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Plaza Premium lounges now allowing direct access for Amex Platinum cardholders

Tucked away in the new issue of ‘Departures’, the magazine for American Express Platinum charge card holders, is an intriguing new offer.

The ‘intriguing’ element comes from the fact that Amex has never announced this benefit and because I’m not sure it has any use whatsoever for UK cardholders!

You can now access Plaza Premium airport lounges anywhere in the world simply by showing your American Express Platinum card at the desk.  You can also take in a guest for free.

Plaza Premium operates in 50 airports across the world.  In the UK they run very impressive departure lounges in Terminal 2 (reviewed here, photo below) and Terminal 4 (reviewed here).  They also run an arrivals lounge in Terminal 2.

In the pipeline is an arrivals lounge for Terminal 4, a Heathrow hotel and a large Plaza Premium departure lounge in Terminal 5 (yay!).

Plaza Premium Heathrow 2

This should be a fantastic benefit.  However, all of the UK lounges are already members of Priority Pass.  As you already get a free Priority Pass with your Platinum card, nothing changes.

The coverage is identical.  You get two Platinum cards (main and supplementary), you get two Priority Pass cards.  You get a free guest when entering using your Platinum card, you get a free guest when entering using your Priority Pass card.

The UK Platinum charge card is more generous than in other countries in terms of how the Priority Pass works.  I get a feeling that this deal with Plaza Premium was made to benefit cardholders in other countries more than the UK.

That said, it is possible that if you trawl through the entire Plaza Premium global network there may be one or two lounges which are not part of Priority Pass.  Should this be the case, you will get some marginal benefit from this new partnership.

There is also a chance that the Terminal 5 lounge will not be part of Priority Pass as the company which owns Priority Pass is a shareholder in the Aspire lounge in T5.  I don’t consider this likely however as the Aspire lounge is already turning people away at peak times and Priority Pass knows it needs more T5 capacity.  Aspire will continue to be full with or without Plaza Premium.

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  1. Genghis says:

    Will the Amex Plat just need to be shown on entry or will it be swiped?

  2. They swipe it at the Plaza Premium Edmonton. The lady told me the access was more generous than with my UK PP card. They said I could bring the whole family in with platinum, but just one guest with priority pass.

    • harry says:

      Sounds a bit generous. Have you been charged for no 3?

      • harry says:

        Judging by the T&Cs, you can bring in as many as you like/ lounge rules allow – but you will be charged for no 3 onwards

  3. harry says:

    Does the Plat supp also give entry +1?

    Ie Priority Pass +1 guest, Plat supp +1 guest, family of 4 get in?

    • pauldb says:

      If you had a supp card, i.e. 2 Priority Passes, you could already get in 2+2. The question is whether 1 card holder can now enter by Plat and by PP and therefore have 2 guests. Or you and your supp cardholder can take a total group of 6.

      • harry says:

        lol just waking up

        yes – 6 sounds intriguing as we need 5

        assuming you are doing it above board (ie presenting 6 of you at the reception desk), I guess the question is whether a ‘principal’ cardholder can flash both cards for guests #1 & #2, each

        • harry says:

          Right – the lounge might actually be helpful here, you never know. They get a fee for each entry. If the rules allow cardholder to use both Plat & PP to get in 1 guest on each card FOC, ie total of 3 getting in, then the lounge could presumably charge Amex for 4 entries & be happy as only 3 go in.

          Worth a test, it might finally be a good reason for me to get Plat.

        • Genghis says:

          Please do it Harry. Give it a go and report back

  4. Andrew* says:

    I’m fairly new to Platinum… What magazine? Do I need to sign up to receive it or …?

  5. harry says:

    From relaxing getways to important business trips, eligible American Express Cardmembers can enjoy privileged access to Plaza Premium Lounge all year around whenever you travel. At over 70 locations worldwide, you can relax and unwind before your next journey and enjoy a complimentary visit to Plaza Premium Lounge. In the lounge they offer a wide range of facilities, from comfortable seating, a delicious buffet spread with non-alcoholic drinks, hot shower suites, evening tapas, to local / international newspapers and magazines.

    Alternatively, for those of you who are always on the road, unwind in a complimentary 15-minute seated massage service or freshen up with a complimentary shampoo and blow-dry at Wellness Spa & Salon in Hong Kong.

    Simply present your eligible American Express Card with a boarding pass for the same day or the following day travel at the lounge reception. We make sure your airport experience is seamless whether you’re arriving, departing or transiting at the airport.

