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Amex Platinum dropping American Airlines and US Airways lounge access

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I have written a fair bit on Head for Points about the lounge access benefits of the American Express Platinum card.  Indeed, my other post today reminds you that you can even use it to access Eurostar business class lounges.

The Cathay Pacific Gold card (= BA Silver) and the two Priority Pass lounge cards are also very useful.

There has, though, been another lounge benefit for Amex Platinum cardholders.  You would receive access to lounges operated by American Airlines and US Airways if you were flying with them on an economy ticket.

This email was just received by Amex Platinum cardholders in the US though:

Plat emailAnd, with Amex, what happens in the US tends to happen in the UK at the same time.

The pill has been sweetened for US cardholders with a $200-$500 cashback offer for the purchase of American Airlines or US Airways ‘incidental fees’ such as luggage charges or lounge passes.  I doubt that will be available here, if only because cardholders would have made less use of the benefit.

Access to Delta lounges is still available, however, when flying Delta.  And, according to the Amex Platinum UK website “bmi Business Lounges”.  Good luck with that one ….

Amex also has, interestingly, ‘American Express Platinum’ branded airport lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India and Mexico.  These can be used for free with your Platinum card – I did pop in to the Mexico City one about 8 years ago!  They have also recently started rolling out their own lounges at various US airports (eg Las Vegas) although it is not yet clear if UK Platinum card members can get access.  (EDIT: yes you can, according to the comments below.)

You can, of course, continue to gain access to American Airlines lounges for now with your Cathay Pacific Gold card.  However, these are unlikely to be renewed beyond February 2015, given that Cathay will stop issuing them to new Amex Plats in March 2014.

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Comments (20)

  • AndyGWP says:

    Is it the US where they have “Mastercard lounges” which anyone with a mastercard can use FOC? (or have I been having those weird dreams again) 😉

    • sandgrounder says:

      They’ve got one in Budapest, I presumed you needed a fancy MC to get in though (didn’t try rocking up with my Tesco).

      • AndyGWP says:

        ah – so just the bit about “anyone with a Mastercard can use it FOC” was a dream 😀 *phew* 🙂

    • CV says:

      Mastercard have some similar arrangement in middle east. Only reason I know this was when someone in front of me tried to use their mastercard to access the Marhaba Lounge at DXB (the concourse A one is actually not too bad!). They were refused access much to the passengers loud and vocal annoyance but according to him it is allowed all over the middle east, so he was off to complain.

  • Mike says:

    Amex told me this about their US lounges:

    “I can confirm that you have access to the American Express Lounges at both Los Angeles and Dallas Forth Worth.

    Complimentary and unlimited access for the Platinum CardMembers plus immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) or up to 2 traveling companions. “

  • James67 says:

    Beginning to wonder what is the point of this card!? Ever since the fee increased there seems to have been an endless string of devaulating benefits. Even the insurance cover verges on farcical.

    • Alan says:

      You definitely need to do the sums carefully although my parents (as additional cardholders) just got £140 back for hotel/meal costs due to a one day delay on their ferry to the Western Isles! As long as you have one night of booked accommodation then UK travel is covered with the same generous travel inconvenience rules. They’d put their charges on their Amex Gold (as I’d been encouraging them to hit the spend target for the bonus!) rather than the Plat card, but Amex had no problems with that. Claim took about 10 min via the online system.

      • Volker says:

        Alan, did CalMac pay your parents any kind of compensation for the ferry delay as well? DFDS Seaways gave my partner and me a free 3-course dinner for a few hours delay on their Rosythe-Zeebrugge service (which is no longer operational).

        • Alan says:

          Hi Volker. As it was due to bad weather all they paid was £5 each or thereabouts towards some food! If it had been due to a mechanical breakdown, etc then I think they would have paid for the accommodation too. So Amex was definitely handy.

          Obviously you can buy your own travel policy instead of paying for the Amex but on the couple of claims I’ve had so far they’ve been hassle-free for paying out.

          When I take this, my free Gran Melia Madrid night, the upgrade to a €600 suite I’ve just had in Paris Radisson Blu Le Dokhan with CC Gold via Plat, resort fee waiver and upgrades with SPG Gold, ability to decline all insurance on car hire, Hertz 5* upgrades, etc I’m happy I’ve received value for money this year.

  • Alan says:

    Hi Raffles – I agree things tend to follow here and although so the removal is likely. However we get a much better version of Priority Pass here, which gives access to more US-based lounges than the Select version the US cardholders get. Also for the next couple of months we still get the Cathay Gold card (which they dont) – given the US/AA merger this will give access to all those lounges.

    Re. Amex’s own lounges – there’s now no issue with access to these. I’ve been in their Buenos Aires and Las Vegas lounges without an issue. Also visited the Eurostar lounge yesterday – a flash of the card was sufficient there, they didn’t even swipe it as most airline lounges do!

  • Chris McBride says:

    I dropped into the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge in October and the UK Amex Platinum Card was accepted and I was greeted with “Welcome, as you’re platinum, entry into the lounge is at the expense of American Express”… everyone else was being charged $50 per person.

    One of the best lounges I have been in with great food and great individual working areas – much better than the large communal areas when you’re looking for some quiet.

  • invicta says:

    I just wanted to check – if you have Cathay Gold (i.e. OW sapphire) – then dont you get access to AA lounges when you fly AA economy? I havent tried on my trips to the US, usually just fly direct, but was wondering if anyone else has experience? If so, then the only loss is access to the US Airways lounges, that too only temporarily, because once the merger is completed and US joins OW, the Cathay Gold will once again let you get access to US lounges.

    • Alan says:

      Yes, Cathay Gold will get you lounge access on AA economy 🙂

      • Nick Burch says:

        Only trouble is that the Cathay Gold is going away fairly soon (last sign-up date in Feb IIRC, so all cards expired by Feb 2015), which means you’ll be fine in the short term but out of luck in the longer term

  • Nathan says:

    I was planning on signing up to the plat card in 6 months time as I’ve just cancelled my gold card and need to wait 6 months to be eligible for a sign up bonus but looking at your recent posts it seems the card is becoming increasingly less valuable. Might not bother..

  • Lady London says:

    I am wondering to what extent this means that AA and US lounges in the US will now be much less crowded with more people in them being actual frequent flyers.