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 May 29, 18, 3:44 pm
  #1246  
 
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Similarly, I use the lounges when arriving to do work, if say I take a flight that arrives at 8am, rather than traveling to an office or waiting for my accommodations to be available and wasting time. I just plop down in a lounge that has coffee and food and do my business there. It would be a real shame if they ever instituted this policy, but there has to be a point where they have to make policies to keep the lounges usable throughout the day.
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Old May 29, 18, 3:51 pm
  #1247  
 
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I normally always pop in upon arrival. Get a quick bite before the ride home. To have this as a blanket rule would be different than how the US airline clubs operate. However, if the club is crowded in that moment, I'd understand.
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Old May 29, 18, 5:44 pm
  #1248  
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IMHO - when there is an overcrowding issue the first step they should take is turn away Platinum AUs.

Last edited by golfingboy; May 29, 18 at 6:32 pm Reason: Specify platinum cardholders
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Old May 29, 18, 6:16 pm
  #1249  
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
IMHO - when there is an overcrowding issue the first step they should take is turn away AUs.
Turning away the spouse and parents of Centurion cardholders on the account of the Centurion cardholder via AU Platinum cards? That isn’t going to go over very well.
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Old May 29, 18, 6:29 pm
  #1250  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


Turning away the spouse and parents of Centurion cardholders on the account of the Centurion cardholder via AU Platinum cards? That isn’t going to go over very well.
Well if a lounge has two customers who arrived at the same time and they can only admit one customer... Customer A who is a primary cardholder pays $550 or Customer B who is a secondary customer on another customer’s account.

Lose-lose situation but certainly its in AMEX’s best interest to prioritize a primary customer (aka the one with direct relationship with AMEX) over a secondary customer.

I meant to reference Platinum cardmembers. Rules are different for those with a Centurion card and they always have space reserved for those customers.
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Old May 29, 18, 7:42 pm
  #1251  
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
Lose-lose situation but certainly its in AMEX’s best interest to prioritize a primary customer (aka the one with direct relationship with AMEX) over a secondary customer.

I meant to reference Platinum cardmembers. Rules are different for those with a Centurion card and they always have space reserved for those customers.
If anything, I would be more upset if a lounge turned away my guest than myself. I travel often, it's no big deal to me. But if my guest, who hardly travels and was looking forward to the lounge experience, gets turned away, it would be embarrassing. This is doubly true if the guests happen to be my parents or other close family members, because I would feel like I let them down.

I believe that everyone should be treated equally, other than perhaps centurion card holders. If the lounge is full, no one gets admitted until space opens up, and then they get admitted in the order they arrived. This would minimize resentment on all sides. People don't mind being told "the lounge is full", but they don't like being told "you aren't important enough".

Part of the problem here is that Amex is in a fish bowl. If they make a change to the policy, even if it's minor and temporary at only one location, it immediately gets announced all over the internet, and many people will misunderstand it.
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Old May 29, 18, 7:55 pm
  #1252  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post

Maybe it’s time to buy back into United and Star Alliance lounge access for my domestic flights too, since a scheduled 60-90 minutes transit can too easily become a 4-6 hour transit when hit by a delay/cancellation.
What’s the scenario you are thinking of? You have booked a 1-2 hour connection, arrive in SEA and find out the connection is extended due to a delay of the nex flight, and Amex will now apply the newly posted departure time instead of what’s on your boarding pass? That would make me rather

A two hour window also might make it challenging to shower if there is a waiting list.
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Old May 29, 18, 8:32 pm
  #1253  
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post


What’s the scenario you are thinking of? You have booked a 1-2 hour connection, arrive in SEA and find out the connection is extended due to a delay of the nex flight, and Amex will now apply the newly posted departure time instead of what’s on your boarding pass? That would make me rather

A two hour window also might make it challenging to shower if there is a waiting list.
A scheduled 2 hour connection isn’t 2 hours of lounge use opportunity even for on-time flights, unless you want to risk missing the flight after noting that boarding was stopped “too many” minutes before flight departure.

What I was thinking of was involving something more like this: arriving at transit point airport five minutes after scheduled departure of onward flight and being rebooked onto a flight departing 4-6 hours later. So the initial boarding pass for the onward flight may be useless and the rebooked onward flight departure makes for a transit way longer than 2 hours and maybe even denial of lounge access for the majority of the transit time at the transit airport.
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Old May 30, 18, 8:43 am
  #1254  
mia
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Originally Posted by Statman View Post

“There is no new rule or policy that restricts time within the lounge,” said Charlotte Fuller, VP of Corporate Affairs. “Occasionally, we have to limit access and waitlist people when we hit capacity, but there are no changes to our terms and conditions. In Seattle, we reached capacity over the holiday weekend, and in Miami, we also reached capacity due to the tropical storm.”
Originally Posted by JHake10 View Post
....To have this as a blanket rule...
It seems this is something American Express is trying at peak periods, when lounges reach capacity, not everyday.

One poster mentioned two hours before boarding, another two hours before departure. It would be useful to have more reports, because two hours before the departure time of a flight would often make for a very short visit.
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Old May 30, 18, 9:01 am
  #1255  
 
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I'll admit that I am part of the problem - an AU that flies a ton out of airports that have a CL. I also pop in on arrival for a quick bite to eat. I don't get to the airport extra early to experience the lounge though, the crowds themselves are a huge deterrent where I just want to eat and run.

However, I squarely put the blame on AMEX for overselling the benefits, knowing their limited space. Also, the clubs for the most part are not configured in the most optimal way to handle the types of crowds they experience; I'd like to see more options for single travelers.
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Old May 30, 18, 9:55 am
  #1256  
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It seems this is something American Express is trying at peak periods, when lounges reach capacity, not everyday.

One poster mentioned two hours before boarding, another two hours before departure. It would be useful to have more reports, because two hours before the departure time of a flight would often make for a very short visit.
Everyday or not, customers would like to be able to predictably count on lounge access. This kind of practice by AMEX hits customers when customers may not necessarily expect it and be most inconvenienced by it. Customers deserve predictable lounge access, but this kind of Amex practice does anything but help customers plan and manage customer expectations in such a way as to minimize customer frustration of those seeking lounge access.
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Old May 30, 18, 10:13 am
  #1257  
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Weird, my post disappeared mentioning the cut off cap.

The cap was 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time.
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Old May 30, 18, 10:31 am
  #1258  
 
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Centurion Lounge meet-up thread

Maybe if this thread is closed so no one shows up to the desk asking " Hey page FT Joe/Jane please, S/he is guesting me in."
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Old May 30, 18, 11:18 am
  #1259  
 
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Decreasing guests to me make sense. It's just not viable long term to keep increasing your user base and having finite space in an airport. It's one or the other.
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Old May 30, 18, 11:32 am
  #1260  
mia
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Originally Posted by Brian Chen View Post
... finite space in an airport....
The space isn't fixed. SEA has been expanded, and both DFW and MIA and slated for more square footage. American Express has also opened new locations each year.
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