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When should American Express reopen Centurion Lounges?

When should American Express reopen Centurion Lounges?

Old Aug 13, 20, 2:14 pm
  #1  
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When should American Express reopen Centurion Lounges?

Why won't AMEX announce some sort of timeline on this? It appears even third party lounges are opening up now to. Wouldn't now before it gets busier be perfect time to test new measures in lounges?
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Old Aug 13, 20, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Doppy View Post
At an airport with a Centurion Lounge, nobody goes to the airline lounge unless the Centurion lounge is full or they need help with a specific booking.
I would go to a Polaris or Flagship lounge over Centurion.

I do agree with your basic point though, these lounges were quite successful, as evidenced by the progressive imposition of stricter and stricter crowd controls.

Originally Posted by spier072 View Post
Why won't AMEX announce some sort of timeline on this? It appears even third party lounges are opening up now to. Wouldn't now before it gets busier be perfect time to test new measures in lounges?
Yup. Just saw Airspace lounge at SAN is now open.

Though passenger numbers are actually pretty flat in US right now due to the July surge in cases.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by spier072 View Post
Why won't AMEX announce some sort of timeline on this? It appears even third party lounges are opening up now to. Wouldn't now before it gets busier be perfect time to test new measures in lounges?
AMEX can always artificially reduce capacity if they choose to reopen when it is "busier", much like a lot of businesses are currently doing. As to your question, they probably won't announce a timeline because, while social distancing and mask policies have provided relative stability , without a vaccine the situation is still wildly uncertain. I suspect they'd rather remain silent on the question as opposed to pinning themselves to a date-certain.

Yes, it sucks that we can't enjoy these lounges but clearly the risk of reopening is not worth the reward. I appreciate that other lounges are reopening (and maybe these will provide guidance to AMEX) but I doubt their services and throughput are the same.

I have a few domestic trips lined up for this fall and next spring but I am thankful that my next international trip won't be until fall 2021... maybe the JFK and London Centurions will be finished by then...?
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Old Aug 14, 20, 11:01 am
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Given that we're still sky-high in terms of case counts, despite a mild slowdown, I personally don't see why Amex would reopen the lounges now, when we're still a basket case of a nation when it comes to controlling overall viral spread. If it made sense to close them in March, and we're considerably higher in new daily cases, why would it make sense to open them now?

I got the $200 retention credit on my business Plat; that plus the added Dell credits (Dell.com sells more than Dell-branded products, I managed to find some stuff I want to get on there), plus the streaming credits, etc., are enough for me to break even on the AF this year. I'll keep the card for now. My personal Plat also has enough credits to make up for the AF for me this year.

So, I'm holding on to these until the pandemic is under control -- though I think the US could easily get it under control in 1-2 months since we have been pretty much the worst developed country in the world at dealing with this, I'm not holding my breath. Thankfully my company is fully virtual for now.

Looking forward to reopening the lounges once things finally settle down.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by spier072 View Post
Why won't AMEX announce some sort of timeline on this? It appears even third party lounges are opening up now to. Wouldn't now before it gets busier be perfect time to test new measures in lounges?
Re timeline... can you predict what the situation in state X is going to be like in one, two or three months from now?

Re 3rd part lounges... My guess is their business model is somewhat different from that of the CLs.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by imnotalawyer View Post
... next international trip won't be until fall 2021... maybe the JFK and London Centurions will be finished by then...?
hahahah. You're funny.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
Given that we're still sky-high in terms of case counts, despite a mild slowdown, I personally don't see why Amex would reopen the lounges now, when we're still a basket case of a nation when it comes to controlling overall viral spread. If it made sense to close them in March, and we're considerably higher in new daily cases, why would it make sense to open them now?
.
No. Amex is selling us a product for $550, and that product includes lounge access.

The product being unsafe due to covid is completely irrelevant. Consumers can make that decision. Same as how airlines are still selling full flights (like united, not even middle seat blocked), and how hotels are selling rooms (considered unsafe by many), and companies sell bungee jumping/skydiving tours (considered unsafe by many).

