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Centurion Lounge crowding (access limited to 3 hours before flight departure)

Centurion Lounge crowding (access limited to 3 hours before flight departure)

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Old May 27, 19, 12:45 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: mia
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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 Mar 25, 19, 10:48 am
  #1741  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by ZJ3000 View Post
Overcrowded Lounges are not new nor exclusive Centurion lounge problem, I personally hardly ever visit a centurion lounge, I’ve been to several AA, DL, AS, KE, UA, CX, SQ, AF, OZ lounges in the last 12 months domestic and international, you name it they are all overcrowded, the problem is not solved by limiting access either, YMMV but I go there mostly for free food & drinks, and other guests services. some airline lounges limit the number of complimentary drinks and they’re still crowded, as we all know Centurion & Amex Plat cards have the most extensive network, including Centurion, PP, Air Space, Plaza, and Escape, it is a problem not easily solved, probably the only way to improve is by adding space, which is costly and not always available.
Why is limiting access not going to solve a problem? Cutting down guests from 2 to 1 would have immediate results.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 3:42 pm
  #1742  
 
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Originally Posted by ZJ3000 View Post
Sorry but, Your assumptions are without merit, if someone travels “every week (every day?)” they will almost certainly have access to any lounge, as the’ll have top airline/alliance status.
I don't think that's true. Most (all?) US-based airlines don't offer lounge access as an elite benefit for US/Canada flights.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 8:25 pm
  #1743  
 
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
I don't think its unrealistic to find more space, they've done so in MIA.... I don't know that there are so many people sitting in the lounge for 3+ hours getting hammered, it does seem that there is an intersection of the well-to-do travelers and plat cardholders and in a place like SFO, there are simply too many of them for the lounge capacity. I doubt the 3 hour limit will help that much.
Clearly there have never been so many people sitting in the lounge for 3+ hours if even after the new policy, the lounge can still be so absurdly overcrowded.


Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
You keep saying it's a bad policy as if that's a given, but I completely disagree. Who arrives at SFO 3+ hours early to access the Centurion lounge, and why should that silliness be allowed?

Centurion access at SFO is a scarce resource. It is properly being rationed. Turning away people who want to sit in the lounge and drink free alcohol for 4 hours seems eminently appropriate to me.
The resource isn't being properly rationed if the lounge is still overcrowded, yet access is still being restricted during non-peak times. That's a complete waste of the resource and that's why it's a bad policy. And it's not just the three hour limit, but access on arrival, potential issues with proving connections, etc.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 8:27 pm
  #1744  
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I concur that cutting down the guest benefit would have a substantial positive impact at SFO.
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
As for restricting the benefit, frankly, the other benefits of the plat aren't so great, the cent lounge is a big selling point for the people who would use the lounges the most, so they're kinda screwed.
I net literally thousands of dollars worth of benes on my Plat card every year. Not everyone can get that kind of value, but these kinds of inaccurate overgeneralizations ("other benefits aren't so great") simply do not support the point advanced.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 4:23 pm
  #1745  
 
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I think the next step is guest passes. Primary card member gets X guest passes a year and AU gets none or x/2 passes. It seems everyone is bringing one/two random people they just met at security line to the lounge.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 4:32 pm
  #1746  
 
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Originally Posted by zxrst View Post
I think the next step is guest passes. Primary card member gets X guest passes a year and AU gets none or x/2 passes. It seems everyone is bringing one/two random people they just met at security line to the lounge.
Most seating at the Centurion Lounges are designed with a companion. So I'm not sure if limiting guess access is magically going to create more "space" since most people probably won't want to sit and eat directly across a stranger in such close proximity. Unless limiting guess access limits primary card holders from using the lounge or people cancelling the card.

Limiting primary card holder to X number of visits per year would be way more effective.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 6:59 pm
  #1747  
 
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Originally Posted by SP03 View Post
Most seating at the Centurion Lounges are designed with a companion. So I'm not sure if limiting guess access is magically going to create more "space" since most people probably won't want to sit and eat directly across a stranger in such close proximity. Unless limiting guess access limits primary card holders from using the lounge or people cancelling the card.

