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American Express has an especially popular product — normally that’s not a bad problem to have. Trouble is, airports have finite space, leading to less square footage within the issuer’s Centurion Lounges than many of us would like to have — Amex included.

Some lounges have gotten creative in an attempt to manage passenger flow — and expectations — including the San Francisco (SFO) location, which often restricts access to customers with flights departing within three hours.

The entrance to Amex’s SFO Centurion Lounge.

As of March 22, 2019, that change will become an official policy across the board:

“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.”

This adjustment impacts customers with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express — Centurion cardmembers will continue to have unrestricted access.

Access restrictions will impact Platinum cardmembers — Centurion members will not be affected.

Additionally, Amex is changing the guest policy. Currently, Platinum cardmembers can bring “up to two guests or immediate family (spouse or domestic partner, and children under 18) at no additional charge.” As of March 22, Amex is tweaking that immediate family allowance:

“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.”

The new policies will apply to all Centurion Lounges, including locations in Dallas (DFW)Houston (IAH)Las Vegas (LAS)Miami (MIA)New York (LGA)Philadelphia (PHL)San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA). They’ll likely also affect planned lounges in Charlotte (CLT)Denver (DEN)Los Angeles (LAX), and New York John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), once those open over the next few months and years.

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