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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, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
What do you make of Amex’s expansion plans at SeaTac Airport?