Amex adds live capacity indicators for Centurion Lounges

Oct 19, 2021

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If you want to avoid overcrowded airport lounges, Amex’s latest Centurion Lounge enhancement is for you.

The issuer has started rolling out a new feature that’ll give you a live preview of Centurion Lounge crowding. These capacity indicators are built right into the “Find an Airport Lounge” section in the membership tab of the Amex mobile app.

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When you’re at the airport, you can open the app and search for your preferred Centurion Lounge for a real-time status update on crowding, ranging from “not busy” to “a little busy” to “very busy” to “almost full.” If you see the “almost full,” you’ll likely be placed on a waitlist to return at a later time once you arrive at the lounge reception.

(Screenshot courtesy of American Express)

This new feature is already operational at all 15 Centurion Lounges in the U.S., London and Hong Kong, and the issuer hopes to expand it to Centurion Studio partner locations, such as Escape Lounges, in the coming months.

In an interview with TPG, Pablo Rivero, vice president and general manager, global lounge experience, said that the goal of this enhancement is to enable card members to “plan your journey accordingly before you visit the lounge.”

Personally, I’m a big fan of this initiative. With the live capacity indicator, I’ll no longer need to trek across a concourse and even transfer terminals to visit the Centurion Lounge — only to find out that it’s at or nearing capacity.

Amex Centurion Lounge in New York LaGuardia (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Since opening the first outpost in Las Vegas in February of 2013, American Express has steadily expanded its lounge footprint. While the locations keep getting bigger and better, they still suffer from overcrowding during peak times.

Plenty of travelers can access the lounge. All you need is The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Platinum Card® from American Express or the Centurion Card. (People with other Platinum Cards, such as international versions, should also have access.) 

Platinum cardmembers can bring up to two guests into the lounge, though the guest policy is changing in 2023.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card cardmembers also receive complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on any American Express card issued in the U.S. You’ll be able to bring up to two guests for a fee of $50 each.

Related: Your complete guide to Amex Centurion Lounges

When a lounge reaches capacity, it’s often hard to find a table or a quiet area to relax.

Sometimes, you might even need to join a waitlist to enter the lounge, especially in airports with smaller Centurion Lounges, like San Francisco and Seattle. (Fortunately, both of these locations are scheduled for expansions in the coming months.)

When Amex’s Centurion Lounges are nearing capacity, I almost always opt to find a private nook somewhere in the terminal or research other lounge options, whether it’s an airline-branded location or one that partners with Priority Pass.

Finding an alternative space to relax is especially easy as a Platinum cardholder thanks to the card’s bundled access to the Global Lounge Collection, the largest credit card lounge network on the market.

Of course, it’d be great if Amex could expand all of its Centurion Lounge to accommodate every premium card member, but that’s not necessarily realistic in space-constrained airports. Fortunately, we now have live capacity indicators to inform our lounge-hopping decisions.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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