    Basic and Supplementary Centurion members, Basic and Supplementary Cardmembers of The Platinum Card®, American Express Peninsula Platinum Card, American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card and American Express Gold Business Card issued in Hong Kong by American Express International, Inc. are eligible to enjoy either a complimentary lounge access or 15 minute seated massage or shampoo and blow-dry services (“Offer”) once per day .

    Basic and Supplementary Cardmembers of American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card and American Express Charter Card issued in Hong Kong by American Express International, Inc. are eligible to two complimentary visits per year by presenting a valid lounge coupon for each entry. The coupon is required to be presented at lounge reception. Photocopy of the coupon is not accepted. Each coupon entitles the Cardmember to one complimentary visit to the lounge or one time complimentary service as stated on the coupon.

    Cardmember is also required to present the eligible Card in his or her name along with boarding pass for the same day or the following day travel at lounge reception for accessing Plaza Premium Lounge or receiving the mentioned services.

    Basic and Supplementary Centurion member, Basic and Supplementary Cardmember of the Platinum Card may bring up to one travel companion into the lounge at no cost and enjoy 30% discount on the fee for each additional guest (except Shanghai and Beijing).

    Relevant applicable fee such as entrance fee for a guest will be charged to Cardmember’s Card Account.

    • harry says:

      Or was that just HK? oops

      • pauldb says:

        UK wording:

        Simply present your American Express® Platinum Card at Plaza Premium Lounge to gain complimentary access for yourself and your guest(s)*. You may also purchase additional guest access.
        *Guest entitlements vary by location

        Platinum Cardmembers (and supplementary Platinum Cardmembers) are entitled to complimentary access to the Plaza Premium lounges. The Platinum Cardmember may bring upto x guest(s) into the lounge at no additional cost. All lounge access fees for additional guest visits will be charged directly to the Platinum Cardmember’s Card, and at the prevailing retail rate, per person, per visit. Lounge access to infants under two years of age is complimentary. To access the Plaza Premium lounges, the Platinum Cardmember must present the agent with the following upon each visit: his or her valid Card and upon request, same-day or following day boarding pass on any carrier and a government-issued I.D. Failure to present this documentation may result in access being denied.Platinum Cardmember must be at least 18 years of age to enter without a parent or guardian where there is a self-service bar. Plaza Premium Lounge reserves the right to remove any person from a lounge for inappropriate behaviour or failure to adhere to lounge rules, including, but not limited to, conduct that is disruptive, abusive or violent. Access is subject to space availability and is not guaranteed. The full Plaza Premium Lounge Facilities Terms and Conditions are available at Facilities, amenities, services and hours of operation may vary among locations and are subject to change. Terms and Conditions are subject to change without prior

        • pauldb says:

          So vague about guest numbers, and not clear if they are deliberately saying only he Cardmember (not supp) is allowed guests.

        • harry says:

          I guess the x will simply change to ‘1’

        • Gin and Tonic Please says:

          The page in the Departures magazine clearly says “one guest”. Not clear on whether the supplementary cardholder also gets a guest though.

  6. evelyn thomas says:

    O/T but lounge linked
    VIenna airport|| which lounge do people recommend?
    We have choice of JET lounge or AIR lounge

    • Brian says:

      Much of a muchness – I’d probably go for JET, but I don’t think there’s much in it. Maybe try both??

    • Just wanted to mention ( in case you have not noticed) that Jet is before Passport control and Air is located just after the Passport control. Personally I prefer going to lounge after passport control or security( not possible at VIE), but that is just me.

  7. OT but platinum related…..
    How do I check if I am targeted for PRG to platinum on my online account?

    And if I am not, how do I increase the chances?

    • Genghis says:

      I thought officially the targeted persons were emailed…

      • Scallder says:

        I managed to apply using the website link with the offer on and didn’t get an email. I have just hit the £1k for the upgrade bonus and MR points for that last bit of spend should hit tomorrow, so will see if the 20k bonus hit tomorrow as well. If not, will certainly be on the phone to Amex sharpish as even if it was emailed to specific people the fact that the website allows you to upgrade shouldn’t prevent those not emailed to get it surely?

        • harry says:

          Your online a/c tells you which bonus you are targeting, so you can log in & check it right now if you wish. If there’s no 20K showing, that’s going to be tough convincing them so good luck

        • Scallder says:

          Morning all, I am very happy to report that having not been targeted for the upgrade and also not having the normal spend tracker when I logged into my account, the 20k bonus hit this morning just as promptly and like clockwork like any normal sign up bonus 🙂

          So excluding the extra 1k points for the extra £1k spend that route has netted me an extra 7k MR points over going straight to Platinum (being referred)

        • Thanks for feedback. Do you mind sharing the link you used?