Amex sold us a product. They should deliver on it or give us a full refund. Giving us some streaming credits is not an appropriate refund for the product I was sold.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by nomiiiii View Post
....The product being unsafe due to covid is completely irrelevant. Consumers can make that decision. ...
I imagine American Express is more concerned about the health of the staff than the guests.

The analogy to airlines is unpersuasive because airlines provide an essential service, and accepted a taxpayer bailout which requires them to operate.

Have you asked American Express for a refund?
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Old Aug 15, 20, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
Given that we're still sky-high in terms of case counts, despite a mild slowdown, I personally don't see why Amex would reopen the lounges now, when we're still a basket case of a nation when it comes to controlling overall viral spread. If it made sense to close them in March, and we're considerably higher in new daily cases, why would it make sense to open them now?

I got the $200 retention credit on my business Plat; that plus the added Dell credits (Dell.com sells more than Dell-branded products, I managed to find some stuff I want to get on there), plus the streaming credits, etc., are enough for me to break even on the AF this year. I'll keep the card for now. My personal Plat also has enough credits to make up for the AF for me this year.

So, I'm holding on to these until the pandemic is under control -- though I think the US could easily get it under control in 1-2 months since we have been pretty much the worst developed country in the world at dealing with this, I'm not holding my breath. Thankfully my company is fully virtual for now.

Looking forward to reopening the lounges once things finally settle down.
Your assessment of the current COVID situation is incorrect. We are currently seeing a massive decline in Sunbelt COVID cases and there are no USA "hotspots" that are replacing them. Our insane levels of testing will still produce "cases" (many of them false positives) but few hospitalizations and deaths. The hospitalization numbers are already collapsing, and the death numbers will collapse in about a week as the slow state officials get through processing the summer's death certificates. All of this will become more apparent to the general public as our media (reluctantly and slowly) reports it. I can't promise you there won't be another spike (especially a mini-spike) next winter when northern COVID seasonality returns (we simply don't know) but fall is going to be a very low COVID season in America. BTW, our death numbers are not higher than those of most European or Latin American countries (they are higher than Asian countries, which scientists are now attributing to higher natural resistance), so you might want to consider reading a broader range of media to become better educated on this topic. Many people want to believe that political interventions somewhat "arrest" the virus, but so far there is nearly zero scientific evidence that this actually works -- not surprising, because there's no previous history of interventions working to control respiratory viruses.

This obviously means air travel demand will increase, and will increase further as borders reopen. The border reopening is harder to predict because it's based on human emotion and not science, but it's a good bet we will see the return of some transatlantic travel because USA/Europe COVID will essentially be at equilibrium so nobody will feel threatened by the other (although some Europeans will be frightened by our higher case count due to much higher testing).

As air travel demand increases (and it's already increasing as the Sunbelt spike winds down) AMEX will feel some pressure to reopen its lounges as its customers demand it. We already have more than 5 million Americans travelling every week. I would not expect AMEX to rush to reopen lounges, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some movement on this front in about a month as this company -- likely led by left-leaning urban elites -- slowly processes what's going on "on the ground."

FWIW, I just got my first Citi Executive AA card to gain access to AA's Admirals Club as those are open. I suspect others will make similar moves if the Centurion Lounges remain closed. Travellers will travel, and we need lounges. If AMEX doesn't want to meet that need, others will.

Last edited by iahphx; Aug 15, 20 at 10:25 am
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Old Aug 15, 20, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Your assessment of the current COVID situation is incorrect. We are currently seeing a massive decline in Sunbelt COVID cases and there are no USA "hotspots" that are replacing them. Our insane levels of testing will still produce "cases" (many of them false positives) but few hospitalizations and deaths. The hospitalization numbers are already collapsing, and the death numbers will collapse in about a week as the slow state officials get through processing the summer's death certificates. All of this will become more apparent to the general public as our media (reluctantly and slowly) reports it. I can't promise you there won't be another spike (especially a mini-spike) next winter when northern COVID seasonality returns (we simply don't know) but fall is going to be a very low COVID season in America. BTW, our death numbers are not higher than those of most European or Latin American countries (they are higher than Asian countries, which scientists are now attributing to higher natural resistance), so you might want to consider reading a broader range of media to become better educated on this topic. Many people want to believe that political interventions somewhat "arrest" the virus, but so far there is nearly zero scientific evidence that this actually works -- not surprising, because there's no previous history of interventions working to control respiratory viruses.
I have a science background (math/physics undergrad degree at Harvard), and I currently work as an technology exec at a health tech startup, so I do my own analyses of the data, and to put it briefly, and I don't want to get into a long debate about this here, since it's not the right forum for it (and I don't understand why this has become such a political topic, because it shouldn't be), but let me just clarify what I am saying.

