A couple of weeks ago I called on Centurion lounges to open or at least for American Express to speak to its plans for re-opening. They’ve now done so. American Express tells me that on October 5 they will re-open their Philadelphia and Seattle lounges “with more locations to follow.”
The card issuer says that 56% of people who normally travel domestically “anticipate feeling comfortable traveling to a domestic destination within 6 months.” That’s a modest number, hopefully facts on the ground will shift so that more people will be able to travel. However it’s often not the actual use of lounges that’s a valuable cardmember perk but the option value of those lounges. If the lounges are closed they effectively aren’t a card benefit for Platinum and Centurion customers.
Philadelphia Centurion Entrance
As they re-open lounges, social distancing procedures include,
[N]ew health and safety practices such as socially distanced seating, reduced capacity, increased cleaning frequency, requirements to wear a face covering when entering the lounge, served food instead of buffets, and more. For a contactless check-in experience, Card Members can download the American Express® App and use the Mobile Check-in Feature.
American Express also shared growth plans for two of its domestic lounges,
- As I reported in May, the Las Vegas Centurion lounge will grow by 50% “expanded from nearly 9,000 square feet to over 13,400 square feet. The newly designed lounge will feature additional multi-purpose areas, new private telephone rooms, newly designed reception and workspace areas and more.”
- The New York LaGuardia lounge “will double in size and relocate to a space post-security within the airport’s brand-new, state-of-the-art Terminal B. The new lounge will feature a family room, additional workspaces, private telephone rooms, and views of the New York City skyline.”
And they’ve suggested that the new New York JFK, London Heathrow, and Denver lounges are on track to open “later this year.”