Philadelphia Airport Is Getting An Amex Centurion Lounge

American Express has been opening several lounges at U.S. airports that are most frequented by cardmembers. For the most part these lounges are significantly better than what’s being offered directly by U.S. airlines. The lounges have an open bar, hot food, and generally nice designs. Those with the Amex Platinum Card get complimentary access to the lounges, and can also bring in two guests or their immediate family.

As of now, American Express has lounges in Dallas, HoustonLas Vegas, MiamiNew York, San Francisco, and Seattle. We’ve heard that Amex has the intention of increasing the footprint of these lounges, though obviously this isn’t something that happens overnight.

Not only is building new lounges costly, but finding the real estate necessary to build these lounges is a challenge.

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There has been a lot of speculation about what airports are next to get Centurion Lounges, and I’m happy to share some further info about this. Per the airport proposal that was privately shared with me, there’s an Amex Centurion Lounge coming to Philadelphia Airport!

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The lounge will be located in Terminal A West (international departures) on the mezzanine level, directly above the current British Airways lounge
  • The lounge will be 5,500 square feet
  • The lounge will feature six bathrooms and one shower room
  • The lounge will have a sit down bar, food buffet, self-serve drink bar, a standard mix of lounge seating ranging from large lounge chairs to workbenches to bar top workspaces; there will also be a small room for phone calls
  • The lounge won’t have much in the way of views — one side of the lounge will face out over the departures drop off point, while the other side of the lounge will have an interior view of the departures hall

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Construction is expected to start on February 27, 2017, and the projected opening date is August 3, 2017. As usual, I suspect those dates are subject to change, since construction delays are common. But it seems fairly certain that an Amex Centurion Lounge will be opening at Philadelphia Airport in 2017, which is exciting news.

Amex typically doesn’t say much publicly about these lounges before they’re close to being opened, so I wouldn’t expect an official announcement from Amex anytime soon.

Are you excited about the potential of an Amex Centurion Lounge at PHL Airport?

(Tip of the hat to Ryan)

Comments

  1. So pumped! Tired of ratty AA lounges dominating (and nothing priority pass). This is fantastic! Where do we read more on the details (if anywhere)?

  2. @Donald

    LAX’s terminals aren’t connected airside (for the most part). Perhaps they could put one in the international terminal, but most people with a Platinum/Centurion card are likely to have lounge access anyway. Unlike PHL, LAX has good lounges.

  3. Excellent news. Might have to hold on to my Plat for this.

    Of course, AA still needs to get their act together and bring more OneWorld flights, especially on Cathay Pacific and JAL.

    Its also mind-boggling that PHL has no Chinese airlines, with their route monopoly rules limiting access to NY and DC.

  4. Good grief – the last thing the chip on the shoulder crowd of Philly needs. Never seen a place with so many people who think travel status is some sort of royalty.

  5. This is great news, I was ready to cancel my platinum, but this will probably convince me to keep it. I was picking DFW as my connection rather than PHX because of the lounge there so it’ll be nice to have one at home.

  6. @Amol,

    You must not fly AA a lot. Given the option, no sane person would ever connect thru PHL instead of CLT. I haven’t been in a Centurion Lounge yet that would justify that kind of self-inflicted pain.

  7. Phew. For a minute there I thought that they might put one in some undeserving secondary airport like LAX, JFK, or ORD.

  8. This is GREAT news! I love the the Amex lounges and am a loyal supporter. Here’s hoping the expansion continues.

  9. Great news. The BA lounge frequently turns away OW flyers due to overcrowding. No current PHL lounges have showers so this improves the facilities needed to support increasesd international flights.

  10. Hmm. Welcome news, but I’m usually leaving out of F in PHL. Not sure if I will make the trek or not.

  11. @Graham – I agree, and I live in Center City Philly. this is a GAME CHANGER and probably my favorite post in 3 years of reading OMAAT. i am so excited! my days of hanging out in the terminals or in the soulless AA clubs are over!!! yeeeee-haw! (and GREAT timing as this come right when my access to them via Citi Prestige will end). My ONLY concern is that the AA club AAngels are crucial in PHL sometimes…I guess I could always buy a day-pass if I needed their help?

