Your complete guide to Amex Centurion Lounges
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American Express offers excellent membership benefits on its premium cards, including various luxury travel perks. But one of the most tangible perks offered by select American Express cards is airport lounge access. And Amex’s network of Centurion Lounges are among the most exclusive lounges in Amex’s Global Lounge Collection.
Centurion Lounges outpace most other airport lounges in several ways. For example, Centurion Lounges typically offer seasonally inspired food designed by renowned local chefs, signature and sometimes location-specific cocktails, premium spirits and curated wine lists. Some Centurion Lounges even offer spa services, wine tasting and family rooms. Best of all, these services are complimentary to eligible cardmembers.
If you like the sound of Amex’s Centurion Lounges, keep reading to learn more about these lounges and how to get access. As with everything in the COVID-19 era, though, be sure to double check on any amenities you plan to take advantage before a visit so you know what facilities are open.
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Airports with Centurion Lounges
The following airports have a Centurion Lounge:
- Buenos Aires (EZE)
- Charlotte (CLT)
- Dallas (DFW)
- Delhi (DEL)
- Denver (DEN)
- Hong Kong (HKG)
- Houston (IAH)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Melbourne (MEL)
- Mexico City (MEX)
- Miami (MIA)
- Monterrey (MTY)
- Mumbai (BOM)
- New York (JFK)
- New York (LGA)
- Philadelphia (PHL)
- Phoenix (PHX)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Sao Paulo (GRU)
- Seattle (SEA)
- Stockholm (ARN)
- Sydney (SYD)
The airport names above link to our past articles on each Centurion Lounge. But, I’ll also discuss each of these lounges in more detail near the end of this guide.
Amex rebranded its international lounges as Centurion Lounges. As such, Amex is still working to update some of its international Centurion Lounges to reflect the premium Centurion Lounge experience. The issuer is also in the process of rebranding and refreshing several Escape Lounge locations in the U.S. into new Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner. Don’t expect a huge amount to change in the near term, though over time, cardmembers should find more premium snacks, cocktails and drinks. For now, we’ll keep our discussion to full-fledged Centurion Lounges, though.
With the exception of the location at LAX, which is temporarily closed on account of airport construction, all Centurion Lounges in the U.S. have reopened. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, some locations are operating with reduced hours and services. So check Amex’s website or app to ensure the lounge you plan to visit will be open when you arrive.
Airports that will soon have Centurion Lounges
Amex has worked to bring more Centurion Lounges to airports its cardmembers want to visit. In 2020, Amex opened new Centurion Lounges in Phoenix, Charlotte, Los Angeles and New York (JFK). And earlier this year, Amex opened new or expanded Centurion Lounges in Denver, Las Vegas (LAS) and New York (LGA).
But Amex isn’t done yet. American Express still plans to open new Amex Centurion Lounges in London Heathrow (2021), Atlanta (unknown) and Washington Reagan National (late 2022). And Amex plans to expand its Centurion Lounges in Seattle and San Francisco by late 2022.
How to gain access to Centurion Lounges
American Express cardmembers with a Centurion or Platinum-branded card such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have access to Amex Centurion Lounges. Cardmembers with other Platinum Cards, such as the Schwab or Ameriprise versions and international versions, should also have access.
Authorized users with a Centurion or Platinum Card also have access. You can add up to three authorized users to the personal Platinum Card for a total of $175 per year (see rates and fees). But authorized users who have the Platinum’s complimentary additional Gold Card don’t have access. Likewise, Amex cardmembers with cards that aren’t Centurion or Platinum cards, such as those with the American Express® Gold Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, won’t have access.
Finally, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card members also get complimentary access to Centurion Lounges located in the U.S., Hong Kong and London when flying on a Delta-marketed or -operated flight purchased with any U.S.-issued American Express card.
You can’t purchase Centurion Lounge access even if you carry another American Express card.
Centurion Lounge access policies
To enter a Centurion Lounge, you must present your eligible Amex card, a boarding pass showing a confirmed reservation for same-day travel and your government-issued identification.
You may be able to use the Amex mobile app for mobile check-in instead of showing your physical card. However, doing so doesn’t let you bypass capacity constraints that may exist at the lounge. And you’ll still need to show your boarding pass and identification. Even if you plan to use the app, it’s still best to carry your physical card in case you need to show it for entry.
Whether you use the app or show a physical card, the name on the card must match the name on your government-issued identification.
