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As most US-based travelers know by now, American Express has started opening up more of their own airport lounges in part because quite a bit of value has been lost in terms of the lounge privileges of The Platinum Card® from American Express. The card used to get you access to American Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs, though that was discontinued last March. Furthermore, guesting privileges have been reduced at Delta SkyClubs as of last May.
So far, US locations of The Centurion Lounge include Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San Francisco. These are all “full service” Centurion Lounges, which have great food spreads and bars, and in some cases even spas.
Late last year, American Express announced that they’d be expanding the Centurion Lounge concept, and would be building a Centurion Studio in Seattle, which was slated to open this summer. Here’s how the new “Studio” concept was described, in part:
Like The Centurion Lounges, The Centurion Studio will be a retreat for Card Members but in a smaller space, featuring some of the amenities Card Members say are most essential: comfortable seating, charging stations, fast and free WiFi, and complimentary healthy snacks and beverages.
The Centurion Studio Seattle is now open
Here are some images American Express has provided of the new lounge:
Based on those pictures, it does seem to have a similar decor to the other lounges, though is on a smaller scale. This lounge will have a much more limited selection of food and drinks — food will be limited to “snacks” (as opposed to hot meals), while drinks will be limited to beer, wine, and soft drinks (as opposed to a full bar with cocktails).
The Centurion Studio Seattle menu
Here’s the current menu for The Centurion Studio Seattle:
As you can see, this menu looks much more in line with what you’d expect from a US airline lounge than from The Centurion Lounge.
The Centurion Studio Seattle location & hours
In terms of the lounge’s location, The Centurion Studio SeaTac will be located in Concourse B, across from gate B3. That’s a reasonably convenient location, given that it’s close to where you clear security at the airport. The lounge is within a few minutes walk of the trains which take you to the other terminals (at SeaTac Airport, all the terminals are connected airside, so you can access the lounge regardless of which airline you’re flying).
The Centurion Studio Seattle will be open daily from 5AM until 10PM.
Will this be the best lounge option at SeaTac?
What makes the lounge situation in Seattle unique is that The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a Priority Pass membership, which gets you access to the Alaska Airlines Board Room. I’d say that’s substantially above average for a US airline lounge, as it has great staff, above average food, and good bar service.
If The Centurion Studio Seattle is more on par with a domestic airline lounge, I’m not sure it’ll have a significant advantage over the Alaska Board Room. If nothing else, one big benefit will be that it may alleviate crowding in the Board Room.
The Centurion Studio Seattle access policy
It’s interesting to note that The Centurion Studio actually has stricter entry guidelines than The Centurion Lounges, presumably because it’s quite a bit smaller:
- Those with The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express Centurion Card receive complimentary access
- Those with either of the above cards may bring their spouse and children under the age of 18, or one travel companion as a guest
The difference between this policy and The Centurion Lounge access policy is that you’re limited to one guest (rather than two), and that there’s no way to purchase a day pass if you’re not otherwise eligible for entry.
The Centurion Studio Seattle bottom line
I’m very excited about The Centurion Studio SeaTac opening so quickly. I think the concept American Express is taking with this type of lounge is interesting. Presumably they have lots of data on which airports their members transit most. And in this case I’m guessing they saw quite a bit of demand in Seattle, but not enough for a “full” Centurion Lounge.
Here’s to hoping this one won’t be grossly overcrowded, as unfortunately seems to be more and more common nowadays at the other lounges.
Stay tuned, we’ll have a full review here in the coming days!
Will you be checking out The Centurion Studio Seattle anytime soon?
(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)