A week and a half ago the Dallas Fort-Worth Centurion lounge re-opened in its new larger location.
Credit: American Express
At the time I wrote that “I still expect that the lounge will get crowded at peak times.” Size alone doesn’t control lounge crowds. Offer decent food (though Centurion lounge food is not as good, in my opinion, as it was 5 years ago) and drinks and in the case of Dallas and Miami even spa treatments and more people are going to want to spend more time there than you imagine, even after accounting for people wanting to spend more time there than you’d think.
And indeed despite growing the lounge footprint by 30% they still cannot handle the crowds. They’re currently limiting entrance to passengers within 3 hours of their scheduled departure time.
— Nathan Totusek (@nathanrt86) October 8, 2018
That means despite offering showers, Platinum cardmembers cannot use the lounge on arrival after a long flight (if they aren’t connecting onward). And if they get to the airport early planning to stand by for an earlier flight they may be out of luck.
Ultimately American Express is going to have to ration lounge visits in some other way (such as advance reservations or charging for visits beyond some set number each year).