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If you have a Platinum Card from American Express you’ve been dealing with announcements of having access to fewer and fewer lounges thanks to airline mergers that have dropped the number of U.S. airline lounge networks it offers from 3 to just one, the Delta SkyClubs. Though the card still carries a host of other travel benefits.
The consolation is they have started opening grand, and very well appointed Centurion Lounges, with the first two at the Las Vegas and Dallas-Fort Worth airports, with more to come at New York LaGuardia and San Francisco.
Another consolation is coming from Priority Pass, which is a lounge access card available on request to all Platinum Card holders.
While Priority Pass, as expected, is losing access to all American Airlines and US Airways lounges, so Platinum Card holders have no loophole there, it is adding a helpful new lounge to a popular airport for Platinum Card holders.
It’s the Newark Art & Lounge in Terminal B of Newark.
The lounge looks decent – it opened last November and features art from emerging Israeli artists. Until now it’s only been available for passengers flying first and business class on El Al or passengers on any airline willing to pay $35 a visit.
It includes a full Kosher food spread as well, making it among the better lounges for amenities within the United States.
It’s also located outside of security near the duty free shops which is bad in the sense that you have to leave extra time to clear security if you’re waiting. But it’s good in the sense that it’s convenient to stop by no matter what airline you’re flying out of Terminal B. And if you have a really long layover it’s worth getting on the AirTrain to stop by for a drink and some food.
But the hours are timed with El Al flights, so it’s only open 9 – 2:30 most days, closed on Fridays and open 7 – midnight on Saturdays.
You can also now access the Virgin America LOFT in LAX with your Priority Pass Card, another high quality lounge if you’re flying out of Terminal 3. That’s helpful if you’re flying US Airways, JetBlue, or even Frontier or Spirit, which all share Terminal 3 with Virgin America.
Boingo hotspots are in a lot of airports that don’t yet have free wi-fi so it’s a handy addition to the card, and probably added to ease the situation of being in an airport where you may no longer have lounge access like Chicago O’Hare, which has seen the Platinum Card lose access to United and American lounges in the last few years, but has no free airport wide wi-fi.
You can still enter the Delta SkyClubs but have to be traveling with Delta that day. So this helps you avoid having to pay the fee for full wi-fi if you’re stuck sitting in the terminal.
Boingo currently charges $59 a month for a similar plan so there is real value here if you really do pay for airport wi-fi frequently, though with so many tethering options and airports beginning to offer free wi-fi it’s hard to say that you should ascribe that kind of value to the benefit.
Think of it as a nice addition. You can also now get the application fee for TSA Pre-Check priority screening refunded if you charge it to your card, which if you enroll and get accepted can save a lot of time at the airport, letting you pass through security the way you did back in the 80s and 90s – with your shoes on and no emptying your bags.
Terms and limitations apply to all American Express benefits.
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