Airports just haven’t been the same since the closing of Amex Centurion lounges. Instead of waiting for your flight with a cocktail in hand- you’ve found yourself waiting with a fast-food soda that’s gone flat on the way to your common airport seat. Let’s face it, that is just not your style.
Well, the wait is over. The Blue Doors of luxury are once again opening to Amex Platinum cardholders and Centurion cardmembers. American Express has finally announced the anticipated reopening of its luxurious airport lounges. New health and safety policies and procedures will be implemented through The Centurion Lounge Commitment to assure a safe space while traveling during the pandemic
Which Lounge Locations are Open?
Due to the pandemic, American express will be taking a phased approach to the reopening of lounges. The Philadelphia and Seattle locations have already reopened, and four more locations are set to open by the end of October. The safety of its members is the top priority for Centurion lounges. Therefore, the company is taking many factors into account when determining the openings of lounges. Hospital capacity and COVID-19 case numbers are among some of these factors.
“We are ready to open in the right environment. Even though the demand for travel is suppressed, we want to be there to greet our cardmembers.” – Alexander Lee, Amex’s Vice President for Travel Experiences and Benefits (Interview with TPG).
Here, we have included a list of Centurion Lounge Locations with their anticipated re-opening dates:
Charlotte (CLT) — reopening by end of October
Dallas (DFW) — reopening by end of October
Hong Kong (HKG)
Houston (IAH) — reopening by end of October
Las Vegas (LAS)
Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK) — opening imminently
New York (LGA)
Philadelphia (PHL) — already reopened
Seattle (SEA) — already reopened
San Francisco (SFO) — reopening by end of October
Lounge Changes through the “Centurion Lounge Commitment”
First and foremost, masks will be required for entry into any lounge but may be removed while eating and drinking. This plan introduces frequent lounge cleanings, hand sanitizing stations, and socially distant seating arrangements. The Centurion Lounge Commitment may evolve as government regulations and cardmembers’ needs change. Most of your favorite amenities such as premium liquor, chef-prepared meals, spa, and family rooms will still be available but will be modified to align with new health and safety policies.
The company will be swapping out their buffet-style dining with a less-crowded approach that includes individually wrapped plates, prepared by AMEX representatives. Although the bar will remain open with a full wine list, the cocktail list will be shortened to reduce crowding around the bar that happens while waiting for drinks to be prepared. Unfortunately, the wine tasting area at the San Francisco location will remain closed when the lounge re-opens in October.
Spa, Showers, and Family Rooms
Some lounges including Dallas, Los Angeles, and Miami, are replacing traditional spa services with “Theragun” massages and digital (self-guided) meditations. A “Theragun” is an instrument that uses percussive therapy to alleviate muscle soreness and pain. This approach reduces person-to-person contact between client and masseuse.
Shower rooms will be closed at all lounge locations. However, family rooms will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Lounges will limit these rooms to one family or group at a time.
Check-In and Lounge Capacity
Re-opened lounges will feature a contact-less check in experience for members through the AMEX mobile app. This addition will greatly minimize the touchpoints between members and staff.
Members will be welcomed into the lounge on the usual first-come, first-serve basis but lounge capacity will be reduced to adhere to new health and safety guidelines.
The Future is Bright for More Blue Doors
With the opening of three new lounges in the first quarter- Phoenix, Charlotte, and Los Angeles, Amex intends to extend its network of lounges despite the challenges the pandemic poses. After a pause in production due to COVID, the New York- JFK location is set to open its doors very soon. By the end of the year, Denver and London Heathrow locations should be open as well. Amex also confirmed the openings of a Las Vegas and LaGuardia location in 2021.
Flight numbers may be at a historic low now, but the Centurion Lounge Network assures a bigger and better experience once frequent travel resumes.
Until then, Amex has gifted its would-be platinum travelers with credits for streaming and wireless telephone carriers for the remainder of the year. Although some Amex members may not be able to travel at this time, they sure are reaping the benefits of being a Platinum member with little perks like these.
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