As for death rates -- yes, Belgium has a higher per capita death rate. But Belgium is country of 11 million people, which is half the size of New York State. If you list out US states as though they were countries, the top 6 "countries" in per capita death rate in the world would be US states. I don't know why there's any debate at all about lockdowns --- the evidence is utterly overwhelming that they not only work but they've worked in the past. I don't get this from "the media" but from the scientific literature and the data. Some studies: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/e...201-7/fulltext https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7227592/ https://link.springer.com/article/10...58-020-00596-3 However, lockdowns have varied greatly in different countries and in the US, ours has been one of the weakest, probably because they are neither strict enough nor did people follow them enough.

But more importantly, death rates have gone back up since their low in early July -- most of the accurate models say we will be at around 230K deaths by November 1. Not exactly back to normal. Deaths will level off and go down a bit starting around now but it's not gonna be business as usual until 2021 in my view. Early 2021? Summer? Who knows. Depends on vaccines, treatments, etc. But not normal for some time.

One of the most accurate models, which I like to reference (though it doesn't take into account any therapeutic breakthroughs that might happen):

https://covid19-projections.com
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Old Aug 15, 20, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
I have a science background (math/physics undergrad degree at Harvard), and I currently work as an technology exec at a health tech startup, so I do my own analyses of the data, and to put it briefly, and I don't want to get into a long debate about this here, since it's not the right forum for it (and I don't understand why this has become such a political topic, because it shouldn't be), but let me just clarify what I am saying.

As for death rates -- yes, Belgium has a higher per capita death rate. But Belgium is country of 11 million people, which is half the size of New York State. If you list out US states as though they were countries, the top 6 "countries" in per capita death rate in the world would be US states. I don't know why there's any debate at all about lockdowns --- the evidence is utterly overwhelming that they not only work but they've worked in the past. I don't get this from "the media" but from the scientific literature and the data. Some studies: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/e...201-7/fulltext https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7227592/ https://link.springer.com/article/10...58-020-00596-3 However, lockdowns have varied greatly in different countries and in the US, ours has been one of the weakest, probably because they are neither strict enough nor did people follow them enough.

But more importantly, death rates have gone back up since their low in early July -- most of the accurate models say we will be at around 230K deaths by November 1. Not exactly back to normal. Deaths will level off and go down a bit starting around now but it's not gonna be business as usual until 2021 in my view. Early 2021? Summer? Who knows. Depends on vaccines, treatments, etc. But not normal for some time.

One of the most accurate models, which I like to reference (though it doesn't take into account any therapeutic breakthroughs that might happen):

https://covid19-projections.com
The left-leaning Atlantic magazine COVID tracking project has a chart showing USA hospitalizations (nearly real time) and deaths (not real time due to the way US states record and count COVID deaths). You can obviously see US hospitalizations are now in freefall (the end of the Sunbelt spike is producing the same gompertz curve that we saw when the Northern wave ended in spring) but deaths are still nearly constant. After the inevitable bureaucratic delay and possible "death laundering," USA deaths will also dive. Check back in a month and this will be beyond obvious. As deaths collapse, it will be harder for the media and politicians to gin up COVID fear, so the declining death numbers should lead to an even larger increase in travel.

