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While airport lounges are one of the most popular credit card benefits out there, being locked out of this perk due to overcrowding became a common theme throughout all of 2022. Some popular lounge programs even took steps to limit access and free up more space in the last few months. For example, Delta Air Lines increased membership fees and guest fees for Sky Club access dramatically for 2023. The program also announced that Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members flying internationally in the Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ can no longer enter lounges starting on Feb. 1, 2023 without a paid membership or an eligible airline credit card.
American Express is the next program to follow suit with a recent announcement on their airport lounge policy for guests. Beginning on Feb. 1, 2023, eligible cardholders with access to Amex Centurion lounges will no longer be able to bring in up to two guests along for free.
At the same time, the brand is also planning several new Centurion Lounges that could make their lounge program even more valuable and useful for frequent flyers who visit select airports.
Amex is eliminating free guest access to Centurion lounges for cardholders
Cardmembers with The Platinum Card® from American Express and the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have been able to bring up to two free guests into Centurion lounges since the beginning of the program. However, on Feb. 1, 2023, eligible cardmembers will pay $50 for each guest they bring into the lounge (or $30 for children ages 2 to 17 with proof of age).
Note: Children under the age of 2 will still be admitted to the lounge for free with an eligible cardmember.
This news may come as a shock to Amex Platinum cardholders who have been paying a high annual fee for generous benefits and wanting to get plenty in return for their investment. With this change in play, a cardmember traveling with two family members or friends over the age of 17 would need to pay $100 for a few hours in the airport lounge.
There are a couple workarounds to this guest policy for those who are willing to spend more with Amex. Personal and business Platinum cardholders who spend $75,000 on eligible purchases on their cards within a calendar year will receive complimentary access for up to two guests. This spending requirement resets every calendar year, so you have to spend $75,000 on your card every year to retain this benefit.
You can also add an authorized user to The Platinum Card® from American Express to grant them complimentary Centurion lounge access. You can add up to three authorized users for a total fee of $175 per year. Every authorized user after that requires an additional fee of $175.
New Amex Centurion lounge locations in the works
At the moment, the Amex Centurion Lounge program boasts more than 40 locations worldwide, including Centurion Lounges and Escape Lounges - The Centurion® Studio Partner. Their selection includes some older locations and a range of new airport lounges, including options in Denver International Airport (DEN), New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas and London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
However, more lounges are on the way in some of the most popular (and notoriously crowded) airports throughout the United States. Here's a rundown of all the Amex Centurion lounge locations that are currently in the works:
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
While the new Centurion lounge location in the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) was initially set for completion in late 2022, this airport lounge is now expected to open sometime in 2023. When it does, the lounge will feature 11,500 square feet of space as well as gourmet food and drinks, premium restrooms, shower suites, dedicated workspaces and high-speed internet access.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
A new Amex Centurion lounge is also being planned for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) with an expected opening date later in 2023. This will be the largest Centurion lounge in the world with 26,000 square feet of space and several outdoor areas. Visitors here can enjoy gourmet food and craft cocktails, a bourbon bar, shower suites, private workspaces and high-speed internet access, among other lounge features.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey is also set to open a new Amex Centurion lounge location sometime in 2023. This lounge is expected to be as swanky as the rest, with rumored additions of a piano bar, a speakeasy and an outdoor terrace for plane spotting.
Of course, the lounge will also have a fine selection of food and drink on offer, space for lounging and working and the high-speed internet access this lounge network is known for.
How to access Amex Centurion lounges in 2023
If you're planning to travel through airports that boast Centurion lounge locations throughout 2023, now is a great time to sign up for a credit card that grants you access, including The Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
As a side note, it's worth mentioning that both the personal and business Platinum cards from Amex come with a Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required). This airport lounge program lets you enter more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world, so it's a good alternative if you travel through airports without a Centurion lounge or you want an alternative lounge to visit just in case.
Cardholders with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card are also eligible to enter Amex Centurion Lounges when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. However, this benefit only applies to Amex Centurion lounges in the United States, Hong Kong and London.
The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.