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Amex Platinum lounge confusion – Cathay Gold extended, AA/US going, Delta charging?

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By coincidence, three pieces of news have come up in the last few days regarding the airport lounge access that American Express Platinum cardholders receive.

The deadline for applying for the Cathay Pacific Gold Card (=BA Silver) has been extended

I’m not sure what is going on here.  After saying for 9 months that this deal was ending in mid February, the Amex website now shows 31 March as the closing date.

Cathay A350-900

This is good news if you haven’t yet decided whether or not to go for this. Cathay Pacific, like British Airways, is a member of the oneworld alliance.  This means that your Cathay Pacific Gold card gives you the same benefits as a British Airways Silver card when you fly with BA.

In particular:

You can use BA lounges, even when flying economy – and bring a guest

You can use the lounges of any other oneworld airline when flying with them (Qantas, Qatar, Cathay, Finnair, Royal Jordanian etc)

You can select seats on BA flights for free

You can get an additional baggage allowance

You can check-in at business class desks

The full list of benefits from a oneworld Sapphire card (which is what both BA Silver and Cathay Gold offer) can be found here.

(PS.  There is no mention of the Cathay Gold benefit on the official Amex Platinum application website.  This appears to be linked to Amex’s close relationship with British Airways.  Don’t worry, it definitely exists!)

American Airlines

American Airlines and US Airways removing lounge access for American Express Platinum cardholders

I wrote about this back in December, when Amex Plat cardholders in the US received a letter saying that they would no longer be able to access American Airlines or US Airways lounges.

As the screenshot above shows, this will definitely now apply to UK-issued Platinum cards as well.  The last date to gain entry is March 20th.  Of course, Amex has not bothered to write to UK cardholders to tell them about this change …..

As long as you retain the Cathay Gold card this will not be a problem, since that will get you into American Airlines and US Airways lounges anyway.  However, once your free year of Cathay Gold ends, you won’t be able to get access.

Delta Air Lines to charge for guests brought in by Amex Platinum cardholders

Delta Air Lines announced on Thursday that it will be introducing a $29 charge for American Express Platinum cardholders who want to bring a guest into their lounges.  At present, Amex Plats who are flying Delta can use their lounges and bring in a guest for free.

It is 99% certain that this will also apply to UK cardholders.  The charge will be in effect from May 1st.

So, what is left?

Once all these changes have worked through, lounge access for Amex Plats will comprise:

Priority Passaccess to all 700 lounges in this network.  Unlimited free visits and you can bring a guest for free.  Your main supplementary cardholder also gets a free Priority Pass and can also bring a guest, so a family of 4 could enter the lounge OK.

Eurostar – access to their business class lounges, although no guests are allowed (unless they are the supplementary Platinum cardholder on your account, of course)

American Express lounges – Amex runs its own airport lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico and the USA (only two so far I think).  These are free to enter for Platinum cardholders.

Delta – Platinum cardholders will still be able to gain access to Delta lounges when flying Delta, although they cannot bring in a guest unless they pay.


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Comments (67)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • PB says:

    Raffles, your comment above is not entirely correct. When you wrote: “As long as you retain the Cathay Gold card this will not be a problem, since that will get you into American Airlines and US Airways lounges anyway”.

    AA lounge access based on status only is given when you are flying long-haul on AA (not sure about USAir, and I am not sure if the merger changes this – details have not been announced yet). I am American Airlines Executive Platinum, which is equivalent to OneWorld Emerald. If you are flying AA flights in North America, or between North America and the Caribbean, or between North America and a good chunk of Central America, then your OneWorld or AA status will not get you into an AA lounge (called Admirals Clubs), no matter what fare class you have bought. To use the AA lounges you need to have an AdmiralsClub membership, or have an Amex Platinum Card… even if you are flying first class.

    Lets say you have a ticket that is LHR-ORD-DFW… then you can use your status to get you in a lounge for your whole trip (as long as AA has a lounge in the airport of course). But lets say you just have a JFK – LAX ticket, then your status will not get you into a lounge, nor will your class of travel. You will need to have paid for AdmiralsClub membership, or have an AmexPlatinum card. And with AmexPlatinum holding being removed as a way to get into an AdrmiralsClub, this is a big big negative for me.

    Hope the above helps!