https://covidtracking.com/data
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Old Aug 15, 20, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
The left-leaning Atlantic magazine COVID tracking project has a chart showing USA hospitalizations (nearly real time) and deaths (not real time due to the way US states record and count COVID deaths). You can obviously see US hospitalizations are now in freefall (the end of the Sunbelt spike is producing the same gompertz curve that we saw when the Northern wave ended in spring) but deaths are still nearly constant. After the inevitable bureaucratic delay and possible "death laundering," USA deaths will also dive. Check back in a month and this will be beyond obvious. As deaths collapse, it will be harder for the media and politicians to gin up COVID fear, so the declining death numbers should lead to an even larger increase in travel.

https://covidtracking.com/data
They're declining, but that's not "free fall". It more or less mirrors the decline in positive tests. My point is simply that the best models have been pretty accurate at predicting the course of the illness in the US, the one I posted above is based entirely on death data (because that's the least affected by things like testing rates), and we will see a parallel decline in death rates, but crucially according to these models it is not going to go down as far as New York and New Jersey have. Basically only in New York and the area around there did people get the fear of God (or biology) and did they really lock down fairly hard, long enough to get the case counts down.

In any case, those models have been pretty accurate thus far. The one I posted predicted death rates would start to fall around now but the curve they project isn't going to be a steep fall like NYC or the Northeast but a more gradual decline, so by November it's still going to be going on, about at the level we were in early July. Which is to say, not great.

However, of course there may be some treatment breakthroughs that could help a lot -- things can change.

For me, I'm in South Korea right now and plan to stay here until things stabilize in the US. I look forward to these lounges reopening (I never got to even try the new LAX lounge -- did it actually ever open?) ... when I feel safe to return to the US, which I currently am not counting on doing until mid 2021. Meanwhile, just working weird hours remotely, and holding on to my cards for the time they'll actually be useful again someday.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
You can obviously see US hospitalizations are now in freefall
I looked at FL and TX and while they are certainly going in the desirable direction, the new case curves are far from where we need them to be. And the hospitalization rates are going down, too, but sadly that is probably both due to fewer new cases and increased deaths.

Predictions for the next few months aren’t looking good. E.g., https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

And school reopenings will likely have some impact, too. How much remains to be seen.

Having traveled through a couple of US and EU airports last month on an essential trip (incl. LAX and SFO), I fully understand why many lounges and other concessions are still closed. The UA Clubs at SFO and LAX were complete ghost towns in the afternoons that I was there. I could count the other travelers on one hand. I certainly don’t hold it against Amex that they aren’t opening their doors yet. And frankly, at a time when another American dies every 80 seconds due to covid-19 it is a bit tasteless (IMHO) to complain about lounge availability.
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Old Aug 15, 20, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Having traveled through a couple of US and EU airports last month on an essential trip (incl. LAX and SFO), I fully understand why many lounges and other concessions are still closed. The UA Clubs at SFO and LAX were complete ghost towns in the afternoons that I was there. I could count the other travelers on one hand. I certainly donít hold it against Amex that they arenít opening their doors yet. And frankly, at a time when another American dies every 80 seconds due to covid-19 it is a bit tasteless (IMHO) to complain about lounge availability.
Yes- while there may appear to be demand in this thread for the lounges, in reality I suspect the actual demand is quite low right now. Iíve taken a few flights over the past two months to visit family, most recently two weeks ago. Leaving LGA in the early evening on a Friday (usually a very busy time- though admittedly even in regular times it would be somewhat less busy because itís summer), there were less than 5 people in the Admirals Club, and when I walked to my gate in the C pier of Terminal B, it was literally the only flight leaving from that pier around that time. There were absolutely no people around other than the 20-something people on my flight. Returning to LGA on a Sunday evening (again, usually a very busy time), there were less than a dozen people waiting for Ubers in the Terminal B pickup area.

I have a number of friends with Platinum cards who used to use the lounges, and not a single one of them has even flown since March.
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Old Aug 17, 20, 1:17 am
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
at a time when another American dies every 80 seconds due to covid-19 ....
An American died every 66 seconds from smoking last year.

Even at current rates, more people are likely to die from Tuberculosis (1.5M last year) this year than CV (774K so far).
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