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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 Dec 31, 17, 2:02 pm
  #1201  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SFO
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Originally Posted by TravelStar View Post
How interesting. That's not at all what I see at SFO. My observation is lots of "road warriors" commuting between SFO and LAX and other destinations with 1 to 2 hour flights. Most commonly in some sort of sales position. I often share tables with them as sharing tables is the norm due to capacity crowds. Not a bad thing, as it usually works out that meeting people is a good thing. While I have met some that would be considered "Captains of Industry", more typically, I meet sales professionals in many different industries including high tech. Can't ever remember sharing a table with a "techie/geek" but I'm sure they exist.
I'm in the road warrior group. However, I'm traveling mid to full trans-cons every week. As others mentioned above I have this card primarily for lounge access. I am thinking of cancelling as the lounges are overcrowded and I've been going to the United Clubs lately at SFO.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 8:40 pm
  #1202  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
That's not who I usually see in the lounge - it appears to be disproportionally full of younger techie/geek-types probably using cards issued by their employers.
Originally Posted by TravelStar View Post
My observation is lots of "road warriors" commuting between SFO and LAX and other destinations with 1 to 2 hour flights. Most commonly in some sort of sales position.
These descriptions are not mutually exclusive. I suspect that most of the "sales professionals" are tied to the tech business in one way or the other and would thus appear to someone who's no especially familiar with the industry to be a "techie/geek."

SFO does draw a unique demographic and it is one that is particularly likely to acquire a Platinum card for various purposes, including having an alternative to the relatively poor United Clubs at SFO.
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Old Jan 1, 18, 11:58 am
  #1203  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat
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I wouldn't be surprised if they are seeing some drop-off in card ownership due to the lounge overcrowding. I was a big Centurion Lounge fan when it first opened in LAS in 2013, and for several years was traveling a lot and frequently passing through airports with Centurion lounges. So I used the Centurion lounges frequently and it was the main reason I had the Amex Platinum card. However by 2016 the SFO Centurion lounge had gotten so crowded that it wasn't enjoyable to use anymore. When I stopped traveling through SFO often I cancelled the card, and I haven't missed it (I have Citi Prestige and United Club now instead, because United Clubs are in many more airports than the Centurion Lounges).

I imagine the people that are cancelling the Amex Platinum are probably in similar positions: they liked the lounges but stopped getting enough use out of them (or stopped enjoying them enough) to maintain the Plat. That leaves the road warriors who absolutely need the Centurion lounge because they don't have access to another lounge, and the people who have the Amex Plat for other reasons.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 8:50 pm
  #1204  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 4
Does any one know if I could bring 3 guests if I have 2 amex platinum?
i have a business plat and personal plat. We are a family of 4. Thanks.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 10:06 pm
  #1205  
mia
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Originally Posted by Cookie2102 View Post
[left]Does any one know if I could bring 3 guests if I have 2 amex platinum?]
No, this is explicitly addressed in the rules:


Guest access is per Card Member, not per Card.
https://thecenturionlounge.com/info/access
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Old Apr 12, 18, 6:17 pm
  #1206  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 2,541
LIne of 10 people to get into LAS today around 4pm. One agent at the front desk. Lots of kids running around and a screaming baby.

It's certainly not a relaxing experience anymore.

Was able to get seats because of the Centurion reserved seats but otherwise they are few and far between.
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Old Apr 13, 18, 7:16 am
  #1207  
 
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Originally Posted by sdix View Post
LIne of 10 people to get into LAS today around 4pm. One agent at the front desk. Lots of kids running around and a screaming baby.

It's certainly not a relaxing experience anymore.

Was able to get seats because of the Centurion reserved seats but otherwise they are few and far between.
Sadly, I'm not sure that US based airport lounges will ever be relaxing again. The model is simply broken. Lounges used to be somewhat exclusive, and entry was controlled, but now via highly, highly subsidized credit card entry, everyone is special (which of course means nobody is special).

Very sad actually.

Regards
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Old Apr 13, 18, 9:19 am
  #1208  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat
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I cancelled my Amex due to the Centurion Lounge crowding issues. Now I go to United Clubs. Sure, they are missing the fancy cocktails and their food isn't great, but having space to sit and relax is an overall better option. The United Clubs tend to have fewer children compared to the Centurion lounges, which makes a big difference (nothing against kids, but the Centurion lounges aren't built to handle so many children in such a small space when there are also adult businesspeople trying to relax).
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Old Apr 13, 18, 11:30 pm
  #1209  
 
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Originally Posted by Katlor View Post
I cancelled my Amex due to the Centurion Lounge crowding issues. Now I go to United Clubs. Sure, they are missing the fancy cocktails and their food isn't great, but having space to sit and relax is an overall better option. The United Clubs tend to have fewer children compared to the Centurion lounges, which makes a big difference (nothing against kids, but the Centurion lounges aren't built to handle so many children in such a small space when there are also adult businesspeople trying to relax).
My strategy has been to grab a bite at the centurion and head over to the UC. They tend to be much larger and offer better seating like cubes or quiet areas.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 1:53 am
  #1210  
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I still think the solution is to limit free visits to maybe 3 to 5 per year. After that, paid visits.

