Amex reveals Centurion Lounge reopening dates and more
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Our favorite blue doors are opening once again.
Nearly six months ago, American Express shuttered all 12 of its Centurion Lounges due to the pandemic. Now, the issuer is gearing up to (slowly) reopen its top-notch airport hangouts across the country.
On Monday, Oct. 5, the Philadelphia and Seattle locations will once again welcome eligible Platinum Card® from American Express and Centurion cardmembers. Amex is taking a phased approach to the reopenings, and we certainly hope more locations will reopen soon. The company is weighing multiple factors on a local and state level, including COVID-19 case counts and local hospital capacity, in determining whether or not to reopen a given lounge.
Below you’ll find a list of the U.S. Centurion Lounge locations, along with their reopening dates. We’ll keep this information updated as we hear more from Amex.
- Charlotte (CLT)
- Dallas (DFW)
- Hong Kong (HKG)
- Houston (IAH)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- New York (LGA)
- Philadelphia (PHL) — reopening Oct. 5
- Phoenix (PHX)
- Miami (MIA)
- Seattle (SEA) — reopening Oct. 5
- San Francisco (SFO)
In an interview with TPG, Alexander Lee, Amex’s vice president for travel experiences and benefits, said “we are ready to open in the right environment. Even though the demand for travel is suppressed, we want to be there to greet our cardmembers.”
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Many airline and third-party lounges reopened months ago. The lounge experience during the pandemic is noticeably different from before, and that’ll be the case at Centurion Lounges too.
When reopening, all Amex outposts will adhere to the new “Centurion Lounge Commitment,” designed to ensure the health and safety of flyers and staff.
As part of this plan, lounge guests can expect socially distant seating arrangements, reduced capacity, increased frequency of cleanings, hand sanitizing stations and more. Masks will be required to enter the lounge and can only be removed when eating or drinking. As government regulations and cardmembers’ needs evolve, so will the Centurion Lounge Commitment.
Amex lounges are some of the best in the world thanks to chef-inspired food, premium liquor and special amenities like showers, spas and family rooms. Most of these offerings will remain available — but they’ll be modified to promote health and safety.
Buffets will be closed. Instead, food will be served in pre-portioned, individually-wrapped plates by Amex representatives. The bar will remain open with a full wine list, but the cocktail menus, designed by Jim Meehan, will be abridged. This way, guests won’t congregate around the bar while waiting for the mixologist to prepare drinks.
Three of our favorite Centurion Lounges — in Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles — won’t be as special when reopening. That’s because traditional spa services are being replaced with Theragun massages and digital, self-guided meditations. (A Theragun uses percussive therapy to treat muscle soreness and relieve pain.)
Shower rooms across the network will be closed, and family rooms will be limited to one family or group at a time, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The wine tasting area at the San Francisco lounge will remain closed when the space ultimately reopens.
Cardmembers shouldn’t worry about overcrowding when the lounge reopens, even though they’ll be operating at reduced capacity. Lee is “confident that we’ll be able to accommodate all of our cardmembers. There’s no change to how we manage capacity — we operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.”
Amex was already hard at work at implementing a seamless, contactless check-in experience before the pandemic hit. In 2019, the issuer piloted a QR code-based check-in experience through the Amex mobile app. Lee confirmed with TPG that this technology will be available at all lounges when they reopen, minimizing the number of touchpoints between cardmembers and staff.
Despite a pandemic, 2020 will be a big year for the Centurion Lounge network. In the first quarter, Amex opened brand-new locations in Phoenix, Charlotte and Los Angeles. Also, following a short coronavirus-related delay, three more lounges — at Denver, London Heathrow and New York-JFK — are on track to open by the end of the year. Finally, Amex has confirmed that an overhauled Las Vegas lounge and new LaGuardia location are coming in 2021.
More than ever, Amex is doubling down on its lounge network. Though demand for travel will likely remain at historic lows for quite some time, the issuer isn’t taking any breaks. Platinum and Centurion cardmembers can rest assured that once travel resumes, the Centurion Lounge network will be bigger and better than ever.
Related: Why you should get the Amex Platinum
And in the meantime, Amex has sweetened the deal for would-be travelers currently stuck at home. Updates to The Platinum Card® from American Express include added credits for streaming and wireless telephone carriers for the rest of the year.
With the Centurion Lounges beginning to reopen and limited-time benefits added to the card, there’s no better time to have the Platinum in your wallet.
Featured image by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
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