Starting in March, access to plush Centurion lounges will be more restricted.
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Cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express enjoy numerous travel perks, including free access to American Express Centurion lounges for the user and two guests. With Centurion lounges lauded as some of the plushest lounges around the world, this is a great way to make your next trip a little more comfortable.
Unfortunately, American Express will soon institute some new restrictions on the perk, limiting the amount of time travelers can spend in the lounge.
What is changing about lounge access?
Centurion Lounge access has slowly gotten more restrictive over the years, with a two-guest maximum being adding for Platinum cardholders in 2017. Starting March 22, 2019, access will be restricted even further.
An official statement from Amex confirms the new policy: “As our Centurion Lounges continue to be one of our Card Members’ favorite travel benefits, we are updating our Centurion Lounge access policies to ensure that we continue to provide our Card Members with a relaxing and spacious environment to visit before they head out on their travel journeys.”
According to Amex, beginning on March 22, 2019:
- The Centurion Lounge will welcome Platinum Card members who arrive within three 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.
- Children under two years of age will be admitted free of charge and will not count towards Platinum card members’ two 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.
This means you will no longer be allowed into a lounge at your arrival airport. You also can’t get into a lounge more than three hours before your scheduled flight (unless you can provide proof of a connecting flight) – essentially limiting lounge time to three hours for most guests.
For most travelers, the new restrictions probably won’t affect your departure routine. Unless you regularly arrive more than three hours before your departure, you’ll still be able to enjoy the luxury benefits of the Centurion lounges. But you will no longer be allowed to stop in for a quick bite in your arrival airport, and you’ll have to provide a boarding pass for a connecting flight to enjoy the lounge on longer layovers.
Platinum card travel perks still competitive
Despite new restrictions, the Platinum card still offers some of the best travel perks among luxury cards. There are no changes to Priority Pass or Delta Sky Club lounge access. Plus, cardholders receive free Boingo Wi-Fi access, a $100 credit for hotel incidentals through the Hotel Collection and up to $200 in credits each year for Uber rides.
See related: Is the updated Business Platinum Card from American Express the best business card available?, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express