American Express Re-Opening Some (Two) Of Their Closed Centurion Lounges From October 5, 2020

There are finally some good news about the continuing closure of American Express Centurion Lounges at their worldwide locations coming to an end as Amex announced the reopening of two locations.

As per latest news American Express will re-open their Centurion Lounge locations in Seattle and Philadelphia from October 5, 2020 while the remaining ones remain on the back burner.

American Express has previously published a notice on their website announcing the closure of all Centurion Airport Lounges since  March 21st 2020.

Amex has since kept these lounges closed and is reasoning it with Covid-19 yet most of the other lounges operated by airlines are open again which leads one to believe this is all about cost cutting.

We been getting reader emails with complaints about this for months and I last wrote about it almost four weeks ago.

With this newest measure as announced on their specially designed re-opening page they will open at least two of their lounges again to members – Seattle and Philadelphia.

As we begin the process of reopening, your health and safety continue to be our top priority. That’s why we’re committed to providing a reimagined experience that still offers comfort while you wait. We’ve implemented additional procedures so our lounges serve as safe, clean, and welcoming spaces for you as you start traveling again. Learn more about The Centurion® Lounge Commitment below.

SEA and PHL locations are scheduled to reopen on 10/5/20.

Card members visiting the locations will realize that some things have change in terms of offering and service protocol, differing from the past.

Amex outlines the various changes as follows:

  • Check into The Centurion® Lounge through the American Express Mobile App in a few simple steps. After completing Mobile Check-In, please show your ID and boarding pass at reception.
  • We’ll adhere to guidance from state and local governments and health authorities and limit the capacity within each lounge.
  • With our new policy, we have configured our seating arrangements to allow for social distancing in the lounge. Our Membership Services Professionals will help guide you to available seating.
  • Our premium food offerings will still be available, but in pre-portioned plates at food areas throughout the lounge, served by American Express Representatives.
  • Our premium bar experience will be available with our full wine offering. A shorter cocktail menu featuring each location’s most popular drinks will be available to reduce wait times and allow social distancing.
  • Exhale spa services will be available in select lounges. Offerings will be limited to non-practitioner treatments, including Theragun massages and digital meditations. Equipment and treatment areas will be sanitized between every appointment.
  • The showers are currently closed until further notice.
  • Wearing a face covering is required to enter the lounge. Our employees will wear face coverings at all times. Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout each lounge.

The mobile check-in should in the very least allow to guarantee a spot at the lounge (Seattle has been piloting this option for quite some time as the lineup has always been a disaster there). Of course those who don’t carry the Amex mobile app can gain access by simply presenting their card, boarding pass and ID.

This setup resembles much of a bank teller rather than an airport lounge but at least they’re making an effort here.

I’m surprised that the bar service will remain as it is although it’s not mentioned if this includes the seating arrangements as well.

There has been no word about the other Centurion Lounge locations reopening. Las Vegas is currently under renovations “expanding the space” and isn’t expected to reopen until 2021. The same goes for New York’s LaGuardia airport. Also crickets about the LAX location at Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Seattle has always been extremely busy whenever I was there. I never visited the Philadelphia lounge (haven’t been to PHL for at least 10 years). San Francisco would have been a location that certainly sees a lot of traffic.

Amex policy of keeping these lounge closed since March has been absolutely ridiculous. The C-19 excuse simply doesn’t stick anymore when the airlines themselves are operating their lounges for several months already with slight modification. I can see why customers are upset about this and more than a few have communicated to us in emails that they have downgraded or cancelled their Platinum card.

Conclusion

Centurion Lounges are a big part of the Amex Platinum/Centurion benefit portfolio so I can see those who have picked up traveling again to be severely annoyed about the ongoing closure.

You really can’t reason the closure of your entire lounge network with Covid-19 anymore while so many other airline lounges are operational again and have even upgraded the F&B options. I’m glad at least two locations are now opening up again which won’t help most members however unless they travel to SeaTac or Philly.

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