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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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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 Memberís 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 ďlap infantĒ boarding pass or proof of age
Source: https://thecenturionlounge.com/info/access/
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Old Jul 17, 19, 9:19 am
  #1966  
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I can't believe they have enough Centurian card holders that restricting the SEA Lounge like that would make sense?
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Old Jul 17, 19, 12:38 pm
  #1967  
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I can't believe they have enough Centurian card holders that restricting the SEA Lounge like that would make sense?
Unless they had decided to use much of the limited space for a limited part of the day as part of a Centurion-only invite event, some other kind of event or maintenance/furnishings type issues, it doesnít make sense to me that they would try to reserve the whole lounge for just Centurion card holders.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 1:35 pm
  #1968  
 
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I can't believe they have enough Centurian card holders that restricting the SEA Lounge like that would make sense?
It doesn't. That's why we think OP misunderstood. There would likely be more staff than cardholders in the lounge if it were true.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 9:50 pm
  #1969  
 
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Seems unbelievable, as presented, to me as well. I'm not calling anyone dishonest, but this makes so sense.
I agree, there must be some misunderstanding. I would like to hear the outcome of this.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 9:57 am
  #1970  
 
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Originally Posted by Well Red View Post


At the SEA lounge today, it was probably the least crowded I’ve seen it in the last year+, however, they wouldn’t let me in. I asked on a wait list and was told that only Centurion holders would be given access today. I asked if this was a new policy and was told that that is the policy for today but that in the future I _might_ be able to pay to get in.

For context, I’m the primary and only cardholder and I’ve had my AmEx plat for a decade.
I went to the SEA Centurion Lounge twice last month for my layovers between SFO and Paris. I definitely had no problem to get in at all nor the lounge was full, 9 am the first time, 2 pm the second time. I feel there are a few rumors passing around against this lounge for some reasons. Sorry, that is just how I feel.

Last edited by Racky; Jul 22, 19 at 12:34 am
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Old Jul 20, 19, 11:19 am
  #1971  
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Originally Posted by pallhedge View Post
It doesn't. That's why we think OP misunderstood. There would likely be more staff than cardholders in the lounge if it were true.
​​​​​​
Must have been some sort of a Centurion event that day? Perhaps the poster and employee had some sort of miscommunication that future such events may permit Platinum copay entry? Before ditching Platinums altogether, I would bet they might impose a rule here for Platinum complimentary, one guest with co-pay, maximum. A Centurion-only policy would likely result in running the joint at an actual loss.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 4:17 pm
  #1972  
 
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Originally Posted by QtownDave View Post
That would be worthy of a call to Amex.
As an update: I called and was told that the general Centurion policy is that Centurion holders are always allowed in, and Platinum holders are allowed in on a "space available" basis. However, the lounges are individually managed and the decision as to which cardholders will be allowed access on an individual day is at the discretion of management. Further, management is allowed to make that decision in advance of crowding if they anticipate a high-volume day. Finally, if a lounge is granting access to Platinum card holders on a given day, there is no fee ot the cardholder for access.

My takeaway: The Seattle lounge (which I'm aware has crowding issues) had proactively decided to restrict access on that day. Is this a regular occurrence? No idea. So, the staffmember was correct to deny me entrance. However, the staffmember was incorrect when they told me a that on other days, I can pay for access.

Bad luck on my end, I suppose, but no major policy change it sounds like. That said, it was pretty annoying as it was the least crowded I'd ever seen it. Oh, well... If this keeps happening, I might downgrade my card since the lounge access is the main benefit I use... and I get better Priority Pass from my CSR.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 4:30 pm
  #1973  
 
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post
How long was your interaction at the desk? It sounds like there was a miscommunication of some sort. I've never heard of a "Centurion only" day or restriction.
See my previous post for the results of my call to AmEx and their feedback about the "Centurion only" restriction.

