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American Express Wants You to Book Centurion Lounge Visits on Its App

Sept. 27, 2018
3 min read
American Express Wants You to Book Centurion Lounge Visits on Its App
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Update 9/27/2018: American Express sent this statement to TPG after the story was published:

We continuously consider various ways to manage capacity in our Centurion Lounges, like the idea that one day you could potentially use your mobile app to check lounge availability or space (not reserve a spot). This was mentioned in discussion as an example potential improvements we consider, but there are no actual plans to implement this so at this time or in the near future.

One of the most popular perks of being a Platinum Card® from American Express cardholder is the fantastic lounge access that it offers — including entry to Amex's own Centurion lounges.

However, the lounge program has been so successful that lounges have had to deal with constant issues of overcrowding. The Dallas (DFW) Centurion Lounge just expanded its location because its original space was consistently packed to the brim. In some cases, lounges have had to limit cardmembers to entering only two hours before their flight.

To manage this overcrowding, Amex is reportedly working on technology that "will enable card members to book lounge visits with the Amex app and allow the company to manage lounge demand in real time."

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While the report mentioned no specifics of how this will work, the tech will likely debut in the next few months. Hopefully Amex will be able to predict what lounge demand will look like and adjust catering and other service aspects to meet the needs of Centurion visitors.

Amex plans to expand its Miami (MIA) and Seattle (SEA) lounges in addition to building brand new locations in New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) and Denver (DEN) by the end of 2019.

“Premium card members tell us lounge access is the number-one benefit of membership,” said Josh McKay, vice president and general manager of global benefits and services for Amex. "They’re all very popular, but we want our card members to have access. It’s something we think about all the time."

McKay said that Amex has seen a "rapid acceleration" of millennial frequent travelers signup for Amex Platinum cards in the past 15 months. He said Amex is looking at adding other benefits to the Platinum cards like the $200 Uber credit that would "enhance the 'traveller experience.'"

To access Centurion lounges you need to hold an American Express Centurion Card, Platinum Card or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

H/T: Doctor of Credit and Business Traveller