Published on September 29th, 2017 | by William Charles3
American Express Makes Changes To Centurion Lounge Access (No Change For Platinum/Centurion Cardholders)
American Express are making some additional changes to asking their Centurion lounges starting Monday October 2nd. TPG received the following statement from American Express:
As part of an ongoing commitment to giving Card Members the best experience while in the lounges, American Express is actually making changes to its Centurion Lounge access policy. Starting Monday, October 2, access to the Centurion Lounges will be an exclusive benefit for our premium customers – Platinum Card and Centurion Members. Other American Express Card Members will no longer be able to purchase day passes for the lounges.
The guest policy for Platinum Card and Centurion Members remains the same. Platinum Card Members can enter any Centurion Lounge with up to two guests, and Centurion Members may enter with up to two guests or immediate family at no additional charge. Platinum and Centurion Card Members can continue to purchase day passes for any additional guests.
We understand having a place to relax and recharge in the airport is essential to our Card Members, and we continue to evaluate ways to address any crowding concerns and provide a best in class experience for our Card Members.
For this reason, we are continuously exploring opportunities to expand upon our Centurion Lounge offerings to accommodate more Card Members, including the introduction of new locations, such as the upcoming Hong Kong and Philadelphia locations, and the expansion of our existing spaces, as we plan to do in Dallas.
As you can see there is no change if you have a Platinum or Centurion card and those cardholders will still be able to bring in two guests for free (and purchase additional passes for guests at a cost of $50 per guest). The only thing that’s changing is that you can no longer purchase a pass to the Centurion Lounges for $50 if you a regular American Express cardholder. On March 30th they made a different change limiting you to two guests, previously you were allowed two guests and immediate family members.
These changes are being made due to overcrowding issues at most of the Centurion lounges, American Express is also increasing the size of some lounges (e.g Dallas-Forth Worth), opening new lounges (e.g Hong Kong) and creating partnerships with other lounges outside the Priority Pass network (e.g Lufthansa lounges in Munich). This shouldn’t be a surprise as it’s one of American Express’ key value propositions for Platinum & Centurion cardholders. I’ll be interested to see if this change actually reduces overcrowding issues, I’d be surprised if many people were actually purchasing day passes for $50 but American Express will have data to back up this change. The other option is that they are just making this change to be seen as doing something even if it makes no practical difference, or think it will drive more Platinum sign ups.