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Choosing the best airport lounge at LGA's Terminal B — and how you can get inside

June 06, 2022
12 min read
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Despite not seeing any long-haul flights, New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) still offers an array of lounges for its New York City travelers.

The new Terminal B alone is home to an American Airlines Admirals Club, a United Club, an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, an American Express Centurion Lounge and multiple Priority Pass options.

Considering the terminal is new, it makes sense that all of the lounges are modern and stylish. However, a good lounge needs to score on more than just looks. It needs to be a spot you can reasonably access, offer ample space for visitors without everyone rubbing elbows with each other and provide plenty of food and beverage options.

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To help you decide which lounge is best for your next trip, TPG sent two staffers to LaGuardia to visit each of the options in Terminal B. Here's what they found and everything you need to know about how to gain access to each space.

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American Airlines Admirals Club (Western Concourse)

The American Airlines Admirals Club — which just opened at the end of 2021, making it the newest option on this list — is located upstairs, near gates 30 and 31. It is open Sunday through Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Saturdays between 4:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The lounge offers a variety of seating options, ranging from individual recliners to dining tables and booths. Almost all of the seats have easily accessible power outlets, making it easy to charge your devices when you visit.

Although I had no trouble finding an open seat during my late morning visit, I could see the space getting crowded during peak periods — the lounge currently has a capacity of only around 130 passengers. However, the entire lounge isn't open quite yet. Once fully completed, it will span more than 20,000 square feet and have room for 350-plus passengers.

The space itself feels airy and open, as it’s not fully walled off to the concourse below. Rather, there's just a partial glass barrier that lets you look down into the concourse while still providing some privacy. There's also a tree in the center of the dining room, which adds to the aesthetic.

The food and beverage selection is your standard Admirals Club offering.

You'll find a continental breakfast spread with hard-boiled eggs, yogurt and pastries in the mornings and snacks like crudites, hummus, cheese cubes and soup the rest of the day. There's also a selection of complimentary house wines, well liquor and beer. More substantial food and premium drinks are available for purchase from a menu.

Based on our experiences, Wi-Fi here is fast and easy to connect to. However, there are neither conference rooms nor showers.

How to get into the Admirals Club

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® offers complimentary Admirals Club access for you and up to two guests. Alternatively, you can gain access if you're an AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum elite traveling on a qualifying long-haul international itinerary. Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members of foreign programs get access, too, even on domestic itineraries.

Related: The ultimate guide to American Airlines Admirals Club access

United Club (Eastern Concourse)

The United Club is located near gates 40 to 59 right before you get on the escalator that goes down to the B gates. The lounge is open from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. I arrived at the lounge around 7 a.m. on a weekday morning and was one of just a few travelers there.

When you step foot in the lounge, you'll immediately notice the open floor plan. Instead of finding distinct rooms, you'll discover a variety of seating options (think: comfortable armchairs and booth-style seats) throughout one large space.

While the numerous seating options will come in handy during peak travel times, they cause the lounge to feel a bit congested since there's so much seating occupying a relatively small physical footprint.

Not far from the entry, you'll find a coffee station with drip coffee and espresso and a soda machine with several flavor options.

There are a bar and a buffet at the center of the lounge. Food and beverage offerings are comparable to what you'll find at other United Clubs around the world. I particularly enjoyed the mini smoothies on offer, though the food left something to be desired when compared to the Centurion Lounge located just up the escalator.

Additionally, the lounge offers two private phone booths, which can come in handy for those work Zoom calls.

(Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

There are plenty of power outlets scattered throughout the lounge and next to most armchairs and bar seats, too.

How to get into the United Club

You can access United Clubs with the United Club℠ Infinite Card. This card gives cardholders same-day lounge access for themselves and up to two companions traveling with them. Additionally, you can access the lounge if you have Star Alliance Gold status from a foreign carrier and are flying Star Alliance or if you have United Premier Gold elite status or higher and are traveling on an international itinerary. One-time United Club passes can be purchased for $59; they're also awarded annually with some cobranded United credit cards.

Related: The ultimate guide to United Club access

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (Eastern Concourse)

Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounge is located right across from the United Club above the Terminal B concourse near gates 40 to 59. It's open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and was quiet when I visited before an early morning weekday flight.

The lounge has four distinct seating areas. When you enter, you're greeted by a dining area with standard-height tables and chairs, as well as high-top seating.

Across from the hightops is a small buffet stocked with yogurt, muffins and an assortment of other snacks. I appreciated the variety of Aha seltzer waters. There's also a coffee machine and a roped-off bar with beer, wine and liquor located behind the buffet. You must ask a lounge attendant to pour any alcoholic beverages you wish to consume.

The rest of the lounge is filled with comfortable armchairs, office-style seats and a couch capable of accommodating multiple visitors. There's a large TV at the center of the seating area and power outlets spread throughout the lounge. I didn't find the seating conducive to working, but the various areas were comfortable enough for relaxing before a flight.

