The amenity king: A review of the Amex Centurion Lounge at DFW
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American Express opened its first Centurion Lounge in 2013. Since then, these airport retreats have become incredibly popular with cardmembers, leading to overcrowding at times. To restore the calm, Amex is trying its hardest to expand existing locations.
One such example is the Centurion Lounge in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). This was Amex’s second location, so the space was due for an update. That renovation came slightly more than a year ago when the lounge took over a larger space. After visiting, I’m impressed. Read on for a full review of one of DFW’s best lounges.
The DFW outpost is located in Terminal D of the airport. All gates are connected airside, so if you aren’t arriving or departing from Terminal D, you’re just a SkyLink ride away from the lounge.
DFW is a massive airport, so it can easily take you 15-20 minutes to get from the Centurion Lounge to your gate. If you’re traveling from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I recommend getting dropped off and clearing security at Terminal D (assuming you aren’t checking luggage).
The lounge is located one level above departures near Gate D12. You definitely won’t miss the entrance, since there’s a big Amex-themed storefront welcoming you to the space.
After taking the elevator up one level, you’ll find yourself in the lounge.
The Amex Centurion Lounge at DFW is open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Customers can enter a Centurion Lounge by presenting The Platinum Card® from American Express ($695 annual fee. See rates and fees), The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or The Centurion® Card. Visitors are entitled to bring two guests (or immediate family, if you carry a Centurion card), and lap infants don’t count against the two-guest allotment.
The information for the Centurion Card 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.
Cardmembers with other flavors of the Platinum Card, such as the Schwab, Ameriprise or international versions, also have access. Authorized users with a Centurion or Platinum Card can also enter — 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 those who have the Platinum’s complimentary additional Gold Card don’t have access.
If you need to get a family larger than three into the Centurion Lounge, here's TPG's strategy for getting a family of four or more into an Amex Centurion Lounge.
Platinum cardmembers can only access Centurion lounges up to three hours before a departing flight. Platinum members also get access when connecting through the airport, but won’t get in without an onward boarding pass.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card cardmembers now receive complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on any American Express card issued in the U.S. You’ll be able to bring up to two guests for a fee of $50 each.
The DFW lounge is L-shaped, with a long hallway with various seating arrangements and then a larger room with even more seating extended inward from the hallway.
You’ll find plenty of familiar lounging areas, from signature cube-shaped soft-sided seats to royal blue chairs built into the wall.
There are some couches and freestanding armchairs throughout the lounge. I love the design of the furniture in the Centurion lounges— I’d say it’s on par with what you’d find in United’s Polaris lounges.
The dining tables are in the center of the lounge. They’re set for two or four people, so you may want to eat at one of the communal tables if you’re an odd-numbered party.
There’s also a good amount of high-top bar seating in the lounge adjacent to the windows.
One of the best places to relax is on one of the four chaise lounges. They were a hit when I visited, so if you’re looking to put your feet up, be sure to head there first.
There’s a coworking table somewhat hidden toward the back of the lounge. This is a great place to sit when all the regular seats are taken.
Overall, I really like the design and layout of the lounge. The colors are inviting, and I love the various seating areas. The only downside to the space is that it lacks natural light, since it faces the inside of the terminal.
The Dallas location has the best assortment of amenities across the entire network.
To start, there are some luggage storage lockers as you enter the lounge. I wish more lounges had this feature, since I’m always worried about someone taking my stuff when I get up to grab food or use the restroom.
Guests will appreciate that there are outlets everywhere. If you’re sitting along a wall, you can expect to find some power in the vicinity.
If you’re looking for more privacy, check out one of the three phone rooms at the far end of the lounge. These are first-come, first-served, and there’s no time limit for how long you can spend inside.
Sometimes, it’s better to huddle with your team around a conference table. Fortunately, Amex has a room designed for that. It’s available for reservations on a walk-in basis, but you’re limited to one hour of use.
There are two common-use computers and a wireless printer. There’s fast, free Wi-Fi throughout the lounge. I measured download and upload speeds of around 8 Mbps.
If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll definitely appreciate the soundproof family room with bright decor, video games, books and toys.
The lounge has well-stocked restrooms — there’s a shoe-polishing machine in the men’s room and toiletries in the women’s.
The lounge has three showers. These are again available on a first-come, first-served basis with appointment slots in 15-minute intervals.
The highlight of the lounge amenities is definitely the spa, which is operated as a collaboration between Amex and Exhale. There are three chair massages and one manicure station.
When entering the spa, you feel transported to an oasis far away from one of the nation’s busiest airports. There’s spa music, hot tea while you wait and heated pillows to keep you feeling zen.
Cardholders can choose from an assortment of 15-minute treatments. Note that the spa is only open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and — you guessed it — is operated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Finally, Centurion cardmembers can expect an elevated lounge experience, including reserved tables, a choice of Veuve Clicquot Champagne or Aberlour scotch and 30-minute shower room appointments.
Food and beverage
As with other Centurion lounges, the DFW’s food menu is curated by a local chef. In this case, it’s James Beard Award-winning chef Dean Fearing, who’s known for his southwestern cuisine.
Though I only visited for breakfast, the food was definitely southern themed.
The lounge served a continental breakfast from 5:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m. At 6:30 a.m., a few more hot dishes were brought out, ranging from scrambled eggs to French toast.
Everything I tasted was delicious. The food quality in Centurion Lounges is a noticeable step up from what you’re served in traditional airline lounges.
Though I didn’t get a chance to try the all-day dining that begins at 11:30 a.m., the menu looks appetizing.
The bar is one of the most visually appealing areas. The vibrant colors and the well-designed bar stools create an inviting place to imbibe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sample anything as limited breakfast beverages (Bloody Mary, mimosa, screwdriver, Bailey’s, beer and wine) were the only things that were being served during my early-morning visit. The full bar opens daily at 10:30 a.m. and all alcohol service begins at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Though I had an early-morning visit, that didn’t stop me from peeking at the menus. Cocktails were hand-selected by Please Don’t Tell’s Jim Meehan, and wines were chosen by Anthony Giglio.
Although I didn’t get a chance to drink on this visit, I’ve since visited the lounge and loved everything I tried.
The newly relocated Centurion Lounge at DFW is one of Amex’s best. The lounge is significantly larger than its predecessor, alleviating many of the crowding issues. Furthermore, the design is inviting and relaxing, and the variety in seating areas should accommodate most guests and party sizes.
Most impressive, the lounge offers an assortment of premium amenities, such as phone booths, showers, spa and a family room. Coupled with the excellent food and beverage offerings, the DFW Centurion Lounge is a must-visit on your next visit to American Airlines' largest hub.
All photos by the author.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.