Access policies may vary from country to country for Amex’s international Centurion Lounges. Access regulations also vary based on the type of card you carry. Centurion cardmembers may use Centurion Lounges as long as they have access to the terminal and a confirmed reservation for same-day travel.
However, non-Centurion cardmembers have two additional access restrictions. First, they can’t enter with a boarding pass for a flight that has just landed unless they can produce proof of a confirmed connecting flight departing from the same airport. Second, they can’t enter more than three hours before the departure time on their same-day, confirmed boarding pass unless they can provide proof of a connecting flight.
Waitlist procedure at Centurion Lounges
Amex says that it will “adhere to guidance from state and local governments and health authorities and limit the capacity within each lounge.” So, you may arrive at a Centurion Lounge that is at capacity. In this case, you’ll usually need to provide your name and phone number. Then you’ll get a text once it’s your turn to enter the lounge. For example, here’s what the texts looked like for TPG senior news editor Clint Henderson back in June:
But I haven’t had to wait to enter a Centurion Lounge for the last few months. And when I asked other TPG staffers about their recent Centurion Lounge experiences, none reported facing a waitlist within the last month. However, of the five staffers I spoke with, two reported crowded Centurion Lounges. In fact, TPG director of travel and news content, Andrea M. Rotondo, said the DFW Centurion Lounge was so crowded during her visit that it was difficult to get two seats together.
Centurion Lounge guest policies
Currently, Platinum cardmembers may enter with up to two guests at no additional charge. Centurion cardmembers may enter with up to two guests or immediate family — defined as a spouse or domestic partner and children under 18 — at no additional charge. Delta Reserve and Delta Business Reserve cardmembers aren’t allowed any complimentary guests.
Guest access is per cardmember, not per card. So you’ll still only get two guests even if you have the personal and business versions of the Platinum Card. If you want to bring additional guests over the complimentary limit, you can purchase day passes for $50 per person at the time of entry. These one-day passes can be used at multiple Centurion Lounges on the same day, as long as the cardmember still accompanies the guest. Eligible Delta Reserve and Delta Business Reserve cardmembers may purchase access for up to two guests per location.
Children under 2 years old may enter free of charge as long as the cardmember traveling with them can produce a lap-infant boarding pass or proof of age. For example, you can show a passport, birth certificate, infant boarding pass or immunization record to prove that a child is under 2.
However, guest access for Centurion Lounges will change on Feb. 1, 2023. On and after this date, U.S. Platinum cardmembers will be charged a $50 fee for each guest ($30 per child age 2 through 17, with proof of age). But U.S. Platinum cardmembers can qualify for complimentary guest access for up to two guests per visit after spending $75,000 in eligible purchases on their card between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022 (and in each calendar year thereafter).
Extra benefits for Centurion cardmembers
The Centurion Card from American Express is an invitation-only card requiring high annual spending levels, a hefty initiation fee and a high annual fee. But along with many other benefits, Centurion cardmembers receive some extra perks at Centurion lounges. Amex doesn’t widely publicize them, but we’re aware of the following Centurion Card-specific services at Centurion Lounges:
- Access is virtually guaranteed, even when a lounge is at capacity
- Reserved seating for Centurion cardmembers (sometimes in a special area)
- Complimentary premium champagne
- Complimentary premium drink selection (only available at some lounges)
The information for the Amex Centurion Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Overview of each Centurion Lounge
Centurion Lounges typically provide a wide variety of drinks, quality dining, high-speed Wi-Fi and a mixture of seating for relaxation and work. But each Centurion Lounge offers unique amenities and excels in different areas.
Some Centurion Lounge amenities may be modified or eliminated during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, some lounges are still offering a staffed (instead of self-serve) buffet. And select lounges offer self-guided spa services instead of practitioner treatments. Check out Amex’s website to learn more about current amenities.
Now, here’s a quick overview of each Centurion Lounge.
The Charlotte Centurion Lounge is at the intersection of concourses D and E on the mezzanine level. You can access this Centurion Lounge airside regardless of your gate.
You can enjoy “Southern-leaning cuisine” by chef Joe Kindred of Hello, Sailor in Cornelius, North Carolina. This lounge also offers a family room, shower suite, large flat-screen televisions and personal workspaces.
The Dallas Centurion Lounge is in Terminal D, across from Gate D12 on the mezzanine level. You can reach this lounge from any other terminal via the Skylink train.
