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American Express

American Express Priority Pass Downgrades “Non-Lounge Experiences”

American Express Priority Pass Downgrades “Non-Lounge Experiences”
Joe Cortez

FlyerTalkers received more bad news about The Platinum Card from American Express this week. According to a statement from the card provider, their version of the Priority Pass will become “a premium lounge space” benefit and cut all “non-lounge airport experiences” from their benefits.

FlyerTalkers are calling the latest changes to The Platinum Card from American Express “upsetting” and “cheap,” after a key benefit was removed from the Priority Pass benefit. According to a statement published by Business Insider, holders of the Priority Pass through The Platinum Card and three other premium credit cards will lose access to “non-lounge airport experiences” starting August 1, 2019.

(Source: Amex)

“As our lounge access benefits are intended to provide Card Members with a premium lounge space to relax and unwind in while traveling the globe, the Priority Pass Membership benefit offered on American Express Platinum and Centurion Cards and Hilton Ascend, Hilton Aspire, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™. Cards will no longer include complimentary access to non-lounge airport experiences,” the statement reads. “Non-lounge airport experiences and outlets include but are not limited to restaurants, cafés and bars where a food and beverage credit is offered as an alternative to entrance into a traditional airport lounge.”

While Priority Pass is known for granting lounge access at airports around the world, airport restaurant and experience credits were among frequent flyers’ favorite aspects of the program. The benefits will remain for the time being for other Priority Pass members, including those that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

On the FlyerTalk forums, frequent flyers are not taking kindly to the new changes. “So there is a fee hike for the Platinum Card and decreased benefits?” asks FlyerTalker s0ssos. “Real ‘enhancement.’”

FlyerTalker kennycrudup is more upset about the overall reduction of the Priority Pass program. “Coupled with the widespread rejection of PPSelect at so many lounges, this is going to seriously diminish PP for me,” they write. While mia has a foreboding premonition: “It will be interesting to see if Citi and Chase do the same, and if Priority Pass continues to offer this feature if there is widespread pushback from card issuers.”

Are you affected by the American Express changes? Will you be changing products? Let us know in the FlyerTalk forums!


[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)


  1. amanuensis


    May 29, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    I’m going to switch my Hilton Ascend card back to the no-fee Hilton credit card. The airport restaurant credits are what made the card valuable to me. For a $95 fee I could get a $25 restaurant credit up to 10 times per year.

  2. 8MiHi

    May 30, 2019 at 11:44 am

    This truly proves that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
    Priority Pass should probably have planned this out with their biggest customers (the cc companies) as the restaurant option was likely to push card utilization beyond what those customers had budgeted. Perhaps a limited version of the benefit might work better for all.

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