Limiting primary card holder to X number of visits per year would be way more effective.
Aside from the fact that I think the seating set up is wasting prime space, if the number of guests were cut from 3 to 2, 2 people could share the companion seats, and not
take up another two seater for the 3rd guest. How does that not help? And, given the conditions I have seen at many of these lounges lately, I am happy to sit directly
across from a stranger rather than stand for an hour. I'm also happy to ask the staff to make an announcement to have people taking up seats with their coats and bags
to remove them so others can be accommodated.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 7:13 pm
  #1748  
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I'd be willing to eat directly from the food line if others are OK with that. Moving forward, the food items should be more gruel-like so only spoons would be needed as we shuffle past the food trough to get our fill. It would be very efficient and we could possibly eliminate seats altogether.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 9:58 pm
  #1749  
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Originally Posted by Mickidon View Post
Aside from the fact that I think the seating set up is wasting prime space, if the number of guests were cut from 3 to 2, 2 people could share the companion seats, and not
take up another two seater for the 3rd guest. How does that not help? And, given the conditions I have seen at many of these lounges lately, I am happy to sit directly
across from a stranger rather than stand for an hour. I'm also happy to ask the staff to make an announcement to have people taking up seats with their coats and bags
to remove them so others can be accommodated.
Sorry, but I am not sharing a table with a total stranger. The table has just enough room for my laptop, my plate and my glass - and no room for anyone else's stuff.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 12:04 pm
  #1750  
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Some lawyer type was trying to read the Amex terms & conditions to the LGA Centurion dragon yesterday complaining about the 3h rule. The whole thing is rather ridiculous.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 8:36 am
  #1751  
 
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
I don't think that's true. Most (all?) US-based airlines don't offer lounge access as an elite benefit for US/Canada flights.
True, though access is either complimentary as one of your status benefits, heavily discounted, or for a few miles which are easily earned if you are a FF.
DL Diamond medallion SkyClub complimentary
membership (option)
AU 1K UnitedClub anual membership 60K miles
AA Admiral Club anual membership 50K or complimentary for Concierge Key and/or AAdvantage EWE MC.
AS MVP Gold 75K 4 anual complimentary passes.
Out of the major US airlines, UA elite status program is probably the least generous, you’ll still get access to UC & Star Alliance lounges on international flights.


Last edited by ZJ3000; Apr 3, 19 at 1:45 am Reason: Typo
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Old Apr 1, 19, 8:43 am
  #1752  
mia
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Originally Posted by ZJ3000 View Post
....
AA Admiral Club anual membership 50K or complimentary for Concierge Key and/or AAdvantage EWE MC.....
There is no meaningful sense in which lounge access is complimentary with the AA Executive, DL Reserve or UA Club cards. Those are paid memberships bundled with a credit card.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 10:40 am
  #1753  
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
There is no meaningful sense in which lounge access is complimentary with the AA Executive, DL Reserve or UA Club cards. Those are paid memberships bundled with a credit card.
CC is one of the options, if you read, lounge access with Delta Diamond and AA concierge key status have lounge access, so does AU 1K but is limited to international connections, and AS G75k 4 passes per year.

To your point Centurion lounges are a paid membership bundled with Amex Plat & Cent.

Last edited by ZJ3000; Apr 3, 19 at 1:45 am Reason: Typo
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Old Apr 1, 19, 11:22 am
  #1754  
mia
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Originally Posted by ZJ3000 View Post
....if someone travels “every week (every day?)” they will almost certainly have access to any lounge, as the’ll have top airline/alliance status.[/left]
Originally Posted by ZJ3000 View Post
CC is one of the options, if you read,....
I do read, and the original claim is that weekly travelers would have lounge access on the basis of status alone. Purchased access to AA, DL or US lounges doesn't seem relevant to the claim.

I am also not sure that flying weekly would be sufficient to earn DL Diamond or AA Concierge Key, but I do not keep track of the tier requirements. I think it is likely that many weekly flyers will have top tier status in one program, but that others will not, and both groups might find Centurion lounge access a useful adjunct to whatever lounge access they might receive from an airline program.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 9:20 pm
  #1755  
 
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Originally Posted by TravelStar View Post
That may be true that they have access to other lounges, but there are are no domestic lounges that have the food and beverage selections that Centurion has.
In addition, I have literally shared tables with several of these road warriors at the Amex lounge in SFO.
agree with you, food & beverage offerings are Centurion lounges strength, there are exceptions like Delta SkyClub @ SEA, and SFO, I personally have been very disappointed by AS, UA and AA lounges (not including flagship), same for international operators like KE & OZ which have a great soft product and a decent hard product, but terrible lounges.
At the end, I think (pure personal opinion) most of us want to have access to a decent lounge, the 3hr rule doesn’t bother me as much as the ban on arrivals, as someone mentioned at the beginning of this thread, we all voice solutions that doesn’t affect us but do to someone else, ultimately, Amex will do what they seem appropriate to solve a problem they created by building a very successful product “centurion lounge”


Last edited by ZJ3000; Apr 3, 19 at 1:46 am Reason: typo
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