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American Express hasn’t won a lot of favors with their recent changes to their Platinum benefits. They’ve cracked down on families using the lounges by limiting all cardholders to a maximum of two guests. They announced that the 50% rebate when using pay with points will be cut to 35%. And of course they tried to disguise a fee increase by adding Uber credits, which are annoying to use at best.
But now we’ve finally got something to get excited about.
Those with The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN can now access Escape Lounges within the United States. These lounges are now part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection, and eligible cardmembers can bring two guests in the lounge at no additional cost. These are really nice lounges which I would rank well ahead of the typical domestic lounges of the network carriers. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that there are only three Escape Lounges in the US, including Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Hartford, and Oakland. And the Minneapolis location was already a Priority Pass lounge anyway, which means Amex Platinum members would have already had access via their included Priority Pass Select membership.
So this new agreement really only impacts the lounges in Hartford and Oakland.
My Experience With Escape Lounges
I had the chance to visit the Escape Lounge in Minneapolis last fall and was quite impressed. The lounge was spacious with plenty of seating. In fact, it was nearly empty when I arrived on a Friday afternoon last fall, a stark contrast to the often crowded Amex lounges.
Escape Lounge Minneapolis
The food options were also really good with a variety of hot and cold dishes to choose from. I would rank it way ahead of your typical Admirals Club or United Club in that regard.
There were sandwiches and soup such that you could really make a meal of it if you wanted to. And also snacks for the lighter appetite, or if you want to grab a bag of chips to take on the plane. (Although that may be frowned upon.)
Escape Lounge Minneapolis
They also had a menu for ordering items a la carte, though again, I thought the buffet options were sufficient.
Escape Lounge Minneapolis Menu
The only real downside of the Escape Lounge in Minneapolis was that the restrooms were outside the lounge.
I haven’t visited the Escape Lounges in Oakland or Hartford, but believe they are similar.
I’m glad to see that American Express is adding benefits for Platinum cardholders. The streak of bad news was getting kind of depressing.
Access to Escape Lounges in the US won’t be a game changer for most — particularly given that the Minneapolis location was already a Priority Pass lounge — but for those flying in or out of Oakland or Hartford, it will definitely be a nice option.
Are you excited about Escape Lounges being added to the the American Express Platinum Card benefits?