American Express aims to open a brand-new Centurion Lounge in Atlanta

Jun 16, 2021

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American Express is working to bring one of its top-notch Centurion Lounges to the nation’s busiest airport.

On Wednesday, the finance committee of the Atlanta City Council reviewed a proposed ten-year lease to American Express for a dedicated lounge space at the airport.

As part of the deal, Amex is responsible for building, constructing and maintaining the Centurion Lounge. The issuer would receive two five-year lease renewal options at the city’s discretion.

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After Wednesday’s review by the finance committee, the proposal will be discussed at the Atlanta City Council committee meeting later this month. The news was first reported by The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

A memo from Martin Clarke, the chief procurement officer for the City of Atlanta, notes that the airport currently only has one lounge (The Club in the international terminal) that’s open to passengers flying on any airline. There are currently nine Delta Sky Clubs, one American Admirals Club and one United Club at ATL, but you must be flying on those carriers or their partners to access those lounges.

With an Amex Centurion Lounge, the airport can offer a more premium experience to travelers flying with any airline. According to the memo, Amex was selected after receiving quotes from three lounge operators, including Amex, the Plaza Premium Group (for a “Plaza Premium” space) and Airport Dimensions (for a “The Club” space).

For its part, Amex issued a statement to TPG, saying,

We are always exploring ways to enhance, expand and improve our Centurion Lounge network offerings. We are working closely with the Atlanta Department of Aviation to explore options for a new Centurion Lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, however we do not have further details to share at this time. We look forward to sharing more information later this year.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the Amex lounge would be located, or how much the issuer would be paying to lease the space. Clarke’s memo does state that “American Express has the resources to self-finance the $40 million shell construction and provide best-in-class experience for the shared premium customers without the need for generating revenue.” Of course, we’ll learn more as the details are revealed later this year.

Amex recently opened a new outpost in the Denver airport (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

However, if Amex does indeed move forward with opening a lounge in Atlanta, let’s hope that it’s large enough to handle the passenger volume that passes through the nation’s busiest airport. (Atlanta was temporarily unseated as the country’s busiest airport during the pandemic due to airline schedule adjustments.)

In addition to the Centurion Lounge, travelers with The Platinum Card® from American Express can access the Delta Sky Club when flying with Delta. However, if Amex were to open a flagship Centurion Lounge, most savvy travelers would likely prefer to relax in the Centurion Lounge compared to the Sky Club due to the more extensive offerings.

Additionally, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express cardmembers (when flying Delta on a ticket paid for with an eligible Amex card) can access the Centurion Lounge.

Since Atlanta is Delta’s largest hub, there will almost certainly be a plethora of Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve cardmembers passing through the airport — and eligible to use the lounge.

Only time will tell how crowded an Atlanta Centurion Lounge would get, but hopefully, Amex takes that into consideration when putting together its construction plans.

Atlanta isn’t the only airport with a new Centurion Lounge in the works. New outposts are cropping up in London’s Heathrow and Washington D.C.’s Reagan National airport. Expansions are underway in New York-LaGuardia, San Francisco and Seattle as well.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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