Regarding my length of interaction... basically I entered, there was no line but the front desk person (there was only one) was on the phone. So, I waited. After about 3 min he abruptly asked if I was a Centurion member (still on the phone). I replied Platinum and he told me "we're Centurion only". I asked if there was a platinum waitlist (I've had that happen before) and he told me no, but some days you can pay for access. He was on the phone the whole time and seemed to get irritated when I asked about the waitlist, so I said "thanks" (kinda in a snarky tone of voice, I'm ashamed to say.. but he was pretty brusque. I get he was on the phone, BUT he could have either been nice or just been all "sorry, this wont take a minute" or called another staffmember over.) and left for the Alaska Lounge which American gives me access to. And then I posted here to see if that was normal or if there was a policy change or...
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Old Jul 25, 19, 4:34 pm
  #1974  
 
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Sounds like you ran into a new or disgruntled staffer. I had never seen a single report of "Centurions only," and the part about Plats sometimes being able to buy access was obviously 100% wrong.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 5:00 pm
  #1975  
 
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He may never have been gruntled to begin with... =)

Actually, AmEx offered me some MR points as "compensation" but since the policy is that lounges can restrict to Centurion only on certain days, he was just following policy so no need for me to be compensated. That said, I was glad to learn that he was incorrect about buying access. I'd rather AmEx restrict the lounge benefit to primary cardholders before they start charging. Maybe, Primary card holders and guests free, additional card holders pay some nominal fee like $15 and their guest pay like $25?
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Old Jul 25, 19, 5:02 pm
  #1976  
 
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From Centurion T&C

I canít read anywhere that Platinum Card holders have access on a space available basis

https://thecenturionlounge.com/info/access
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Old Jul 25, 19, 5:15 pm
  #1977  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
I canít read anywhere that Platinum Card holders have access on a space available basis

https://thecenturionlounge.com/info/access
if this happens to me its the death knell for keeping the platinum. i would be shocked if they ended up restricting access to centurions only after they expanded a fair number of the clubs. but they are on a major expense cut spree so i guess everything is up for grabs.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 5:46 pm
  #1978  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
I canít read anywhere that Platinum Card holders have access on a space available basis

https://thecenturionlounge.com/info/access
I assume if the lounge is at capacity but the Centurion-only tables are empty, the desk will let in a few Centurion cardholders. Maybe that's what they're talking about.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 5:58 pm
  #1979  
 
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Originally Posted by Well Red View Post
My takeaway: The Seattle lounge (which I'm aware has crowding issues) had proactively decided to restrict access on that day.
This doesn't make any sense. For whom would they be proactively holding space open for, if not for Platinum cardholders? They only need to start denying entry to anyone when the number of empty seats reaches the anticipated number of Centurion arrivals, which I can't imagine is more than a handful at any given time. Besides those folks, the only other people with free access are the Platinum cardholders. So why would you deny them entry as long as there's room, even if you do anticipate being full later on? This is a totally different situation than what can happen at some lounges where they deny entry to some people based on anticipated crowding (such as an airline lounge not admitting PP cardholders in anticipation of their own passengers filling the lounge soon). Based on what else you've shared about the lounge attendant, it sounds like you just got a bad apple (misinformed, poorly trained, etc). Based on the demeanor of the front desk attendants every time I've visited a Centurion lounge, carrying on a conversation with a guest in front of them is totally out of character. In my experience, the Amex people seem far more guest-focused than most airline lounges.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 6:53 pm
  #1980  
 
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
This doesn't make any sense. For whom would they be proactively holding space open for, if not for Platinum cardholders? They only need to start denying entry to anyone when the number of empty seats reaches the anticipated number of Centurion arrivals, which I can't imagine is more than a handful at any given time. Besides those folks, the only other people with free access are the Platinum cardholders. So why would you deny them entry as long as there's room, even if you do anticipate being full later on? This is a totally different situation than what can happen at some lounges where they deny entry to some people based on anticipated crowding (such as an airline lounge not admitting PP cardholders in anticipation of their own passengers filling the lounge soon). Based on what else you've shared about the lounge attendant, it sounds like you just got a bad apple (misinformed, poorly trained, etc). Based on the demeanor of the front desk attendants every time I've visited a Centurion lounge, carrying on a conversation with a guest in front of them is totally out of character. In my experience, the Amex people seem far more guest-focused than most airline lounges.
Yeah, but I've never been to the Seattle lounge so maybe it's specific to that lounge. Or the staff member was just misinformed and not in a good day.
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