Access to the NEW American Express Dallas DFW Centurion Lounge is now for Departing Flights ONLY!

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Signs in DFW at old Centurion Lounge

The old Dallas Amex DFW Centurion Lounge was a total game changer in the travel space. It put all other domestic US lounges to shame in both service, amenities and perks. It was the “gold” standard, if you will, for all other lounges to be compared.

But the problem was that it was too good. Too many users with expensive Amex Platinum cards, costing $450-$550 per year in membership fees, were wanting to access the lounge. Amex needed a larger space in Dallas. So they built one across the hall from the old one. But it did not work.

Members – GO AWAY!

I went to review the lounge yesterday and was denied access to the club. I was told that the lounge is now a departing flights ONLY lounge (before you could visit on a same day arrival ticket). Further I was told the capacity controls for the lounge could result in your NOT getting access the day of departure either. This is happening almost every day (see sign above).

Clearly just nuts so I reached out to Amex on twitter about this and was told the following:

“Access is subject to space availability and we reserve the right to modify house rules without notice, also we have posted our capacity constraint process at the entrance to help alleviate any inconvenience. We do this in order to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests.” K – @AskAmex on twitter

Time to DUMP this card?

I have been a non-Delta Amex Business Platinum card holder for YEARS now – that is going to change – it is time to dump this card. As the Dallas Centurion rep said to me yesterday that “lounge access is one of the primary benefits of the card”! Well, not so much if you can not use this listed card member benefit.

Clearly there has to be a better solution to this self caused mess from Amex that will not result in card members canceling their cards and walking away. Rather than have the above horrid rules they need to maybe remove the guest perk on the card (you can now bring in 2 guests – if you can get in that is). Or, limit the number of lounge visits per year for the card (maybe 24x per year).

You tell me. There has to be a better way. Is this change going to result in you dumping yet another Amex card this year? What do you think the fix is to the problem above? – Rene

 

 

 

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23 comments

  1. I simply buy a one way refundable ticket for an eligible flight departing same day within 3 hours, check-in, and then call to cancel it (sorry, my meeting just got postponed) once I am in the lounge.

  2. @frankie. Smart! I’ve always believed there was a simple solution to this. Cardmembers only with family under 18 and spouse. No guests. It’s inconceivable that I would get denied because someone else was in the lounge with two guests who do not have the card. That just doesn’t seem right

  3. You can bring your family, but I can’t bring my guest/partner? Don’t think so. Let’s make it cardholders only, even ground for all… or one guest for each cardholder, call it spouse, guest, fiancé, friend or whatever…

  4. I’m going to miss the arrival option. DFW is my home airport and I go out of my way to use the skylink to get there when getting back from trips. The new space is very nice, though the long hallway is still narrow (like the old lounge). Perhaps they can limit to one guest or just limit the amount of visits, like you mentioned, just like they do with gogo wifi passes.

  5. I don’t plan to renew this card next year. The lounges were my primary reason for keeping it last year and they are a mess. If they are going to limit use this way then I’m done.

  6. My Platinum Card is my longest credit history. But I have to say, it’s at the highest risk it’s ever been for being product changed (if they’ll let me) to something else with less of an annual fee.

    I don’t even bother stopping in the Centurion lounge at SFO anymore. The United Club, even with average snacks, is an oasis of peace in comparison.

  7. SEA is the same way, and it just makes sense. No one *needs* a lounge when arriving. Sure, it can be a nicer bathroom than one in the terminal, but otherwise you don’t have a potential need to wait as you would between flights (or if you got to the airport super early in anticipation of TSA delays). The point of arriving is that you’re at your destination and can roll on.

    Folks have been paying high AFs for The Platinum Card for decades. The existence of Centurion Lounges is a relatively recent bonus (and a nice one, when convenient), but considering how few there are there, I daresay the average cardmember hasn’t even stepped inside one. Much like the annual Saks benefit on the personal version, there are some who will use it but the majority likely won’t.

  8. If I can’t take at least one guest into the Centurion, at $550/year, I will dump the card. As for departures only, if the situation arises, I too will book a fully refundable tix and cancel prior to departure.
    95% of my visits to DFW are in the middle of mileage runs so I have a departing boarding pass. Layovers are typically over 4 hours but downstairs is Minute Suites where I can take advantage of a free one-hour visit using Priority Pass.

