We usually don’t run our airport lounge updates more than once per quarter, but April 2018 proved to be such a newsworthy, watershed month for airport lounges, we couldn’t help but relay all the latest happenings.
On the heels of American Express announcing plans for its largest Centurion Lounge to date at New York’s JFK International Airport and an almost equally large lounge at Denver International Airport (DEN), another has been announced for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Meanwhile, since April 1,2018, the Priority Pass lounge network has expanded to include 28 new lounges, restaurants, and bars accessible to cardholders. The network is now nearing 1,100 lounges. Here’s the scoop on all.
American Express will debut a Centurion Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport
Though details are scarce at the moment, word is that come late 2019, a 14,000-square-foot-Centurion Lounge will open at Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). Though it will mostly serve international passengers, domestic travelers in Terminal 4 (American Airlines) and Terminal 5 (Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Frontier, Hawaiian Air, JetBlue, Spirit, and Sun Country) will still be able to access the lounge through the TBIT Connector walkway—as will those flying out of Terminals 6 (Air Canada, Alaska Airlines), 7 (United), and 8 (United). However, note that Terminals 6–8 can be quite the hike to TBIT. Read: You’ll need a very long layover to enjoy the lounge experience. There are no details yet on the amenities that will be included at the LAX Centurion Lounge.
The Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport is now confirmed
We reported two months ago on rumors of a Centurion Lounge at DEN, and now it’s officially confirmed! Plans are underway for a 14,650-square-foot lounge in Concourse C, which services Alaska, Allegiant, Southwest, and Spirit. However, since all terminals are connected airside at the airport, it will be possible to visit the lounge after passing security, regardless of airline flown. It will just take a bit more time to get between your gate and the lounge if not flying the Concourse C airlines.
The new lounge is set to include high-end amenities aplenty, including a spa, wine- and beer-tasting areas, and a tranquility space for sleeping. At press time, we still don’t have a proposed opening date.
What’s the latest news from the Priority Pass Lounge Network?
The Priority Pass Lounge Network, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, added 28 new establishments to its network between April 1 and May 7, 2018. Of note are the Prime Class Lounges at Zurich International Airport (ZRH) and Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) and the Minute Suites at Charlotte NC Douglas International (CLT).
In addition, the Priority Pass lounge network continues to offer customers more than complimentary lounge access with its expansion to select airport restaurants and bars worldwide. New “Lounge Alternatives” for this spring include two additions at Miami International Airport (MIA): Jimmy Buffet’s Air Margaritaville and Viena restaurant, both in Terminal E. These are welcome additions since other Priority Pass partners at MIA often reach capacity (and a good excuse to eat the Volcano Nachos or Landshark Burger at Margaritaville). The full list of additions can be found on both the website and the app for Priority Pass.
How can I gain complimentary access to the new Centurion Lounges?
The Centurion Lounge is complimentary for Platinum Card and Centurion Card members as well as for two travel companions (additional guests will cost $50/each entry).
Though American Express previously allowed entrance to Gold Card and Green Card members for a $50 fee, entrance is now exclusive to Platinum Card and Centurion Card members. Note that the lounge does not place restrictions on which airline—or class—you fly. So economy-class passengers are welcome!
How can I gain complimentary access to Priority Pass Lounges?
Priority Pass Select membership is complimentary with most affluent credit cards. It’s a key perk for cardholders of Citi Prestige® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, Mastercard® Black Card™, Mastercard® Gold Card™, The Platinum Card® from American Express, and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
At press time, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Mastercard Black Card, and Mastercard Gold Card offer an exceptionally generous unlimited guest policy. However, rumor has it that Chase Sapphire Reserve will soon be limiting its guest policy to be more in line with Citi Prestige Card and The Platinum Card from American Express, which allow cardholders to bring two guests.
How can I get free bar tabs and comp’d restaurant bills with Priority Pass at airport restaurants and bars?
Cardholders can use their Priority Pass card to receive $28 to $30 off the bill at select airport restaurants and bars for each person covered by the Priority Pass membership. This amount is valid toward the purchase of any meal and/or drinks, including alcoholic beverages. A valid card must be presented before placing an order, and the cardholder must pay any excess. Note that 18% gratuity will be automatically added to the final bill (before the discount) and will be paid by the cardholder.
The number of guests covered depends on the guest policy of the Priority Pass membership. For example, holders of elite credit cards Chase Sapphire Reserve, Mastercard Black Card, and Mastercard Gold Card could possibly get a $200 bill comp’d (card holder + your spouse + three kids + two friends, all @ $28 each = $196 tab) thanks to the unlimited guest policy.