American Express Centurion Lounge Opens in San Francisco Next Week!

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I’m a big fan of American Express Centurion lounges in US airports, which I get complimentary access to as a Platinum Card from American Express cardholder.

What Is An American Express Lounge?

American Express has begun operating their own network of “Centurion lounges,” which are a step above what travelers have become accustomed to from US airline-operated lounges.

I consider the American Express Centurion lounge in Dallas my favorite lounge in the U.S.. It’s also one of the lounges I visit most often.

Other contenders for best lounge would be the New York JFK Virgin Clubhouse, first class section of Lufthansa’s club, and British Airways Concorde Room.

There’s a Centurion lounge also at New York’s LaGuardia airport and in Las Vegas. Additional known lounges are in the pipeline for San Francisco and Miami. Others will surely come.


  • Centurion and Platinum cardholders: Cardmember may bring in their spouse and children or two guests
  • Other American Express cardholders: $50 per adult (children complimentary when accompanied by paying adult)

San Francisco’s Centurion Lounge Opens November 6

Per One Mile at a Time, the San Francisco lounge will open on Thursday, November 6th and there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30am.

The lounge will be airside (past security) and upstairs, inside of United’s terminal 3. That’s great for United passengers, though this lounge won’t well-serve passengers of other airlines.

LaGuardia, located landside in the main terminal, is ideal for passengers of most airlines. Dallas Fort-Worth in the international terminal D is airside, but all of the terminals at DFW are connected by train. Las Vegas is also well-located for passengers on a variety of airlines.

United passengers based in San Francisco are going to love this. Other airline passengers likely won’t spend so much time here.

Fortunately (and I haven’t set foot on a United aircraft since the integration of United and Continental in March 2012), I will attend a pre-opening dinner here and report back on the facilities and food offerings prior to open.

Plans for the Future

American Express Centurion lounges are stylish and functional. There’s nooks and crannies to sit and work. There’s good food and drink. And there are plus features at many like childrens room and a spa and showers at some locations.

The only thing they lack compared to an airline’s own lounges is the sort of help with rebookings and upgrades that your operating carrier can provide.

American Express should have 5 lounges open in the U.S. by the beginning of 2015 — with Miami next. And more lounges to come (a goal is to be in all major cities in the U.S.).

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.

About Gary Leff

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. AMEX Cent Lounges (DFW & LV) are saying that an SFO walk-over tunnel is being installed to allow access fm other/all airlines. Knowing SFO, can’t understand how this is possible?

  2. I have a flight coming into T1 on Hawaiian and then connecting to an American flight. I’ll have around 3 hours to kill. Anyone know the time it should take me to get from T1 to T3 and back? I’d like to check the lounge out but don’t want to waste my time if it’s going to an hour.

  3. T1 to T3 (and vice versa) would take about 20 minutes on the AirTrain; the problem is that you would have to go through security at both terminals. Supposedly, a hall is very near completion across from the American Club in T2 to the “new American” gates in T1. I’ll find that out next week and update if necessary.

  4. Is an outgoing boarding pass required for entry? I’ve got an upcoming trip flying into SFO on UA, and would love to check it out on arrival. Not returning from SFO, so will miss the opportunity on the way back.

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