Report: American Express Centurion Lounge Coming To Washington National Airport

Jona reports on FlyerTalk that American Express will be building out a new Centurion lounge at Washington’s National airport.

It’s not clear where such a lounge would be located, however after the US Airways-American Airlines merger American gave up the US Airways club lounge space that’s adjacent to the Admirals Club on the center pier of the B/C terminal. Anyone using the American Airlines club there would agree the airline should have kept the space and expanded the club, however it’s been vacant for years.

American Express Centurion Lounge Charlotte
American Express Centurion Lounge Charlotte

Jona’s report also notes significant planned expansion at both San Francisco and Seattle, which matches what I already know.

  • In San Francisco American Express plans to significantly grow the Centurion lounge footprint in United’s terminal 3 to nearly 16,000 square feet.

  • In Seattle the plan is to move from the current 4500 square foot space to a new 13,700 square foot space on the upper level of the Central Terminal, above the central food court in a 10 year lease with 5 year option.

Bar at the American Express Centurion Lounge Charlotte<
Bar at the American Express Centurion Lounge Charlotte

While specific amenities vary by location, all of the Centurion lounges feature attractive design and quality food and beverage offerings. Their biggest challenge is that a quality lounge attracts more people than you’d expect, even after accounting for the fact that a quality lounge attracts more people than you’d expect. So expansions are definitely welcome. And since in non-pandemic times Washington National airport is my most frequent destination for work I’ll value any potential lounge there.

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. Does Amex seem to build lounges pretty close to where either AA or UA have lounges at major airports? Amex has its Delta partnership to get DL frequently flyers with one Amex card product or another, but Amex doesn’t have anything much in the US to grab AA and UA frequent flyers. So going after AA and UA lounge users with Centurion lounges may be part of the order of the day for DCA, even with UA’s main presence in the DC area being at IAD, not DCA.

    Given how much travel has declined and how slowly it may recover, I’m not sure how much sense it makes for Amex to fast track opening a lounge at DCA. But with traffic down, airport owners/operators should be facing reduced prices and/or otherwise worse terms than the airport tenants wanting retail space of some sort or another.

  2. A Centurion lounge at DCA would be a game-changer for domestic flyers. For some of the domestic flights that UA currently flies out of IAD, I would be tempted to take AA or DL out of DCA if there are options and I could eat at a Centurion. Pre-pandemic, DCA has great restaurants, but they were often crowded, and the AA, DL and UA lounges were the standard cheese and cracker places (with DL a notch above).

    Also, Amex Plat has done a very good job of keeping people loyal when most people have significantly cut back on traveling with all the credits it has created, like the small business one. I would fully expect those to stop once traveling returns, but it did the job of keeping me from cancelling the card.

  3. @Arthur, do note that once Project Journey is completed, all of National Hall and concourses B/C, including the UA gates, will be airside and you’ll be able to walk between them without re-clearing security. So if you’re on a route that UA flies out of DCA, you could still use UA without issue.

  4. I live in DC and have been planning to cancel my Platinum card as soon as they stop offering the temporary pandemic benefits. The addition of a DCA Centurion lounge, however, would change my calculation and might make me keep the card once I resume travel.

  5. I only fly into DCA once or twice a year, but that would be a nice benefit for when I do. Rarely am I early enough that I feel the need to hang out in a lounge, but when I am I usually I just hit up Grille District in terminal B (I prefer AS over AA at DCA whenever possible because of 35X).

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