AMEX Centurion Lounge Access is Changing for AMEX Platinum cardmembers, effective March 22, 2019. There won't be any access for passengers on arrival, and access is only permitted 3 hours or less before the flight's original scheduled departure time. Note that none of these changes affect AMEX Centurion cardmembers.
AMEX has already been experimenting with limiting cardholders to 3 hours in the lounge, during peak travel periods–see Will AMEX's 3 Hour Limit Fix Centurion Lounge Overcrowding? And previously, in 2017, it stopped selling day passes to other AMEX holders (see AMEX Centurion Lounges to Limit Access to Platinum and Centurion Card Members) and prior to that, started limiting AMEX Platinum members to 2 free guests (AMEX Centurion Lounge New Platinum Guest Policy: Only 2 Free Family Members).
“The Centurion Lounge will welcome Platinum Card Members who arrive within 3 hours or less prior to their original scheduled departure time or can provide proof of a connecting flight. Card Members who arrive at the Centurion Lounge as their final destination will no longer be permitted entry.”
That's the bad news. The good news is that the time restriction appears not to apply for connecting flights, only for the first departing flight. And there's also good news for parents of toddlers and babies is that kids under the age of 2 will be admitted complimentary and won't count as one of the two permitted guests, as long as the child's parent or guardian is an AMEX Platinum member and there is proof of the child's age (for example a passport) or a “lap infant” boarding pass. Perhaps AMEX was getting an earful from parents who have 2 kids, one of them very young, and were annoyed by having to pay $50 for a baby who wasn't going to eat or drink anything.
“Children under 2 years of age will be admitted free of charge and will not count towards Platinum Card Member’s 2 complimentary guest count, so long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is able to produce a “lap infant” boarding pass or proof of age.”
AMEX has really struggled with overcrowded Centurion Lounges, due to so many passengers 1) having AMEX Platinum cards; 2) preferring to use Centurion Lounges instead of Priority Pass lounges or other lounges they have access to; 3) many cardmembers bringing in 1-2 guests; and 4) some heavy lounge users who use the lounge far longer and more frequently than the average cardmember.
As I mentioned in AMEX Business Platinum Annual Fee Increases to $595 I don't plan to renew my AMEX Business Platinum when it comes up for renewal later this year, as the little use we make each year of the Centurion Lounge doesn't justify the increased fee, even with the $200 airline incidental credit.
Will the new AMEX Centurion Lounge restrictions affect you?
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