James Beard Award-winning chef Dean Fearing designed the dining options at this lounge, including dishes such as Texas migas with chorizo and sweet onions. Lounge amenities include spa therapies from Exhale, a shower suite, large flat-screen televisions, conference space, a family room and semiprivate workspaces.
The Denver Centurion Lounge is in Concourse C, past Gate C46 on the mezzanine level. You can reach this lounge from any gate in concourses A, B and C, but you must take the train to reach Concourse C.
James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson created a menu of northern Italian dishes for this lounge. In particular, you can snag hot, fresh, health-conscious bites from the live-action station. Lounge amenities include a craft beer bar, pool table, digital library, dedicated workspace and a multipurpose family room.
The Houston Centurion Lounge is in Terminal D. You can reach this lounge via the elevator in the duty-free shop near Gate D6. You can get to Terminal D from other terminals inside the secure area via the Skyway train.
James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Yu, owner of the Houston restaurant Theodore Rex, created this lounge’s menu of dishes such as braised chicken thighs with harissa, nuts, dried fruit and avocado crema. Lounge amenities include a tranquility area, phone room, dedicated work area and family room.
Las Vegas (LAS)
The Las Vegas Centurion Lounge is in Concourse D, across from Gate D1. You can reach Concourse D from Terminal 1 or Terminal 3 via the transit system. Once you pass security, follow signs to D gates.
James Beard Award-nominated chef Kim Canteenwalla of Honey Salt created the menus for this location. Lounge amenities include a shower suite, large flat-screen televisions, conference space, family room and semiprivate workspaces.
Los Angeles (LAX)
As noted above, this lounge is currently closed due to building repairs, so if you plan to visit, check ahead of your travel dates for news of its reopening.
The Los Angeles Centurion Lounge is in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. After clearing TBIT security, walk toward the main concourse, turn left and take the elevator from level four to level two. When you exit the elevator, you’ll see the lounge straight ahead. You can access the TBIT airside by walking from terminals 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and taking an airside bus from terminals 2 and 3.
Nancy Silverton, the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Los Angeles dining landmark Osteria Mozza, designed the dining at this lounge. For now, the lounge only offers pre-packaged grab-and-go snacks, though.
Lounge amenities typically include spa services, rooms with “sunrise” and “moonrise” lighting, a family room, large flat-screen televisions and personal workspaces.
The Miami Centurion Lounge features floor-to-ceiling windows with expansive views of the runway. This Centurion Lounge is in Concourse D on the fourth floor near Gate D12. The lounge is accessible via the SkyTrain within the D Concourse. But if you’re coming from another terminal, you’ll need to reenter through security with either a connecting or onward boarding pass.
This lounge features locally inspired cuisine designed by James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein. Lounge amenities include self-led spa therapies from Exhale, a shower suite, large flat-screen televisions, a family room and semiprivate workspaces.
New York (JFK)
The New York JFK Centurion Lounge is in Terminal 4. After you go through security, the lounge is to the left of the escalators that lead passengers down to the gates.
Uruguayan-born chef Ignacio Mattos created the menus for this location. Visitors can enjoy premium drinks at two bars and the lounge’s standout feature, a speakeasy. Other lounge amenities include self-led spa services from Equinox, a specialty coffee bar, family room, dedicated work area, semiprivate workspaces and a phone room.
New York LaGuardia (LGA)
The new New York LGA Centurion Lounge is located one level above security, right before the eastern concourse pedestrian bridge.
This lounge offers a menu created by Cedric Vongerichten, chef and co-owner of Wayan, based on influences from Indonesian cuisine. Visitors can enjoy premium drinks from the bar, watch large flat-screen televisions and work from a semiprivate workspace.
The Philadelphia Centurion Lounge is in Terminal A West near Gate A14. You can reach this lounge from any other terminal by walking or using a shuttle bus.
Four-time James Beard Award-winner Michael Solomonov designed this lounge’s dining options, including his signature Israeli-inspired fare such as kale tabbouleh with apples and pomegranate. Lounge amenities include a phone room and workspaces.
The Phoenix Centurion Lounge is in Terminal 4, across from Gate B22 on the upper level. Note that you can’t visit the Centurion Lounge and Escape Lounge at Phoenix Airport on the same day.
