Some major lounge operators are tightening access this year. United, Delta and American have all announced plans to limit lounge access. That means that enjoying lounge visits when flying with the nation’s three major carriers is going to be harder to pull off going forward. Alaska Airlines is also making some changes. What’s more, rules are also changing at American Express Centurion Lounges. Take a look at what you can expect when you try to visit your favorite airport lounges in 2019.
United’s new restrictions won’t be effective until Nov. 19. That’s when United Club members and their guests won’t be able to enter lounges unless they can provide same-day boarding passes for United flights, Star Alliance flights or flights from carriers that United has partnership agreements with.
American is essentially introducing the same policy on Nov. 1 of this year. However, American customers will need to show a same-day boarding pass for an American flight, a Oneworld partner carrier flight or an Alaska Airlines flight.
Delta has already introduced a new policy regarding lounge access. Delta Sky Club members and guests now need to be able to show proof that they are traveling on same-day flights operated by Delta or a partner airline. Delta Sky Club members no longer have access to airport lounges operated by Air France, KLM or Virgin Australia. However, Diamond, Platinum and Gold SkyMiles members are still able to use the lounges operated by those partners if they are traveling with SkyTeam member flights.
Alaska Airlines has stopped allowing Priority Pass members to access its three lounges at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport due to overcrowding issues. Paid First Class passengers, Alaska Lounge members and travelers willing to pay a $50 fee are permitted to enter those lounges.
What’s the deal with American Express lounges? Centurion Lounges will now serve as day-of-departure lounges only. In addition, card members with layovers and connecting flights who can produce proof of their flights will be permitted to enter. Another change is that members will not be permitted to enter Centurion Lounges more than three hours before departure time. These changes will kick in on March 22.
By Scott Dylan, on Jan 30 2019