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 3, 16, 6:42 pm
  #496  
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Was through the MIA lounge a few times over the last month. Ugh...packed in the mornings until all the South/Central American flights departed. Definitely lots of kids running around, and constant announcements (every ~10 min) about removing bags from empty chairs for other patrons in the lounge.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 8:52 am
  #497  
 
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Visited the the LGA and MIA lounges on my trip to Germany recently. I specifically routed my TATL leg through MIA so I could use a Centurion Lounge and the LGA routing changed last minute. These were my first two uses of a Centurion Lounge.

The LGA lounge was busy but not crowded...there was always space open for people...even space in "quieter" areas of the lounge. Despite the wifi being down, it was enjoyable. Good service, good drinks, good food, and not crowded.

The MIA lounge OTOH was an absolute zoo. I walked in around 3:30 and there weren't really any "comfy" spots to sit....just one open table in the dining area by the bar. I went to the bathroom and one of the stalls was marked "Out of Order"....so there was a line for the men's room. I scheduled a massage, which was very nice to have. I then took a shower, which was also nice. I returned to the lobby area to hear the employees at the desk telling people that there was no open seating in the main area of the lounge. Lovely. I sat in one of the chairs by the entrance for a few minutes trying to relax before my last flight of the day but that wasn't happening with the line of 8-10 people constantly at the desk waiting to get it. I left for the relative peace of the half-full Admiral's Club. The thing I most want in an airport lounge is a place to relax and unwind and the MIA Centurion Lounge did not allow for that. I will definitely avoid this lounge in the future and will only route through MIA if I have other lounge access there.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 8:59 am
  #498  
 
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The MIA lounge seems to be the primary problem of all of them (not surprising as it serves what I would consider the largest bulk of platinum cardholders that used to have Admirals Club access). I was in the LGA lounge this past Sunday evening and while it as busy, there were plenty of places to grab a seat despite a multitude of delayed and canceled flights that night.

For the MIA lounge, capping guests at 1 and not allowing purchased entry like they do at the studio in SEA could help significantly. My consistent observation is that there are many larger families, presumably on flights to/from Central/South America in the early morning or evening (of which MIA has a lot) that set up camp in there. The other option would of course be to open a second location in MIA or expand the current one.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:32 am
  #499  
 
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
My consistent observation is that there are many larger families, presumably on flights to/from Central/South America in the early morning or evening (of which MIA has a lot) that set up camp in there.
This is what I noticed yesterday. Right before I said, ".... it!" and left, there was a family of 6 or 7 that came in.They handed her one Platinum card, apparently thinking this would suffice. The woman working at the desk said, "I need 2 more Platinum Cards to let everyone in". Sure enough, the older kids (probably 18-20 y/o) suddenly produced their own Platinum Cards.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:00 am
  #500  
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
...My consistent observation is that there are many larger families, presumably on flights to/from Central/South America in the early morning or evening (of which MIA has a lot) that set up camp in there. ...
With consistent behavior problems making an already crowded space that much worse. I guess I won't waste my time trying to get in there this Saturday evening.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 11:08 am
  #501  
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Originally Posted by mnCO View Post
Sure enough, the older kids (probably 18-20 y/o) suddenly produced their own Platinum Cards.
That's funny. I'm imagining how it would have gone over with my parents if I had asked them to get me a Plat Card when I was that age. Not sure if they would have been amused or annoyed.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 11:23 am
  #502  
mia
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Originally Posted by mnCO View Post
...I will definitely avoid this lounge in the future and will only route through MIA if I have other lounge access there.
Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
...open a second location in MIA or expand the current one.
I would reserve judgment until AA finishes renovation of the MIA Admirals Clubs. They are working on both simultaneously, and placed signs throughout D explaining that both have limited space and amenities. Only when this work is done will we be able to see how the passenger load distributes itself between the options.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 8:28 pm
  #503  
 
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SFO is packed right now. Line to check in, line through the dining area for the buffet, additional line for the bar. If I didn't need to use the shower, I'd just leave.

I'm actually sitting on one of the benches near the reception area as there is nowhere else.

