If you’ve been around the blogosphere you already know American Express rolled out “enhancements” to their Platinum cards recently. In summary, they amount to a big pile of poop for families with two kids or more.
American Express Gave Us Poop.
Besides increasing annual fees $100 and adding an Uber “benefit” most suburban families won’t come close to maximizing, American Express now limits Centurion Lounge access to the cardmember and two guests. Note it’s CARDMEMBER, NOT CARD. Any further guests- regardless of their age or relation- will now cost $50/each.
I’ve asked no fewer than five AMEX reps exactly who counts as a “cardmember”. Not a single answer has been consistent. The latest I’ve heard, and let’s see if it sticks, is that yes, an $175 authorized user cardholder is a “cardmember”. I’m adding this info with a big asterisk. This is the single least organized rollout of a policy change I’ve ever seen and anything you are told is subject to change until AMEX gets its act together.
I need you to read that again to make sure you get it: your infant whose only libation is breast milk? If you’re there with your spouse and another kid- $50. Do you have 6 year old twins? Pick your favorite or pony up. Joe suggested a Hunger Games arena in front of the Centurion lounge.
I find this policy change especially egregious because I came thissss close to cancelling my Platinum Card in December when the fee came up. One of the upsell reasons I was given to keep it was the extraordinary Centurion lounges and how they helped make travel easier for my family.
Let’s Bake a Pie
Around here we’re not complainers (ok, sometimes we’re complainers)- we’re problem solvers. Taking a page from The Help I suggest we take this pile of poop and bake it into a pie. Let’s use American Express’ own Centurion Lounge policy as a workaround for their sorry Centurion Lounge policy.
Since the Centurion Lounge guest policy is two people regardless of age or relation when you are traveling with a party smaller than three you can bring in someone else’s kid as your guest and there’s no valid reason American Express can say no.
Jeff suggested hanging around the Centurion Lounge doors with your most pathetic looking kid until someone with an extra guest slot came in:
#2ndKidsMatter is born
I say we get organized. Next time you’re visiting a Centurion Lounge with less than 3 people shoot me a tweet. Use the hashtag #2ndKidsMatter and where and when you’ll be there. I’ll RT it (and if you see a #2ndKidsMatter hashtag, please RT as well). There may be a parent out there wandering lounge-less who can use your help.
We have a few days to get the word out as the policy officially changes March 30. I don’t expect this campaign to last very long as most parents of two or more kids I know will not be renewing their Platinum cards. I know I won’t.
After all, poop pie is a dish best served cold.
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