Outrageous: Centurion Lounges 45+ Minute Wait Times

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It’s no surprise air travel has started to pick up since the pandemic started with nearly 2 million passengers screened through TSA on Friday. It’s great to see so many people traveling again, however as a result airports are busier than ever.

Departing Las Vegas today, I attempted to stop in the Centurion Lounge and was quoted a 30-45 minute wait until I’d allow to enter. That’s in addition to the 5 minutes I waited outside the lounge in order to be added to the queue.

Typically, I arrive to the airport an hour before my flight, so having to wait 45 minutes to enter, means I’d be entering as my flight would be on its final boarding call.

This is despite the American Express Las Vegas Centurion Lounge Reopens after being expanded earlier this year.

a group of people standing in a line in a building

American Express already announced American Express Removing Centurion Lounge Guest Access starting in 2023 as a way to attempt to make the lounges less crowded.

It’s also comical that the Centurion Lounges still have reduced hours despite having long wait times to enter. You’d think with these waits, they would return the lounges to pre-pandemic hours to accommodate all guests.

a group of people walking in a building

Bottom Line

As someone who arrives at the airport an hour before my flight, waiting up to 45 minutes to access the Centurion Lounge means not visiting the Centurion Lounge at all.

For comparison, I’ve fortunately never had to wait to visit a Delta Sky Club, so it’s unclear why the Centurion Lounges have waits to enter. Over Thanksgiving, I also experienced a wait at the American Express Centurion Lounge Phoenix (PHX).

It’s disappointing to be paying for an American Express Platinum card, and not even be able to access the Centurion Lounges, which is one of the main travel benefits of the card. I’d rather see them have a reservation system in place where you could reserve your spot at the lounge on busy travel days.

Have you had to wait to enter an American Express Centurion Lounge before? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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  1. When everyone is elite (or Platinum) then nobody is. This is the same reason the City AA Exec card ruined the AA lounge access for many. I wouldn’t be surprised if pretty soon you’ll only be allowed in if you paid for the plane ticket with your Amex.

  2. Layed over is Sea-tac today. Centurion lounge wait was 45 minutes. We were flying Delta so we went straight to the Delta where there was no wait.

  3. Imagine a platinum card holder waiting in line for 45 minutes so they can get free food.

    What kind of cheap asses are platinum holders nowadays? I do not want to belong to this club.

  4. Couldn’t ise Sea-Tac Centurion lounge last two Friday nights. 10 minute queue to get on the wait list. 40 minute wait. 6 minutes in line to get in when notified of opening. Nearly useless now. Platinum card has little value as far as club access now.

  5. When I can’t get into the centurion lounge I call the number on the back of the card and ask for a food and drink credit, so I can get something at a restaurant. They’ve always given me $20-30.

  6. STOP WHINING! They have to follow guidelines (6 ft apart, etc). GET OVER YOUR B*TCHY WHINNY A*S.

  7. Pandemic is over bud. Guidelines are done in the majority of the nation including Nevada.

  8. The main reason I’m canceling this card. They’ve been adding more and more restrictions for years. CL is essentially useless now

  9. I guess they cannot still find help because of the liberal government handouts still going on in most states unless the Governor stops the federal weekly XXTRA $300 for unemployment $$$$$!!!

  10. It’s literally Memorial Day weekend, at the busiest domestic vacation destination
    right after a major shutdown. How can you be surprised about this?

  11. I was able to visit the SFO Centurion on Friday afternoon, May 28th. No wait to get in at that time but controlled entry right at the entry doors downstairs to ensure seating available. Was escorted to assigned seating. The normal buffet setup was in use but with food served by staff. Hours only 8am to 6pm. Got there just before 4:45pm with enough time to eat, have a mixed drink, & relax some before they announced that the lounge was closing.

  12. @Spero. This has been going on for some time. I was at Sea-Tac in late March, early April and mid May and this was the case all three times. I’m not responding because I was bothered or not, I’ll stay neutral here, but there are some people that aren’t happy about this and it is an absolute fact that this is not because of the “long weekend”.

  13. just called my concierge, someone came to the door and escorted me in right past the line and seated me. no issues with my centurion.

  14. Consider the volume of Platinum holders (all airlines) compared to that of Crown Room/Sky Club members. Consider the effect of increased Centurion hours (zilch) on your necessarily limited hours at the airport. Take an Uber to a restaurant (or I am getting my amex cards mixed up?

  15. What you expect when Amex throw out 100-150k new card offers like free candies and 90% of them are likely to be cheap Charlies who want free foods and booze it out at CL.

  16. The lounges aren’t even close to capacity, they’re restricting it to 50% capacity. I’m not sure why, maybe they’re short on help/money?

  17. When I was at Sea-Tac a couple of weeks ago I got on the waiting list (30 minutes if I recall) and headed over there when they texted me. It really wasn’t even busy in my opinion so something is going on in regard to the number of people they are letting in. I assume they are trying to keep the number of people down because of the virus.

  18. The Republicans in these comments lol. Yes let’s just simplify it to the government handouts. Let’s ignore the fact that everyone is chasing the lounge life, and when you make it easier to be a lounge member of course people will take advantage of it. This is just a bitching article, not news; the comment to call the card for a dinning credit is actually more helpful than the article. If you want exclusivity, fly private and pay for it. Or become a Evangelical pastor and have your congregation pay for it.

  19. How does expanding the hours change the crowd during peak hours?
    You are limited to 3 hours prior to departure anyway and the same crowds are going to be there in the middle of the day no matter when it opens and closes.
    To leave Las Vegas early just to get some free lounge food is pretty pathetic.

  20. Had Centurion Concierge on notice of my arrival. Escorted in without wait and table waiting.

  21. Womp, womp. Just another “death by a thousand cuts” to Amex benefits, and more validation as to why I dropped my Amex Platinum card (and the ridiculous annual fee) after 35 years.

  22. No wait to Miami or JFK lounges couple times visiting last month. Miami lounge felt a bit busy on MemDay w/end Sunday but had far far better food selection in comparison w/JFK. Wines were atrocious though and Loveblock Sauv blanc was not being served. The hot food, like polenta, cauliflower steak were tasty almost better than the Corona Beach House food. But still I’d prefer AA Flagship lounge any time

  23. I was in LAS today as well and was quoted 45 minutes. The United Club was closed. And, the Lounge had a 20-minute wait. Something needs to give with the Centurion Lounges.

  24. If you think it is disappointing to pay for your platinum card and be told to wait, you have no idea how disappointing it is to pay $10,000 a year for our Centurion cards and have lounges packed with platinum members ruining our experience in the “Centurion Lounge”.

  25. Can a Platinum cardholder get on the waitlist >3 hours before departure, and actually enter the lounge at the 3 hour mark?

  26. Dallas Centurion club always dripping over slammed , how smart a waiting list to get on a waiting list and once the 20 minutes became 45 then finally in and then, wait for it ….. 25 minute wait on food. Restrooms packed. Wake up AE $5000.00 per year. You will make the same money.

  27. Been to 4 Centurion lounges in last month. All had wait times of 40 min plus. Only once could we wait the long, and the line to get a drink at the bar was another 20 minutes. Cancelling card

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