Old Nov 26, 09, 1:24 pm
  #31  
MSPeconomist
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
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Originally Posted by Ilove2fly View Post
I agree with the AmEx Plt limitations. I have AmEx Plt solely for PC access and may be $100 per month of spending at Costco. I can only get into PC when fly Continental. The limitation had never bother me before since I never considered flying with NW or DL domestically. However, I will consider flying UA, it might be time to get President Plus instead of AmEx plt.
To reiterate and emphasize, the AmEx Plat charge card only admits you to the airline lounges of the carrier operating your flight that day (before and after), regardless of how your ticket is paid or if it is an award ticket. Be careful about codeshares even within the same alliance. For example, in the past with CO-NW, you could only use the lounge of the carrier operating the flight, which typically meant that a RT ticket between MSP and IAH resulted in lounge access at only one airport, and creative attempts to play with the ticket stock didn't work. Similarly, regional carrier partners generally don't count for actually obtaining lounge access, although the technical rules aren't totally clear on this. (However, if you could somehow do a connection in each direction involving both mainline metals on each day, this could be a solution.) You also don't get access to any partner, alliance, contract, or specially named lounges regardless of the signs on the door. International lounges, in my experience, are generally not included either, based on some technicality that they are business class lounges rather than club lounges. The lounge dragons aren't always correct about the rules, but they definitely error on the side of denying access whenever possible, just as they interpret the policies on partner and alliance lounge acccess. You should be prepared to argue with them.

On the other hand, the annual charge card fees can be less than a single lounge membership alone, so depending on your travel patterns and usage of other card benefits, it can nevertheless be very worthwhile. Another option is to combine AmEx Plat with Priority Pass as a backup, which unfortunately no longer covers the DL Skyclubs although it does still cover many of the other domestic lounges. (Current detailed information, including lounge locations, hours, and facilities/services, is available at prioritypass.com, which is accessible to nonmembers.) Similarly, you may be able to buy a day pass when you would otherwise have no lounge access, although the calculation suggests that three normal paid day passes (for all day at one airline's domestic clubs) cost slightly less that an annual Priority Pass plus daily fees for three clubs. However, one also needs to compare guest access policies and costs.
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