The American/US Airways merger is expected to close any day now and its effects for consumers will be wide-reaching. Sadly, for American Express Platinum cardholders, this means that “effective March 22, 2014, Consumer, Business and Corporate Platinum and Centurion Card Members will no longer have complimentary access to the American Airlines Admirals Club and US Airways Club lounges as a benefit of their Card Membership. We are disappointed to report that American Airlines and US Airways elected not to renew this benefit.”
Citi and American just released a statement confirming this decision “Citi and American Airlines today announced that beginning in March 2014, the Citi® Executive® / AAdvantage® World Elite MasterCard® will be the only U.S. credit card offering full membership benefits at the American Airlines Admirals Club® airport lounges.” Link: 60,000 mile sign-up bonus after $5,000 spent within 3 months on the Citi Executive AAdvantage card- you can also get pamphlets in the Admirals Club for the same offer. $450 annual fee.
So it looks like this was not American Express’ decision, but as a Platinum cardholder, I’m still saddened by this news. As a Delta and American frequent flyer, I’ve enjoyed having one card that gets me into all of their lounges, plus a ton others (like US Airways and Alaska via Priority Pass Select).
I’m confident American Express will launch new benefits to make up for this loss (like how they added the $200 yearly airline and Global Entry rebate when Continental left the Membership Rewards program in 2011) They’ve actually already started adding new perks, potentially in anticipation of AA/US leaving the lounge program, including the news last month that Platinum Card Members have complimentary, unlimited access to Centurion Lounges.
New Centurion Lounges
They currently have lounged at Las Vegas and Dallas airports and my Amex contact confirmed today that there will be new lounges in San Francisco and LaGuardia in NYC. LaGuardia is a disjointed airport with no real connections between many of the terminals, so the Centurion Lounge will apparently be outside of security, so you don’t need to be flying a particular airline to be able to enjoy it (you’ll just need to leave with enough time to get to the terminal you’re flying out of).
I’m hoping they announce a lot more Centurion lounge locations in the future, because the loss of American and US lounges is a big loss to the Platinum card program, no matter how you slice it.
I’ll post more when I hear any details, but feel free to share your thoughts on these new changes. Will this news make you switch to the American Airlines Executive AAdvantage card from Platinum?
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