Centurion Lounge 3 hour policy doesn’t apply to layovers

Shown here is the Centurion Lounge DFW where I recently was admitted for 7 hours.

In March 2019, Amex added new restrictions for Platinum cardholders accessing Centurion Lounges:

  • You can no longer access the lounge upon arrival at the airport.  Lounge access is only for departing passengers.
  • You can’t access the lounge more than 3 hours before your flight.

The restriction against arriving passengers is unquestionably a bummer.  I’ve been known to time my flights into LaGuardia airport so that I can arrive and have lunch at the Centurion Lounge.  That won’t work anymore.

I also thought that the 3 hour policy would be a huge problem when connecting at an airport with a Centurion Lounge.  After all, it’s not unusual to have layovers longer than 3 hours.

It turns out, though, that there’s an exception for connecting passengers.  If you are connecting at an airport with a Centurion Lounge, you can access the lounge for your entire layover.

I discovered this exception thanks to a 7 hour layover in Dallas.  I knew about the 3 hour policy so I first went to a Priority Pass lounge (The Club) but was turned away due to their own 3 hour rule.  Then I tried the Centurion Lounge.  At first, the desk agent said no when I showed her my onward flight, but then she asked if that would be my first flight of the day.  “No, I’m connecting here.” I said.  She asked to see my earlier boarding pass (the one showing that I arrived earlier that day at DFW) and admitted me.  Yay!

Amex makes this exception kind-of clear on their website (found here) where they note “We will not admit Platinum Card Members more than 3 hours before the departure time on the Platinum Card Member’s same-day, confirmed boarding pass. This does not apply to Platinum Card Members with a connecting flight.

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