  9. I fly through MSP a lot. The Escape lounge is no longer a Priorty Pass lounge, but an AMEX Platinum card still gets me in for free.

    I have the $550/year Personal Platinum card, and I am able to use all $200 in Uber credits, $200 in airline fee reimbursements, and $200 from the two Prime Day deals I read about here (spend $399.99 + an Amex point and get $500, twice). I have also used Priorty Pass all over the world. I am not going to dump the card just because of the issues at DFW.

  10. Why would they use precious real estate to install showers if they are planning to restrict to departures only? Makes no sense.

  11. I suggested to my wife to renew her business card last week … must really look at plus and minus options now. The prime day bonus was great but what is to say that Amex will not take that away? I also must review to see if this card allows Skyclub access as before? As an loyal Amex customer since 1976 (with various cards) I feel like the love is gone.
    This could lead to a very interesting escalated customer call!

  12. The lounges are not large enough for families.
    Limit access to 1-2 guests. Then it is fair for everyone. Unmarried people should not have to subsidize married people.

  13. I don’t see the need for access to any lounge on Arrival. Like I don’t agree with milking Priority Pass either at restaurants on arrival either. The perk and the access is to ease the travel process on your way out , not to help you save $40 / $100 of dinner on the way in to ones destination. I’ve never had to frugally find a way to feed myself like this. Love the game/hobby, but there’s a limit.

    With that said, the day they don’t allow me and my guests access within 3 hours of departure (which is when we would get to the airport anyway). I will instantly cancel my card in front of the staff that is denying me entry.

  14. The only time I ever used a shower at a domestic lounge was at the JFK Sky Club after a long cross-country flight before meeting some people for dinner in Manhattan. It worked out well and I could see myself using a show upon arrival again. However, I see little need for one before a departure. Maybe those showers should be removed if they can’t be used upon arrival.

  15. Hey @Dave agree with you about the Escape option being good at MSP. You probably know this but it’s sometimes worth using the platinum PP benefit at the PGA shop there to get their $15 food/beverage voucher and go downstairs to get a hot breakfast or sandwich at Ike’s, somewhat better food than Escape.

  16. #15 Leo – none of the staff will care. If anything they will just laugh at you behind your back. The staff here are simply clerks, waiters and waitresses and cleaners, not real management. Buying a same day refundable ticket is the way to go! If you don’t look after yourself don’t expect AMEX to.

  17. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the tip. I did not know that. The Sky Clubs in Minneapolis are pretty mediocre and it’s good to have options. MSP also has decent food options after security.

    I had an odd experience at the Centurion Lounge at SEA in May. I had never visited that lounge before. The agent at the front desk refused me entry because I was flying Delta, they wanted to reserve the space for people that were not flying Delta, and there is a Sky Club is just around the corner. He even stated that it was a better lounge and I would be more comfortable there anyway.

    The Seattle Sky Club is amazing and it would probably be my normal choice anyway, but I wanted to at least stop by and see the Centurion Lounge for the first time. It seemed so odd that I was refused entry.

  18. Dave – I got the same comment from the Agent at the Centurion Lounge at SEA. They suggested that I would be more comfortable in the Delta SC…..

  19. Dave, don’t feel like you missed anything. The SEA Centurion is small (crowded) and dumpy compared to the Delta Sky Club nearby. The clerk did you a favor!
    Mike

  20. Having access to a lounge upon arrival is something I value for a few reasons:

    1) One of my clients just 86ed per diems — so when I travel to work for them, I save money by eating in a lounge upon arrival. I’m paying for lounge access, so…

    2) Sometimes, I arrive on flight different than colleagues or family members at a given destination. If I land before they, the lounge — again, for which I’m paying and using on a travel day — gives me a nice place to wait.

    As for the overcrowding issue and guests, I like an option that allows cardholders a certain number of guest entries per year, perhaps capped at one or two per visit.

  21. It’s all going south quickly. Was at the Centurion in MIA last night and for a somewhat hellhole airport it’s a mediacore club at best. Not worth the walk. I was nearly turned away too for overcrowding.

    I’m not sure I’ll dump my card as I value some other perks but the lounges are no longer fun, they are a rude zoo with not so great food and nearly impossible to find a seat. Argh.

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