I’ve been in the American Express Centurion Lounge in San Francisco twice in the last week. Both times I had to wait for a seat. It’s an all-too-common problem for American Express.
Addressing this issue, American Express is now limiting access during peak hours to departing flights within three hours.
When American Express pulled the same stunt earlier this year at Seattle and Miami during peak hours, I penned an op-ed arguing that the move was shortsighted.
I remain of the opinion that the move was foolish, even while acknowledging that American Express simply MUST do something to combat crowding. The solution remains to limit guests, at least during peak periods. Of course this will cause outrage as well. Who doesn’t love taking their friends or loved ones in as a guest? Who wants to sit in the lounge alone while your spouse waits outside? But isn’t that better than telling a card member, key word being member, she cannot have access? It is not an ideal solution, but it strikes me as a better solution.
Every time I fly up from Burbank to San Francisco, almost always in the morning, I like to go into the American Express Centurion Lounge for a cup of coffee and light breakfast, sometimes a shower, whether I am connecting or ending my travel in SFO. To take away this benefit is to take away where I derive tremendous value on my Platinum card, which is hardly cheap at $550/year.
I love the staff at SFO and I love the food. I’m happy to admit that. It truly is an excellent lounge and I’ve spent literally days there this year when you add up all my lounge visits.
American Express must find a solution to overcrowding, but its chosen strategy strikes me as counterproductive.
> Read More: Another Attempt to Control Crowding in American Express Lounges
> Read More: A Warning to American Express
At least you now have some other options at SFO…
> Read More: Yankee Pier SFO (Priority Pass Restaurant) Review
(H/T: View from the Wing)