Here’s a really smooth move courtesy of Citibank.
American Express Platinum (and Centurion) cardholders lost access to American Airlines and US Airways lounges after March 22. Combined with losing guest access at Delta lounges May 1 that’s a blow. They’re building their own lounges, of course. They’re adding Boingo internet access for cardholders, and handed out extra airline fee credits.
Now Citibank is going to help soften the blow for another month.
Citi is the exclusive issuer of card products that provide American and US Airways lounge access. And they’ve been really aggressive in getting the card out there.
So here’s what they’re going to do:
In celebration of this exclusive relationship, during the month of April, Citi will offer complimentary One-Day Passes to any domestic U.S. based Admirals Club lounge or US Airways Club to travelers whose credit cards no longer provide complimentary access.
Ralph Andretta, Citi Cards’ Head of Product Management, says “This April, we want to extend this courtesy and invite those who no longer have complimentary access with their credit card to be our guest.”
The materials from Citi don’t say what cards qualify because, well, their marketing folks aren’t going to name their competitors’ products…
This is how it works:
Travelers with a credit card that previously enabled access to the Admirals Club lounge can bring that credit card to any Admirals Club lounge or US Airways Club in the domestic U.S. beginning now through April 30, 2014 and they will receive complimentary One-Day Passes from a Citi Ambassador at the lounge entrances, courtesy of Citi.
During the first week of the program, Citi Ambassadors will initially be in clubs Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 am – 5 pm. Citi Ambassadors will soon expand to extended evening and weekend hours at select clubs throughout the remainder of the month.
To receive complimentary One-Day Passes, travelers must meet with the Citi ambassador and show their credit card that previously enabled access to the Lounge.
They want you to sign up for one of their cards, but I can’t imagine it will be a hard sell.
And you don’t actually have to use the pass on the spot, passes will be valid for a year, so even if you have a very short layover you may want to stop in at a club and pick up a pass to use later.
I think this is both:
- Savvy: clearly people who have cards providing lounge access, who find themselves in an airport terminal with an American lounge, are the right target market for Citi’s premium card product
- Classy: to extend the courtesy of the visit to folks who used to be welcome.
A couple of weeks ago I entered a club where there was someone signing up folks for the Executive card in the entryway. I already have the card, but I still got a pen. I suspect I was viewed as a ‘good mark’ because I was actually entering under my British Airways status, since that gets me premium drink chits (that I just used for free bottled water).
I’ve asked Citi more about the expanded schedule and locations beyond 9-5 on weekdays. They’re going to grow this to evenings and weekends at hubs but details will be helpful so folks know when their travels let them show up to collect a pass.
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