Big news that American Express will open a top-end lounge at Dallas Fort-Worth in terminal D on October 15th, and that their lounges in the U.S. will be complimentary to American Express Platinum cardholders.

Over the weekend @GrahamCC tweeted me that the American Express Centurion lounges now offer free access to Platinum cardholders. (Previously access was free to Centurion (“Black Card”) members only, with other American Express cardholders able to pay $50 for access.)

Prompted by Graham’s tweet, I reached out to Gary Portuesi, American Express’ Vice President of Travel Innovation, and confirmed that Platinum cardholders do now have access to Centurion lounges in the United States — and that this includes not just Las Vegas but also future lounges, and that the next lounge in Dallas will open next week.

A couple of months ago I passed by the Las Vegas lounge, with a little bit of time to kill at the airport. I was curious, but didn’t figure it was worth paying $50 for. So I still haven’t been inside of one. American Express was kind enough to share some photos of that Centurion lounge with me, though.

Up until now Las Vegas has been the only U.S. Centurion lounge. Internationally, there are four which Platinum cardholders have already had access to:

  • Mexico – Mexico City – Centurion Club
  • Argentina – Buenos Aires – Salón Centurion
  • Brazil – São Paulo – Centurión Club
  • India- Delhi- Centurion Club

American Express is expanding their US coverage, building a series of lounges in critical destinations. They consider this a priority and we’ll see more lounges coming.

Here’s the new Access policy:

  • Centurion and Platinum cardholders: Cardmember may bring in their spouse and children or two guests
  • Other American Express cardholders: $50 per adult (children complimentary when accompanied by paying adult)

Everything inside the lounges — include food, drinks, and even spa services — are complimentary.

And the lounge hours for the two U.S. lounges:

  • Las Vegas: 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Dallas Fort-Worth 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

These lounges take a long time to negotiate and then build. I asked about why Dallas Fort-Worth was their second lounge, especially when they have American as a lounge access partner and the D concourse where the new lounge is located has a Priority Pass-member lounge as well which Platinum and Centurion cardholders can access. Gary Portuesi suggested this wasn’t their next standalone strategic play but part of their broader effort to build lounges for their customers “in critical destinations, with a lot of traffic.”

Their lounges are meant to place their emphasis on service squarely in the physical airport experience, and offer products not matched by domestic US lounges.

They want to offer a great space to work, elegantly designed but with service as a big differentiator — offering cardmember services, travel services, and concierge services. They will also differentiate with food and beverage experiences, partnering with local and national talent like celebrity chefs and mixologists.

The Dallas lounge will be similar in style to the one in Las Vegas, but they won’t be cookie cutter. Dallas will have a spa, partnering with exhale, offering complimentary short 15 minute treatments like manicures and facials. I asked about expected demand and they say they’re committed to ensuring that treatments are available to guests, that even if the spa is wildly successful they intend to meet demand.

Food will be by Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef – Southwest; cocktails by Jim Meehan and wins curated by Anthony Giglio.

This new location is 9000 square feet and located in terminal D, which is the international terminal at DFW which houses flights of American, Aeromexico, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, KLM, Korean, Lufthansa, QANTAS, and TACA.

American Express won’t comment on which airports will come next. They say they “can’t be everywhere, cover every terminal” but they want to “cover the globe where it makes sense.”

I’ll be transiting DFW soon for sure, and just need to build in a bit of a long layover in case I arrive and depart from the A or C terminals… at least accommodating an extra 15 minutes in lounge.

Here’s the spa menu:

Enjoy heated neck pillows and an assortment of herbal teas as you get flight-ready with these 15-minute spa therapies compliments of exhale and The Centurion Lounge.

BODY
Flow Massage
Exhale’s signature Flow Massage uses slow, sinking pressure to get precisely into the muscles that need it the most.

Deep Tissue Massage
Designed to relieve pain and soreness from the body, this customized therapy is ideal for everyday tightness and aches caused from sitting at a computer or lugging luggage.

Fusion Massage
This rhythmic massage is designed to soothe and restore tired muscles, relieve tension and quiet the mind. Ideal for a moment of Zen before you board.

FACE
Get Glowing
Enjoy a deep cleanse followed by an exfoliating mask to clean and detoxify the skin. Finish with a refreshing application of moisturizer to leave your skin smooth and refreshed.

Soothe + Treat
Battling breakouts? We’ll clear you for takeoff! A deep cleanse is followed by a clarifying mask to calm, even, and correct your skin. We finish with an anti-acne spot treatment and light moisturizer.

Red-Eye Ready
We begin with a thorough cleansing of the face, then deeply hydrate the skin with a restorative mask and overnight cream.

HANDS
Manicure
We soak and soften the cuticles then gently buff and shape the nails before applying organic nail polish.

Perfectly Groomed
A good handshake begins with well-maintained hands. We cleanse, soak and soften the cuticles then trim and buff the nails.


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  1. Craig said,

    I am hoping to check out the Centurion lounge in Las Vegas this Sunday.

    I don’t know why, but I received a promo card linked to my AMEX Gold Rewards card that is good for 5 free visits through Dec. 31. This will be my first (and probably only) chance to use it.

  2. Oh Matron! said,

    Wow…. A north american lounge that doesn’t look like the foyer of a generic office reception area! This is nice!

    Amex understand that not everyone who has access is a suit who wants to work. It sounds like they will be catered for, but it’s not their primary focus.

    Incidentally, that bathroom looks bigger than my entire “studio” when I first moved to london!

  3. dale m said,

    Whatever AMEX offers, it can’t be more irritating than the 10 dollars for hot snacks AA now “provides” in theirs.

    And the AA lounge gets stupid crowded – I remarked to a woman exiting it with me just last week that it was actually quieter in the terminal than it was in the lounge.

  4. Miles said,

    Mention of Admirals Club access has been removed from SOME of the Amex Platinum webpages. Should we be concerned?

    I mean, this lounge sounds awesome, but if we lose Admirals Club access…

  5. Robert said,

    Gary, can you check with your Amex contacts and see about the MEX lounge? It’s right next to AA’s gate, whereas the Admirals Club is a 15-20 min walk away. Thx

  6. DFWSteve said,

    AMEX is preparing for the day when AA no longer grants Admirals Club access to Platinum cardholders. As each carrier aligns closer to card companies, that means the AA/Citi relationship will take precedence. AMEX recognizes DFW as a priority airport supported by a strong economy, a local population with high discretionary income, affluent travelers and a major domestic/international connections. If they don’t build their own club, they will be locked out of one of the world’s premier travel hubs.

  7. Gary said,

    @Robert what about the MEX lounge?

  8. iahphx said,

    AMEX platinums also get free access to these “alternative” lounges.

    http://www.airspacelounge.com

    As the airlines’ own lounges get quite crummy — there’s open revolt this month at the “enhancements” to the United Club — this could be a very valuable niche. Basically, a domestic airport lounge that doesn’t suck. I know I’m going to sign up for a Platinum card next time there’s a good promo. I’ve resisted in the past because I didn’t see enough value. This trend changes the math for me.

  9. CW said,

    Is this a free food and drink kind of lounge or a paid food and drink kind of lounge? Just curious – the menu at LAS looks legit and could be worth the cost if I had a couple hours to kill at the bar.

  10. Gary said,

    @CW food, drink, spa services are all complimentary

  11. CW said,

    @Gary – Thanks, now we’re talkin’… :D

  12. dhammer53@aol.com said,

    I wonder how many of the spa features you can take advantage of? I’ll have plenty of time before my redeye out of LAS.

  13. Ryan said,

    Do we know exactly what date the one in Dallas is opening? I’ve got a trip leaving Oct. 20th, wouldn’t mind checking this out prior to my DFW-LHR flight.

  14. Ryan said,

    NM…found it will open Oct. 15th…sweet.

  15. Andy said,

    I’ve been to the lounge in LAS and it is the best domestic lounge. If you have a few extra hours, it is worth the $50 (I received a free pass via Delta Platinum AmEx). Glad to see “regular” AmEx Plats will no receive access.

  16. MK said,

    This is definitely a move in the right direction by AMEX. Do you have any information on the Buenos Aires lounge?

  17. ed said,

    @Gary Can you comment on Platinum Access at LAS? I was there a few months ago and turned away since I was Platinum, and they claimed it was only free to Centurion holders, otherwise $50. My Dad received a trial card to LAS good through Dec 31 when presented with his Platinum (digits must match). I’ve otherwise been to the MEX with Platinum.

  18. ed said,

    @Gary Nevermind. I guess I skipped over that first line about the tweet!

  19. Jpc said,

    FYI, in Mexico I was charged for food and alcohol. The aa lounge was worth the walk. I’d clarify with Amex, because MEX is frankly crap.

  20. Gary said,

    @Jpc I did not mean to suggest that the international offerings have the same features as domestic ones, just that Platinum cardmembers were already able to gain access to the international lounges.

  21. Adrian said,

    My suspicion is that DFW is one of the highest-traffic airports in terms of amex reimbursements to AA for admiral club use. Hope this doesn’t also mean that Amex would drop admiral club access, would lead to me dropping amex plat…

  22. Kris said,

    @Andy
    Everything I have read indicates all Platinum members get access to the clubs, so while I think it is probably a bad idea to do it, it is happening.

  23. Max M said,

    Well the benefit for Admrials Club members in DFW is that perhaps more Amex customers will visit the Amex lounge and the AC’s won’t be as crowded…

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  26. sam said,

    Just back from GRU. Centurion Lounge there is TINY without enough seats. Wall to wall people, very hot, and no free wi-fi. Only ONE bathroom! YUCK!!!!!

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