Lounge Review: The Centurion® Lounge by American Express (IAH)

by Anthony Losanno
Amex Centurion Lounge IAH 1

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While flying to California on a business trip last week, I had the opportunity to stop into the Centurion® Lounge by American Express at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The lounge is crowded, picked over, and depressing.

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This Centurion® Lounge is not the easiest to find.

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You need to take an elevator that is located within the duty free shop.

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You take it down a floor for the lounge.

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Once off the elevator, you walk down a long hallway lined with various art.

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Access to the Centurion® Lounge is given to customers carrying The Platinum Card®, The Business Platinum Card®, The Centurion® Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card, or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card. Cardholders are entitled to bring two guests (or immediate family with a Centurion® Card) as long as they spend over $75,000 a year on their card. If that threshold is not hit then only the cardholder can enter for free with a fee of $50 per guest ($30 for children ages 2-17) per visit.

Anthony’s Take: American Express was the first credit card issuer to open a US lounge back in 2013 and they used to be my favorite. Lately, the lines to get in have been out of control and once inside the feeling of it being exclusive and special is long gone. These now feel overcrowded and basic. If all visits were like my last one in Houston, I’d likely never bother going in again.

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The bar is located in the same room as the buffet. It takes up the entire left side. Unlike most airline lounges, all alcohol here is complimentary. This includes premium spirits and wines. American Express even has cocktail menus that vary by location.

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I like the decor behind the bar.

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A water dispenser and some flavorings were next to the buffet.

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A coffee machine is located just outside the room with the buffet and bar.

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Iced tea and Raspberry Lemonade

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This buffet was one of the worst I have ever seen in a Centurion® Lounge. The food was picked over and lacking in variety. There were a few hot dishes, salads, soup, and a few desserts.

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Beef Brisket

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Carrot Ginger Soup

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More salads

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Assorted cookies (chocolate chip were all out)

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Chocolate Truffles and parfaits

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Seating & Decor

There are all sorts of seating configurations for working, socializing, and lounging. While I visited most seats were taken. The decor in this lounge is more blah than most of the others in the network.

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The Centurion® Lounge at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) features a shower suite, a Calm quiet room, free Wi-Fi, and all of the food and beverages listed above. This lounge is a bit meager compared to others that American Express operates when it comes amenities.

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The shower was occupied during my visit.

Overall Impression:

I spent only a short time at the Centurion® Lounge here, but found the food and amenities lacking. The lounge was overcrowded and felt depressing. This was not a place I’d like to hang out in and found the experience subpar.

Anthony’s Credit Card Pick: I love the lounges where The Platinum Card® from American Express grants me access. It has had a prominent place in my wallet for many years now. While it does have an annual fee of $695, it provides many travel benefits and will always be my go-to for lounge access (both Delta Sky Clubs® and Centurion® Lounges) and booking airfare from the airlines to earn 5x points (up to $500,000 per calendar year). Learn more. Rates & Fees. Terms apply.

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1 comment

Scott February 25, 2024 - 3:56 pm

Can’t agree more. Worst AMEX lounge I have been in. Crowded, no windows, depressing. And I dont find the employees very friendly, like I have at other AMEX lounges


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