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This past week, a number of travelers with the Platinum Card® from American Express found themselves unable to enter the Centurion Lounges in Seattle (SEA) and Miami (MIA) airports… until two hours before their flight departure time, that is.

We reached out to American Express for clarification, curious to know if the situation was temporary/location-specific case, or if Amex had made additional changes to Centurion lounge access rules, as with last fall’s new policy limiting access to holders of the Amex Platinum, and the personal and business Centurion cards.

Image courtesy of Rohit Joy via Facebook.

“There is no new rule or policy that restricts time within the lounge,” said Charlotte Fuller, VP of Corporate Affairs. “Occasionally, we have to limit access and waitlist people when we hit capacity, but there are no changes to our terms and conditions. In Seattle, we reached capacity over the holiday weekend, and in Miami, we also reached capacity due to the tropical storm.”

Although the restricted access undoubtedly was an inconvenience for travelers this past weekend, it’s nice to know that the situation is not the result of a system-wide policy change. And the TPG team has noticed some crowding issues first-hand: TPG himself flew into Miami this week and found the lounge to be a bit of a “zoo,” while another TPG staffer reported that the Miami Centurion Lounge was “pretty packed” on a Tuesday at 11am: “It took more than five minutes to even get through the queue of people waiting at the bar to get a drink.”

Yet in Seattle, traveler Rohit J. reported that the Centurion Lounge looked, well, anything but crowded. But it’s hard to say based on this photo alone whether the two-hour policy was overkill, or whether it was simply preempting inevitable crowding due to holiday travel.

“Notice how uncrowded the lounge looks, particularly at the end of a holiday weekend. Perhaps this policy works,” said Amex Centurion Lounge guest Rohit J.

Again, the cards that come with Centurion Lounge access are the Amex Platinum, the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, and the personal and business Centurion cards. Each allow cardholders to bring up to two guests into any Centurion Lounge, with the ability to bring in additional guests for $50 each.

Featured image courtesy of Rohit Joy via Facebook.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.