The American Express Centurion Lounge in San Francisco International Airport opened in November of 2-14 by -the United gate area of Terminal 3 – behind security. I had an opportunity to visit it for the first time last week, and the lounge seemed over crowded – almost a victim of its own success?
The lounge itself was easy to find by gates 74 and 75, so it’s convenient if you’re flying out of Terminal 3 or International area G, but less convenient if you are flying out of Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. I liked the fact that there were the trademarks of the American Express Centurion Lounge throughout the lounge – including the wall of live plants, the picture of the American Express dog, and chairs and bowls of fresh fruit scattered throughout the lounge.The live plant wall was in the atrium of the lounge and the lounge was accessible by stairs and an elevator. The lounge was almost compartmentalized into three parts:
The entry had the reception and Member Service desk, and behind that was a small lounge area with the coffee and tea. A small seating area was adjacent, and then a small area with lounge chairs was behind that.There was a lively bar area, with tables and chairs scattered throughout. I visited at noon on a Thursday, and the whole lounge, including the dining area was crowded. The food was also in the dining area and was much like the Amex Centurion Lounge in LGA, featuring a salad bar, and lemongrass chicken, brussel sprouts, and jasmine rice. I liked the touches of wine throughout the lounge. One of the more interesting features is a self-serve wine tasting wall. You receive a bar-code scan receipt from the bartender, and then you take it over to the wine wall. You select the wine you want to try, and then scan your receipt, and then a small pour was dispensed from the machine.On the other side of the lounge was the more traditional seating areasThe SFO lounge also has a family room with a kids play area, and a single shower suite, neither of which I visited on this trip.
This lounge didn’t seem as roomy as the lounge in Las Vegas, or even the lounge in LaGaurdia. It seemed to chopped up – divided into the dining area, the reception area, and the seating area. The lounge seemed loud, and crowded. I can only imagine how full it is during peak travel times and delays. Overall, I will be back for the food and drinks, but not as much for the ambiance.