Update: just got coffee. Completely cold.

Last edited by JHake10; Jun 9, 16 at 8:35 pm
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Old Jun 9, 16, 8:55 pm
  #504  
 
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I'm a little unclear of the point of this thread...

We are now at basically 500+ posts of "I'm currently in Centurion Lounge XXX and it packed to the gills, this sucks" or "I'm currently in Centurion Lounge YYY and it's pretty empty, I don't see what all the fuss is about"

Is anyone unclear at this point, that Cent Lounges, net-net are crowed more often than not and will likely only get more crowded as time goes by? Are people still perplexed by this?

There is really no way this scales for Amex. Many in this forum used to shout "Once Amex builds more lounges I'm cancelling my Admiral's Club membership, yada, yada, yada" Here is the problem, back in the day when Amex allowed access to all the numerous airline clubs the loading was spread across many more clubs. AA alone had 40+ ACs back then. Heck, they have four ACs at DFW alone, Amex one.

So you had AA fliers going to ACs, UA fliers going to their club, and CO folks going to theirs. Now all fliers are trying to squeeze into one club per airport. We are how many years into this experiment, and Amex has completed... wait for it... 5 full clubs and 1 "Studio" If you think Amex is your lounge savior, you are likely to be sorely disappointed.

I remember one poster a long time ago sharing that when attempting to access the Seattle "Studio" it was too crowed so they gave him a $25 Starbucks gift card and beeper for them to notify him when there was room in the club.

That my friends, does not scale...

Regards
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Old Jun 10, 16, 3:16 pm
  #505  
 
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Not sure that families are the problem, or that restricting family access would solve it, but as a parent of two I am more than used to paying extra for a "family" membership so I can drag my kids to stuff they don't want to do. Museums, Swimming pools, Gyms, etc all have plans that are meant to give a break to a family that might otherwise have to purchase 4+ individual memberships.

So I don't understand why Amex would allow family members in for free. Don't most lounge programs sell individual, couple, and household memberships? Admiral's Club does.

I can remember many times I did the math and decided that a membership, expensive restaurant or event wasn't worth the money because my kids were too young to get much out of it. If non-cardholders were charged $25 a visit, now you'd have to think about whether it was worth bringing your spouse and 2 kids under 5 in the lounge. When my kids were younger, it probably wouldn't have been.

Further, I think there should be a limit of 10 visits/year. $15/visit thereafter. If you are going 10 times a year, you are probably getting about $3-400 of value out of your $450 card, not including the myriad other benefits.

Crowding aside, the Centurion Lounge is a FAR better experience than the other lounges I've been in, and I for one would pay for access if I had to, especially if it helped with crowding.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:43 pm
  #506  
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LGA last Friday at 6 PM. Only seats left were singles against the window or a couple of tables behind the bar. However, this was paradise compared to MIA the month before
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Old Jun 16, 16, 4:42 pm
  #507  
 
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Went to LAS this past Monday morning. There was a line to get in, which worried me, but once we got inside we were able to find seating for everyone in my party.
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Old Jun 16, 16, 11:09 pm
  #508  
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Last Saturday 530P, the MIA lounge was overcrowded, but I found a table and chair hidden in the far corner that was blocked from view and planted myself there for a few hours - the crowds came and went, so tables opened for short periods of time, but the lounge was far too full during my entire stay.

Food offerings were not that great, and whoever selected Michelle Bernstein to cater this location is an idiot - she is probably one of the worst chefs imaginable, and what was served reflected her "cough" capabilities.

Crowding is a major issue - Amex needs to limit entry to a cardholder and one companion or one family member, period.
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Old Jun 16, 16, 11:15 pm
  #509  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Crowding is a major issue - Amex needs to limit entry to a cardholder and one companion or one family member, period.
Yes, maybe a Starbucks credit for those not admitted.
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Old Jun 16, 16, 11:47 pm
  #510  
 
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Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post
Yes, maybe a Starbucks credit for those not admitted.
The SEA studio has stacks of $10 Starbucks gift cards to give away when it's at capacity ^
Anyone gotten anything at the other locations?
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