Centurion Lounge crowding (2015-2019)

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Old Dec 8, 19, 11:46 pm   -   Wikipost
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Policy Changes effective March 22, 2019

NOTE: FOR PLATINUM CARD MEMBERS ONLY

The Centurion Lounge is a day of departure lounge. We will not admit arriving Platinum Card Members with boarding passes for flights that have just landed. We will admit Platinum Card Members with layovers or connecting flights who produce proof of connecting flight.

We will not admit Platinum Card Members more than 3 hours before the departure time on the Platinum Card Member’s same-day, confirmed boarding pass. This does not apply to Platinum Card Members with a connecting flight.

We will admit children under 2 years of age free of charge, provided an accompanying parent or guardian is able to produce a “lap infant” boarding pass or proof of age
Source: https://thecenturionlounge.com/info/access/
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Old Jun 23, 19, 10:22 pm
  #1906  
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For me, the access to Escape and Delta lounges has become a much more valuable perk of the Amex Plat than the Centurion Lounges.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 10:28 pm
  #1907  
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I only fly Delta occasionally, but the "crowding" problem is a good thing to whatever extent it helps to keep the Sky Club access in place. But as I've said before, I've made dozens of Centurion visits and haven't seen the problems others here keep reporting. The vast majority of complaints seem to come from SFO, which is why it doesn't make sense to add new limitations systemwide.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 8:03 am
  #1908  
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As I’m sure many have said before, the SFO lounge is way too small to serve the large number of visitors. Really nice when not crowded, though.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:47 am
  #1909  
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
SFO lounge is way too small to serve the large number of visitors. Really nice when not crowded, though.
There was a brief period after they introduced the three hour rule when it wasn't so bad. Now word seems to have gotten out and it is packed all the time again.

I just bought food in the terminal last visit and went straight to the UC. Not worth the hassle for me anymore.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 10:44 am
  #1910  
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
As I’m sure many have said before, the SFO lounge is way too small to serve the large number of visitors. Really nice when not crowded, though.
Much the same could be said for the LGA lounge. Does SFO sometimes close off a section of the lounge for events? This week again during a visit of mine, the LGA lounge had a closed off section when the lounge was definitely too crowded for a couple to find anywhere to sit together — even too crowded for a single passenger to find a place to sit unless intruding upon an already occupied table/seat/seat bench/sofa. Nice otherwise, but I found the United Club (and probably also the separate Air Canada) lounge to be less crowded and more relaxing than the LGA Centurion lounge — and UC is where I went soon after snacking at the Centurion lounge.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jun 24, 19 at 10:50 am
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Old Jun 24, 19, 10:55 am
  #1911  
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post


You seem to be forgetting the card has a $550 annual fee, which covers at least three or four visits per year for people who use the other credits and put $0 spend on the card.

Amex finally woke up and eliminated the Ameriprise loophole. I’d love to know how many people are still enjoying the perks of that. Hopefully a lot of those “unprofitable customers” won’t have a Plat 6 or 8 months from now.
There are still ways for some (myself included) to get the regular Amex Plat for free for a period of time. But those “free still” Plat cards’ users aren’t the reason why the Centurion lounges are so stuffed to the gills when they are.

And since the free Ameriprise version has gone away, the LGA Centurion lounge crowding seems to have gotten worse, not better, when comparing comparable times.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 11:26 am
  #1912  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


There are still ways for some (myself included) to get the regular Amex Plat for free for a period of time. But those “free still” Plat cards’ users aren’t the reason why the Centurion lounges are so stuffed to the gills when they are.

And since the free Ameriprise version has gone away, the LGA Centurion lounge crowding seems to have gotten worse, not better, when comparing comparable times.
The free Ameriprise only went away a few months ago, which means everyone who applied for it within the past 8-9 months still has it.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 11:37 am
  #1913  
 
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Originally Posted by Super Mario View Post
Maybe it's me, but I think this issue is fixed a lot easier than what it has ballooned into. It's a perk of a high-end card that is marketed towards a very specific clientele. Some people abuse it or aren't profitable customers. Amex has all kinds of purchase data history. As an example, I think it's pretty reasonable that people who never purchase any flights on the card and/or just don't use the card at all don't need to 10 Centurion visits with guests per year. That can be a violation of the Centurion membership. Why don't they crack down like every big CC does on every type of behavior that loses them big money on things their product was not designed for?
Remember that the AMEX Platinum is one of the easiest AMEX cards to get approved for (and probably one of the easiest travel cards to be approved for). It is charge card, after all. And the $550 fee more than justifies lounge access without any additional card spend - the airlines all sell lounge memberships in that same ballpark. The fact is that the card isn't as high end, nor is the clientele as specific, as you may imagine, and AMEX is probably fine with that
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:32 pm
  #1914  
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post


