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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.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
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Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
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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.