I reported a few months ago that credit cards, airlines, and hotels were planning to scale back on their luxury benefits. As lounge access — once reserved for ‘elite’ travelers — became a common credit card perk, lounges across the world became as crowded as the departure lounge in some cases, prompting frustration from the traditional high-spending frequent flyer. Now, airlines and card issuers are making changes to alleviate lounge crowding.
The most notable of the changes come from American Express, which is tightening the entry on their renowned Centurion lounges. The typical policy of two free guests per American Express Platinum holder will remain in place until February 1st. From that date, any guests will be admitted only after paying a $50 fee. Amex will waive the fee if the cardholder spends $75,000 a year on the card — an unlikely number for most of us.
Frequent Delta flyers may also feel the changes. Beginning February 2nd, the airline is cutting access to its SkyClub lounges, favoring Diamond Medallion, Delta 360 members, and Delta One members. If you fall into one of these categories, you’ll be given preference over any other members. How they’ll implement this is uncertain, but it could be a designated line that won’t admit any other members until the line for priority members is empty.
Guest fees in the Delta lounge will also rise to $50 on February 2nd, while elite members will no longer be given access if they fly Main Cabin or Comfort+. In any case, there’s never been a better time to grab a Priority Pass – get up to 50% off if you sign up here