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

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

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.

Want to stay on top of the latest travel news, tips, tricks, and secrets?  Then subscribe to our newsletter and never miss another deal again!

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments