I’m one year back as an American Express Platinium Cardholder. During my first year, I received $1,170 in statement credits, which more than made up for the $695 annual fee. I doubted if I could make the card work when I upgraded but I knew the first year would make sense because I received 60,000 bonus points. However, I had no reservations about renewing. The one new expense we had because of the AMEX Platinum card was paying for Sharon to join me when we went to Delta SkyClub or Centurion Lounges.
The AMEX Platinum Card pays for my entrance but I had to pay $50 to bring Sharon into a lounge with on each visit. I decided that it would be worth it to pay the extra $175 to add her as an authorized user, which would provide her access to Delta SkyClubs and AMEX Centurion Lounges.
A few days before our most recent trip, I called American Express. Sharon already had a free Gold Card., as I had added her when AMEX offered a 20K bonus for adding an authorized user. Upgrading her to a Platinum Card required calling AMEX. I spoke to a representative who was very helpful and understood my situation. I said that we had a trip in a few days where we’d be flying on Delta and I wanted Sharon to be able to visit the SkyClub with me. The AMEX rep said that it would take about 1 week to receive the new Platinum Card, but the account would be upgraded immediately. That meant Sharon’s authorized user Gold Card would act as a Platinum Card, even if we didn’t have the Platinum Card in hand yet.
I asked what would happen when we visited a Delta SkyClub. The AMEX rep said that all the Delta agent needed to do was to swipe the Gold Card and it would show as a Platinum Card. If there were any issues, the agent could call American Express to verify that the account was a Platinum Card and we’d have no problem.
That’s not what happened.
We had an early wake-up to make it to the airport for our morning flight. After getting through security at Orlando Airport, we headed to the SkyClub. I took out my Platinum Card and Sharon’s Gold Card. I handed my boarding pass and card to the agent first and she scanned me in. I then gave her Sharon’s card.
She said that only Platinum Cardholders had access to the club. I explained that we recently upgraded her card and just hadn’t received the new one yet. But if she swiped it, it will act like a Platinum Card.
She said that they’re only able to swipe Platinum Cards.
I said that the agent at AMEX told me that all the club had to do was call AMEX to confirm that it was a Platinum card. Her reply was that they didn’t have a number to call AMEX. I said that I would call the Platinum line and have them confirm that this was a Platinum Card account.
She said that she could not talk to AMEX. I tried to say that I could pull up the AMEX App and show my Platinum account with authorized users. She said that whatever AMEX told me didn’t matter because Delta had its own rules. I asked her if they partner for club access, shouldn’t the rules be the same? She said no and there’s nothing I can do without having a Platinum Card in hand.
I was fed up. I followed my rules of trying to be a good customer. I tried to come up with solutions and not to be the problem. She was unwilling to help in any way. I eventually said THE words.
“Can I speak with your manager?”
I crossed the line and was invested. She said that the manager wasn’t there. I asked when they’d arrive and she said about 30 minutes. I said that I’d wait and have a seat in the club. She said I couldn’t do that.
Which, in hindsight, I had every right to do because she had already scanned my boarding pass granting me access to the club. She could have offered to have me pay for Sharon and speak to the manager. Instead, she said that I was welcome to go to the terminal and speak to a Red Coat.
I didn’t want to stand there waiting for a manager but I wasn’t giving up and I wasn’t going to wander around the Delta gates, looking for someone to help.
Then I came up with another idea. I remembered that if you have your AMEX Platinum Card saved on your Delta account, then you only have to scan your boarding pass without having to show your AMEX card. I asked if I did this and the card showed as a Platinum Card on the Delta app, could Sharon get in?
She waited a beat and said, “That might work. Here’s a card with the instructions on how to add your credit card to your account.” Yes, she actually had a preprinted card from Delta because you have to save the card on the mobile site as the app doesn’t always save the card information.
But if she had this card, why didn’t she recommend this course of action instead of denying all of my other requests?
It took a few minutes but when I had the card saved, she reprinted Sharon’s boarding pass and scanned it. Beep!
“OK, you’re good. That worked.”
I didn’t go full Karen. I didn’t start to video the agent to use as evidence. I wasn’t making a scene. I was dealing with a breathtakingly uncooperative lounge agent who didn’t want to do anything to help me solve my problem. She was set on denying Sharon from entering the SkyClub.
I was satisfied about coming up with the solution but I’m upset I’m the one who had to figure it out. If this agent was so uninterested in helping me, how much could I count on them to help me if my flight was delayed or canceled? Would she tell me to go to the terminal and stand in line at customer service? Or maybe I’d get a preprinted card with the Delta phone number.
This interaction is different than most I’ve had with Delta SkyClub employees. They’re regularly very polite and helpful. That’s what made this so aggravating.
I’ll leave it to you. AITA for asking to speak to a manager?
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