American Express ends Express Path access at Sydney Airport

American Express ends Express Path access at Sydney Airport

American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders will no longer be able to skip the queues at passport control and security screening when flying internationally from Sydney Airport, with access to the Express Path lanes ending on July 31 2017.

Although traditionally reserved for business class, first class and top-tier frequent flyers jetting abroad, these AMEX cardholders could simply wave their card at the Express Path entrance for expedited processing, even when flying in economy without any frequent flyer status on that airline.

In confirming the changes with Australian Business Traveller, an American Express spokesperson affirmed that "there are currently no plans to renew the arrangement", which originally expired on June 15 2017 but was extended slightly to cover the peak mid-year holiday period.

Australian Business Traveller understands that the decision to end the arrangement was made by Sydney Airport rather than American Express.

Sydney Airport’s Express Path will remain in operation and will continue to welcome passengers invited by the airlines – so if a Platinum or Centurion cardholder is flying at the pointy end or holds a Platinum-grade frequent flyer card, access to the Express Path can still be expected.

There’s no change to express processing for AMEX cardholders in other international airports where these arrangements exist, such as for AMEX Centurion cardmembers departing from London Heathrow, who can continue to use the branded ‘Fast Track’ lanes on presentation of their card.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

14 comments

  • Jono

    Jono

    18 Jul, 2017 11:46 am

    Is it me or did this change happen strangely quickly?
    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    18 Jul, 2017 01:04 pm

    They always had a date listed on the website from the start but they kept extending the deal with Sydney Airport.

    Initially it was just from 20 January 2015 to 19 January 2016.

    Then in early 2016 they extended it to 15 June 2017 and then the extended it one more time to 31 July 2017 and will kill off the perk.

    No member give thanks

  • PK

    PK

    18 Jul, 2017 12:29 pm

    When I received an email from Amex yesterday highlighting what great lounge access opportunities I have with my card I knew that there must be an "enhancement" lurking somewhere. Putting to one side the tremendous reduction in benefits over the last five years while annual charges keep rising, is it not disappointing that the only time they email you to remind you about how "great" their already known benefits are is when they are taking away something else. I went back and checked the email after your post Chris, and there it was at the bottom "Cardholders can continue to use Express Path until 31 July 2017". An email framed in the positive of course, rather than pointing out they were not renewing it. This is what people hate - spin.  Just be honest and send me an email telling me a benefit has been removed. I would not have noticed but for your usually diligent reporting on these matters.
    Member who gave thanks

    MitchW

  • markpk

    markpk

    18 Jul, 2017 08:50 pm

    I'm not sure I agree with your statement that AMEX are reducing benefits - as a Platinum charge card holder I was ticked off a few years ago when the annual fee went from $900 to $1200 but they've since clawed back most of this via add ons to the program - AMEX continue to provide complimentary full access to the Priority Pass system which now includes the $36 F&B allowance in Sydney and Brisbane

    Honestly, I place little value in Express Path as a card benefit primarily because it is rarely 'express' due to the pathetic lack of management of the lane by ground staff. They stand there and demand my express path pass (like its some gold willy wonka ticket) and then turn around and wave a bunch of tourists from the general lanes down to our screening point. 

    American Express has done themselves a favour by disconnecting their program from this fake benefit
    No member give thanks

  • traveller90

    traveller90

    20 Jul, 2017 06:43 pm

    Like PK, I also question the value and honesty of AMEX spin notifications. The Platinum Card is now their only "Lead In" personal charge card in Australia, with the recent axing of their trademark classic "Green" card and "Gold" cards. Together with their Platinum cards annual fee of $1200 while our US colleagues only pay US$395, I also question the extra value we get for our extra dollars. The Spin is the sell and their sell is very shallow. Losing product value is now the norm with AMEX and similar and simply it is now up to the consumer to vote with their memberships. Diners was once a poor cousin, but in recent years has bridged the gap will with its alliance with MasterCard. Food for thought!
    No member give thanks

  • Joe

    Joe

    18 Jul, 2017 01:14 pm

    Like lounge access this perk is sometimes very busy. Exclusivity and ease for top tier and premium pax has been eroded over the years. I think this is a good thing. If something is created and offered as a perk for loyalty and/or $, its integrity should be protected.
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    18 Jul, 2017 01:46 pm

    Exactly. If everybody is somebody, then nobody is anybody.
    No member give thanks

  • Jono

    Jono

    18 Jul, 2017 03:04 pm

    Wonder if we'll see more loyalty programs or bank cards ad these sort of non-points based perks, following the RBA's new rules coming into force. I know Macquarie Bank's Hilton Hhonors card gives you gold status. Wonder if we'll see groups like NAB Cards starting to offer airline/hotel status for their top tier cardholders?
    No member give thanks

  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    18 Jul, 2017 04:50 pm

    Amex slowly and  continuously water down both Platinum and Centurion benefits . These cards or more particularly the Platinum debit card has lost benefit after benefit without the corresponding adjustment to the exhorbatent annual fee .
    Although Amex has released several new cards of recent times they have simply forgotten those that tirelessly support their Platinum and Centurion products .The Platinum card is a shadow of its former self and becoming less and less of value.Replacing deleted benefits should be a given as the annual fee remains the same however it would seem this is not contemplated by Amex.

    No member give thanks

  • lind26

    lind26

    18 Jul, 2017 05:41 pm

    Why would it ever be a temporary perk in the first place?
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    19 Jul, 2017 10:10 am

    Why would it ever be a permanent perk in the first place?
    No member give thanks

  • kaos

    kaos

    19 Jul, 2017 02:55 pm

    well I got to use that precisely once. Not sure if it was a useful perk....
    No member give thanks

  • Mark_S

    Mark_S

    19 Jul, 2017 04:11 pm

    The credit card companies have wound back the points and benefits BIG time since July 1, and I am cancelling cards and moving to other cards. You should see them beg for you to stay when you spend $20 - $30k a month on them.   Too late
    No member give thanks

  • Wingman

    Wingflex

    19 Jul, 2017 07:09 pm

    Same thing happened in Milan airports as well unfortunately...
    No member give thanks

Guest

21 Jul, 2019 11:34 pm

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