Amex Wants To Make The Seattle Centurion Studio Their Biggest Lounge

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Over the past several years we’ve seen American Express open several of their own lounges, available to those with The Platinum Card® from American Express. In terms of US locations, American Express has lounges in Dallas, HoustonLas VegasMiamiNew YorkSan Francisco, and Seattle.

The quality of the lounges blows away what’s otherwise offered by US carriers, given that they mostly have proper food spreads created by celebrity chefs, as well as complimentary wine and cocktails.

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Centurion Lounge Miami food selection

To some degree perhaps Centurion Lounges are a victim of their own success, as they’ve had serious crowding issues. Perhaps the best example of that is their lounge in Seattle.

It’s not technically a Centurion Lounge, but rather a Centurion Studio. That’s because the lounge is a bit smaller, so they have a more limited food selection, don’t have a bartender, don’t have showers, etc.

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Centurion Studio Seattle snack selection

While all US Amex lounges seem to have crowding issues, the Centurion Studio Seattle is probably the most chronically overcrowded. I’ve received several reports from readers who were turned away from the lounge due to how crowded it was, and in some cases were even offered Starbucks gift cards (if I was only planning on visiting for a short time, I’d consider that a win).

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Centurion Studio Seattle

Anyway, while the Centurion Studio Seattle is currently ~3,100 square feet, it looks like American Express has plans to expand it. Per The Points Guy, who quotes a SeaTac Airport memo:

To support its growing operations at the Airport, Delta is constructing a new centrally located Delta SkyClub Lounge located between Concourses A and B. As part of this project, Delta’s Lounge project construction obstructs all existing windows of the existing Amex Lounge, but is also constructing a separate HVAC tower that provides for the opportunity of approximately 1,400 square feet of expansion space for Amex to grow into and regain some of their exterior windows. Although this expansion opportunity gives them only a fraction of their desired expansion area, they are interested in the incremental buildout until the Port can find a long-term solution that meets their desired lounge requirement of 10,000 square feet. But because this area has never been occupied by a tenant, it is in a raw condition which requires basic improvements to allow for occupancy and lease. Using the Port’s Tenant Reimbursement Policy/Guidelines, the Port would reimburse Amex the cost to construct basic utilities and other occupancy related improvements. Amex’s leased premises would expand 1,400 square feet and would return some of the windows and daylight hidden by the current Delta construction project.

In other words, the Centurion Studio Seattle would be expanded to ~4,500 square feet, while long term they’d like the lounge to be 10,000 square feet, which would be the biggest US Centurion Lounge American Express has.

We don’t yet know about the timeline, but it’s great to at least see that Amex is looking at expanding the footprint of the lounge, given the capacity issues they have. If it is indeed expanded to 4,500 square feet in the next couple of years, it would be just slightly smaller than the Centurion Lounge at New York LaGuardia.

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Centurion Lounge New York

Hopefully with the expansion they convert this from a Centurion Studio to a Centurion Lounge, with a more extensive food and drink selection. Ideally the 10,000 square foot lounge will happen at some point, though for now I’d only count on the 1,400 square foot expansion.

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Bar at the Centurion Lounge San Francisco

In the meantime, if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express and are traveling through Seattle, keep in mind that you can also access Alaska Airlines Board Rooms using your Priority Pass membership, which is included with the card. Those lounges may be less crowded.

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Alaska Airlines Board Room Seattle

What do you make of Amex’s expansion plans at SeaTac Airport?

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Comments

  1. Can we finally get a Centurion Lounge at JFK, LAX and ORD? Just raise the admission price to keep the riff-raff out.

  2. This is how American Express should different themselves from other credit card issuers by having their own luxurious Centurion lounges at major airports around the world. To minimize overcrowding, they can charge US$100 entry fee to each AmEx member who is not a Centurion or Platinum cardholder. That’s how they can regain the exclusivity of their brand, otherwise most people would see them as just another credit card issuer.

  3. That’s actually nothing new. They’ve been looking at additional space from day one, with the desire to add a full kitchen. One idea involved expanding over the parking spots immediately outside the windows, according to a manager I talked to on opening day. I guess the DL Sky Club construction makes the idea a tad more practical, but realistically changes are years away.

    In the meantime, indeed the Studio is chronically crowded, to the point that the staff has to assign seats most of the time. Incidentally food quality dipped lately, after going up a notch 6 months ago.

  4. Well who could have seen that coming? /s

    Seattle is a growing at a rate far outpacing infrastructure in almost all arenas. Want a last minute dinner reservation? Good luck. Running to Whole Foods for some pizza? Get in one of the 11 lines stretching halfway to the back of the store at 3pm. The people trying to sell us things can’t keep up and routinely underestimate the population and the demand: e.g. the “Centurion Studio.” We’re stacked on top of each other in this city as it is.

  5. I go through SEA every week and this lounge is always packed, but the staff do a great job providing excellent service given their limitations. I was speaking with their staff the other week and heard that we may see an expansion as soon as October/November. That would be VERY well received, if actually true!

  6. @dmomemd LOL! Everything seems packed lately, except maybe the Club @ SEA in Concourse A. @Lucky, Another issue with the Centurion Studio is that it closes at 10pm, when those of us with late departures all leave the Centurion Studio together and migrate en-masse to the Board Room…

    And yeah, is Ford OK? I hope whoever it is, is OK.

  7. Amex needs to stop referring the the Centurian lounges as a perk. They are not. The are dirty, crowded, and make you feel like you are in a bus station.

    I recently waited longer to get into the Toronto centurion lounge than I stayed inside. It was loud and packed with people and kids everywhere. This was not the first time I have had an experience like this in their lounges. I don’t think I’ll make the effort and be disappointed again.

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