I am excited to try two new experiences on this trip - a new airline which is Southwest and the opportunity to explore the AMEX Centurion lounge and see what the buzz is all about. Recently AMEX opened a new lounge in SFO located inside the UA terminal and reviews have been great so far. A major difference from other airline lounges is that the Centurion ones offer a wide variety of free liquor and actual food designed by local chefs.
AMEX Centurion lounge @ SFO
I was dropped off at the airport after work and once I checked in through the self kiosk, I proceeded through security. Thankfully the lines were really short on this Friday night and once inside the secured area I made my way to the lounge. Access to the Centurion lounge is free for Platinum and Centurion card members. If you have any other AMEX card, you are eligible to enter for a USD 50 fee. That is the same fee to gain access to legacy carriers' lounges and with the promise of food and drinks at the AMEX lounges the choice is rather obvious.
Check in was friendly and efficient. I inquired about using the shower and the agent asked me to put my name on the list since there was one person ahead of me. I checked in at 1830 and the agent did not come to advise me that the shower suite was ready until 1915. It seemed that the person who was there took a whopping 45 min. to clean himself or herself really well. Unfortunately there is only 1 shower room at this lounge so you might have a long wait if the person ahead of you is meticulous.
The lounge is 8,200 square feet and is divided into different sections. The dining area has a bar with TV monitors and self serve liquor opposite the bar. WC's are next to the bar. The buffet display featured about 3 hot dishes and 2 salads with condiments along with dessert. No sandwiches, pop corn or cookies were available contrary to what is posted on the website. I inquired about getting some sandwiches to one of the staff and she advised me that unfortunately they did not have any.
Small seating area next to the reception desk. Next to it is a beverage station. I had some tea and the hot water was lukewarm, not really hot as expected.
I then went to the gate and boarding started by 2010. Pre-boarding started with passengers in F and those who needed extra assistance.
There was an extra security procedure inside the jetbridge and some passengers were singled out for further inspection. A FA was at the door welcoming passengers.
Flight was uneventful and the two FA's did their job efficiently. We departed 18 min. late but arrived on time. Upon arriving in LAS, we had to use the stairs to get back to the terminal since there was no jetbridge.
AMEX Centurion Lounge
San Francisco - SFO
Las Vegas - LAS
This was an average flight on a short UA flight.
I was glad that I had the chance to experience the new AMEX Centurion lounge. For the price paid, I received better value than going to a legacy carrier's lounge due to the free food (although limited) and liquor. If you drink, you can get more from your money's worth. The lounge was busy but there were different areas where one could hang around. There are two computer terminals with a printer in a corner and some resting couches at one end but they don't have much privacy. I was slightly disappointed that there were no sandwiches or other light snacks as advertised on the website. The shower room was well appointed with L'Occitane products, but there is only 1 and wait can be long if it gets too busy.
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