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-   -   Centurion Lounge crowding (access limited to 3 hours before flight departure) (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-express-membership-rewards/1648119-centurion-lounge-crowding-access-limited-3-hours-before-flight-departure.html)

TravelStar Jan 17, 15 10:40 pm

Centurion Lounge crowding (access limited to 3 hours before flight departure)
 
Given that the original plan for the Centurion lounges was to be free for Centurion Cardmembers and paid entry for Platinums, it seems it will soon be one of two choices for Amex:
1. Increase the size of the lounges to handle what seems like an ever more typical over-crowding scenario.
OR
2. Revert back to the original plan of charging Platinums for daily visits.

taliesin Jan 18, 15 1:07 pm


Originally Posted by TravelStar (Post 24187138)
Given that the original plan for the Centurion lounges was to be free for Centurion Cardmembers and paid entry for Platinums, it seems it will soon be one of two choices for Amex:
1. Increase the size of the lounges to handle what seems like an ever more typical over-crowding scenario.
OR
2. Revert back to the original plan of charging Platinums for daily visits.

I think they just need to open more of them. Start charging Platinums for entry and I would expect serious attrition in the ranks. I suppose they could split the difference and stop letting AUs in. That would help. When I was in the SFO lounge a few weeks ago I was stunned by how many college-age kids were in there.

Cardboard55 Jan 18, 15 8:28 pm

The more they chip away at the AU benefits, the harder it would get to convince people to PAY for an AU unlike most other cards. But yeah, it does seem like something needs to be done.

TravelStar Jan 18, 15 9:18 pm


Originally Posted by taliesin (Post 24189892)
I think they just need to open more of them. Start charging Platinums for entry and I would expect serious attrition in the ranks. I suppose they could split the difference and stop letting AUs in. That would help. When I was in the SFO lounge a few weeks ago I was stunned by how many college-age kids were in there.

Another Possibility: Amex could restrict Platinums to two free visits to Centurion lounges per year. After that, paid access only. This is how Chase does it with their United Explorer Card for access to United Clubs.

FriendlySkies Jan 18, 15 9:26 pm


Originally Posted by TravelStar (Post 24191984)
Another Possibility: Amex could restrict Platinums to two free visits to Centurion lounges per year. After that, paid access only. This is how Chase does it with their United Explorer Card for access to United Clubs.

If the Platinum card only had an annual fee of $95 a year, similar to the United Explorer card, then I could perhaps see that.... It would be ridiculous for it to be restricted to two visits when we pay $450/year for the card.

TravelStar Jan 18, 15 9:50 pm

The first Centurion lounge opened in Las Vegas in 2013 and was initially pay for entry for any but Centurion Cardmembers. Here's a quote when the Las Vegas lounge first opened:

"Any eligible American Express Cardmember may purchase a one-day Access Key at the Lounge for $50. If you hold a Centurion Card from American Express, or if you received a promotional mailing with an Access Key, access to The Centurion Lounge is complimentary. Purchase of one-day Access Keys is subject to Lounge capacity."

The Platinum Card annual fee was increased to $450 in 2007. Long before the Centurion Clubs were an idea much less a Platinum benefit.

The lounges were never built or intended to have the type of volume they're seeing. Most have reached capacity and are turning people away at peak times.

taliesin Jan 18, 15 11:36 pm


Originally Posted by TravelStar (Post 24192103)
The first Centurion lounge opened in Las Vegas in 2013 and was initially pay for entry for any but Centurion Cardmembers. Here's a quote when the Las Vegas lounge first opened:

"Any eligible American Express Cardmember may purchase a one-day Access Key at the Lounge for $50. If you hold a Centurion Card from American Express, or if you received a promotional mailing with an Access Key, access to The Centurion Lounge is complimentary. Purchase of one-day Access Keys is subject to Lounge capacity."

The Platinum Card annual fee was increased to $450 in 2007. Long before the Centurion Clubs were an idea much less a Platinum benefit.

The lounges were never built or intended to have the type of volume they're seeing. Most have reached capacity and are turning people away at peak times.

Sure but since 2007 the Platinum Card has lost access to Continental, US, and AA clubs. Lounge access was a key benefit of the card back then, and it has now been thoroughly gutted on the domestic front. The Centurion Lounges have become the means by which Amex are trying to redress this.

Shareholder Jan 19, 15 1:59 am

The compounding issue has been the loss of access to Admirals Clubs which represented a fairly important benefit and component of the (what is for me) C$699 annual Plat card fee, C$499 if one tosses in the annual travel credit. I would certainly not welcome a per visit charge levied on Plats unless there was some offset, something like 12 comp visits a year, then charge. Or comp for those Plats who were Charter Members of that card/program, or Plat cardholders who have been members since the 1970s.

Let's face it, hard to criticize the success of these lounges, given the overall mediocracy of most US airline lounges it's not surprising. And remember that most of those using the DFW lounge have had to endure taking the skytrain around DFW to get to D Terminal.

cerealmarketer Jan 21, 15 12:59 pm

Centurion Lounge crowding
 
Recently spoke with someone who manages the SFO lounge...

Says they have ordered furniture to increase capacity. They've run into issues on days with large conferences in town.

They also turn away pay for day access customers on those days and may add text alerts for crowding.

Said the Vegas lounge avoided turning anyone away during CES with extra furniture added there.

But they still have no process for handling people who are turned away.

For example an ideal recovery would be to offer statement credit for purchase of a day pass for another lounge.

That fell on deaf ears.

beckoa Jan 21, 15 1:54 pm

Wirelessly posted (beckoa's BB: Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9810; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.11+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.1.0.694 Mobile Safari/534.11+)

Wonder how many folks buy day passes? Saw someone with a clear AMEX given a tour in LAS last week- not sure if they indulged or not.

As for more space- what is above the SFO lounge- room to go up?

ffflllyyyeeerrr Jan 21, 15 8:05 pm

I was at the DFW lounge a week ago and it was absolutely packed. We couldn't find seating with a table to eat our food, it was so crowded. They really need to figure something out to fix this issue, or I'll just drop my Platinum card and switch back to using airline clubs.

bizorbetter Jan 21, 15 9:18 pm

Last DFW and last two LAS same thing....packed with no good seating choices

They are going to need a way to start thinning out the number of people with access (maybe re-introduce some sort of fee for non cents?)


i know i know.....that would be nonsense lol.....i read it :p

JAGMAP Jan 22, 15 4:13 am

DFW lounge is atrocious on many levels. Love LGA.

cerealmarketer Jan 25, 15 9:08 am


Originally Posted by bizorbetter (Post 24211659)
Last DFW and last two LAS same thing....packed with no good seating choices

They are going to need a way to start thinning out the number of people with access (maybe re-introduce some sort of fee for non cents?)


i know i know.....that would be nonsense lol.....i read it

Maybe make the $200 fee credit an either or with Centurion access.

Preacher7 Jan 25, 15 3:37 pm

In DFW now. Crowded, but still able to book a free massage...


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