  12. Seattle and New York are both Delta hubs but am I the only one thinking Amex is focusing on non-Delta hubs considering the partnership? I’d love to see a Centurion at ATL or LAX.

  13. You got it right Christian!

    I’d love ORD too.

    And for us traveling domestic UA at LAX, at least we’ve got the new United Club lounge….but it’s hardly Centurion quality.

  14. As William notes above, hardly anything at LAX is connected airside, so a hypothetical lounge there would serve relatively few customers, and JFK has the same issue. At ORD you *can* walk airside between all the domestic terminals (but not Terminal 5), but T1 (United) and T3 (AA) are far enough apart that they really couldn’t serve customers of both airlines with a single lounge.

    The other AA and UA hubs that don’t already have Centurion Lounges are better bets, so after PHL I would expect to see IAD, CLT, PHX, EWR, DCA, or DEN next. I’d probably guess DEN or PHX because they’re likely to be easier.

  15. LAX (my home airport) has so much construction going on right now. There are all of these massive projects underway, with an off-site passenger drop off + people mover in the works, international terminal expansion, Delta moving across the airport, and then shuffling everything else around on the T4-T8 side that it probably doesn’t make sense to put anything in right now. I’m sure once Delta moves they’ll put something massive in, and I would expect the same from American. The international terminal doesn’t really need a Centurion lounge as they have so many good/great ones.

  16. @ Donald @ William @ dbeach — Most of the terminals at LAX are actually connected airside now, with the exception of T1 and T2. You can go from TBIT/T3 all the way to T8 without leaving the secured area now.

    That being said, there still isn’t an ideal place to put a Centurion lounge, though there are rumors of one being in the works.

  17. LAX has advertisements for AMEX all over the place. I saw one hinting at a Centurion Lounge inside TBIT last month.

    As previously stated, LAX is not 100% interconnected once air side. If you’re flying United and they put the Centurion Lounge at TBIT you have quite a journey to get yourself into the lounge and then back to your terminal and gate.

  18. There is a Centurion lounge at LAX near the UA terminal. Amex’s strategy is to go after AA and UA hubs particularly after AA ended its contract for Plat/Centurion card access to its lounges. DL hubs are safe for the time being as Amex cardholders can still access DL lounges (at least when flying DL). PHL will be nice but CLT really needs to be the next major one, but suspect AA has put pressure on the airport not to lease space!

  19. PHL really does need better lounges as the BA one in A West is tiny and with the loss of the sleeper flight (one of two daily BA flights) who knows how long the lounge will survive with only one flight a day.
    The larger AA lounge in A West is nice but really basic

    PHL has a restaurant/gate upgrade in Terminal B and adding Icelandair seasonal service so it’s nice to get some attention to the airport. I agree Asian airlines would be welcome as I hate JFK and EWR to get flights

  20. Another Philly traveler here. I’m certainly not complaining about this news but am very surprised! I don’t spend a lot of time in the AA lounge in general – I try not to have that much excess time at the airport before my flights – but it will be nice to have another option.

  21. Thanks Tiffany.
    I know LAX is interconnected, which is a great new feature of all the renovations….but I’m not trekking from Tom Bradley to UA in terminal 7 just for a drink upgrade! Lol.
    Just hoping they finish the Centurion lounge sooner than later.

  22. Charlotte is in desperate need of another lounge, besides the AA lounges, which are nothing to brag about. Can’t even get into a lounge with Priority Pass.

  23. I wouldn’t be surprised if the airport or the city were covering a good chunk of Amex’s costs here. AA recently announced that they are reducing the number of flights out of PHL; I’m sure PHL was worried that AA would reduce them down to what Pittsburgh’s airport is. As of now PHL is at the mercy of AA, this will hopefully drive competition.

  24. My understanding after conversations with AMEX is that the intent is to build more clubs but the space isn’t always available. All the AMEX clubs I have visited are fabulous but some are not conveniently located. Still I would choose them over Admirals club any time.

  25. The AA lounges in Philly are horrendous. As one who tends to get to the airport early, this is a welcomed news. Because one can’t trust dates, I’ll renew membership with AA for a year; but sure anticipate this is my last year with them! All good.

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