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Centurion Lounge new policy 2 guests ONLY (ends exception for immediate family).

Old Mar 9, 2017, 7:11 pm
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Last edit by: mia
Beginning March 30, 2017, The Centurion® Lounge guest policy for Platinum Card® Members will change. All Platinum Card® Members will be limited to two total guests at no additional charge. One-day passes for any additional guests, including immediate family members, may be purchased.
-- http://thecenturionlounge.com/
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Centurion Lounge new policy 2 guests ONLY (ends exception for immediate family).

Old Mar 10, 2017, 8:00 am
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by mrow
I hold a UK Amex Platinum. The fee here is £450 which equates to something around $550 and our cards don't include the $200 airline credit that US cardholders get.

So, on that basis I am able to say "I'm paying $550 per year, I deserve...yada, yada, yada" as I am actually paying $550 per year
Touche, well played.

Regards
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 8:01 am
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyerAl
This is WONDERFUL news! Even on a non-peak travel day, the MIA lounge becomes a refugee camp infested with small children and college kids (with all their pillows, backpacks, etc) camped out on the floor. It was unfair to those travelling alone or with a travel companion not being able to find a place to sit and having to put up with all the obnoxious noise.
This is probably not going to change with Amex allowing Authorized User cards the same privileges. The college kids, who were most probably over 18yo, were either incorrectly allowed in by the front desk (low probability), were paid for as companions via a fee, were legitimate guest under the previous 2 guest policy, or (and this has a high probability) were Authorized User Platinum cardholders themselves.

This is a confluence of poor decision making and marketing on American Express' part.

If they really want to deal with the capacity challenges, they either need to radically grow lounge space (yes, even add multiple lounges in big airports like DFW), remove Authorized Users having the same lounge access privileges, or as some have suggested--limit lounge access to primary cardholder altogether.

No matter which way you look at it, this decision to change benefits with limited notice was not handled well. It does not reflect well on their "Platinum Service" to make knee jerk policy changes without fair warning. I know if the change went from 2 guests to 0 guests with less than 30 days notice, many more here would take issue with method and lead time on the notice.

We should all take a moment to let American Express know this change (regardless of whether you agree with the change or not) was not handled well.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 8:08 am
  #123  
mia
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Originally Posted by brainjuice
...knee jerk policy changes without fair warning.
This is a considered change, nothing knee-jerk about it. Crowding has been apparent since at least early 2015. The notice is shorter than typical for American Express, but apparently someone decided to bundle it with the fee increase, which is better than announcing it after new cardholders had started to pay the higher fee.

Bear in mind that American Express practice frequently deviates from published policy, typically in the cardholders' favor. I would reserve judgement until we see how this plays out over the summer travel season.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 8:28 am
  #124  
 
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Originally Posted by mia
This is a considered change, nothing knee-jerk about it. Crowding has been apparent since at least early 2015.
If this had been well thought through it would have been included in all the rest of the updates coming next month and probably should have been addressed back in 2016 if it was such a huge issue. This was not originally included in the "upgrades" to the card coming March 30. Rather it was duct-taped on as a last minute change yesterday. Even for the well heeled FT traveler who has time to troll these boards that gives no more than 3 weeks notice. The lack of notice makes it glaringly obvious that this was a last minute, knee-jerk change.

If on the other hand you believe this to be a well planned then one can only assume this was intended to be slipped out the back door quietly in hopes the change would not cause any immediate commotion. This is simply bad practice and would simply reinforce that fact that American Express does not care to give a reasonable amount of notice of its policy changes.

Business communication 101: be clear, be up front, give fair notice--at which point your bases are covered. The fair notice part is where I take significant issue with American Express on this one.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 8:38 am
  #125  
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Originally Posted by mia
No. The current policy is to admit two guests -or- the cardholder's immediate family (which may be more than two people). The new policy is to admit two guests, no exceptions. (See the official announcement in the Wikipost.)



Minimum age is 15. Parents of high school and university age children can buy Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass lounge access for $175 per year, but parents of younger children are looking at $50/child/visit unless American Express creates a new method.



It's a complex comparison. A UK account includes a bundled supplementary Platinum card (which would admit the cardholder plus two more guests to the lounge). A comparable USA account would cost 550+175-200=$525, and we still wouldn't have the travel insurance that is bundled with the UK account.
Do the US Platinum authorized user cards get Priority Pass?

A substantial chunk of the $200 airline credit is not used. Even for accounts of people with whom I have a bit of influence in this area, it's frequently the case that a substantial chunk of the credit is not used.

Originally Posted by mia
This is a considered change, nothing knee-jerk about it. Crowding has been apparent since at least early 2015. The notice is shorter than typical for American Express, but apparently someone decided to bundle it with the fee increase, which is better than announcing it after new cardholders had started to pay the higher fee.

Bear in mind that American Express practice frequently deviates from published policy, typically in the cardholders' favor. I would reserve judgement until we see how this plays out over the summer travel season.
There may be a knee-jerk aspect to these changes. Amex is under pressure to increase its fee revenue, profits and margins for its Platinum product customer base. But to try to ramp up fee revenue in multiple ways like this all in a fell-swoop seems to show that they don't have time on their side to satisfy those driving for improved numbers sooner than later. That's a tell-tale sign of a knee-jerk response to having been hammered on on a point. If it weren't a knee-jerk move, there wouldn't be the same kind of aggressiveness in their revenue enhancement efforts as seems to be the case with increasing the primary account fee and wanting to drive a jump up in fees for authorized user accounts. Keep in mind Amex is a publicly traded company and managing earnings is a part of that show.

