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It’s been a busy month for American Express’ lounge team — the card issuer just opened its first international Centurion Lounge, at Hong Kong International Airport, and now it’s gearing up to welcome guests to its eighth US location, at Philadelphia’s PHL.
Once the Philadelphia location opens its doors by the end of October, Amex’s full roster will include:
- Dallas (DFW)
- Hong Kong (HKG)
- Houston (IAH)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Miami (MIA)
- New York (LGA)
- Philadelphia (PHL)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Seattle (SEA)
Access to Amex’s Centurion Lounges is now limited to cardmembers with a Centurion Card, The Platinum Card from American Express or The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN. Eligible cardmembers will be able to bring two guests and purchase $50 day passes for additional guests.
TPG and I had a chance to preview the new PHL lounge last night, including a tour on Facebook Live:
Once the lounge opens its doors, it’ll be open daily from 5:00am until 9:00pm. We’ll be back with a full review shortly after the lounge opens later this month, but you can get a feel for the space and perks in our preview below.
Entrance, Seating and Amenities
Amex’s latest lounge is located on the second level at PHL’s Terminal A-West, near gate A14. It’s at the far end of the airport, where most international flights depart from, but you can walk over from the other terminals without leaving security.
The decor matches that of other locations, though the size and arrangement varies a bit, of course.
The 6,300-square-foot lounge’s main room includes a variety of tables and chairs, with a mix of half-booths, high-top tables and bar seating. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for great natural light during the day.
A smaller, second room includes individual workstations, with power outlets and USB.
There’s also an L-shaped sofa, three pods and a conference table.
There are men’s and women’s restrooms, and a separate shower room, which guests can use to freshen up before or after their international flights.
Food and Beverage
Amex works to identify and partner with top local chefs at its Centurion Lounges, and PHL is no exception. The menu at this location is curated by Philly’s own Michael Solomonov — when I explained the concept to my father, a Philly native, Solomonov was his first guess, so it’s clear that this guy’s a pretty big deal.
While out-of-towners might be more likely to associate Philly with cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, Solomonov’s cuisine is a bit more sophisticated.
We had a chance to try a small selection of the menu items, including the Israel salad with feta, humus and kale tabbouleh pictured below.
The hummus was definitely a crowd-pleaser — delicious!
The hot items were presented as hors d’oeuvres at the preview event, and will include challah French toast with blackberries, Bulgarian kebabs and more.
I especially enjoyed the challah French toast, which was light but decadent.
The PHL location offers a full bar, and everything’s included. Bartenders can whip you up a variety of cocktails, including a selection of locally inspired options.
The preview event’s cocktail menu included items like the Philadelphia Flyer, named for the city’s NHL team, and the Schuylkill Express (pronounced skoo-kill), in honor of a local section of Interstate 76.
TPG seemed fond of his Blue Door — a mix of Johnny Walker Black, Myer’s Dark Rum, Benedictine and lemon juice.
Amex’s Philadelphia Centurion Lounge has been a long time coming. We first heard about this new planned location back in January, but it was already in the works for some time before that. It definitely lives up to the brand’s standards, but at 6,300 square feet, I could see it filling up quickly during peak hours.
As for what’s next, Amex reps didn’t have anything to share just yet, but considering there’s a dedicated team tasked with managing and growing the portfolio, it shouldn’t be too long before we hear about further growth.
Do you plan to visit Philadelphia’s new Centurion Lounge?
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- 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 around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees