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On my recent trip to Costa Rica, we changed planes at DFW – Dallas Fort Worth. Of course, we stopped in at the DFW American Express Centurion Lounge. Even when that lounge gets crowded, I find that it is still somehow workable and a pleasant experience – though I did question whether it was worth going there when our layover was short, and neither our arriving nor our departing flight was at the same terminal as the Centurion.
Fast forward to our flight home, which was via MIA – Miami Airport. Honestly, I try to avoid flying through Miami if I can help it. It just always seems like a hassle. Going through Global Entry was a breeze so I was hopeful that things had changed . . .
Neither our originating terminal nor our departing terminal was located near the Centurion. Still, I had never been to that lounge and was eager to see it. It looked ok until I turned the corner.
What the? The lounge was jammed! It was unworkable! I felt like a sardine! It was so crowded – there were no seats available.
The food was flying off the buffet faster than the planes taking off from the runways outside.
Has the concept of an airport lounge being a calm place to regroup and get ready for the rest of ones’ journey gone out the window? The situation was frenetic, and I felt stressed – the antithesis of what I thought one is supposed to feel at an airport lounge.
Do I need to rethink my airport lounge strategy? Should they change the motto from #MemberSince to #MemberTill?
If lounges are this crowded, are they worth it? I’ve justified renewal of my American Express Platinum cards in the past based on the access to Centurion lounges. Don’t get me wrong – the Centurion food is still better than the food at nearly every US domestic lounge. And, if I wasn’t in a lounge, I might be out there shopping or spending $15 or more for a glass of wine.
Of course, I could just go to a Priority Pass lounge, as I get access to those lounges from at least 3 of my credit cards. I also have access to Admiral’s clubs via the Prestige MasterCard from Citibank (at least until July, when that benefit disintegrates).
I pondered the question, and then I saw this. I was reminded that nothing is perfect. I smiled and boarded my flight.
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