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The very first Amex Centurion Lounge opened in Las Vegas in 2013, launching the concept of an airport lounge network operated by a credit card issuer solely for its own customers. While the Centurion Lounges are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the network has become so popular over the years that American Express now has a total of 15 lounges either built or in the process of being constructed.
On Friday, the issuer continued on its expansion track by announcing it has signed an agreement for a major enlargement and redesign of its original Las Vegas Centurion Lounge. The space will grow from its current nearly 9,000 square-foot size to over 13,400 square feet, representing an almost 50% increase in space.
The expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021, will also feature additional multi-purpose areas, new private telephone rooms, newly-designed workspace areas and a new reception, according to the issuer.
American Express also provided an update on the status of three of its previously announced new Amex Centurion Lounges under construction in Denver, London’s Heathrow and New York’s JFK airports, which were originally scheduled to be opened by the summer of 2020.
“Given the impact of COVID-19 on airport policies, our upcoming Centurion Lounge openings at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Heathrow Airport (LHR) have been delayed,” the issuer said in a statement. “We’re working very closely with our airport partners to open these new locations as soon as we can do so safely and in accordance with state and city regulations. We hope to still open the new lounges at JFK and LHR, as well as Denver International Airport (DEN), in 2020.”
Undoubtedly, while all of the Amex Centurion Lounges are expected to reopen at some point when travel demand picks up, it’s likely there will need to be adjustments in how the lounges operate during a pandemic. Customers can expect to see non-buffet-style food options, and social distancing will likely require a reduction in the number of people allowed in the usually crowded lounges.
Still, Amex has no intention of abandoning its Centurion Lounges. “While these are unprecedented times we remain committed to enhancing and expanding The Centurion Lounge network, while prioritizing the health and safety of all involved,” the issuer said in its statement.
When the Amex Centurion Lounges are open, access is granted to travelers holding either a Platinum Card® from American Express, a Business Platinum Card® from American Express or one of the invitation-only personal or business Amex Centurion cards. At $550 a year for the personal Amex Platinum card and $595 for the business version, these are premium Amex cards designed for road warriors.
But if you have one of these Amex cards and can’t currently use many of its travel perks, make sure you take advantage of the additional limited-time credits and benefits currently being offered by the issuer, which can easily offset the card’s annual fee by hundreds of dollars.