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If you own the personal or business American Express Platinum Card, your access to the Centurion Lounge network is going to be limited starting March 22, 2019. On this date, you will only be able to access Centurion locations within three hours of your original scheduled departure time.
The upcoming changes don’t affect Centurion cardmembers. Come March 22, Centurion members can still visit Centurion lounges under the current visitation policies.
Upcoming Centurion Lounge Policy Changes
The Centurion Lounge is a frequent flyer favorite to rest and regenerate. While most travelers won’t be able to visit a lounge after they reach their final destination, they can still visit a lounge before the initial flight or a connecting flight.
If you visit a lounge to recharge before a meeting or while waiting for friends to arrive on another flight, you will need to find an alternative location beginning March 22. Until then, you can continue visiting Centurion Lounges before and after you arrive.
A recent American Express Statement details the upcoming changes:
Beginning on March 22, 2019,
The Centurion Lounge will welcome Platinum Card Members who arrive within 3 hours or less prior to their original scheduled departure time or can provide proof of a connecting flight. Card Members who arrive at the Centurion Lounge as their final destination will no longer be permitted entry.
Children under 2 years of age will be admitted free of charge and will not count towards Platinum Card Member’s 2 complimentary guest count, so long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is able to produce a “lap infant” boarding pass or proof of age.
These Centurion Lounge changes don’t apply if you own the American Express Centurion Card. Only the personal and business Platinum cardmembers are affected by these changes.
Exciting Centurion Lounge Additions
This is going to be an exciting year for the Centurion Lounge as you will have more locations to visit. In fact, there are 14 airports hosting a lounge.
The two newest Centurion Lounge locations are in Charlotte, NC and London-Heathrow. The Heathrow lounge opens later in 2019 and will be the second international Centurion location.
Several existing Centurion Lounge locations have undergone recent remodels. Dallas-Fort Worth is now open again. The Miami Centurion Lounge and Las Vegas location are undergoing temporary closures starting January 14, 2019. In March, the Seattle Centurion Lounge will temporarily close for upgrades.
Most lounges are open from 5 am until 10 pm, local airport time. Of course, each lounge can have slightly different schedules. If you catch the red-eye to save a buck, relaxing in the lounge can be a decent consolation.
Lounges offer free locally-inspired food and drinks that put most other airport lounge networks to shame. For instance, the San Francisco lounge has a Napa Valley wine tasting area.
You can also catch up on work with free wifi and dedicated workspaces. Plus, there are computer bars and print, copy, and fax services. You can even unwind at the on-site spa and shower suite.
Accessing the Centurion Lounge
Access to any Centurion Lounge is free when you own one of these cards:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business Platinum® Card from American Express
- American Express Centurion Card
The primary cardholder and two guests can enter for free. For Platinum cardholders, children under two years old don’t count as one of the two free guests. Centurion cardholders can bring their immediate family (including children younger than 18) for free.
Additional guests can gain entry with a $50 one-day pass for each guest. The guest must accompany the Platinum or Centurion member to be admitted.
Until March 22, 2019, Platinum members can access the lounge with a same day travel reservation. You only have to show your Platinum Card and boarding pass to the Centurion Lounge agent. You can visit before or after your flight to visit the lounge.
Remember, on March 22, 2019, and on, you can only visit before your next flight. It must be within three hours of the originally scheduled departure time. In the waning weeks, you can still enjoy this “extra” access to the Lounge before it disappears.
Getting the Platinum Card from American Express
If you have yet to experience the Centurion Lounge experience, you can access it for free when you get the Platinum Card from American Express. As you may know, this is one of the most exciting premium travel rewards cards available today. And the Centurion Lounge benefit isn’t the only reason why.
Besides the Centurion Lounge network, you can also access these other networks as part of your Global Lounge Collection benefits:
- International American Express
- Priority Pass Select
- Delta Sky Clubs
- Plaza Premium
- Air Space
Regardless of which airline you fly (except Delta Sky Club), you only have to show your Platinum Card to gain entry.
Other Platinum Card Benefits
Complimentary lounge access is one reason to have The Platinum Card® from American Express, but there are several other valuable reasons too.
- 5x points on air travel purchases
- 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs
- $200 air travel credit
- $200 annual Uber credits
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
- $550 in Fine Hotels and Resorts credits
There are several other little-known Platinum Card benefits you might enjoy as well. Possibly one of the most exciting benefits is the 1:1 airline point transfers. Currently, there are 18 airline transfer partners. Some of the more popular partners include Delta, Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Emirates.
When you need to book a flight with a non-transfer partner, you can redeem points on the Amex Travel booking site. Being able to transfer your points directly to an airline can help you get more mileage from each rewards point. Plus it doesn’t get better than the fee-free 1:1 transfer ratio.
When paying cash for a flight, you get 5 points per $1 when booking directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com. That’s double what you can earn with a co-brand airline credit card.
American Express Platinum members aren’t losing full access to the Centurion Lounge network. But you can only visit before your flight departs. These changes go into effect on March 22, 2019. Once inside a lounge, you can still enjoy every benefit you do now.
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