American Express brings The Centurion Lounge to LAX

American Express is continuing to expand its wildly successful airport lounge network, with no less than three new locations on the books for 2019.

On the heels of the arrival of two new clubs at Denver (DEN) and New York Kennedy (JFK), the financial institution will open a new Centurion Lounge at Los Angeles International airport.

The Centurion Lounge at LAX will be the twelfth in the US, building upon the current network which includes Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW)Las Vegas (LAS)New York LaGuardia (LGA)San Francisco (SFO)Miami (MIA)Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Houston Bush airport (IAH), and Philadelphia (PHL).

The Centurion Lounge LAX location

The Centurion Lounge at Los Angeles airport will be located within the vibrant Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), joining an already impressive line-up of world-class clubs including the Star Alliance Lounge, Emirates Lounge, and Etihad Lounge.

The TBIT is connected airside (inside security) to Terminals 4 through 8 through a series of hallways and tunnels. American Airlines passengers departing from Terminal 4 will be able to hop over easily, while passengers departing from Terminals 5 to 8 should allow at least 20 minutes one way to reach the TBIT.

Visiting from Terminals 1-3 will be a more challenging endeavor involving an extra trip through security, plus a long walk in the heat outside, or a journey on the airport’s famously inefficient shuttle bus. (See our guide to lounge hopping at LAX for more details.)

At a spacious 13,900 square feet, the Centurion Lounge at Los Angeles airport will be among American Express’ largest domestic lounges, just shy of the JFK and Denver clubs which will respectively clock at 15,000 and 14,650 square feet.

American Express The Centurion Lounge - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

American Express The Centurion Lounge – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

The Centurion Lounge LAX amenities

The Centurion Lounge will feature an elegant residential design, comfortable seating with power outlets at every seat, and signature design elements such as a living wall. American Express also promises “visual wall installations”, perhaps in a nod to the striking video setup that dominates the TBIT concourse.

Living wall at American Express The Centurion Lounge - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Living wall at American Express The Centurion Lounge – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

According to American Express, the LAX location will also include an “enhanced tranquility area, offering both brightly-lit and dimly-lit quiet areas to help global travelers adjust to new time zones as they travel internationally.” Amex has historically offered daybeds at several locations, though some have been removed to make space for more seating. It’s unclear how the tranquil areas will be furnished, but a designated quiet zone would be welcome.

Day beds at American Express The Centurion Lounge - Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH)

Day beds at American Express The Centurion Lounge – Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH)

The Centurion Lounge LAX will also feature the excellent array of amenities that has helped American Express take the domestic lounge market by storm, including a complimentary full bar with creative cocktails, hot meals crafted in partnership with a local chef, shower suites, and a family room.

Family room at American Express The Centurion Lounge - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Family room at American Express The Centurion Lounge – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

The lounge will also boast a spa, most likely in the vein of the Dallas-Ft. Worth location: an enjoyable but token 15-minute complimentary chair massage service.

The Centurion Lounge LAX access policy

The Centurion Lounge will welcome holders of The Platinum Card and The Centurion Card by American Express.

Platinum Card members may bring in two guests for free, while Centurion Card holders can be accompanied by their immediate family or up to two guests. Card holders may purchase access for additional guests for $50 per guest.

American Express The Centurion Lounge - Las Vegas, NV (LAS)

American Express The Centurion Lounge – Las Vegas, NV (LAS)

Bottom line

Scheduled to open in 2019, the new Centurion Lounge at LAX will plug a major gap in American Express’ lounge network.

The Centurion Lounge is bound to be a welcome alternative to airline lounges, and a significant upgrade over the Korean Airlines KAL Lounge, which American Express Platinum and Centurion Card holders can already visit at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, courtesy of Priority Pass.

The TBIT location is a mixed bag. The TBIT is centrally located and serves a broad range of airlines, though it’s already home of the airport’s best lounges. For the bulk of domestic and international passengers departing from Terminals 1 to 8, the location is inconvenient, or even practically off-limits beyond an extended layover.

It also remains to be seen how the space will cope with crowds. The Centurion Lounges have become a victim of their own success, and while the amenities are outstanding, the clubs struggle to deliver on essentials such as a quiet seating area and fast Wi-Fi.

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