american express limits centurion lounge access

Recently American Express has introduced some changes to the Personal Platinum Card and The Business Platinum card; some changes were positive and some were negative. In addition to those changes, American Express limits Centurion Lounge access by making a small change to their terms. As of now the terms are:

Centurion® Members and Platinum Card® Members who receive complimentary access may enter with either up to two guests or immediate family (spouse or domestic partner, and children under 18) at no additional charge. Guest or family access is per Card Member, not per Card. Family and guests may not enter or remain in the lounge unless accompanied in the lounge by the Card Member.

american express limits centurion lounge access
Dallas Fort Worth Centurion Lounge.

As per View From the Wing, starting March 30 2017 Amex Platinum members will be limited to bringing two guests into Centurion Lounges. This means you can no longer bring the whole family into the lounge. You can pay $50 per additional guest beyond the first two.

This seems to be a move from American Express in an effort to reduce the over crowding of their Centurion Lounges. I have to admit that the Amex Centurion lounges are some of the nicer lounges in the US; especially nicer than US airlines lounges. The few times I visited the Centurion lounges, I noticed the over crowding which resulted in a less pleasant experience. I have to agree that the current guest policy is too generous. Many families with two children or more can access the lounge unlimited times. I realize that this will make many families unhappy but there are ways around it.

  • You can pay $50 per additional guest beyond the first two. This might be the least cost effective way especially if you travel with your family more than 3 times a year.
  • You can add three authorized users for a total of $175/year. This means you and your authorized user get 2 guests each. This option might be worthwhile if you travel as a family often. It also gives Platinum Card benefits to your authorized user and they can access the lounge themselves if travelling alone.


Bottom Line:

I think initially anyone can think of this as a negative change. However, I believe it will turn out to be a positive change when you visit a Centurion Lounge and find a place to sit and enjoy a drink or a small meal. American Express Centurion lounges are truly some of the nicest lounges in the US and having access to them just by holding the Platinum Card is a great benefit. It might be the best benefit the card offers next to the many other benefits like the $200 Airline Fee CreditFee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓Hilton HHonors Gold Status Enrollment. Starwood Preferred Guest GoldBoingo American Express Preferred Plan.


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