The free Ameriprise only went away a few months ago, which means everyone who applied for it within the past 8-9 months still has it.
The point remains that cutting the availability of the fee-free version of the Ameriprise Amex Platinum hasn’t followed with a decline in crowding problems at the Centurion lounges used by me. So for how long are people going to try to blame the overcrowded lounges on the increasingly rare fee-free Ameriprise card holders? If the fee-free Ameriprise users were such a big crowding problem, there should have already been an improvement of sort in the crowding situation, but there appears to be no improvement for me.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 2:19 pm
  #1915  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


The point remains that cutting the availability of the fee-free version of the Ameriprise Amex Platinum hasn’t followed with a decline in crowding problems at the Centurion lounges used by me. So for how long are people going to try to blame the overcrowded lounges on the increasingly rare fee-free Ameriprise card holders? If the fee-free Ameriprise users were such a big crowding problem, there should have already been an improvement of sort in the crowding situation, but there appears to be no improvement for me.
This makes no sense. Every person who no longer has the Ameriprise is one person fewer using the lounges — i.e., to whatever extent there’s a crowding problem, it would be worse with the old Ameriprise freeloader cohort.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 2:38 pm
  #1916  
 
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post
This makes no sense. Every person who no longer has the Ameriprise is one person fewer using the lounges — i.e., to whatever extent there’s a crowding problem, it would be worse with the old Ameriprise freeloader cohort.
Your statement is technically accurate, but I think you are vastly overestimating how many of the bodies in a Cent Lounge at any given time are Ameriprise card holders.

Time will tell as to whether you are correct...

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Old Jun 24, 19, 2:42 pm
  #1917  
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
Your statement is technically accurate, but I think you are vastly overestimating how many of the bodies in a Cent Lounge at any given time are Ameriprise card holders.

Time will tell as to whether you are correct...

Regards
I didn’t estimate anything. But we know (1) the number of Ameriprise holders isn’t/wasn’t zero, and (2) people weren’t getting a new Ameriprise card every year only to not use the perks.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 2:52 pm
  #1918  
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I think there are too many variables to expect to see a noticeable change in crowding and to attribute it to a specific policy change.

By now 1/3rd of Ameriprise cardholders should have come up for renewal, and faced the decision to pay the fee to renew or cancel. Not everyone will cancel. Some will have received retention offers, and some will have concluded that the card is worthwhile, particularly with AA DL UA tightening their own lounge access requirements. Some of those who cancelled will have applied for another Platinum variant, to obtain the ~60,000 point bonus -or- a feature that is a better match for their requirements.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 3:19 pm
  #1919  
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Of course. But there are no products or services that have the same demand at $550/year as they have at $0/year. The population of former Ameriprise holders might very well be outstripped by growth in the numbers elsewhere, but every person no longer using the lounges is one fewer person who would be contributing to the (alleged) “crowding” problem.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 3:37 pm
  #1920  
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The overcrowding situation at the Amex lounges would evaporate with a significant economic recession in the US married to a skyrocketing unemployment rate for university and post-university graduates and major asset price reduction in the real estate and equities markets.

Eliminating fee-free Platinum cards, marginally-raising Platinum card annual fees, and incentivizing couples/families to pay for additional user Platinum cards isn’t eliminating the overcrowding situation. If anything, it seems like that when couples/families have to pay for one additional user Plat card, more and more have learned to get three of the Plat cards to hand out — and you can go figure what that means during peak family travel periods when the top 7% of the population are doing so well financially.

Eliminating the Ameriprise Plat first year fee waiver wasn’t done to solve lounge overcrowding, and it still isn’t doing squat about that. And yet the Ameriprise card holders are still the bugbear for some when it comes to lounge overcrowding. Better to blame the American economy for the overcrowding situation than the rapidly dwindling group of fee-waived Ameriprise Plat card holders.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jun 24, 19 at 3:45 pm
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