Published on May 30th, 2018 | by William Charles57
American Express Centurion Lounge Overcrowding Issues – 2 Hour Rule Clarity & Possible Solution
- Access is limited to 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight
- Inbound boarding passes are not accepted for entry
OMaaT then shared a similar notice went up in Miami as well. American Express then clarified that this was a pre-existing rule and is only put in place when a lounge reaches capacity. I’m not saying American Express is lying, but I do find it hard to believe there are precisely zero reports of such a notice even being put up before at any centurion lounge and then two lounges hit capacity and the same sign was put up on the same day. American Express has tried to put other measures in place to reduce lounge congestion, day passes were eliminated for non premium cardholders & guests were limited to two (previously immediate family members were also allowed) but obviously this hasn’t done enough to curb lounge use especially in locations with smaller lounges.
The easiest way for American Express to deal with lounge overcrowding would be to simply limit the number of guaranteed entries you have per year. For example somebody using the lounge twice weekly is obviously more of a overcrowding issue than a family of four using it twice per year (104 visits vs 8). You’ll notice I said guaranteed entries, rather than entries. The way I see it is that most users know when their flight is and what time they are likely to leave, there is nothing stopping American Express from allowing you to prebook that entry and be guaranteed access. If there is still room when somebody arrives, of course they should be allowed entry as well. If you’re given a certain amount of these entries annually (e.g 10 or 20 or whatever number you like) then it stands to reason immediate family should be allowed as well.
I know some readers will hate this suggestion, but the alternative is being able to access the lounge for two hours before your flight meaning you’ll likely be accessing the actual lounge for one hour to one and half hours total and that assumes that this will fix the overcrowding issue as well. I’d be interested to hear other readers suggestions on how to fix this problem as well, because it certainly is going away anytime soon.