One of the questions asked during yesterday’s Ask Us Anything was when the American Express Centurion Lounges would reopen.
We now have a partial answer. American Express announced today that a couple of Centurion Lounges – those at PHL (Philadelphia) and SEA (Seattle-Tacoma) airports – are scheduled to reopen on October 5, 2020. There’s no word yet as to when all the other lounges will reopen, but there’ll hopefully be more news on that in the coming weeks.
Centurion Lounge Expansions
In addition to the partial reopening, Amex announced that they’d be expanding a couple of existing Centurion Lounges.
The lounge at LaGuardia Airport will relocate to Terminal B in a larger location which, if you’ve ever visited the existing lounge during a busy period, is great news.
The lounge at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is due to remain in the same location, but will be expanded and redesigned.
Hopefully both these Centurion Lounges will reopen in the meantime; the existing one at LGA would presumably be more likely to reopen seeing as the new lounge there is in a completely different location, so construction on the new lounge shouldn’t affect the current one. Depending on what kind of construction work needs to happen with the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge, the reopening might not be affected, although the noise levels and comfort will likely be impacted during the expansion phase.
Centurion Lounge Commitment
As part of this announcement, American Express also advised that they’re introducing health and safety protocols they’re referring to as their “Centurion Lounge Commitment”. This will affect several aspects of your experience when visiting a Centurion Lounge:
- You’ll be able to check in using the American Express app on your phone. You’ll still need to show your ID and boarding pass, but Amex is billing this as a contactless experience, so you presumably won’t have to actually hand those over.
- They’ll also be implementing capacity controls on how many guests are allowed to enter the lounge. This will vary by lounge as it’ll be affected by local rules and regulations.
- Tables and seating are being spaced out in the lounge to more easily enable social distancing.
- Food will be pre-portioned and served on plates, rather than there being a buffet-style setup. The food will be served by Centurion Lounge employees.
- They’ll still be offering a full wine menu at the bar, although there’ll be a shorter cocktail menu to ensure there’s a shorter wait for drinks and thereby fewer people lining up for drinks.
- Coffee and water stations will also have additional safety measures, although those haven’t been specified right now.
- Exhale spa services will be available at some Centurion Lounges, but only for treatments that don’t require the involvement of a practitioner such as digital meditations and Theragun massages. All treatments areas and equipment will be sanitized after every guest.
- Showers won’t be reopening for now.
- Customers will have to wear a face covering when entering the lounge, but are presumably allowed to remove them in the lounge in order to eat and drink. American Express hasn’t provided information as to whether guests will be expected to put their mask back on when not eating or drinking; the lack of a policy being mentioned suggests they won’t be enforcing anything.
- All lounge employees have to wear a mask at all times.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be made available throughout each lounge.
- Each Centurion Lounge will have dedicated Cleaning Ambassadors who’ll be responsible for increased cleaning in the lounge.
Overall, this is good news. American Express is presumably launching a soft reopening of Centurion Lounges by trialing it at only two airports before rolling out reopening plans at their other locations in the future to help ensure any reopening kinks are ironed out.
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