          Also, after upgrading I presume the gold stops working and I will have to wait for the new platinum card?

        • harry says:

          That’s great but don’t forget Raffles reported back recently that somebody didn’t get it. It used to be – don’t bother – I don’t think it works.

          There’s a more recent one.

        • Yes, a reader tried it and was refused the bonus on the grounds of not being targetted.

        • Scallder says:

          Was this one:

          And the gold still works and some spend I put on that whilst waiting for the new platinum card counted towards the £1k target

  8. Genghis says:

    I believe Anika reviewed the BOD BA lounge on HfP earlier this year. The lounge is closed. As an alternative for breakfast I got a pain au chocolat, latte and Tropicana from the Cafe. By the sounds of it, this is an improvement.

    • Aeronaut says:

      Standing outside inhaling others smoke seems like it’d have been more life affirming than a visit to the Bordeaux lounge!

  9. NOT been through all the detail yet – but my first thought is about PAID supplementaries.

    With UK Amex Plat (personal) you get included in the fee:
    – main plat card holder (plat with all benefits inc PP covering 2)
    – plat supplementary card holder (plat with all benefits inc PP covering 2)
    – up to 4 supplementary card holders (green or gold, but no PP or other benefits)

    However, IIRC, you can add supplementary plat holders at £170 a year. Further, IIRC, they don’t get the PP benefit at all.
    But if this lounge access offering was available, this could be beneficial for someone.

    NOT gone through the T&C yet, just first thought.

    • To be honest I have never got my head around what you do and don’t get for the £170 Platinum fee on a 2nd supplementary.

      If you don’t get a Priority Pass then, if you fly through T2 or T4 once a month or so, it may be worth giving a Platinum holding friend £170 to issue a supplementary for you! I know someone who pays a friend £500 to issue a supplementary Centurion for him because there is one particular benefit he uses heavily.

      • Not just T2 or T4, the friend needing access could be based anywhere in the world that had Plaza Premium lounges at their main airports, etc.
        Just needs to be someone you trust to be in physical possession of a card on your account.
        This approach would also apply to the Eurostar lounge, etc.

        Sadly not familiar enough with Centurion to guess the benefit….

      • Neil Spellings says:

        Additional supplimentary card holders do get a PP.

        Amex sent me one after a recent Gold to Platinum upgrade accidentally included too many supplimentart cards

        • Neil, this seems to constradic other experience, could you clarify exactly what happened (wondering if something odd happened)

          Also, is your paid supp PP holder getting 2 guests or just 1?

        • Andrew* says:

          Same here: upgraded PRG (for which I also had a supp card holder already) to Plat, when filling in upgrade form I requested a supp (didn’t realise existing one would be upgraded automatically….heh ho) and was checking statement a day or so later and noticed £170 fee…

          Cue two supp plat cards arriving in the post (one easily cancelled) and two PP cards (a phone call to PP resolved which one was no longer valid)

        • Scallder says:

          I had this same experience this week. A quick call to Amex and my wife’s 2nd supplementary card was cancelled. Two days later a 3rd PP card arrived (between the 2 of us), so you do get the PP on a further paid supplementary card

        • Well you certainly get it (in practice) in that upgrade scenario. And it would certainly be good if confirmed that all plat sups are supposed to get it.
          Then, the final question would be, how many people are covered by it, 2 (like a main plat PP), 1 or 0 (i.e. PAYG).
          As Raffles says above – there is a lot of confusion out there. While my own data points are older, they do contradict this – and they were not part of the ‘upgrade’ scenario.
          Thanks for these. Would love some more data points.

        • ankomonkey says:

          Third person to have this exact experience…

  10. Brian says:

    You say an arrivals lounge for Terminal 2 is in the pipeline – do you mean ANOTHER arrivals lounge is coming??? Or should that be Terminal 4??

    • Sorry, meant T4, will correct.

      • Felix Flyer says:

        Was in arrivals lounge in Heathrow T2 the other week. They were conducting interviews for new staff when I heard them say they were opening a new lounge in T3.

  11. Did this start out in Asia? Seems to be strong there and the middle east, but nothing in Europe except for the LHR ones, and nothing at all in the US.

