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American Express operates a fantastic network of airport lounges around the US — and if you have an American Express Centurion Card, American Express Platinum Card or the Amex Business Platinum Card, you can get in for free. While they’re all a big step up from what US-based airlines typically offer, there’s no question that some of these lounges are better than others, thanks in no small part to a larger footprint, giving guests more room to stretch out.
As the smallest lounge in the network, the Centurion Studio in Seattle often feels a bit cramped — fortunately, some relief is on the way. Amex is currently working to expand the Studio, adding 1,400 square feet for a total of 4,500 square feet. Once complete, the expanded lounge will have a full bar, a shower, an additional restroom and an outdoor view (currently blocked by construction for a new Delta SkyClub). By comparison, the recently opened Houston lounge is 8,500 square feet.
Here’s some background on the project from an airport memo issued in May:
To support its growing operations at the Airport, Delta is constructing a new centrally located Delta SkyClub Lounge located between Concourses A and B. As part of this project, Delta’s Lounge project construction obstructs all existing windows of the existing Amex Lounge, but is also constructing a separate HVAC tower that provides for the opportunity of approximately 1,400 square feet of expansion space for Amex to grow into and regain some of their exterior windows. Although this expansion opportunity gives them only a fraction of their desired expansion area, they are interested in the incremental buildout until the Port can find a long-term solution that meets their desired lounge requirement of 10,000 square feet. But because this area has never been occupied by a tenant, it is in a raw condition which requires basic improvements to allow for occupancy and lease. Using the Port’s Tenant Reimbursement Policy/Guidelines, the Port would reimburse Amex the cost to construct basic utilities and other occupancy related improvements. Amex’s leased premises would expand 1,400 square feet and would return some of the windows and daylight hidden by the current Delta construction project. This capital project funding is included in the 2016 – 2020 capital budget under CIP C800154 (Tenant Reimbursement).
According to the document, the airport may be covering a cost of $278,000 to prepare this space for Amex’s buildout. In return, it expects an additional $308,000 per year in rent from American Express. Additionally, according to the document, Amex has expressed a desire to build a replacement lounge that’s 10,000 square feet in size, which, if accurate, would make the Seattle lounge the largest in the company’s network.
Have you visited the Amex Centurion Studio in Seattle?
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.
- Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
- Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
- No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
- See Rates & Fees