American Express ends Express Path access at Sydney Airport

By Chris C., July 18 2017
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 C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 240

Is it me or did this change happen strangely quickly?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 699

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.


03 May 2012

Total posts 121

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 473

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

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 177

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!


03 May 2013

Total posts 673

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.

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

Exactly. If everybody is somebody, then nobody is anybody.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 240

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?

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 97

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.

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 270

Why would it ever be a temporary perk in the first place?

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

Why would it ever be a permanent perk in the first place?

05 Jun 2017

Total posts 1

well I got to use that precisely once. Not sure if it was a useful perk....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2014

Total posts 20

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

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 26

Same thing happened in Milan airports as well unfortunately...

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