under the Benefits tab of the Green card.

Joe (@guest_1853294)
May 31, 2024 22:43

This always felt like it had some abandoned plans behind it that got thrown out when COVID happened, followed by the onslaught of lounge demand. It just never made any sense as it was.

Sammy (@guest_1853247)
May 31, 2024 21:34

Sad to see them discontinue the App. The product hasn’t been updated in several years (from a UI/UX perspective), but it is still the best product on the market. Wish they would reconsider!

Matt J
Matt J (@guest_1853246)
May 31, 2024 21:33

I feel like a green card revamp is coming. The $100 LoungeBuddy credit is making less sense.

scott (@guest_1853315)
May 31, 2024 23:37

I found it to be useless. I tried it at CDG in Paris and all the lounges said Not Available.

Jess (@guest_1853362)
June 1, 2024 03:45

I don’t see any LoungeBuddy lounges in Paris,cand there’s only one PriorityPass lounge.

Lee (@guest_1853703)
June 1, 2024 18:30

Please NO refresh. That will mean a higher annual fee and more breakage credits . . . I mean, statement credits.

NewbieNoMore (@guest_1853224)
May 31, 2024 21:09

I am so glad loungebuddy has been taken over by Amex. I have used it many times, it is tiny, crowded with just drinks, coffee/tea and little snacks.
It was a pain to use when I had access to lounge buddy via my Amex green card ($100 credit) few years back. I had to book my visit in advance and it would open late and close early.
I hope amex would improve it further.

Jess (@guest_1853364)
June 1, 2024 03:47

Huh? Are you reviewing a lounge?

Lee (@guest_1853439)
June 1, 2024 09:48

Amex has owned Lounge Buddy for 5+ years. Lounge Buddy is like a mini-Priority Pass. You might want to review what the program is about.

Smarty Panties
Smarty Panties (@guest_1853458)
June 1, 2024 10:14

LoungeBuddy is an app. You make no sense.

MoreSun (@guest_1853180)
May 31, 2024 19:46

Bummer. I used it for figuring out what lounges I had access to with my various cards.

Any recommendations out there on a replacement app for lounge searching?

Kafka (@guest_1853347)
June 1, 2024 01:18

A shortcut to the Loungebuddy website works fine.
Agreed, it’s the main way to figure out some of the more obscure access.

smartymanav (@guest_1853851)
June 2, 2024 03:42

The website though doesn’t allow to add trips and the credit cards you have, and hence doesn’t tell you the lounges you have access to. The app was great in this regard, even allowed to add trips.

J T (@guest_734146)
March 13, 2019 01:30

This might sound far fetched… But notice that you can make reservations to lounges through the loungebuddy website. Maybe Amex would like to end their contract with Priority Pass, and start giving access to the locations in Loungebuddy’s own network.

wander (@guest_1853214)
May 31, 2024 20:44

That does not sound far fetched it sounds smart. PP is actually a pretty terrible network in a lot of ways, and if this allows AE to distance themself from it yet still have a group of quality non Centurion non Delta lounges that would be a huge perk.

Sars (@guest_1854201)
June 3, 2024 05:46

Give JT a heads up about 2020 ok

Ed (@guest_733634)
March 12, 2019 08:44

I noticed recently that AMEX was using Loungebuddy on the AMEX site when you go look for a lounge. It seemed odd but it is similar to a lot of business that have reviews on their own webpage.

Bank insider
Bank insider (@guest_733463)
March 11, 2019 18:26

So search ORD on lounge buddy until Amex builds one there- got it