  12. I’ll be cancelling my Amex gold with a view to getting Platinum in Mid December.

    Am i right in saying i have to wait 6 months to apply?

    Is anyone predicting any change to that card or it’s benefits between now and then?

  13. Katy storie says:

    Can I just check that if myself and my partner both have platinum Amex (and therefore priority pass cards) we can each take a guest into a lounge? We went with our two children to the aspire lounge in Newcastle and were told we were not eligible for guests and so would be charged £15 per child?!

    • The lounges often don’t know about the special Amex Priority Pass setup – normal PP would incur a guest fee but with Amex you will NOT be charged for 1 guest per PP card, so no issues taking them in. Just make sure they charge 1 guest per card and don’t put 2 on one card!

      • Katy storie says:

        Thanks! I’ll take the t and c’s with me next time!

        • harry says:

          I don’t think you need to do that, if I understand the way it works correctly. Newcastle lounge would just book you & the kids in, on your 2 Amex cards – but would not actually charge you anything there & then. They would (wrongly) expect that Amex would charge you the extra guest fee, which would then be passed back to lounge. (So you wouldn’t see a payment transaction going on in front of you.)

          No need to even mention the T&Cs, if I’m right. Just smile and go in, remembering as stated to only put 1 guest per card (not 2 on 1 card & nobody on the other).

        • Correct – they’ve got no visibility on the billing side of things so just make sure they charge 1 guest per card and you’ll be sorted. Nod and smile if they say you’ll be charged 😀

    • They were wrong although to be fair they don’t know what version of PPass you have. Most versions do charge.

    • Andrew* says:

      My wife managed not to get charged extra when taking our two children (who were at the time only 7 and 5) into Newcastle Aspire…

      Belfast weren’t so accommodating (not that they had to be, we were lucky at NCL!) – but were still helpful and only charged us their child rate, which was slightly cheaper than a paid PP guest…

  14. harry says:

    Do you reckon my Plat supp could be my son aged 15? Ie I & he could get into lounge as cardholders & invite (as guests) my other 2 kids?

    • Nick M says:

      I think supplementary cardholders are meant to be over 18(?)… you could ask AMEX to just use initials on the credit card rather than a full name which may help?

  15. McSalty says:

    Well this all makes me think it shows the growing disconnect between passengers wanting comfort and a sense of luxury and evidently happy to pay for it (e.g liu fes full at peak times) verses airline’s desire to reduce costs and mainly via reductions in service/quality to remain competitive…

  16. Mervyn says:

    Heaven knows how it will work but there are some EXTRA benefits at Plaza lounges if entering suing an Amex Platinum Card. The article says in a box in the top left-hand side:
    ”PLATINUM BENEFIT Complimentary in-lounge services include premium cuisine and beverages.”

    Anyone have any idea what that is and how it works in practice?

    • Mervyn says:

      Sorry – ”suing” in line 2 should of course read ”using”!
      (it is an especially embarrassing typo for a lawyer to make!)

  17. harry says:

    O/T Europcar
    Just working out which rental co to use to get to the airport in summer – a 1-way as we’re driving back in my wife’s car in September – and came across this intriguing link
    What you get for £1
    1) One way car rental – You can drive from one city to another for just £1! Much cheaper than any bus or taxi!
    2) Generous time allowance – You get an ample time to complete your journey: Up to 24 hours. You also have a mileage allowance included in the price.
    3) Basic Protection -We have included Basic Protection, which reduces your excess amount in case of damage of the vehicle. You can add more protection at the rental location if you wish.
    You may be wondering why we are offering you car rental for 1 pound. You may think there is some kind of catch. But don’t worry, there is a logical reason behind our crazy offer!
    Often we need to re-locate a vehicle, to be ready for the next rental or to return it to the manufacturer at the end of its lease.
    Transporting the vehicle by truck is very expensive, so if you can bring the vehicle to where we need it, we charge you only 1 pound, and we both benefit!

    *** let’s see if I can get it to work 🙂

    • harry says:

      No good for me but there are plenty of £1 1-way hires dropping off @ Heathrow!

      Anyway, anybody else in the same boat as myself, go through car hire options, price it up and you’ll see a 20% discount to the best you’ll find via Europcar direct. £48 1-way car rental with airport drop-off is unbeatable, Octavia class but they’ll normally upgrade you to something a bit bigger such as Insignia.

  18. formal hall says:

    Does anyone know if this benefit now applies to all Platinum cards worldwide, or is just for the UK and HK. Also, does the benefit apply to platinum business cards?