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

by Anthony Losanno
Amex PHX 2

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American Express was the first credit card issuer to open a US lounge back in 2013. The concept was novel at the time, but both Capital One (review here) and Chase (review here) have opened their own lounges since. While on business in Fort Worth last week, I had some time to check out the Centurion® Lounge at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).

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Access

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: The Centurion® Lounges were some of my favorites when they opened and in the years following, but lately they are feeling a bit tired and less luxurious than they used to be. American Express continues to offer restaurant-quality food and cocktails, comfortable spaces to work and relax, and other amenities, but many of the locations are overcrowded, food is picked over, and I don’t enjoy the visit. The PHX location was tiny and unappealing. I only spent a few minutes there, but I was happy to leave.

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Bar

When entering the main room, you’ll find the bar first. 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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There are two coffee machines in the lounge.

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The second one is located near the bar and buffet.

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Iced tea and drip coffee are on the same counter.

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Agua Fresca was also on offer.

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Food

The menus don’t change often, but the food is consistently satisfying. There are multiple hot dishes, salads, and a few desserts. This is the only location I have been in that did not offer soup.

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Marinated Chicken

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Mexican Rice

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Elotes

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Pulled Pork

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Salads and charcuterie (I felt the presentation was lacking)

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Green salad

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Salad ingredients

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Brownies and cookies

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Snacks were found on the bar.

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Seating & Decor

There are all sorts of seating configurations for working, socializing, and lounging. While I visited many seats were taken. The decor in this lounge is a bit lacking.

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A separate area behind the front desk area is reserved for Centurion® cardholders.

Amenities

The Centurion® Lounge at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) does not offer much in the way of amenities other than Wi-Fi, the food and drinks above, restrooms, and a single shower suite.

Overall Impression:

I spent only a short time at the Centurion® Lounge here and did not enjoy the experience. It’s a tiny, overcrowded space and it does not feel luxe or as special as American Express’ offering was in the past. It’s better than nothing, but not worth going out of your way to visit.

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

Boraxo March 10, 2024 - 2:12 am

Disagree. I visited 2x in last year and Food was much better than SFO, SEA or JFK. Also not as hectic and staff was friendly. One of the better Amex lounges.

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