One of the most useful benefits of being an authorized user on my dad’s American Express Platinum card, is using my card for free access to numerous airport lounges. American Express recently changed the complimentary guest policy for Centurion lounges and Priority Pass lounges so I thought it would be a good time to summarize the different types of lounges you can access for free with an American Express Platinum card, requirements for free entry, guest policy and the easiest way to locate lounges.
List of Lounges You Can Access For Free With Your Amex Platinum Card
Having an American Express Platinum card (whether you are the primary cardholder or an authorized user) grants you free access to five (5) different lounge programs:
1) The Centurion lounge network
2) Priority Pass Select lounges – Free entry is not automatic, need to enroll
3) Delta Sky Club lounges
4) Airspace Lounges
5) Escape Lounges (US locations only) – New, added May, 2017
6) International American Express lounges
Each type of lounge has different requirements for free access by an Amex Platinum cardholder and their guests.
Centurion Lounge® and The Centurion Studio
The Centurion Lounges are among the nicest lounges you can access with an Amex Platinum card but they can only be found in a few locations and sometimes tend to be overcrowded because of their popularity. Current Centurion locations include Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), New York La Guardia Airport (LGA), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Miami International Airport (MIA), Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), Philadelphia (PHL), Hong Kong (HKG) and the smaller Centurion studio at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). A lounge at New York JFK is expected to open in 2019.
How to Enter: Present valid American Express Platinum card, a government-issued I.D and a boarding pass for same-day travel on any carrier.
Guest Policy: Platinum card members are now limited to two (2) guests at no additional charge. One-day passes for any additional guests may be purchased.
Priority Pass Select
I visit Priority Pass lounges more than any of the other lounges I can access with my Amex Platinum card because there are so many of them. Priority Pass is an independent airport lounge access program with over 1,000 lounges around the world. In order to access Priority Pass lounges, you first have to enroll in the Priority Pass Select Program using this link and present your card (or digital card through the Priority Pass app).
How to Enter: Present your Priority Pass Select card (or digital card through the app) and same-day airline boarding pass.
Guest Policy: Priority Pass select members can bring 2 guests for free. Prior to to March 30, 2017 there was a charge of $27 per guest and there are still references to the $27 guest fee on various pages of the American Express website which you can ignore.
Delta Sky Club
There are many Delta Sky Clubs lounges across the United States but you need to be flying Delta for free access with an American Express Platinum Card.
How to Enter: Present valid American Express Platinum card, government-issued I.D., and same day boarding pass on a Delta flight.
Guest Policy: Platinum American Express cardholders may enter the club with up to two (2) guests for $29 per person. Additional guests may purchase one-day passes.
This benefit is only useful if you fly through one of the 3 airports that have an Airspace lounge. There are only three (3) Airspace lounges: New York (JFK T5), San Diego (SAN) and Cleveland (CLE).
How to Access: Present your valid Amex Platinum card and government-issued I.D. A boarding pass is not required for Airspace Lounge access.
Guest Policy: You can bring two (2) guests for free.
Amex just added the Escape lounges located in the US to the list of lounges that can be accessed with a Platinum card. Currently, there are only three (3) Escape lounges in the US: Bradley International Airport, Oakland and Minnesota – St. Paul.
How to Access: Present your valid Amex Platinum card, government-issued I.D and and same day boarding pass.
Guest Policy: You can bring two (2) guests for free.
International American Express Lounges
American Express has a few international lounges in Argentina, Australia, India, Mexico. See http://thecenturionlounge.com/international for the complete list of locations.
How to Access: Present valid Amex Platinum card, government issued I.D. and same day boarding pass on any carrier.
Guest Policy: Guest access policies vary by location. At minimum, at least 1 complimentary guest is allowed.
How to Locate American Express Platinum Lounges
An easy way to find all the lounges you can access at a specific airport is to use the American Express Loungefinder tool at https://www298.americanexpress.com/benefits/platinum/us/en/#/loungefinder but it has not been updated to include the 3 Escape lounges yet. You can also look up lounges on the individual websites for the specific lounge programs but this website might be easier because it will show you all lounges you can access with an Amex Platinum Card.
The search will pull up all the lounges at your airport, and list the name, location, and partner (whether Amex, Priority Pass, Delta or Airspace).
You can search by country and city OR airport name or code. When you search by country you will see the list of cities in that country with lounges you can access.
When I enter my home airport (ORD), I see there are 3 lounges at Chicago O’Hare for Amex Platinum cardholders:
This does not mean I can actually use all 3 lounges – I need to be flying Delta to access the Delta Sky Club and the Priority Pass lounges are in the international terminal 5 which is not useful when flying domestic.
For more information, you can click the name of each lounge to see details about each lounge, including location, access requirements, hours and guest policy, amenities and terms and conditions.
For frequent flyers, the lounge access is one of the best benefits of being an Amex Platinum cardholder. Each authorized user card comes with its own lounge access which makes this benefit even more valuable.