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Back in March, Amex shared its plans to acquire LoungeBuddy’s booking and reviews platform — now, we’re seeing the initial fruits of that deal, in the form of speedier Centurion Lounge entry, at least for those of us who don’t often travel with an eligible card at hand.
Beginning this month, customers with the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, along with the ultra-premium Centurion Card, will have access to a new mobile check-in feature, helping to speed up lounge access while also further negating the need to travel with a physical Platinum or Centurion card.
American Express states that the feature should be available “starting in June 2019,” but after updating my Amex app it appeared right away. It only takes a few seconds to generate a code, but there are a few steps involved, so I’ll run through them here.
Step 1: Tap “Find an Airport Lounge” in the Membership tab of Amex’s mobile app.
Step 2: Read and tap past the check-in instructions, which only appeared on my first visit.
Step 3: Select the lounge you’d like to visit (note: only Centurion Lounges are eligible at this time).
Step 4: Tap through the lounge profile page (with updated descriptions from LoungeBuddy).
Step 5: Confirm your check-in.
Step 6: Display your QR code along with a same-day boarding pass and photo ID at the check-in desk within 30 minutes of completing the process through the app (or generate a new code after 30 minutes).
I think this is a great first step — especially for cardmembers who don’t always travel with a physical card, or have it easily accessible — but I’d love to see Amex simplify the process even further, or perhaps even create a pass that you can easily pull up through Apple Wallet or Google Pay. Having a dedicated “mobile check-in” desk could help speed things up as well, especially at lounges that tend to get overcrowded, or are known to have extended registration queues.
Featured photo by Zach Honig/ TPG.
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