Last edited by GUWonder; Mar 10, 2017 at 8:46 am
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 8:54 am
  #126  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Do the US Platinum authorized user cards get Priority Pass?
Yes, supplementary Platinum cardholders receive all of the benefits offered to primary cardholders, except for the new Uber credit. (The airline fee reimbursement benefit is shared across all cards, capped at $200 per account, not per card.)

Originally Posted by brainjuice
The fair notice part is where I take significant issue with American Express on this one.
Understood the first time you mentioned it. How many days notice did you expect?
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 9:25 am
  #127  
 
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Seems odd to me that they wouldnt introduce a new, lower fee for extra family members.

Maybe $20?

As many mentioned, paying $50 so child 2 can eat a muffin is not happening.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 9:33 am
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by jamesinclair
Seems odd to me that they wouldnt introduce a new, lower fee for extra family members.

Maybe $20?

As many mentioned, paying $50 so child 2 can eat a muffin is not happening.
That's the point, they want less people in there.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 9:55 am
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by hiima
That's the point, they want less people in there.
Maybe AMEX should go back and re-negotiate terms with American and United Airlines to reinstate lounge access. Then they can keep the Centurion lounges free to only Centurion members and charge visit fees to Platinum cardholders. They can take out the $200 annual credit if this happens. This should alleviate the crowding.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 10:09 am
  #130  
 
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Funny how folks complain about guests and kids and overcrowding.. yet we have this thread..

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-thread-6.html

Enabling folks that don't even have an eligible card to come in... We're part of the problem also..
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 10:19 am
  #131  
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Originally Posted by brainjuice
We should all take a moment to let American Express know this change (regardless of whether you agree with the change or not) was not handled well.
If I was to complain about how it was handled, it would be that it took them so long to make a change.

The notice period should really only matter to people who just signed up for the card or renewed their card under the old rules (and really care about those rules). I personally renewed in January.

Originally Posted by rpk113
Funny how folks complain about guests and kids and overcrowding.. yet we have this thread..

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-thread-6.html

Enabling folks that don't even have an eligible card to come in... We're part of the problem also..
How am I part of the problem? I didn't post in that thread, I never guested a stranger in. I have never felt that it was a good idea to fill up the lounge with strangers. And I also don't control what threads people start on FT. There is nothing funny about that thread existing, or it being inconsistent with some people feeling that overcrowding is a problem.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 10:23 am
  #132  
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Originally Posted by steve4
Maybe AMEX should go back and re-negotiate terms with American and United Airlines to reinstate lounge access.
Wonder how Citi and Chase would feel about that.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 11:01 am
  #133  
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Originally Posted by steve4
Maybe AMEX should go back and re-negotiate terms with American and United Airlines to reinstate lounge access...
The fact that AA, DL and UA also ended their acceptance of Priority Pass suggests that they are no longer interested in that type of relationship. Airlines are looking for way to compete without fare-cutting. The airlines see their lounge networks as tools to reinforce brand loyalty. If you buy a club membership (directly, or through their bank partner) you are more likely to fly their airline because the lounge will typically not be conveniently located if flying another carrier.

Most lounges have surplus capacity (else Priority Pass would not have 1,000+ locations), and most lounges do not have enough capacity for peak demand (there are many lounge crowding threads across Flyertalk). All lounges need a gatekeeping strategy for peak periods. American Express' strategy will differ from a contract lounge operator's strategy, which will differ from an airline's strategy, because their core profit centers vary.

I think we are seeing only the leading edge of American Express' strategy.

Last edited by mia; Mar 10, 2017 at 11:16 am
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 1:40 pm
  #134  
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These lounges are crowded enough....no need for a family with 3+ little kids running around at peak times. In my opinion, these lounges are not designed for big families. Currently, the lounges are not "relaxing" or "tranquil" in the least for a good bit of the day.

This change is the PERFECT move for AMEX--those families with multiple kids either can pay $50 for each additional kid (which makes no sense), or the entire family simply will NOT visit the lounge. I think it should help a lot with the overcrowding. The increase in annual fee for AMEX Plat could help with the overcrowding as well.

Actually, it is less about the fact that they are kids, and more about the fact that they are FAMILIES. If Dad has a Plat card, it means that when the whole immediate family travels for vacation, the lounges end up hosting sometimes 5-6 people per card swipe. That is really tight.....for seating, for replacing the buffet, for getting drinks, etc. If only 3 of them could get in for that swipe (cardholder + 2 family), and if some of them are minor children, chances are the family just would not enter the lounge at all (thereby reducing crowding). It's a win-win, in my opinion.

Granted, I travel alone 99% of the time, and I have no family.
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Old Mar 10, 2017, 1:52 pm
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by mia
This is a considered change, nothing knee-jerk about it. Crowding has been apparent since at least early 2015. The notice is shorter than typical for American Express, but apparently someone decided to bundle it with the fee increase, which is better than announcing it after new cardholders had started to pay the higher fee.
But a more reasonable thing to do would be to make it apply to all new cardholders after March 30, and all existing cardholders after their first annual fee after March 30 has been paid. So someone who signed up for the Plat on February 1 of this year would continue to get lounge access under the old policies until January 31, 2018, at which point, they can evaluate whether they want to pay for another year.

When you pay a fee for something up front like the Platinum or Centurion annual fee, there should be an understanding of what you're getting in exchange for that fee, and those benefits should last for the duration of time you paid for, under the original terms and conditions. After that time elapses, members would be free to cancel if they don't agree to the new terms. Either that or Amex should allow people who already paid the AF to cancel their membership and get a pro rated portion of their annual fee back, after March 30, if they do not agree to the new terms.
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