Austin, Texas has been a hub for some of the best live music in America. They also have an interesting history with American Express that goes back to at least 1887. In 1931 they opened their first lounge in the city and it was designated as “The Most Famous Corner Store” due to its proximity to downtown’s famed Sixth Street.

The “austin airport lounges priority pass” is a lounge that American Express has at the Austin International Airport. The lounge is open to all passengers, but with a membership card, you can get special perks such as free food and drinks. However, due to renovations, the lounge was closed for two years.

How Austin Almost Got - And Then Lost - An American Express Lounge

What Happened When Austin Nearly Got – And Then Lost – An American Express Lounge

on January 23, 2022 by Gary Leff

The Austin airport was on the brink of acquiring a new lounge for American Express Platinum cardholders at the start of 2020. It began as an Escape lounge that would co-brand with American Express, and has now evolved into Centurion Studios. However, there was a contract disagreement, a pandemic, and then American Airlines.

Austin-American-Express-Lounge-Is-Now-Off-The-Table

The airport sought proposals for the operation of a new independent lounge and chose MAG (“Manchester Airport Group”) USA, which operates Escape lounges. The City Council, on the other hand, backed down in a fight over minority contracting regulations.

The contract was set to be approved in January 2020, but it was postponed when Airport Dimensions, which manages the lower-quality ‘The Club’ lounges, filed a complaint, claiming that the city should accept their lower-rent proposal since it would better fulfill government Airport Concession DBE criteria.

  • The Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise objective for the Austin airport is 11.06 percent. Bids are graded on whether or not they reach the target, not on how much they exceed it.
  • The MAG contract hit 13% ACDBE by turning over operations of the lounge (but not ownership) to “D&B Mitchell Group, a Dallas-based, Black-owned business” which would take a percentage of revenue off the top. In addition MAG partnered with local Mozart’s coffee, which is minority-owned.
  • Airport Dimensions, which came in second and manages The Club lounges, had given a 20% ownership interest to a minority-owned company in the area.
  • Airport Dimensions also claimed to be headquartered in Texas, but MAG claims to be based in the United Kingdom. Priority Pass is owned by the Collinson Group, which owns Airport Dimensions. In any instance, under federal standards, locally-owned is an unlawful decision-making criterion.

There were additional offers from Plaza Premium (with whom Capital One is working on its lounges) and Turkey’s TAV Operations Services, which manages Prime Class lounges, in addition to MAG and Airport Dimensions. The MAG offer promised the airport almost twice as much income as the second-placed Airport Dimensions bid.

1634937667_462_Austin-American-Express-Lounge-Is-Now-Off-The-Table Scoring Sheet for Airport Lounge Concession Bids

The City Council chose not to act on the airport lounge award, instead “withdrawing the airport lounge item and having it published at a later date with fresh language after they have had more opportunity to learn about the problems at hand.”

So, what happened after that? The outbreak of the pandemic. Then there was an agreement to enable American Airlines to construct a new club instead.

American-Airlines-Building-New-Admirals-Club-Lounge-In-The-Austin American Airlines provided the rendering.

Because American is constructing a new lounge, there is a chance to backfill their old club lounge space. It’s also already configured as a club lounge. This may seem to be the ideal situation for an independent lounge, since Austin now only has Delta, United, and American lounges — with nothing available to customers of the airport’s biggest airline (Southwest) or travelers going on Spirit, for example.

Unfortunately, the airport has lost interest in the project. According to an airport representative, they aim to repurpose the existing American Airlines Admirals Club space “to offer locations for temporary tenant relocation during future construction and development initiatives in the” terminal. “We don’t have plans to introduce one at this moment,” he says of a process to bring an independent lounge to the airport.

More From the Wing’s Perspective

The “american express centurion lounge atlanta” is a lounge that was almost built in Austin, Texas. However, the project ended up being too expensive for the city to afford.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Austin have Amex Lounge?

A: Yes, there is an Amex Lounge at the Austin Airport.

Does Austin Airport have a lounge?

A: Yes, there is an airport lounge located in Terminal C.

What lounges are free with Amex Platinum?

A: The lounges that are free with Amex Platinum are the Blu-ray/DVD Bistro, Kids Club and Premium Lounge.

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