Help yourself: Amex Centurion lounges bring back self-serve food options

Jun 30, 2021

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American Express’ Centurion Lounges will be eliminating employee-served and prepackaged food and bringing back self-serve options at some of America’s largest airports.

Amex’s Centurion Lounges haven’t had a self-serve option for months, but it will soon be returning. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Since last year, due to the pandemic, most of the lounges — located at airports in more than a dozen major cities — have offered food served by lounge employees, while those at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) provided prepackaged meal selections (also primarily handed out by employees).

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“As state and local governments and health authorities continue to reevaluate local guidelines, The Centurion Lounge locations will transition from served food to self-service,” said a spokesperson from Amex. “Card Members will continue to see enhanced cleaning protocols and procedures in place across the Centurion Network, as part of the Centurion Lounge Commitment.”

Related: Complete guide to Amex Centurion lounges

A timeline for the change hasn’t yet been revealed, but it will take effect across all lounge locations eventually.

Amex’s Centurion Lounges will be bringing back self-serve options across all locations. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Despite the 2020 travel slowdown, Amex expanded its Centurion Lounge presence at four additional gateways, adding the lounges in Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Los Angeles and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

It also managed to open one in Denver International Airport (DEN) earlier this year, with an additional one planned for London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) in 2021. Expanded lounges are scheduled to debut at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS) later this year, as well.

Related: New lounges from Centurion 

So how do you get into the Centurion lounges?

If you have an American Express branded Centurion card or a Platinum-branded card such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express you can get into Centurion lounges for free.

Authorized users with the Platinum or Centurion cards are also eligible for access. You may add up to three authorized users to the personal Platinum Card for a total of $175 per year (see rates & fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card cardmembers also get access, but you must be flying a Delta flight on the same day for access.

Additional reporting by Zach Griff and Katie Genter.

Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

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