Phoenix Expected to Get Centurion and Escape Lounges – City Council Approval Today

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In May I wrote that Phoenix airport would replace the small The Club lounge there with a new 9,532 square foot lounge.

Currently Phoenix Airport’s terminal 4 B concourse has a Priority Pass-accessible “The Club” lounge. It opened in 2014 and it quite small, 2985 square feet. It has food and drink, but the furniture is dated and there are no restrooms inside the lounge.

The Club at PHX

The Club at PHX

At the time I speculated it would be “a Centurion lounge — or perhaps less likely could become an Escape or Airspace lounge.”

Tonight the City Council will vote to approve a contract with MAG USA Lounge Management, a subsidiary of the UK’s Manchester Airport Group, which operates Escape Lounges across several US airports. These are accessible by Platinum Card from American Express cardholders. Escape lounges such as the one in Reno are surprisingly nice.

Escape Lounge Reno

However it won’t just be an Escape lounge that the Phoenix airport is getting. The 9532 square feet are proposed to be split into two lounges. One would be a Centurion lounge, and the other an Escape lounge. It’s anticipated these lounges would open in December 2019 or January 2020.

This side would include a wall of local succulents designed to reduce noise and improve air quality. A “chef’s table” would add local flair to the food. A flex zone could be closed off to accommodate a VIP dinner if needed.

The other side would be the Escape lounge for customers of partner airlines and credit cards and those willing to pay the daily fee.

Centurion Lounge Houston

While it’s a lot more lounge space than offered by The Club at PHX today, and Escape lounges aren’t usually large, this would likely be the second-smallest Centurion lounge after Seattle.

Priority Pass objects to being shut out, and wants to find space for another lounge at the airport:

Following the announcement that the common-use lounge at Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor International Airport will undergo a change of operator, we have written to Mayor Thelda Williams to express our concern that removing access to this lounge for our Members could have a negative impact on the 150,000 Priority Pass Members that use the lounge annually and, in turn, on revenue value to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport…

We look forward to working with Mayor Williams to identify an alternative lounge space for our Members, so they can continue to enjoy access to an airport lounge at America’s Friendliest Airport,” she wrote.

Lounge access in Phoenix is improving substantially as Delta will open a 7500 square foot Sky Club in terminal 3 next year, and American has been renovating its lounges.

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. PHX should have a lounge as large as LAS.

    This will be a terrible customer experience if Amex goes with a lounge of this size. Lots of cardmembers who have vacation homes in the Valley of the Sun but aren’t full time residents who will skew the member data.

  2. 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.

  3. For what it’s worth, the Club at PHX received a refurb last year (new furniture, paint, etc.), and earlier this year, another lounge area next to the smaller lounge opened which has been for Condor passengers and PP holders during BA’s exclusive hours in the other lounge. It’s still way too small but it has improved somewhat since your visit. Nothing like what a proper rebuild of the lounge area might produce of course, especially if the entire level is turned into the lounge area including the restroom and family restroom/shower.

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