One amazing perk of holding the Amex Platinum Charge Card is access to Amex Global Lounge Collection. In particular, the Centurion Lounges definitely provide a nice setting to chill and relax prior to your flight.
There are currently Centurion Lounges located in Charlotte, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York La Guardia, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and San Francisco.
All are currently closed due to the COVID-19 situation, and will be expected to reopen once travel demand picks up.
In fact, the Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas is also undergoing some refurbishment from now until 2021, where the floor plan is expected to be expanded from the current 9000 sq ft to over 13400 sq ft, which translates to an increase of around 50% of usable space. Hopefully the refurbishment will incorporate features and service standards that should become commonplace post-COVID-19.
There are also three other Centurion Lounges due to open this year, but they have since been delayed, probably due to the fall in travel demand in the recent months. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to open lounges with no one to use them, and with exceptional safe distancing measures put in place.
The new Centurion Lounges in Denver, New York (JFK) and London Heathrow were all expected to open sometime in the first half of 2020, but they have all been delayed for a few months to target openings by the second half of 2020. This is probably when travel will start to pick up significantly as more measures are put in place to combat COVID-19.
It will be interesting to see how the lounge experience that we are all used to will change post-COVID-19. Currently, not many lounges actually offer a table service for dining, and most feature a buffet spread of some sort. Also, some lounges have seating that wouldn’t pass the safe distancing requirements that we’ve all come to know as part of our pandemic response. More importantly, some lounges allow passengers from various origins to potentially mingle within a confined space before flying off to their respective destinations, a perfect recipe for spreading pathogens far and wide. So it remains to be seen how lounge operators will deal with the more stringent requirements in the provision of such services henceforth.