American Express Acquiring LoungeBuddy

Lounge Buddy features airport lounge reviews and also sells single visit lounge passes often at a discount. The last time I spoke with the Lounge Buddy team they were also providing management software to lounges as well.

They’re now being acquired by American Express.

  • American Express offers lounge access through premium credit cards — to its own Centurion Lounges, Airspace and Escape lounges, Priority Pass-participating lounges (this is available to premium Hilton and Marriott cardholders, not just Platinum and Centurion), and Plaza Premium lounges.
  • LoungeBuddy has relationships with several lounges and lounge reviews.

Plaza Premium Lounge, Male

How do these fit together? American Express isn’t making that super clear. American Express Senior Vice President Chris Cracchiolo explains “we will be able to leverage its cutting-edge platform to develop additional ways to become an essential part of our Card Members’ digital lives.”

There will be “additional [unspecified] ways” that American Express will “become an essential part of our…digital lives.” Maybe that just means we’ll use the LoungeBuddy app, and American Express will own it, Q.E.D. American Express already uses LoungeBuddy information about lounges they provide access to, it’s unclear what comes next.

Congratulations to LoungeBuddy co-founders Tyler Dikman and Zac Altman!

(HT: Jake A.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The “Find a Lounge” feature in the Amex app already leverages Loungebuddy for its content. Maybe they plan on fully integrating the Loungebudy UI or features into the Amex app directly.

    Does the Amex app show “Find a Lounge” if you don’t have a platinum card? This could be a way to sell access to lounges to all Amex cardholders and make it seem like an “added” perk. For example a Gold card member opens the app, and is offered to buy access to a contract lounge as if they were using the Loungebuddy app directly. Amex bills it as a feature, even though it was possible to anyone with the Loungebuddy app to begin with.

    I also wonder if this will increase the number of lounges Platinum/Centurion have complimentary access to.

  2. Translation – it’s about increasing new applications and improving retention – they’ll be pushing Plat cards harder to users of the app and market the app to Amex cardholders so they are aware of non Centurion lounges

  3. Methinks the Loungebuddy app will get “premium features ” that cost extra, but are free for Platinum Card holders.

  4. There will be “additional [unspecified] ways” that American Express will “become an essential part of our…digital lives.”

    I really don’t want American Express or any other company being an “essential part” of my “digital” life through LoungeBuddy or any other way.

  5. As Shakespeare once wrote, “Data mining by ‘nother name, ’tis just as sweet.”

  6. They will probably use the app so you can book space in their lounges. Seems plausible since they are so popular and prone to get packed.

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