NEW YORK (12/11/13)--American Express informed Platinum and Centurion cardholders last week that they would be stripped of travelers' benefits ahead of the merger between US Airways and American Airlines.
The two carriers told the credit card company that they would withdraw Amex cardholders' access to their travelers lounges. American Airlines will only offer Admirals Club access in the U.S. to customers of the Citibank-issued Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard (American Banker Dec. 6).
American Express customers signed up for its Priority Pass Club will also lose access to the American Airlines travelers' lounges.
The card company said that it is working toward establishing its own network of clubs, branded Centurion Lounges, at high-traffic airports. One opened in Dallas in October, and American Express plans to open more in San Francisco and New York in 2014.
Cardholders of the Citibank-issued MasterCard product had previously been granted entrance to the Admirals Club.
In May, Citibank petitioned a federal judge to force American Airlines to decide whether it would honor the companies' prior contracts in the wake of the airline's decision to file for bankruptcy.
American Banker described frequent flier cards as important to banks because lounge access and frequent flier miles are seen by cardholders as important perks.
In early January, American Airlines and U.S. Airways customers can earn and redeem frequent flier miles when traveling with either company. American Admirals Club and US Airways Club Lounges will be available to customers of both companies early next year, too (L.A. Times Dec 9).