Amex to significantly expand San Francisco Centurion Lounge

Nov 10, 2020

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Bay Area flyers, rejoice.

American Express plans to significantly expand and refresh its Centurion Lounge in the San Francisco airport (SFO).

This is welcome news for anyone who’s passed through SFO in recent years. Located in Terminal 3, the Centurion Lounge is often one of the most crowded in the entire network.

A spokesperson confirmed to TPG that the lounge will nearly double in size. Once complete, the new space will measure nearly 16,000 square-feet, making it one of the largest Centurion Lounges in the network.

As part of the expansion, Amex will launch a new menu curated by Executive Chef Rabi Kapur.

Unfortunately, the issuer didn’t have further details to share, like when the construction would be complete. However, it did confirm that the lounge will remain in Terminal 3, home to United’s SFO operations.

In the years leading up to the pandemic, the San Francisco outpost was always packed. Considering how many Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers travel through this mega-hub, there were often waitlists to enter. If you did manage to get in, finding a seat was a challenge in and of itself.

Related: Amex reveals Centurion Lounge reopening dates and more

In fact, when I recently reviewed the space in February, I arrived at the lounge just as it opened at around 5 a.m. By 7 a.m., the dining area was standing-room-only.

Amex Lounge SFO overcrowding in February 2020 (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Amex recently reopened the existing SFO location on Oct. 12, following a nearly six-month closure. As part of the reopening, Amex introduced the Centurion Lounge Commitment, requiring all guests to wear face coverings. Additionally, all surfaces are getting deep cleaned more frequently and the bar and buffet are no longer self-serve.

And, Amex has lowered the number of people it lets in the doors to promote physical distancing. In recent days, TPG has heard from readers that even in the midst of the pandemic, this lounge is filling up to its capacity maximum.

Thankfully, help is on the way. Fingers crossed that the expansion will happen sooner rather than later.

Despite the pandemic, Amex is doubling down on its Centurion Lounge network. The issuer has opened four new locations in 2020: Charlotte, Los Angeles, New York-JFK and Phoenix. Additionally, the issuer is building a brand-new location in LaGuardia’s Terminal B. Plus, the Las Vegas outpost is undergoing a much-needed renovation and expansion as well.

Related: Maximizing benefits with the Amex Platinum Card

But that’s not all.

Amex still plans to open two new outposts by the end of the year, one in Denver and the other in London’s Heathrow Airport. As such, there’s truly no better time to be a Platinum cardmember.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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