LAX Finally Getting an American Express Centurion Lounge!

Way back in November 2015 I suggested that an American Express Centurion lounge would be coming to LAX. All signs were it was about to happen. And then just a few days later the airport told employees in their newsletter that a Centurion Lounge was coming “to the south side terminals (between terminals 6 & 7).”

And then silence. And frustration — on the part of customers and American Express executives, at least.

Centurion lounge access is complimentary for Platinum Card from American Express cardholders. Everything inside – from food and alcohol to, in some lounges, spa treatments are complimentary as well). Access is also complimentary for Centurion (Black Card) cardholders of course. And no longer possible with other American Express cards.

American Express Centurion lounges currently open are Dallas Fort-Worth, Las Vegas, Miami, New York LaGuardia, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Philadelphia and Hong Kong. Denver and New York JFK are confirmed to be in progress. But LAX still hadn’t happened.

Now via the indefatigable Brian Sumers a lease has been presented for approval for an LAX Centurion Lounge.

The lounge will be located in the in the Tom Bradley International terminal, and not where it was originally expected between terminals six and seven. It will be 13,693 square feet, 10% larger than the expanded Centurion lounge they’re building in Dallas. (Denver and New York JFK lounges will be slightly larger.)

The Tom Bradley terminal is connected to American’s terminal 4. You can access terminal 5 which is also used in part by American. From there you can walk inside security to terminal 6, then 7 and 8.

The deal is for a “10 year brand sponsorship” with a right for American Express to terminate their lease after five years paying the full remaining net present value of future lease payments at that time. LAX can terminate on 90 days notice by paying the depreciated value of the lounge’s buildout costs.

This is space that the airport “unsuccessfully attempted to airlines for many years.” The airport believes they have no other prospects to generate revenue from this space. That’s the thing about lounges. Customers will go out of their way to find and use them. You don’t have to give up prime retail space to house them.

American Express will pay $204 per square foot or an initial rent of $2.8 million per year, plus buildout costs that will be a minimum of $5,576,800 ($407/sq ft).

We should expect this lounge to open in 2019, though since we’ve waited two and a half years from what were believed to be final negotiations for a lease at LAX anything can get pushed off further into the future.

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. It will be nice to have a Centurion Lounge at LAX, but I’m not holding my breath. Massages and manicures aside (when you can get them), Centurion Lounges enjoy wonderful reputations primarily because US airline and Priority Pass lounges are so bad.

    Putting a Centurion Lounge in TBT isolates it through distance and security queues from the vast majority of passengers using LAX. On the other hand that should insulate the LAX lounge from the overcrowding that plagues other Centurion lounges. Insulation by isolation in the vernacular of electrical distribution and transmission systems.

  2. The rent payments are really absurd. Imagine if airports weren’t controlled by a protectionist group of power hungry officials. Amex realizes a large numbers of its customers want a LAX lounge and this probably explains why it took so long. Now if this rent money were going to fund affordable apartments for the janators working at the airport or some sort of public good, I’d be a lot more understanding. Instead it will probably go to some horribly overinflated contract that replaces part of the runway with 100sqft of solar pavement

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