Chef Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco designed the menus for this Centurion Lounge. His cuisine includes exquisite Mexican-inflected dishes like slow-roasted spaghetti squash with pepitas and maple butter. Lounge amenities include a premium bar and workspaces.
San Francisco (SFO)
The San Francisco Centurion Lounge is temporarily closed due to maintenance with no reopening date yet published.
It is located in Terminal 3 near Gate F1/F2. You can reach the lounge after clearing security in Terminal 3 or International Terminal G. If you are departing from a different terminal, you may be able to use your boarding pass to enter through Terminal 3 security to visit the lounge. Still, then you will need to exit security, take the AirTrain or walk to your terminal and then reenter through security before your flight.
This lounge features James Beard Award-nominated chef Ravi Kapur’s (of Liholiho Yacht Club) Californian cuisine. Lounge amenities include a wine-tasting area, shower suite, open kitchen, large flat-screen televisions, family room and semiprivate workspaces. Best of all, Amex has announced plans to expand this lounge by late 2022.
The Seattle Centurion Lounge is in Concourse B opposite Gate B3. You can get to this lounge after passing through any security checkpoint.
Unlike most Centurion Lounges, this lounge serves snacks and light bites instead of more substantial dishes. The lounge amenities are also more limited, likely because it was initially a Centurion Studio before it eventually expanded by about 50% to become a Centurion Lounge. Amex plans to open a massive, brand-new Seattle Centurion Lounge in late 2022.
International Centurion Lounges
American Express also offers several international Centurion Lounges.
Many of these lounges were recently rebranded as Centurion Lounges, so Amex is still working to update some of these lounges to reflect the premium Centurion Lounge experience.
Here’s a quick overview of the location, access policies and guest policies of each international Centurion Lounge.
|International Centurion Lounge||Location||Complimentary guest policy|
|Buenos Aires (EZE)||In Terminal C near Gate 15.||One guest and children under 16.|
|Delhi (DEL)||In Terminal 3 domestic departures adjacent to gates 27 and 28. This lounge is temporarily closed.||Two guests plus children under 12.|
|Hong Kong (HKG)||In Terminal 1 just before Gate 60. Temporarily closed.||Two guests for Platinum cardmembers until the complimentary guest access changes go into effect on Feb. 1, 2023.
Two guests or immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) for Centurion cardmembers.
|Melbourne (MEL)||In Terminal 2 after the security checkpoint and passport control, opposite Gate 7. This lounge is temporarily closed.||Two guests or immediate family (spouse and children under 17).|
|Mexico City (MEX)||Terminal 1 international: Pre-security between Gate 8 and F1. This location is for Centurion cardmembers.
Terminal 1 domestic: Domestic departure area between gates 17 and 18. This location is for Centurion cardmembers.
Terminal 2: After security on the mezzanine level. This location is for Platinum cardmembers.
|Two guests or immediate family.|
|Monterrey (MTY)||Terminal A: Inside security on the departure level near Gate 4. This location is for Centurion cardmembers.
Terminal B: In the departure level near the food court in front of Gate 4. This location is for Platinum cardmembers.
|Two guests or immediate family.|
|Mumbai (BOM)||In Terminal 2’s domestic departures area on Level 3. This lounge is temporarily closed.||Two guests plus children under 12.|
|Sao Paulo (GRU)||In Terminal 3 after the security checkpoint and passport control, turn left and follow the signs. Must use Priority Pass membership card to access.||One guest, although Platinum cardmembers can pay for additional guests.|
|Stockholm (ARN)||In Terminal 5 after the security checkpoint between the A and F piers.||One guest.|
|Sydney (SYD)||In Terminal 1, international departures area near gates 50-63. This lounge is temporarily closed.||Two guests or immediate family (spouse and children under 17).|
The premium American Express Membership Rewards cards that provide access to Centurion Lounges — the Platinum Card, Business Platinum Card and the invitation-only Centurion Card — are cards you carry for their membership benefits. One of the top benefits is access to lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges. These lounges can provide terrific value for frequent domestic and international travelers and can help justify keeping one of these premium cards in your wallet.
Plus, Delta Reserve and Delta Business Reserve cardmembers can visit Centurion Lounges on select trips. In particular, these cardmembers get complimentary access to U.S., Hong Kong and London (when it opens) Centurion Lounges when flying on Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flights if they pay their fare with a U.S.-issued American Express card.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
Featured photo of the Centurion Lounge at New York (LGA) by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
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