What Is American Express’ Centurion Lounge Access Policy?

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All the rules for entering an American Express Centurion Lounge, including how to get in, access for guests, and each location’s perks.

Perhaps you’re a recent member of the American Express “elite,” or maybe you’ve never taken the time to explore your card benefits. Whatever your excuses, they stop here. It’s time to start taking advantage of one of the most prized travel perks in the industry: access to a quiet, calm, luxurious space in the airport before or after your flight. Below, everything you need to know about accessing an American Express Centurion Lounge at an airport near you.    

How do I get into a Centurion Lounge?

To enter at any of the nine (soon to be 10) locations, present your valid Platinum Card (which also includes the Business Platinum and Corporate Platinum) or Centurion (a.k.a. “Black”) Card, a boarding pass showing a confirmed reservation for same-day travel, and a government-issued ID.

Can I bring a guest?

Platinum Card members can enter Centurion Lounges with up to two guests free of charge. Centurion Members can bring more than two guests if the guests in their party are considered immediate family, such as a spouse or domestic partner, and children under 18. In other words, if you’re a Centurion Member with a husband and three kids, you can bring all four of them into the Lounge with you.

For both Platinum Card and Centurion Members, additional day-long guest passes can be purchased for $50 each. Note that these passes are valid if and only if the guest is accompanied by the Card Member.


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If I have an American Express Card, but not a Platinum or a Centurion Card, can I access an airport Centurion Lounge?

Prior to October 2, 2017, for a fairly small fee of $50 per day, American Express allowed multiple cardholders, such as AmEx Green and Starwood Preferred Guest, to access the premium Centurion Lounges located around the world. They have since limited access to Platinum Card and Centurion Members only. While this does feel limiting to those without a Platinum or Centurion Card, it is a smart move on AmEx’s part in that it has dramatically cut down on crowding within the Lounges. So if you travel a lot, and you consider premium airport lounge access to be worth paying a little extra for every year, it might be time to upgrade your card.


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Are there house rules, such as a dress code?

There is no dress code for the Centurion Lounges beyond what one would consider a general airport dress code—shoes, check; shirt, check. That is, unless you are a Card Member who also happens to be an airline or airport employee—you’ll have to change out of your uniform first. (This includes employees of private and corporate aircraft and charter carriers.)

As for other rules, use common sense: alcohol is not served to anyone under 21 (or anyone who appears to be intoxicated already); food and alcohol may not be brought into, or removed from, the premises; smoking, chewing tobacco, and vaping is not permitted; and animals are allowed into the Lounge if they are kept in their carrier at all times, and if they’re not disturbing other guests.


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What are the Centurion Lounge locations and hours?

There are nine Centurion Lounge locations—eight in the U.S. and one in Hong Kong. The tenth Lounge is scheduled to open in early 2019 at New York’s JFK airport, in Terminal 4. Below, a quick run-down of each, including mentions of unique services and amenities. For more detailed information, check out our article “How to Find an American Express Centurion Lounge Near You.”

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Terminal D, opposite Gate D17 on the mezzanine), 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Perk: Treatments, manicures, and massages on offer from Exhale, a mini-version of the award-winning spa brand, whose flagship is located in the heart of Dallas.

Hong Kong International (Terminal 1, Take the escalator just before Gate 61.), 5:30 am-12:30 am
Perk: Conference rooms.

IAH/Intercontinental Houston Airport (Terminal D, access via elevators near Gate D6) 5:30 am-9 pm
Perk: Art installation by local visual artist Patrick Renner.

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (Concourse D, opposite Gate D1), 5 a.m.-11 p.m.
Perk: Several workspaces with extra room for stretching out.

Miami International Airport (Concourse D, near Gate D12), 5 a.m.-11 p.m.
Perk: Menu designed by Miami-native, James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein.

New York's LaGuardia Airport (Terminal B, pre-security, on the upper level), Sunday-Friday 5:30 am-8 pm, Saturday 5:30 a.m-6:30 p.m.
Perk: Menu designed by Perry St chef Cédric Vongerichten.

Philadelphia International Airport (Terminal A West, near Gate A14), 5 a.m.-9 p.m.
Perk: Locally-inspired cocktails.

San Francisco International Airport (Terminal 3, near Gate 74), 5 a.m.-11 p.m.
Perk: Napa Valley tasting area.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Concourse B, opposite Gate B3), 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
Perk: Local snacks from Seattle, and a West Coast wine list.