How to get into the Maple Leaf Lounge

United Club Infinite cardholders can access Maple Leaf lounges, as the included United Club membership also covers access to partner lounges. Just make sure to bring your lounge card. On top of this, all Star Alliance Gold elite members can access Maple Leaf lounges when flying same-day on a Star Alliance airline, regardless of their class of service.

Related: All the ways you can access Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounges

American Express Centurion Lounge (near Eastern Concourse)

The American Express Centurion Lounge at LGA is located one level above security, right before the pedestrian bridge to the Eastern Concourse, toward gates 41 to 59. It's open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Saturdays, when it closes at 8 p.m.

It's decently sized, spanning more than 10,000 square feet, but it does seem to get crowded during busier periods, as do all the Centurion Lounges. Luckily, there was no line when we visited, and we didn’t have to join a waitlist.

The space is split into several distinct seating areas, including a space for lounging, a TV room, a dining room, a bar area and a business area. Seating choices range from sofas to individual chairs to coworking tables, offering plenty of options for both relaxation and work. Many seats also feature power outlets and USB ports nearby. There are no views of the tarmac, but the space is nevertheless bright and stylish.

The buffet is helmed by Cédric Vongerichten, the chef and co-owner of two celebrated New York City restaurants, Perry St. and Wayan. Breakfast was being served at the time of our visit and included options like scrambled eggs, sweet potatoes, egg frittata, crispy french toast and greek yogurt. Meanwhile, the staffed bar offered a wide variety of complimentary drinks.

Amenities include a shower room, multiple phone booths, a study room and a multipurpose meeting room that doubles as a children's play area. Although we initially had trouble connecting, the Wi-Fi ultimately worked well. There's also a printer available, should you need to print any documents before your flight.

How to get into the American Express Centurion Lounge

You and up to two guests (at least, until Feb. 1, 2023) can access Amex Centurion Lounges with The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card technically also provide access, but you must be flying Delta, which operates out of another terminal.

Related: Your complete guide to Amex Centurion Lounges

Minute Suites Express

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Priority Pass members don't have access to any lounges at LGA in the traditional sense, but they do get a free hourlong room rental at Minute Suites Express. It's located just past security at The Bowery Bay Shops and is open from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

This option is ideal for those seeking a quiet, private place away from the busy terminal. Each suite features a workstation and two comfortable chairs. As an "Express" location, suites here are designed to boost productivity and don't have daybeds.

Amenities include fast Wi-Fi, charging stations, a TV in each suite and gaming consoles. Snacks and drinks are not included here, but there are some pre-packaged options available for purchase.

How to get into Minute Suites Express

A one-hour suite rental normally costs $48, with additional 15-minute periods costing $12 each. However, anyone with a Priority Pass membership — including those issued by American Express — get an hour free, with subsequent hours costing $34 per hour. Nursing and pumping mothers can also get a free 30-minute visit.

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

Be Relax Spa

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

If you're a Priority Pass member and didn't get your membership through an American Express card, you can also opt to get a free massage.

Unfortunately, the spa was closed the two times we tried visiting. However, eligible Priority Pass members can normally choose one of the following treatments:

  • 30-minute lounger massage (a $35 value).
  • 15-minute lounger massage, plus oxygen aromatherapy session: Be Back (a $35 value).
  • 10-minute head massage, plus oxygen aromatherapy session: Head Up (a $38 value).
  • 10-minute foot massage, plus oxygen aromatherapy session: Be Feet (a $38 value).

How to access Be Relax Spa

If you don't want to pay nearly $40 for a treatment, you can get one for free with an eligible Priority Pass membership. Memberships obtained through cards like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve would be eligible, while those provided through Amex-issued cards would not be eligible even with a Priority Pass membership from an Amex card.

Related: Best Priority Pass lounges in the US

Bottom line

The best lounge at LaGuardia's Terminal B for you will ultimately depend on what's most important to you on that day. If you're after preflight grub, you'll find the most extensive complimentary food and drink offerings at the American Express Centurion Lounge. It also provides more amenities than the other lounge options and is the only one to offer a shower. The only major downside is that it can get crowded.

If you're simply looking for a quiet place to work or take some calls away from the crowds, Minute Suites may be a better option for you. However, there are no windows or complimentary refreshments, so it's not a place where you’d want to spend a lot of time unless you really need privacy.

Meanwhile, if you want to want to be close to your gate, you can't go wrong with any of the airline lounges. They are all modern spaces that offer all the essentials and don't seem to get too crowded.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from visiting multiple lounges if you have extra time. A quick massage at the Be Relax Spa followed by lunch at the Centurion Lounge? Sounds like the most ideal way to pass the time before a flight to us.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases