Fail!  A Simple Mistake Almost Cost Me Airport Lounge Access – Here’s How You Can Avoid the Same Fate

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Fail!  A Simple Mistake Almost Cost Me Airport Lounge Access – Here’s How You Can Avoid the Same Fate

Brett HolzhauerFail!  A Simple Mistake Almost Cost Me Airport Lounge Access – Here’s How You Can Avoid the Same FateMillion Mile Secrets Team

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We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to traveling.  Whether it be forgetting your favorite shoes at home, missing your flight, forgetting your passport, or forgetting to check visa requirements when traveling internationally, we’ve all been there at some point.

On my most recent adventure with my wife, we flew from Las Vegas to San Jose, Costa Rica on Delta.  When we landed in LAX for a layover, we decided to check out the Delta Sky Club lounge in Terminal 3.  My wife presented The Platinum Card® from American Express and her boarding pass.  I went to reach for my AMEX Platinum Card and it wasn’t there.

I realized I forgot it at home when I switched from my personal wallet to my passport wallet!  Dang it!

If It Weren’t For American Express, I Wouldn’t Have Been Able To Enjoy Delta’s Beautiful Airport Lounges!

Some Airport Lounges Require You to Have Your American Express Platinum Card on Hand

I asked the front desk attendant if I was able to use Apple Pay or show my American Express app showing that I am an active cardholder.  She politely stated that the physical card must be presented.  After looking at the Terms & Conditions, she was unfortunately right.

Don’t Make The Same Mistake As Me – Be Sure to Always Carry Your AMEX Platinum With You!

My wife and I decided to pay the $29 to get me in as her guest.  I was severely annoyed at myself for making such a dumb mistake.  However, the attendant told us that we could most likely get the $29 fee refunded by contacting American Express.  This made me feel so much better!

When we returned home, my wife contacted American Express, alerted them of the situation, and we were able to get the fee refunded.  Thank goodness for American Express and their wonderful customer service.

Note:  If you are trying to access a Priority Pass lounge (you get a free membership with the AMEX Platinum card and these other cards), you’ll need to register for the membership first – you can’t just get into a Priority Pass lounge by showing your AMEX Platinum card.  Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to register for a Priority Pass membership.

How To Avoid The Same Fate As Me

While there was no real loss here, it was a good lesson.  Many of us who travel with travel credit cards and earn access to awesome lounges need to think ahead.  After this incident, I am now going to make a physical written down map of lounges I plan on visiting, and how I plan on accessing them.

For example, my next trip is from Salt Lake City through Atlanta into Puerto Rico.  Coming back, we will be routing through Philadelphia.

In Salt Lake City, I will be visiting the only lounge in the airport (sigh, for now), the Delta Sky Club.  For this, I will need my AMEX Platinum.  In Atlanta, I plan on visiting another Delta Sky Club, which again I will need my AMEX Platinum.  On the way back, for the Avianca lounge in the San Juan airport, I will only need my digital Priority Pass card on my app.  In Philadelphia, we will be visiting the American Express Centurion lounge, in which only 1 of us needs our AMEX Platinum as each cardholder gets 2 guests.

But at this point, I’ll most likely end up super-gluing my AMEX Platinum to my body – haha!

Before I leave home, I will triple check I have my AMEX Platinum and Priority Pass app ready to go to ensure I can hit as many lounges as possible.

I highly recommend taking a second before you leave to double check you have the right cards to access all the awesome lounges you will be visiting during your travels.

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Been there, too. What’s more absurd is that Delta, in 2018, cannot process an Apple Pay transaction. Makes you wonder how outdated the planes are. Still flying on Win98?

AMEX was rockstar about a refund and found it similarly ridiculous that Delta could not accommodate me.

I really wish they could take Apple Pay as proof you have the card. This happened to me at Sea-Tac – forgot my AMEX Platinum card and was denied access to the Centurion lounge.

A written plan? That seems a little retro when you could just use the Lounge Buddy app. Enter your credit card, club membership and elite status and link the app to TripIt (or enter your flight info manually) and Lounge Buddy will show you all of the longes you can access and how (including ones for purchase). A big plus is that it includes locations, amenities, ratings (Solid, Hip, Luxe, etc), reviews and photos. Plus, it lets you make a plan of the lounges you will visit. It even offers special rates on some pay-to-access lounges that you can purchase right in the app.