    • Christoph says:

      Sorry PB, but this is only true because you have an American based FFP, so being American Airlines Executive Platinum. All other (international) OW Sapphire or Emerald members do not have this restriction on domestic US-flights and can visit any Admirals Club of AA as long as they are flying a OW carrier. Has been so for years, it’s also noted on the oneworld homepage. So concerning your example of a pure JFK-LAX, as a BA Gold member (Emerald) I can even access the Flagship Lounge; and as a Sapphire the Admirals Club. Works great and I use it several times a year when flying domestically and definitely an advantage compared to US-programs where lounge membership is a paid option.

    • Baggageinhall says:

      PB,
      Raffles IS entirely correct. Whilst AA status won’t permit you lounge access on a non long-haul itinerary, status with any other OneWorld carrier does. The same is true for Star Alliance.

      So a Cathay Gold card will grant you Admirals Club access when flying domestically.

  • al says:

    The Cathy Gold deal with Amex is great (but I wouldn’t have known about it without Head for Points, Thank You!), and great that it’s going to be around for a bit longer.

    The Cathy card has resolved the problem that at Heathrow T5 there is only the BA business lounge.

    I travel regularly enough to justify the Amex Plat fee largely because me and my partner can get lounge access. However, I am never in a month of Sundays going to get enough BA status points for them to let me in without a bit of help.

    So in just over a year’s time, for those of us who are not BA Silver but who have an expensive Amex card in our back pockets it all goes back to square one.

    Anyone know if there are any plans for a Priority Pass friendly lounge to open up in T5?

    • blenz101 says:

      Certainly no plans in the HAL business plan (which covers the next 5 years) for any lounge type in T5.

  • Alan says:

    Yep, Raffles is spot on re AA accès.

    Re Amex clubs in the USA – currently there are two of them, in Las Vegas and Dallas Fort Worth. The next one is planned for San Francisco, but they seem to be planning more after that. Originally only Centurion members received free accès, but that has now been changed to Plats too (including UK) along with a free guest (IIRC they’re even more generous re spouse and kids). The lounges are excellent, far better than standard US lounges so well worth a visit!

  • Kiran says:

    Slightly confused. So the UK Amex Plat allows access to Delta lounges? I don’t see this mentioned in the benefits list on the Platinum website. I am merely curious as I will never ever fly Delta again if I can avoid it.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, its there. It is on the same page that my screenshot was taken from, at americanexpress.co.uk/platinum

  • xcalx says:

    This means that your Cathay Pacific Gold card gives you the same benefits as a British Airways Silver card when you fly with BA.
    “”You can get an additional baggage allowance””

    Watch out if booking AA as the extra baggage allowance does not seem to be a benefit when flying AA. AA list extra baggage for Oneworld Emeralds
    .

    • Rob says:

      True. BA gives extra baggage to oneworld elites as a special favour, it is not an alliance wide benefit.

    • xcalx says:

      From above “”Watch out if booking AA as the extra baggage allowance does not seem to be a benefit when flying AA. AA list extra baggage for Oneworld Emeralds””

      Just pulled up this from the AA site
      Free 1st or 2nd bag for
      American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member. Oneworld alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby members.
      Customers flying on the same reservation as an American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member or oneworld alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby member regardless of frequent flyer status or fare type (not applicable to group bookings

      • Alan says:

        Yes, both AA and BA seem more generous to OW Sapphires than the programme rules would require them to be 🙂

  • Dhoward says:

    Also, was Eurostar lounge access secretly downgraded at some point? It used to include Brussels but now only mentions London and Paris…

    • Rob says:

      Someone posted a while back that Brussels still works, if I remember correctly.

      • Richard Thomas says:

        Re Brussels, if you get a Thalys card (free – here https://www.thalysthecard.com) you can then use both Thalys Lounge at Bruxelles-Midi and the Salon Voyageur SNCF at Paris-Nord. (Thalys is the Paris-Brussels high speed train operator, goes into Netherlands too).

  • David says:

    When I travelled Eurostar just before Xmas my Amex Platinum Corporate card worked in London but I was rudely refused in Paris on the return.

  • GUWonder says:

    AA gives free extra baggage allowance to OneWorld Sapphires too. First two standard-sized bags of 0-50 pounds are free for BA Silvers and CX Golds on AA flights.

    I have enough BA Slivers flying AA flights to know how this works; and it works well and the same for BA Silvers on AA as it does for AA Platinums on AA.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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