Last month I wrote A Warning to American Express and a very feisty discussion ensued.
The issue: should cardholders have to pay $50 per child for Centurion Lounge entry beyond their first child? On one side of the debate: families with children and those who viewed the fee as unreasonable. On the other, mostly single travelers who asserted the lounge should be a quiet sanctuary from children.
A recurring comment appeared throughout the discussion: the problem is not loud children, but the intoxicated.
Babies vs. Drunks
Last night we had a relatively short layover in San Francisco that proved to be too short. We arrived from Frankfurt a few minutes early (long day of travel that started in Greece…) but immigration lines were so long we missed our connection to Burbank. Thankfully, there was space on the last flight (even in first class), but it meant we had a two hour wait.
Since we had slept through the final meal service on the flight from Frankfurt, we headed over to the American Express Centurion Lounge for dinner. Unlike mornings, the lounge was not close to capacity.
We brought Augustine into the children’s room, where he quietly played before drinking a bottle then falling asleep:
Meanwhile, there were two men having some sort of drinking contest at a table nearby us. They were loud, boisterous, and foul-mouthed. Downing alcohol like water, they each went through at least five drinks in under an hour.
On the other side was a man loudly negotiating the sale of a house on his mobile phone. He was on the phone for 90 minutes and we heard every word of the conversation.
Yes, we could have gone to one of the three United Clubs that would have been more quiet. But the United Clubs don’t have a children’s room and the food in the American Express lounge is still decent. I enjoyed a nice salad with baked chicken and pulled pork.
So who was bad, the child or the adult?
For the road warriors who claim that children are the problem, I give you my experience last night. Yes, there are bad children. Yes, there are bad parents who let their children run wildly. But that is not the norm. More often than not, when you see someone act out it is an adult…