Amex LaGuardia Centurion Lounge Preview

by on August 6, 2014 · 32 comments

in American Express, Lounges, Reviews

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If you follow TPG on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that last night I got a sneak peek at the new American Express Centurion lounge at LGA Terminal B (which is my main terminal, so it was kind of like Christmas in August!). As a Business Platinum cardholder, I plan on getting a ton of use out of this lounge. Although the exact opening date has still not been publicly announced, I have a feeling it will be within the next few weeks. In addition to its existing lounges at McCarran airport in Las Vegas and in Dallas (DFW), Amex has plans to open an SFO lounge later this year, and another one in Miami in early 2015.

Front desk at the American Express Centurion Lounge, LaGuardia Terminal B

Front desk at the American Express Centurion Lounge, LaGuardia Terminal B

The new Centurion Lounge is located  on the 3rd level of Terminal B at LaGuardia, which currently services United, American, JetBlue, Spirit, and Southwest, among others. For those who frequent airports with Centurion lounges, that access is starting to look more and more like reasonable compensation for losing AA/United lounge access on the Platinum card over the last 3 years. Anyone flying out of LGA can use the lounge, and there are shuttle buses that go between the terminals every 10-15 minutes.

Beautifully designed Lounge Area

Beautifully designed Lounge Area.

The lounge is located before security, so both terminals can use it, but you do need to plan extra time to get through. In my experience flying through Terminal B several times a month, the security lines are usually not bad, and TSA Pre-check is a breeze. I believe they plan to install live feeds of security lines in the lounge so you can monitor the situation and plan accordingly, helping you enjoy the perks of the lounge as long as possible. In fact, I’m not bothered by this being before security, and may actually plan to get to the airport a little earlier than normal.

Bar area at the Centurion Lounge LaGuardia

Bar area at the Centurion Lounge LaGuardia.

Of the three current Centurion Lounges in the US, this is the smallest, but is still a much nicer offering than any other lounge at LGA, and best of all, entry is free when you bring your American Express Platinum or Business Platinum card. Upon arrival (daily between 6 am and 8 pm), the receptionist will ask to see your valid American Express card (which can also include the Mercedes-Benz Platinum Amex), your ID, and a boarding pass for same-day travel.

Centurion Lounge nooks LaGuardia

The guest policy is the same as other Centurion Lounges, you get free admission for your immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) OR up to two companions. (This is pertinent since those cardholders recently lost access to other airline lounges.) Other Amex cardholders (including those who have American Express cards issued by other banks), can get a one-day lounge pass for $50, which also grants admission to children under 18.

Fresh flowers and a view of the planes on the tarmac and the runway in the distance

Fresh flowers and a view of the planes on the tarmac and the runway in the distance

Food  is the main focus at the Centurion Lounge, with all items created and curated by famed chef Cedric Vongerichten (son of Jean Georges) who runs Perry St (a personal favorite of mine). For the preview event, we were treated to a fantastic (albeit spicy!) multi-course meal by the chef, which was paired with some great New York state wines that will be featured in the lounge and rotate frequently.

The food we were served is a preview of the buffet menu that will be available for guests once the lounge opens: small plates and bites, delicately curated for travelers on the go.

A delicious meal by Cedrid Vongrichten

A delicious meal by Cedric Vongerichten.

For those who have yet to visit a Centurion lounge, they’re worth the trip. Amex is slowly repairing the damage done by the loss of other lounge benefits from the Platinum cards, and while there’s still work to be done, the expanding network of Centurion lounges is a good start.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Robert P

    Any chance that they will open one up at JFK in 2015?

  • Patrick

    Any ideas on future AMEX lounges? Perhaps taking a some of the duplicate US Airways lounges that AA has closed?

  • NeelyWObrien

    For those who frequent airports with Centurion lounges, that access is starting to look more and more like reasonable compensation for losing AA/United lounge access on the Platinum card over the last 3 years.

  • Rommel Ramos

    SFO and Miami should hopefully open by the end of this year..

  • Lexi

    Can you enter the lounge if you have a boarding pass ARRIVING at LGA that day, rather than departing it?

  • Guest

    When does it open?

  • thepointsguy

    They just said “this month”. Someone stopped by today and a rep said next week. So.. Soon!

  • thepointsguy

    Yep- should be no problem

  • Tony

    Zero chance

  • Seize the Globe

    Perhaps once LAX does their own upgrades, then Amex will consider opening one there?

  • Avery

    This is great, if next week, I can check it out leaving the following week! Loved what they did with the Vegas one.

  • Miles

    Any idea where specifically in MIA the lounge there will be? e.g., Will it be in Terminal D? And if so, where?

