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TPG Contributor Michael Spelfogel outlines everything you need to know about the seven Amex Centurion Lounges you’ll find in the US.
Airport lounges have long been a staple of the flying experience for premium-class travelers. But, many airline lounges in the US are still behind their European and Asian counterparts in terms of food offerings, amenities and overall design.
Enter the American Express Centurion Lounge, with locations currently available in seven US airports: Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), Miami (MIA), New York (LGA), San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA).
Access to all seven US Centurion Lounges is complimentary if you have an American Express Centurion Card, The Platinum Card from American Express, or the The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express Open — you can also bring in two members of your immediate family (as in your significant other and/or children). If you hold another American Express card (including those issued by other banks), you can still purchase a one-day pass for $50, though these can only be purchased in person on the day of travel and are subject to lounge capacity restrictions.
The Centurion Lounge network has definitely set the bar high for US airport lounges. All locations feature standard amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, shower rooms (except for the LaGuardia location), food menus designed by celebrity chefs, excellent cocktails by mixologist Jim Meehan, wines chosen by top sommelier Anthony Giglio and a variety of stylish seating and meeting space options. But each location has certain features and characteristics that make for a unique experience.
Here’s what you can expect to see at the seven US Centurion Lounges, starting with the first lounge to open and ending with the last:
Hours: 5:00am – 11:00pm
Size: 8,906 Square Feet
- Menu designed by Food Network star Scott Conant, chef from Scarpetta, a popular restaurant in Las Vegas and New York City
Location: You’ll find the lounge across from Gate D1 in Concourse D.
Hours: 5:30am – 10:00pm
Size: 8,984 Square Feet
- Menu designed by Dean Fearing, a James Beard award-winning chef
- Spa treatments, manicures and massages
Location: Across from Gate D17 on the mezzanine level of Terminal D.
Hours: 5:30am – 8:00pm Sunday through Friday, 5:30am – 6:30pm on Saturday
Size: 5,365 Square Feet
- A diverse menu inspired by award-winning chef Cédric Vongerichten, noted by Zagat as one of 30 top chefs under 30
- Note that there are no shower suites at this location
Location: Head to the 3rd floor between Concourses B and C, pre-security.
Hours: 5:00am – 11:00pm
Size: 8,171 Square Feet
- Starting this week, you’ll find a new, seasonal menu inspired by chef Daniel Patterson, the founder of 2-Michelin star restaurant Coi who was recently named by the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef: West.
- The lounge also features a wine tasting station
Location: Since this particular location is post-security, you can access it from Terminals 3 and G. Unfortunately, the terminals at SFO don’t connect to each other post-security, so you’ll have to show your boarding pass and go through Terminal 3 security if you’re flying from another terminal, then re-enter security in your own terminal once you leave the lounge.
5. Miami (MIA)
Hours: 5:00am – 11:00pm
Size: 8,000 Square Feet
- A special menu inspired by Michelle Bernstein, a James Beard award-winning chef
- Spa treatments, massages and manicures
Location: On the fourth floor, close to Gate D12 in Concourse D.
Hours: 5:00am – 10:00pm
Size: 3,100 Square Feet
- Locally sourced beverages, including Jones Soda, beer from the Georgetown Brewing Company, wines from Washington’s Columbia Valley and Caffe Vita coffee
- A selection of gourmet snacks, like Ellenos Yogurt, Marge Granola, Tim’s Cascade Chips, artisanal chocolates and baked breads from Macrina Bakery, a local favorite
Location: The Amex Centurion Studio, basically a smaller version of the usual Centurion Lounge, is located in Concourse B across from Gate B3.
Hours: 5:30am – 9:00pm
Size: 8,500 Square Feet
- Special menu inspired by Houston, created by renowned Chef Justin Yu
- Colorful art installation by local artist Patrick Renner that’s inspired by the city’s Trumpet Flower sculpture
- A tranquility area and noise-buffering workspaces
Location: This hard-to-spot lounge is located in Terminal D, just below a duty free shop by gate D6. Take the elevator downstairs to the mezzanine level and walk down the hallway to enter.
Don’t Forget About the International Locations
Though not nearly as publicized as the new US locations, Amex has several Centurion Lounges abroad. Many have been open for years, and just about all of them give you additional lounge access beyond Priority Pass Select (which is also included as a perk with the American Express Platinum Card). Here’s where you can find them:
- Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires (EZE)
- São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil (GRU)
- Benito Juárez International Airport in Mexico City (MEX)
- Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai (BOM)
- Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi (DEL)
- Sydney Airport in Australia (SYD)
The $450 annual fee on the American Express Platinum Card is steep, but access to the Centurion Lounge network can be of great value depending on your style of travel and how often you find yourself in these seven airports. We can only hope that American Express will continue to add more Centurion Lounges to airports around the country.
Which is your favorite Centurion Lounge?
Featured image of the Houston Centurion Lounge.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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