I selfishly love Amex’s new lounge access policy #nokids #blessed

If you follow the points & miles blogosphere, chances are you’ve seen at least one person (with a bunch of kids) tweet something like “Amex announces they hate your children and also VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM!” (Okay, maybe not that last part.) Apparently to cut down on overcrowding in Centurion lounges, Amex is only going to let you bring in a total of two hangers-on, whether they be your friends or your kids. If you have three kids, you have to leave one sitting by themselves in the terminal with a sign around their neck that says “Not abandoned, just waiting for my parents and the two children whom they love more than me to get back from the Centurion lounge.”

I don’t have kids, nor do I plan to have kids, but I’m not one of those people who bitches about kids incessantly. I get annoyed when some parents (*SOME*) act like they’re doing me some great favor by perpetuating the species. (The planet has enough people, thanks.) I get really annoyed when parents don’t sufficiently plan their travel and expect other people to accommodate them simply because traveling with children is hard. HOWEVER, before you get your pitchforks, I also hate smug childless people who go on and on about how terrible kids are. People who shoot mean glances to parents whose kids are crying deserve their own place in hell. And don’t get me started on whatever intolerant asshole convinced parents that they have to hand out fucking goodie bags before a flight. Basically, 70% of humanity is a piece of shit, and that includes both the parents and the non-parents.

Personally, I don’t mind kids when I travel – I mean, if a little kid is crying and whining on a transatlantic flight, that at least means that the kid is seeing the world and being exposed to other cultures, and I appreciate his or her parents trying to make sure their child doesn’t turn into a xenophobic Trump supporter. That being said, because I have this magnanimous, noble attitude in general, I reserve unbridled disdain for parents whose kids are obviously misbehaving while they tap away at their phones. (And again, before you accuse me of being a child-hater, remember that I made the same claim about people with their emotional support dogs.) The last time I was in the SFO Centurion lounge, there were two separate large families, both of whose kids were running (literally running) around the lounge being loud and annoying. AND THE DESIGNATED FAMILY ROOM WAS GODDAMNED MOTHERFUCKING EMPTY. That gave me an idea: maybe instead of cutting off free access for families, there should be a rule that any group with more than three people needs to stay confined to the family room the entire time. That way, they don’t have to pay fifty bucks to enter the lounge with their kids, but Amex gets to solve its overcrowding problem at the same time.

The family room at the Miami Centurion lounge. Image from American Express, who had to pay models to pose in the room because it was probably empty when they went to take pictures of it.

I’m being snarky in this post deliberately, so I hope the parents out there don’t get too riled up. I realize that traveling with kids is a special kind of difficult, and a confined space like a lounge makes things less stressful, at least until it’s time to stuff the rugrats into a pressurized tube. It sucks that Amex is imposing this change without much notice, and it does seem kind of ridiculous that they’re placing the blame for overcrowding on families. In all honesty, I can’t see this helping all that much, and I personally wouldn’t care if they just cut the guest allowance to one person or immediate family (something that I’m pretty sure would have a more pronounced effect on capacity than kicking out the kids).

Still, the thought of those sugared-up banshees swooping here and there while I tried to get centered before my last flight sticks in my memory, and I’m not going to miss that. #sorrynotsorry


  1. sirtheta says:

    This is pretty much my opinion, and I believe it’s a rather reasonable one 😉


  2. Paul LoBo says:

    As the parent of a 9 year old, who as we speak is in her 3rd country in ’17, I absolve you of any perceived child hatred. What you say is a-ok with me. She has more passport stamps already than 99% of the crypto-fascist Trumpies I want her to know don’t mean shit. And she behaves in lounges better than most “adults.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Windbag Miles says:

      Whew, thanks! There were some rumblings of a blowback over on Twitter…


  3. Paul Borish says:

    If I had more kids, (!) and it was important to me, I’d pay the extra $27, or have TheWife(TM) get her own card. I’ll head over to Twitter and set the twitwits straight.


  4. Mser says:

    I’m mostly with you. But as a young kid, l was dragged around too many airports and hated most of it. All I wanted was to be home, playing with my friends and eating familiar food. Most kids have little or no memory before age 4-5, so the all-too-common bs about it being “educational” to drag young children on trips is just a deep steamy pile of horseshit. Parents taking young children and infants on trips should be horsewhipped as far as I’m concerned. Show some common sense. Stay at home with your brats and save the money to give them a worthwhile STEM education.


  5. sirtheta says:

    This is pretty much my opinion, and I believe it’s a rather reasonable one 😉


  6. Aaron says:

    I think this issue cuts right down the middle. Those with children think this new policy is horseshit. And those without children think it’s great. Being based at an airport without a Centurion lounge, I only transit through airports with a Centurion lounge one, maybe two times a year. In my limited experience in the lounges, I rarely see families there. I see a lot of grown ups and maybe two or three kids, tops. So, I’m not really sure this is going to make a dent, but apparently Amex thinks so, so I’ll defer to the experts.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s