The First Casualty Of LoungeBuddy’s Purchase By American Express

Much has been speculated of what intent American Express had for LoungeBuddy. AMEX announced the acquisition on March 11, 2019 and the deal was finalized on April 1st. It didn’t take long for the first casualty of the purchase to materialize.

As of April 15, 2019, the $25 LoungeBuddy credit for TripIt Pro users will disappear.

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I’d imagine this perk needed to go away since American Express is now only allowing the purchase of lounge passes to American Express cardholders.

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Flying JetBlue From NYC? No More Lounge Access For You

One of things that made flying to/from New York on JetBlue so nice was if you had an American Express Platinum card, you had access to an airport lounge regardless of whether you flew out of JFK, LaGuardia or Newark airport. If you had a Priority Pass card from any of the different sources available to get a membership, you could also use a lounge at Newark airport.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, you no longer have easy access to a lounge from JetBlue gates at any of the New York Airports.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened:

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Lounge Review: Minute Suites Charlotte Airport (Priority Pass Member)

Priority Pass is trying to expand its footprint by partnering with non-lounge members. The most common type of partnership is with airport restaurants, like Bobby Van’s in JFK airport, but there are other opportunities that Priority Pass is taking advantage of. When I was taking a morning flight from Charlotte airport, I looked to see if I could get any lounge access since I always overestimate how early I need to arrive for my flight.

There isn’t a Priority Pass lounge in Charlotte, but there is an option if you need to spend some time relaxing before your flight…

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Review Of Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Newark Airport

NOTE: Shortly after my last visit to the Air Canada lounge, they left the Priority Pass lounge network. 

Newark Airport – the place that stayed retro until it was cool again. Parts of Newark Airport look like you’re walking back into the late 1960s. I give them credit that they’re trying to refurbish the airport but most of the money has been spent by United to upgrade their base at Terminal C. The other two terminals have been left as a memorial to what airports used to look like.

Home to what must be the worst layout for a TSA checkpoint, terminal A is split into three bays, each consisting of several gates in a circular layout located at the end of a long hallway connecting the spokes to the main terminal. Each spoke has its own TSA checkpoint and there’s no way to go between spokes without leaving the secure area and going through screening again. So basically once you’re at your gate area, you’re stuck.

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Those flying from gates A10-18, home to Air Canada, JetBlue and Southwest, have few options once clearing security. You can sit at the gate or get food from Currito Cantina (Note from Sharon: I checked and nope, it’s not Burrito Cantina, with a B. It’s Currito, with a C. WTH is a currito?), grab a Boars Head sandwich or Ben & Jerry’s. The gate area is not the most relaxing of places to spend time, since it’s usually crowded, and that’s when there aren’t any delayed flights. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having to spend time around a bunch of people from Jersey when their plane is delayed. The phone conversations you’ll hear sound like outtakes from The Sopranos. (Remember, I grew up there so I can say that) 🙂

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However, there’s one more option of where to wait for your flight – the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge.

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The Pre-Trip Wallet Shuffle

Before going on a trip, there’s a ritual I go through involving our wallets. I need to go through them, remove cards we won’t need when traveling and replace them with the cards we will or might need when we’re out of town. Unlike packing, where I have a list I’ve perfected over the last 20 years, when it comes to our wallets, I have to wing it and make choices for each trip because every time is different.

Here are some of the questions I ask. Did I use a certain card to book something during the trip and need the card for confirmation? Are we flying on an airline where using the card for onboard purchases will give me a discount? Do I need a specific card to get into an airline lounge? Will we be buying groceries during the trip or will we be eating out all the time? Will we be renting a car? If so, I’ll need to bring a card that has primary LDW coverage as well as one that earns a good return on gas purchases.

While I’ve read about making a dedicated travel wallet so you don’t forget to bring any of the cards you only need when traveling, I’m more afraid I’d forget to put something in the travel wallet like my drivers license or my insurance card. I don’t think I’d ever hear the end of it if that happened (Note from Sharon: No. No, you wouldn’t BWAHAHAHA!). As usual, I take two approaches to making our wallets because while I will bring a different card for each category, Sharon will only allow me to give her one to two cards at the most for her to use, hereby named the card in the front of the wallet she’ll use for everything and the card behind it for if the first one doesn’t work somewhere.

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