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Today American Express announced plans to create a Centurion Studio Lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at some point in 2015. I asked for clarification on the date, but none was available, nor are there concept pictures available. It will be located right off the main terminal toward concourse B, post-security and easily accessible to all terminals.
This is exciting news because it will be the first Centurion Lounge following the “Studio” concept, which will be a smaller “lite” version of the other Amex Centurion Lounges they’ve opened in Las Vegas, Dallas, New York LaGuardia and just this month in San Francisco (Miami opens in 2015). I’ve been impressed with the Centurion lounges; they feature food you actually want to eat and other amenities like a spa in Dallas and wine-tasting wall in San Francisco. They’re free to Centurion, The Platinum Card from American Express, and The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN cardholders, and $50 for other American Express cardholders.
The studio concept will likely be smaller and have less fancy features, but the basics will be there: “comfortable seating, charging stations, fast and free WiFi, and complimentary healthy snacks and beverages.” This sounds a lot better than most airline lounges, and I’m glad to see American Express expanding their lounge footprint.
Each lounge opening increases the value proposition of the Platinum card, and as a NYC/Miami based AA flyer, these lounges are a huge perk for me and a key reason why I keep my card open, even after losing American Airlines lounge access earlier this year. Even though the locations are still scarce, I’d rather have quality versus quantity. I find the food at Centurion lounges to be much higher quality than the free pretzels offered at most airline lounges. I’m confident the “Studio” lounges will be an improvement, especially with respect to providing healthy food.
Per the Amex release:
“American Express is dedicated to creating a more seamless travel journey for our Platinum Card Members, and our goal is to have a presence in airports they frequent the most,” said Lisa Durocher, Senior Vice President of Charge Cards and Benefits, American Express. “While The Centurion Lounges have been tremendously popular with our Card Members, space on that scale is not always available. Providing important amenities to our Card Members, even with a smaller footprint, can help them relax and stay connected while they’re on the road.”
Overall I’m pleased with this announcement, and hope to hear more in the future. The three cities where I’d like to see American Express open new lounges are Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Which cities are on your wish list? While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.