American Express Platinum Still Does Provide American Airlines Lounge Access Benefit

I wrote this morning that several readers have been commenting that some American Express Platinum card web pages have stopped referencing lounge access with American Airlines as a benefit. Some readers report that they’ve even seen paper applications, not just web pages, that make reference to US Airways and Delta lounge access but not to American lounge access. And I’ve even gotten concerns from Business Platinum cardholders and Mercedes-Benz Platinum cardholders that they’ve been told they would not have access.

This last bit about people being turned away seemed wrong to me — a given rogue agent can make a mistake of course, and at the very least several American Express websites still do list the benefit. I figured it was an error, but it was possible these agents had heard something they had just misinterpreted, like that the benefit would be going away.

So I reached out to contacts to find out what’s going on. And I’ve been told unequivocably that the American Express Platinum card (and Centurion card) are not losing access to American Airlines lounges.

First, I was told by American Express,

No changes to Platinum lounge access. Admiral’s Club is still a Platinum partner, I know they regularly update the web pages, benefit still mentioned here

Well, I’m the conspiratorial type. And I know that my readers are. So I pressed further, I didn’t want to read this as ‘American Airlines lounge access is still a benefit’ (but won’t be as of some date in the future).

So I followed up. I asked them to confirm “for avoidance of doubt” that there has been no decision by either American Airlines or American Express to terminate the lounge access relationship for Platinum cardholders.

And they happily confirmed this, adding that they are “not sure why anyone would have been turned away” from an American Airlines lounge using one of the various flavors of American Express Platinum cards.

American also got back to me with:

Admirals Club lounge access is still a benefit of the Platinum and Centurion cards, and there are no changes to announce to this benefit.

So there you have it. American Airlines lounge access remains a benefit for Platinum and Centurion cardholders who are flying American same-day.

Neither company’s statement made explicit assurances about the future, at some point there’s a contract that will have to be renegotiated. “No changes to announce” is not the same as “there will be no changes.”

Purely in the realm of speculation, reading the American Express comment I tend to think that websites usually get refreshed for a reason. If there’s any doubt about the course of negotiations, I can imagine that now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explicitly regulates credit card marketing, a card issuer would not want to make forward statements about benefits which would induce cardholders to apply and that they couldn’t deliver on.

My guess is that a lawyer somewhere in Amex pulled the information down, and in particular from communications aimed at potential cardholders. And it’s anyone’s guess whether things will change in the future, but it’s pretty clear that nothing has changed as of now.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. Deja vu? I swear I remember something similar happening not that long ago but now can’t find it. Perhaps I am imagining things.

  2. Hi Gary –

    Thank you for your persistence on this issue – but – was there any indication that perhaps the PERSONAL Platinum card will be honored whereas the BUSINESS Platinum card wouldn’t??

    If I remember correctly, the original post earlier today seemed to say that the person turned away was using an AMEX Plat BUSINESS card.

    Thanks!

  3. Husband received a targeted mail offer for 100K MR Personal Platinum last week with $3K w/in 3 months. No mention of AA club in the brochure; just US and Delta.

  4. I’ve turned a Business Platinum card member away before, because they were on a non-rev ticket, which doesn’t allow access with the Platinum card. Wonder if it was the same person.

  5. Received targeted Amex Platinum promo (100K MR – spend $3k). No mention of Admiral’s Club, only US Air and Delta. Called Amex for clarification. Was told as of 1 Oct. 2013 Admiral’s Club has been dropped from new offers.

  6. The easy way to check this is the lounge finder on AA.com which shows the benefit. to reply to a comment above, it does not mention that nonrev tickets are excluded. I have persoanlly visited Admirals clubs on award tickets in the past with no problem.

  7. thanks and btw thanks for providing so much important and usefull information on your blog and website. You and the other bloggers do a great job of informing those of us who don’t have the time to find all of the information on our own. I always give a referal when ever possible to the blogger who gives me the idea.

  8. Data point: I accessed the AA lounge at LAX on an award coach ticket (issued by BA) using my personal Platinum card. No issue whatsoever.

  9. i was the one denied at ORD – found out why. i have a platinum business credit card. what is applicable is a business platinum charge card. fun and confusing eh? mb car is on the way now…

  10. Gary, I was looking around on the AA website in the AC section this morning and I see this regarding AMEX Plat AC access:

    “select Platinum** cardmember

    **not all American Express Platinum cards are eligible for Club access”

    Has this always read this way? Admittedly, I’ve only recently started paying close attention because I’m mulling getting the Plat card. But, I’ve never heard in discussion a reference to only “select” Plat cards giving access.

  11. Wrong!!

    As of March 22, 2014, Platinum Card Members will no longer receive complimentary access to American Airlines® Admirals Club lounges and US Airways® Club locations.

  12. See my latest post. And re-read this one where I clearly say that the promises American/Amex were making said nothing about *the future*

  13. Important news about your Platinum Card® travel benefits

    We are writing to give you advance notice of changes to your travel benefits and to remind you about other valuable features of your Platinum Card.

    As of March 22, 2014, Platinum Card Members will no longer receive complimentary access to American Airlines® Admirals Club lounges and US Airways® Club locations

  14. My friend for that email as well worth them stating they will give them a 200 dollar statement credit for AA.

  15. Received an e mail from American Express that stated that as of March 2014, the Platnium Card would no longer be honored at American Airlines and US Airways lounges.

  16. With the platinum AMEX we will no longer be able to get in the AA lounges, first was United then AA.
    I’m a member since 1990, I told them that this time I will cancel it. this is too much.

    Do you think we could start something on the internet so we can turn this around?
    Suggestions?

  17. Hello,

    This article should be updated. It appears that American Airlines and American Express will no longer be offering Platiumn card access on 3-22-2014. This is sad is reduced the value of the card for me.

    Important news about your Platinum Card® travel benefits

    We are writing to give you advance notice of changes to your travel benefits and remind you about other valuable features of your Platinum Card.

    As of March 22, 2014, Platinum Card Members will no longer receive complimentary access to American Airlines® Admirals Club lounges and US Airways® Club locations.

    We recognize the inconvenience this may cause. However, you will continue to have access to a large network of airport lounges, including complimentary access to:

    • Delta Sky Clubs®1
    • Priority Pass™ Select2 membership for entry to more than 600 participating airport lounges worldwide
    • Airspace Lounges™3 at select airports in New York (JFK), Cleveland, and Baltimore

    New Complimentary Access to The CenturionSM Lounge4

    While partners and benefits may change over time, we remain dedicated to enhancing your travel experiences. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that you now have unlimited, complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge in two locations:

    • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
    • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport

    The Centurion Lounge is a premier airport lounge space exclusively for American Express® Card Members, with signature services and amenities designed to exceed your expectations. Each lounge features seasonal fare created by renowned chefs, signature cocktails, curated wine lists, Member Services and other special features. We look forward to opening additional locations in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *