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I’m a big fan of American Express Centurion lounges in US airports, which I get complimentary access to as a Platinum Card from American Express cardholder.
I was in Las Vegas the past couple of days, and I stopped off in the lounge on arrival for a quick bit to eat and freshen up, and on departure for a meal so that I wouldn’t have to rely on what US Airways would have on-board my flight.
Naturally, where there’s an American Express Centurion lounge it’s about the best place to be in the airport.
What Is An American Express Lounge?
American Express has begun operating their own network of “Centurion lounges,” which are a step above what travelers have become accustomed to from US airline-operated lounges.
I consider the American Express Centurion lounge in Dallas my favorite lounge in the U.S.. It’s one of the two I visit most often, along with my home American Airlines Admirals Club at Washington National airport.
Other contenders for best lounge would be the New York JFK Virgin Clubhouse, first class section of Lufthansa’s club, and British Airways Concorde Room.
There’s a Centurion lounge also at New York’s LaGuardia airport. And additional known lounges in the pipeline for San Francisco and Miami. Others will surely come.
- 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)
I keep my Platinum Card from American Express largely for access to the Centurion lounges. Here’s a full review of the card that explains why the signup bonus and airline fee credit make the card a no-brainer to me. (American Express even added a couple additional benefits since I reviewed the card.
The lounge is a world apart from the Las Vegas airport. Through the blue doors is a much more stylish place to relax, work, refresh and eat.
Plenty of places to work or relax.
There’s a kid’s room as well, similar to the one that the Dallas Centurion lounge has.
The lounge has far from deserted when I’ve been there, but even when full there’s been space to make your own.
Food and Drink
The Las Vegas Centurion lounge’s name chef is Scott Conant of Scarpetta restaurants. So you’ll have a clear theme. The food is all good, high quality, although I don’t find it as much of a standout as some of the dishes in Dallas and New York LaGuardia. I do much like the Smoked Chocolate Budino with Cinnamon Ash & Sea Salt, though.
In addition to food of course there’s a full complimentary bar.
Verdict and Plans for the Future
American Express Centurion lounges are stylish and functional. There’s nooks and crannies to sit and work. There’s good food and drink. And there are plus features at many like a spa and showers.
The only thing they lack compared to an airline’s own lounges is the sort of help with rebookings and upgrades that your operating carrier can provide.
The Las Vegas lounge is well-located, by terminal 1’s gate D1. It’s the original US offering, so a good lounge with good food and drink and it has a kids’ room. It doesn’t have the spa of Dallas, or food as good as LaGuardia (though the very best food item was the original brisket in Dallas). Unquestionably it’s great for an airport lounge in the US, even if I prefer the other Centurion lounges. And I can’t wait for more.
American Express should have 5 lounges open in the U.S. by the beginning of 2015 — San Francisco coming online by the end of the year and Miami by early next. And more lounges to come (a goal is to be in all major cities in the U.S.).
Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.