Hello Amex! Is anybody listening??
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Old Apr 14, 18, 6:06 am
  #1211  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Originally Posted by TravelStar View Post
I still think the solution is to limit free visits to maybe 3 to 5 per year. After that, paid visits.

Hello Amex! Is anybody listening??
yes they are, and their answer is bigger lounges. if you limit visits the perceived value of the personal plat tanks and they are focusing on pushing that card heavily right now to compete with csr, etc. Also, lounges will also be full at certain times. go into sky club/admirals club etc at peak times and its the same story (hence all the major expansions of those lounges as well).
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Old Apr 14, 18, 6:14 am
  #1212  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC
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Originally Posted by TravelStar View Post
I still think the solution is to limit free visits to maybe 3 to 5 per year. After that, paid visits.

Hello Amex! Is anybody listening??
That would just kill the value of the card a bit more. The answer is simply to build bigger lounges if they want to cope with the crowd.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 7:04 am
  #1213  
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Originally Posted by TravelStar View Post
I still think the solution is to limit free visits to maybe 3 to 5 per year. After that, paid visits.
While this probably is the solution needed, they'd have to draw the line carefully, because at 3-5 per year, it'd nuke the value of the card. If that were the limit I'd almost certainly cancel my Platinum card. IMO the limit would have to be set at a level that it impacted the right tail of the distribution that are taking up their disproportionate share of lounge person visits, while leaving it high enough that your average Platinum cardholder isn't impacted and doesn't feel the need/desire to close their card. I don't know where that level is but off the top of my head maybe start with 25 visits a year? I mean that's 2x a month for a single person, monthly with a spouse or kid, etc. While it would force your weekly or multiple time per week road warrior to pick and choose when they really want to use it.

Originally Posted by Gasolin View Post
The answer is simply to build bigger lounges if they want to cope with the crowd.
True, but that's far easier said than done. I mean Amex is late to the game trying to secure square footage in older facilities that are mostly already full and in some cases that means taking sub-optimal locations, or square footage thinking that something is better than nothing. Looking at you LGA and SEA. I'll be curious to see how the expansions at DFW and MIA impact the crowdedness, or perceived crowdedness.

There's also the unknown that as Amex adds lounges at JFK and DEN, how many people that currently don't have Platinum cards will enter the ecosystem because of these new lounges, for instance maybe DEN is their home airport, or most traveled destination, so they get it for that reason and then start visiting the other lounges in the system as well.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 7:29 am
  #1214  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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I don't know if I fully believe it is in their best interest to expand these lounges, for a number of reasons. Some, maybe. I suppose if all of the customers being turned away are worth the extra expense, then it might make sense. I don't have the numbers to know. We believe that being a "customer" of anything makes you super-important. That is far from the case. I'd be willing to bet there's a good number of guests entering that don't warrant expensive Airport expansion.

I think this is an identity problem for American Express. First off, why was this lounge created, and for what target market? It's not meant to beg all cardholders to stay members. The name Centurion is a premium brand for them. Their Centurion card is extremely exclusive, yet their Centurion lounge is available to anyone who wants to "buy a membership". Seems like strange marketing to me.

It would be hard to argue that they are targeting the big spender. Perhaps the business traveler is a large one. Why would someone continue to pay the Centurion card annual fee to share a crowded lounge with kids and families? What is the reason for holding this card? I'd cancel in a heartbeat. Centurion should remain a premium brand available to Centurion card holders and maybe those who hit a minimum spend on eligible cards. If American Express wants to be in the mass-market lounge game, they should open a mass-market lounge brand separate from Centurion.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 9:24 am
  #1215  
mia
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Originally Posted by Super Mario View Post
...The name Centurion is a premium brand for them. Their Centurion card is extremely exclusive, yet their Centurion lounge is available to anyone who wants to "buy a membership"...
Centurion is an American Express trademark used on a wide range of products: travelers cheques, some credit cards and all charge cards (green, gold, plum, platinum, black). Centurion branding was used on airport lounges located outside the USA before the domestic network was created. There is no direct connection between the "Centurion Card" and "Centurion Lounges".
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Last edited by mia; Apr 14, 18 at 9:34 am
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