American Express Announces New London Heathrow Centurion Lounge, Confirms Charlotte Location

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Platinum Card from American Express cardholders have access to Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, Escape, and Airspace lounges. They have access to Delta lounges when traveling on the airline same day. And they have access to Amex’s own network of Centurion lounges.

These lounges have hot and cold buffets, complimentary bars, stylish furnishings — and in some locations complimentary spas, kids rooms, and showers. They’ve upped the game in US airport lounges, and we’ve seen improvements from US airlines. And busy lounges.

Bar at the Philadelphia Centurion Lounge

A couple of weeks ago there was a rumor circulating that a new American Express Centurion Lounge would open in Charlotte. I confirmed it through City Council documents.

It’s 13,295 square feet, part of the ‘East Terminal Expansion Phase II project’ between concourses D and E, and will cost American Express over $10 million over 10 years plus operating expenses.

American Express for their part now confirms the project:

Opening in 2020, the Centurion Lounge at Charlotte Douglas International Airport will be located post-security on the top floor of a new expansion at the intersection of Concourses D and E, near the airport’s central Atrium.

Spanning more than 13,000 square feet, this location will be one of the largest in the Centurion Lounge network, and floor-to-ceiling windows will offer sweeping airfield and downtown skyline views.

The new lounge will also feature the exceptional amenities found across all Centurion Lounge locations, including complimentary food and beverage from top chefs, mixologists and wine experts, a family room, premium restrooms and shower suites, access to high-speed Wi-Fi, noise-buffering workspaces and more. The Centurion Lounge at Charlotte will also lean into local food, beverage and design influences.

In addition, American Express announced a new London Heathrow Centurion Lounge:

Opening in 2019, the new Centurion Lounge at Heathrow will be located post-security in Terminal 3 and span 7,000 square feet. In addition to the amenities found across other Centurion Lounge locations – such as premium showers and private noise-buffering work stations – the Centurion Lounge at Heathrow Airport will feature specially curated amenities influenced by London’s distinctive food, drinks, and design.

London Heathrow Lounge Entrance Rendering, Credit: American Express

Both the Charlotte and London Heathrow lounges appear aimed squarely at American Airlines (as do so many others), Charlotte because it’s an American Airlines hub and London because it’s in the terminal where American operates.

Centurion Lounge Hong Kong Entrance

London is the first Centurion lounge location in Europe. I personally expected another one in Asia before London’s opening.

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Interesting choice with Heathrow – hard to imagine they can put on a better lounge than the CX experience there.

  2. @Aaron why not? considering CX will mostly do more cost cutting in the next few years until it becomes profitable again.

  3. When they first opened I was quite excited about Centurion lounges but now I think they’re a big yawn and largely to be avoided because they’re just always too crowded.
    I’ve never bothered going to the one in HKG. Why would one when there’s The Pier?
    A literal and metaphorical waste of space at an airport.

  4. @Woofie. Agreed. I don’t get the hype about Centurion lounges. Latest example: Miami. Centurion lounge hopelessly overcrowded on a Tuesday morning. Took a quick look at the food options, not impressed. So it’s over to the AA lounge. Plenty of space, and food/drinks very reasonable.

  5. LHR T3 has so many great lounges already that it would seem like an opportunity to do something a bit different, though not with that small space. One of the lounges in T3 should consider adding something more entertaining. Perhaps an area with games or a small cinema area would make it better for those with longer layovers.

  6. When it opens @LHR the UK will no longer be in geo-political Europe, so Amex will still not have a Centurion lounge in Europe. Seems T3 will be a lounge paradise for any Plat/Centurion cardholders and OWEmeralds.

  7. Also I’m not entirely convinced this one is a shot at AA because it is also Delta’s terminal, and anyone flying long haul OW either with status or in first or business class already has access to at least 4 OW business class lounges and possibly the three first class lounges, not to mention a few priority pass lounges. I’m curious as to where it will be located as I don’t recall seeing an empty lounge area, though perhaps they’re replacing another third party lounge?

  8. The CX lounge at LHR T3 has been sort of on the decline in terms of its food/beverage offer and it’s only of relevance to me at T3 when I’m flying Oneworld carriers.

    But Terminal 3 is about way more than just flying Oneworld carriers not using T5/T4 at LHR.

    This Centurion lounge development will likely make me somewhat more of a free agent than I already am, and that’s a good thing. If only Amex manages to get a fast track security offering for Amex Plat/Centurions, that would be even better for me.

  9. AMEX is very confusing right now. They’re spending large amounts of money to build out a lounge network. But those lounges are routinely overcrowded and unpleasant to visit. And they’re increasing fees on the cards that give access to those lounges. The increased fees, lounge overcrowding, and offering benefits that don’t really help me have caused me to drop my Plat card, and I’d bet I’m not the only one. While that loss of business could have impact on the crowds in the lounges it’ll also hurt their bottom line as they continue to spend on new lounge spaces. It seems they’re in a downward spiral, unfortunately.

  10. There’s no mention of spa facilities in either of the new lounges; has American Express given up on that amenity (love it in Miami but Philly doesn’t have one and I don’t think Vegas does either).

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