What’s going on here?
Once not long ago, America’s airlines facing bankruptcy and needed cash badly. Credit card partners helped them out by purchasing–in advance of when they needed them–tens of millions of frequent flyer miles that the credit card companies dole out to customers who use their cards.
But the airlines are profitable, so they’re cutting back on the perks they’ll offer airport lounge members. Delta decided a few weeks ago it would charge even passengers who held club memberships to bring in guests. Perhaps to quell the outrage, Delta’s clubs have begun upgrading their offerings—shrimp cocktails on the house after five along with pasta and soups. Sandwiches at lunch. Odwala juices in the afternoon.
In retaliation, American Express is opening its own clubs called Centurion Lounge (pictured). Platinum and black cardholders get in free, other Amex cardholders pay $50 per visit. They’re more lavish than your average airline club. Not only is the food selection more elegant, all drinks are on the house.
Vegas and Dallas clubs are open, San Francisco and LaGuardia are next.