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Overcrowded Centurion Lounges Restrict Access, Overall Entrance Policies Unchanged

May 29, 2018
3 min read
Overcrowded Centurion Lounges Restrict Access, Overall Entrance Policies Unchanged
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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.

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"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.