Amex Centurion Lounge Coming To LAX (Supposedly)!

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American Express is doing something innovative by opening up their own lounges at airports which their cardmembers frequent most. The footprint is fairly small, but the lounges they do have blow the ones run by US airlines out of the water. They definitely rank as some of my favorite lounges in the US.

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-SFO - 7
Centurion Lounge San Francisco

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 and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. 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.

Centurion Lounge Las Vegas

American Express currently has six Centurion Lounges in the US:

AmEx-Centurion-Lounge-Miami-Airport-12
Centurion Lounge Miami

There’s a seventh lounge coming, which will be the Centurion Lounge Houston, slated to open in early 2016.

Anyway, while it hasn’t been confirmed by American Express directly, LAX’s “Terminal Operations Center” newsletter confirms it. Via Brian Sumers:

Centurion-Lounge-LAX

According to that newsletter, an Amex Centurion Lounge is coming to LAX, specifically between Terminals 6 & 7.

LAX now has underground tunnels between terminals, meaning this Centurion Lounge could most directly serve passengers flying on Alaska and United, though thanks to the tunnels could also easily serve passengers on American and Delta. The tunnels are airside, which is where I assume the lounge would be.

LAX-Terminal

As of now we don’t have any more info regarding anticipated size, opening date, etc. I’ll certainly post again once we know more.

Bottom line

This would be a fantastic addition to the Centurion Lounge network, in particular since it could practically serve passengers on all of the “big three” US carriers. I suspect it will be a while before the lounge opens, though.

Are you excited at the prospect of a new Centurion Lounge in Los Angeles?

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Comments

  1. I really hope they do this right. This isn’t an airport that’s occasionally busy…it’s the main airport for a massive city, with a location convenient to passengers flying United, American, Delta, AND Alaska, where TONS of people will have the proper credentials to enter for free. It really needs to be a massive space. I’m crossing my fingers on this one.

  2. Unless they address how many people have access to the lounge, there is no excitement to be had. If they go about the lounges the way Seattle does (1 guest to only plats/cent), than we have something to be “excited” about.

  3. @Garrett : UA DL AS, yes. For AA pax at T4, it’s *quite a walk* over to The “T6.5” point, even if the entire walk is post TSA.

  4. Since AA took over US (who flew out of T6) AA now also has flights out of T6, so it’ll be closest to UA, AA and AS. Also since there’s no tunnel between T6 & T7 (it’s a bridge just past security) I’m curious as to where exactly they’ll put it. I don’t recall there being room on the bridge itself. The only thing I can think of is converting the UA Club at the beginning of T7, since UA recently opened another UA Club further down the terminal.

  5. Yes! The more, the merrier! I’ve only been to SF and LV and found both of them more inviting and with better food than most of our domestic lounges.

  6. This also could be one of the busiest and most crowded Centurion lounges since it could be accessed by flyers of all 3 major legacy carriers and Alaska. If Amex doesn’t make this the biggest Centurion lounge yet, it may turn out to be a disappointment if it really is too crowded. United and Alaska flyers certainly would have the easiest time in accessing it, so that’s a plus for me…but that depends also on how nice the new UA lounges will be that currently are being refurbished and recreated at Term7/8 with the new renovation.

  7. I’m curious. What is the profit motivation for Amex on opening Centurion Lounges? I must be missing something, because I just don’t see one, and very few businesses do things anymore without it. I was late to the Platinum game and losing the AA Admirals Club capability was shortly after I signed up, so while I was disappointed, it didn’t really have too much of an impact on my habits. Were they losing lots of Platinum’s to other cards because of this? Can anyone shed some light?

  8. Drew,

    I think that Amex wants to solidify themselves as the “premium $500/yr card”. I don’t know all the details of how AA clubs were excluded, but maybe Amex realized they could no longer ensure United, AA, Delta would offer them promising terms to allow Amex guests into their lounges. When they crunched the numbers, maybe they said not only could we build their own lounges – but their lounges could become one of the most raved about lounges in the country if they could just offer a few simple improvements over the traditional lounge experience.

    So we see benefits come and go. Like we are losing Amex Open w/ Hyatt, but we are gaining Hilton Gold status kind of thing.