  • Kevin

    North Terminal (I believe which is where American Airlines is). Most of the centurion lounges are targeting major hubs.

  • Mike

    Why invest so much in a termnal that will be demolished and completely rebuilt in the next 5 years or so?!

  • seth

    So basically the new centurion lounge at LGA has absolutely no impact on Delta flyers yet AMEX continues to promote this as a major incentive to sign up for the AMEX platinum card. I think this centurion lounge initiative will ultimately be an extremely costly failed investment by AMEX

  • thepointsguy

    Delta flyers have free access to decent Skyclubs in the delta terminal, so building an extra lounge there would be a waste. This is an attempt to persuade the legions of AA/UA flyers who have the card and have lost access, to stay with Amex. Makes sense to me

  • thepointsguy

    It’s a nice lounge, but pretty small. To get 5 years of use and hopefully keep legions of cardholders happy might make sense

  • thepointsguy

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see LAX or Chicago up next (big AA cities)

  • thepointsguy

    I highly doubt it

  • David T

    Any news on when SFO is opening… last I heard it was gunna be July.. But that’s come and gone…

  • seth

    OK good point PointsGuy. But I do believe AMEX is misleading some potential customers by promoting the centurion lounges so heavily even though they will really only impact travelers in the respective terminal they are flying out of.

  • jm

    Guess the US Airways flyers are still on the outside looking in…quite literally in LGA Terminal C, where I walk past two lounges (DL/US) I can’t get into every week, then another couple during the stopover in CLT. Time to switch to Citi Prestige.

  • DavidYoung2

    Completely disagree. With all the devaluations (loss AA and companion Delta lounge access), I was going to drop the Platinum card earlier this year. However, after dropping Delta in favor of Southwest (connect through LAS instead of SLC) I use the LAS club very frequently, so I decided to keep it.

    That’s $450 in fees and close to a million in spend they kept from just one person. Seems like a very, very wise investment on their part.

  • Mike Smith

    Was in DFW couple weeks ago. It’s fine but nothing compared to the Asian and middle eastern airlines. Lots of plugs which is good. It was packed though. Negatives; Bar….asked for Mint Julep….”sorry we didn’t order any Mint this week”. Asked for Malibu…”sorry, we don’t have Malibu”. Asked for “more than 12 year single malt whiskey”….”sorry, we don’t have any”.

    Showers are temperamental. Scalding hot and then warm. Staff need training – they were arguing loudly as to whose turn it was to clean up the dishes!

  • Seven Amex Cards

    Is the idea you get food for your entry fee, or is that an upcharge /restaurant service? Seems laguardia has better food options if you are going to pay.

  • thepointsguy

    Food and Bev all included. And as for terminal options- terminal B is very limited. 5 Guys and Dunkin landside and Auntie Anns/random stuff in terminal

  • Urbanist

    If you are a $1mm annual spender, then what on earth are you doing with a Platinum vs. a black?

  • DavidYoung2

    Two reasons:
    1) I’m too cheap to spring for the initiation fee and annual fee for the Centurion;
    2) Mostly non-travel business spend, so not enough benefit. I mean, what’s Southwest gonna do? Upgrade me to an extra bag of peanuts?

  • Heather @ TravelingSaurus

    Really wishing for a Centurion DCA/BWI/IAD….if wishes were horses (or unicorns). That would definitely make me reconsider whether or not to hang on to my platinum card, for sure.

  • http://www.lmfao.sssr/ Willie The Shake Speare

    I fail to see how AMEX can build enough lounges to cover a vast array of airports and terminals, even just in the USA.

    The point of using a lounge is convenience. E.g., I am flying out of Gate 123 on airline AB, and the lounge is 20 feet away, so I may use it if cost / benefit makes it worthwhile.

    If I have to change 3 terminals, and spend 30 minutes to find the lounge (located OUTSIDE of security: OUCH), and then cover the same distance back, guess what I am likely to do: NOT use the lounge.

    I think this experiment is likely to fail.

  • James Miller

    I agree, I used to have the Centurion card, initiation fee five years ago was $5,000 plus the normal fee, so it was about $7,500 in the first year: the personal travel advisor and personal concierge is nice as they get to know your preference, but generally, most of the benefits I did not use, but I do miss the FHR guaranteed upgrades – but the Plat is better value.

  • Ben Brooks

    Curious about their choice of airports and who they are targeting. I like that they went upscale as US carrier lounges are pretty lame. I would imagine things like city and terminal at airport are important decisions. Data on cardholders who fly to/from as well. Dallas is fortress hub but LAS and LGA aren’t and ORD is 2 carrier at least.

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