The Best Lounges in the United States and Opening Date News for the Next Centurion Lounge

Update: Great news on a date for the San Francisco Centurion lounge opening. And a clarification that the ranking of best US lounges that I call out is meant to highlight best lounge that anyone can access for a fee (rather than making the broader claim about best).

Wendy Perrin lists her top domestic U.S. lounges.

And in the process she breaks some news.

The American Express Centurion lounges are certainly the best lounges in the United States.

Currently there are Centurion lounges in Las Vegas and in Dallas (see my review of the spa and showers, as well as the food and drink). The Dallas lounge is the best in the United States in my view, but pales in comparison to the best international lounges.

They’re planning to open many more, with both San Francisco and New York LaGuardia locations publicly acknowledged.

Wendy spills the beans that the San Francisco lounge will open in July.

I do have to take issue with some of her picks for best domestic lounges, though. Along with the two Centurion lounges, she lists:

  • United’s F concourse lounge at O’Hare
  • Star Alliance Lounge LAX
  • Delta’s new JFK club
  • Airspace Lounge, JFK
  • The Club, San Jose
  • The Club, Dallas Fort-Worth
  • The Club, Atlanta

These are all reasonably decent clubs by U.S. standards. But I don’t think they are in the same league as the two Centurion lounges, and I think they leave off other better offerings.

Though they don’t come close to rivaling the Heathrow flagship, there are Virgin Clubhouses at San Francisco, New York JFK, and Washington Dulles.

The Etihad lounge at Dulles is outstanding, with ample seating and both a buffet and menu service as well as boarding direct from the lounge..

So is the Lufthansa lounge at Dulles (though not as good as Etihad’s but which does also offer direct boarding of the aircraft), and Lufthansa has its own lounge in Detroit and at New York JFK as well.

And while not impressive by international standards, I’d easily pick Cathay Pacific’s lounge in San Francisco over others on this list — if only for its noodle bar.

I’d also even consider American’s LAX Flagship Lounge over the Delta and United offerings listed, for sure.

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. The UA first lounge at ORD ‘dabbles’ in food.

    The LAS AMEX Centurion has a very nice selection of hot buffet items at 8:00pm (2000 hours). The bar offers a wide selection of top shelf booze and speciality drinks. The ORD loung doesn’t even come close to LAS.

  2. I popped by the Centurion lounge in DFW a few weeks ago. I love it..It sort of makes me schedule all my flights through there lol!

  3. I agree w/ ur assessment, but Wendy has editors & display ads so she might have different criteria. 😉
    Of the lounges I’ve visited: aa flagship ORD & LAX nice +4 LAX w/ nice showers. Cathey Pacific SFO very nice. Showers need a chair.
    How do the DFW AmEx C showers compare to Admirals Club on A course showers (very nice)?
    Waiting to do LH 747-8i 1st IAD-FRA to Dulles lounge

  4. @Chris — the Centurion lounges in Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Delhi are in no way comparable to the domestic US ones.

  5. @Bill n DC – i found the DFW Centurion club showers excellent but with two flaws — the hot water knob was slightly broken and quirky, perhaps it has been fixed, and the rooms do not lock from the inside. They automatically lock when the door is closed. But a staff member has to knock to see if anyone is inside, and they could mistakenly open the wrong one (which I saw them do!!).

  6. The Club @ SJC made the list?

    It’s an “okay” lounge, but I’ll take any Admirals Club (let alone any of the Flagship Lounges) any day over it.

  7. I have no Amex cards, and have no interest really in any of the Delta programs or anything of the sort, yet, i would like to try this lounge out! So, how do I do so before I go to Chile in 2 weeks?

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