    At some point, everyone is offering the same thing. $200 airline fee reimbursements, waived precheck/GE fees. No forex fees. And a club membership for airline clubs that no one likes to brag about.

    Now Amex has all that – and hundreds of thousands of fans doing free marketing for them by raving about their clubs that they get to access with their platinum cards. Plus when you start to look at all of the things that come with the Platinum card – being a Platinum cardholder is becoming a lifestyle choice. It is surprising that we don’t see commercials with well known celebrities talking about how when they travel – they travel with Amex Fine Hotels Collections – thru Amex lounges – pampering themselves all the way.

    The problems with the Centurion lounges are they have become too popular as a result, and the food offerings are not changing like you might had hoped.

    Some key things that we don’t get to know, that Amex does, is what is the average length of time a Amex Platinum card stayed open pre-Centurion lounges and post-Centurion lounges? What is the average monthly credit card balance for platinum cardholders pre/post lounge introduction? Since we have to carry our cards to get in to the lounge, I can’t stash it in my drawer anymore. So naturally, I might spend on it more….

    Basically I think they hope to use it as marketing plus a way to improve retention rates. It basically gives Amex a physical location to cross-promote too. You see NYTime’s digital subscription freebies, magazine subscription freebies, Le Meridian promotions, etc. So now Amex has another way to get a premium brand in front of the “right clients”

  9. “LAX now has underground tunnels between terminals”

    “[N]ow” as in since 1961. They were closed for varying periods post-9/11.

  10. I agree – there is really no space between Term 6 and Term 7 walk way. It could be at Terminal 6 where the old CO Pres Club was with an upstairs that extends towards Term 7. As far as I know, UA is rebuilding the Term 7 UA Club to put it on a floor above (like AA).

    The old CO Pres Club isn’t big enough but with a second floor it could be.

  11. So Ryan wins the Best Post of the Day prize. Posts by people who actually know something always catch my eye.

  12. So up until a few years ago, Amex Plat holders used to get unlimited access to Admirals’ Clubs, Crown Room Clubs, and Red Carpet Clubs. Now you get Crown Rooms only when flying with DL and the others not at all. It’s imperative for Amex to put these nice lounges in all the major airports where customers change planes. At least, it’s imperative anywhere except DL only hubs; VA AV is over a barrel with Amex.

    LAX seems like it would be among the first based on volume. But it hasn’t been. The volume there is large so Amex will have to build a large lounge and needed some experience to get it right. The airport is laid out awfully with terminals that don’t connect airside and dank tunnels and not enough room; if it’s possible to be worse than JFK, then LAX is worse than JFK.

    Maybe what they need is a fancy Amex lounge in the hot, smelly, crowded, noisy remote shack that most AA flights leave from at LAX.

  13. I was really getting excited about LAX tunnels until I realized we are talking about the ONE tunnel that has been there for years.
    Yes, agreed, Ryan has the best post.
    Yes Owen, LAX is worse than JFK. As someone that has been flying out of LAX for the last 50 years they just kept “stuffing” more into a design that needed to be completely changed or build a new airport completely.
    Too bad Tom Bradley is at the end of such chaos and mayhem.

  14. Ok … I agree with all comments that this has “the potential” to be a major asset for LAX travelers so grrreat !
    Thus the big AMEX question apparently still IS “exactly when” is this facility supposed to become available ?
    IE; Dear “Lucky” Ben ,,, how about an update … being that we are now well into early 2016 … hmmm ?
    Thanks
    LH
    3.3.16

  15. So, let’s hope that it is a true lounge similar in size to Vegas or Dallas. I spent an hour last afternoon/ evening in the Seattle suite and it was packed. Food in the suite was good and servers roamed the crowd frequently, that was all fine. There was standing room only The entire time I was there and a few of the tables had reserved signs placed on a few tables. I didn’t know you could reserve a table inside the suite. With the volume of visitors, I would have liked to see the staff pull these signs so the tables and chairs could be available to all.

    Can’t wait to see more on the LAX updates!

  16. The reserved signs are place holders for centurion members, so that they will always have seeting.

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