New Expanded Dallas Fort-Worth Centurion Lounge Already Limiting Admittance Due to Crowding

A week and a half ago the Dallas Fort-Worth Centurion lounge re-opened in its new larger location.


Credit: American Express

At the time I wrote that “I still expect that the lounge will get crowded at peak times.” Size alone doesn’t control lounge crowds. Offer decent food (though Centurion lounge food is not as good, in my opinion, as it was 5 years ago) and drinks and in the case of Dallas and Miami even spa treatments and more people are going to want to spend more time there than you imagine, even after accounting for people wanting to spend more time there than you’d think.

And indeed despite growing the lounge footprint by 30% they still cannot handle the crowds. They’re currently limiting entrance to passengers within 3 hours of their scheduled departure time.

That means despite offering showers, Platinum cardmembers cannot use the lounge on arrival after a long flight (if they aren’t connecting onward). And if they get to the airport early planning to stand by for an earlier flight they may be out of luck.

Ultimately American Express is going to have to ration lounge visits in some other way (such as advance reservations or charging for visits beyond some set number each year).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] Update 10/07/08: Despite the new lounge only being opened for two weeks, it looks like they have hit near capacity on at least one ocassion. When this happens American Express puts a sign out saying that entry will only be granted if you have a boarding pass with a departure time within the next three hours. I still think having a number of guaranteed entries that can be prebooked and then these types of restrictions makes sense. Hat tip to VFTW […]

Comments

  1. I was there last weekend and it felt like a lot of the square footage wasn’t really used efficiently. Lots of empty space in the dining area, for example.

    It also feels darker than it’s previous location. I think most of the windows overlook the check-in area, pre-security. Overall, not tremendously fond of the lounge.

  2. You should be aware that quite a bit of the crowding at the new Centurion Lounge is related to the closure and on-going renovation of the Admiral’s Club in Terminal D. AA is adding a Flagship Lounge, Flagship Dining and more space to the lounge (which was already AA’s largest at DFW). The existing lounge closed 5 months ago and it’s likely to remain closed for another 12 months. At present, Admiral’s Club members who are not CK or who are travelling domestically have nowhere to go, so they’re all using the Centurion Lounge instead. It’s reasonable to expect the current crowding to ease somewhat once the Admiral’s Club in D reopens in the fall of 2019.

  3. This benefit was a key difference to the CSR, at least in my practical uses of the card. The past year has been rough on keeping the Plat card, continued lack of lounge availability might push it out of my portfolio…

  4. @Robert- especially as Priority Pass keep adding lounges and restaurants. They recently added two restaurants in T3 @SFO- same terminal as the Centurion Lounge. While I’d love something in T2 as we’re AA fliers, this is no different from the double-TSA-clearing that we did for Centurion…and makes this one potentially less compelling. Haven’t spent much time in the one in Miami for several trips due to a bunch of other options.

    Cheers.

  5. Saw the same sign at Las Vegas last week. They had attendants assigning people seats as they arrived, or waiting in a queue until there was space available.

  6. I’ll echo @Robert. One of the primary bennies of the Plat card is lounge access. With the new gold card on the market I will hesitate to re-up my Plat card if I find lounge access difficult. The Priority Pass is a sad tale – I’ve never gotten to use mine; I don’t often want to eat in airport restos, too much food during travel leaves one billious. Adding an Appleby’s in Indiana is just not doing it for me. I have never gotten into the one in BOS (term C), my home. Super convenient to Jet Blue but inaccessible to Priority Pass members. I did get in once, flying J on Emirates. and it was pretty lame IMHO. Every time I have tried with my Priority Pass it has been capacity limited.

    We shall see. I like the 5 x points for airline spend, but 3 x on the new Gold card is nice too. I am off to Madrid on Iberia next week in Premium Economy, we shall see what the lounge experience is like at Kennedy.

  7. Ok if you’re not connecting “onward” ajs to another flight then either go home or go to your hotel to shower or whatever else you need! I wouldn’t expect this club to accommodate disembarking passengers…their business with the airport is done

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