Atlanta Getting An Amex Centurion Lounge

Atlanta Getting An Amex Centurion Lounge

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It looks like the Amex Centurion Lounge network will be expanding to yet another airport, beyond the recently announced expansion to Washington (DCA).

Centurion Lounge coming to ATL

It’s being reported by the AJC that an Amex Centurion Lounge will be opening at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). The City of Atlanta, which owns the airport, has struck a deal with Amex. As of now we don’t know about the opening timeline, size of the lounge, or location of the lounge, though I’m sure we’ll learn more in the near future.

The airport is signing a 10 year lease deal with American Express, with the possibility for two more renewals of five years each. Other lounge operators also expressed interest in opening lounges at the airport, including Plaza Premium and Airport Dimensions (which operates “The Club”). American Express was chosen “due to the premium and uniquely positioned non-commercial-venture, combined with the considerable invested commitment in HJAIA and the City.”

It’s noted that unlike other potential lounge developers, American Express has the resources to self-finance the $40 million construction project, and “provide best-in-class experience for the shared premium customers without the need for generating revenue.”

Currently Atlanta Airport has a total of a dozen lounges, including:

  • Nine(!!!) Delta SkyClubs
  • One American Admirals Club
  • One United Club
  • One “The Club”

As you can see, Delta passengers have plenty of choices, while others… don’t. So it’s an airport with a good amount of lounge capacity, but not much variety.

The Club at ATL is the only common-use lounge at the airport

Will this be the most crowded Centurion Lounge yet?

This is purely speculation on my part, but I would guess that Atlanta Airport has the highest concentration of customers eligible for Centurion Lounge access, given the close partnership between American Express and Delta:

  • Amex Platinum Card members can access Amex Centurion Lounges when flying any airline, and can access Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta, so it’s a card that a lot of Delta flyers have for lounge access
  • Amex Delta Reserve Card members can access Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta same day

Atlanta Airport has nine SkyClubs for a reason, and a large percentage of the people accessing those lounges will also have Centurion Lounge access.

Amex Centurion Lounges in general have crowding issues, given the huge demand for these lounges. In Atlanta I could see this playing out in one of two ways:

  • Those eligible for SkyClub and Centurion Lounge access will go to the Centurion Lounge for the superior food and drinks, in which case this lounge will be beyond crowded
  • Since just about everyone eligible for Centurion Lounge access also has SkyClub access (though guesting privileges differ for now), maybe people will just go to the lounge closest to their gate, and not seek out the Centurion Lounge

Personally I think the former is a much more likely outcome than the latter, but I could be wrong.

Delta has nine SkyClubs in Atlanta to choose from

Bottom line

While details remain limited as of now, it has been confirmed that Amex will be opening a Centurion Lounge at Atlanta Airport. I’m guessing this is the airport with the most card members eligible for Centurion Lounge access, though on the other hand these guests already have their choice of nine different SkyClubs.

I could easily see this becoming the most crowded Centurion Lounge, by a long shot.

What do you make of Amex opening a Centurion Lounge in Atlanta, and how crowded do you think it’s going to be?

(Tip of the hat to Danny Deal Guru)

Conversations (21)
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  1. Jason Guest

    My wife and I always plan our trips to arrive a couple of hours early to airport and enjoy the lounges. As an Amex Platinum holder, I always wondered why ATL doesn't have a Centurion lounge and other airports do... Finally... This will be my spot... I don't care where it's located! Plan your trip accordingly and enjoy the perk!

  2. Donald Guest

    Fantastic news! I hope they get around to repairing the LAX club though.

  3. AW Guest

    Bottom line is that Centurion lounges aren't that great. Food is fine. Decor/styling is fine-. I wouldn't walk out of my way for one. Sky Club is almost entirely interchangeable.

  4. Geoff Guest

    They might alleviate over-crowding by using the F terminal which is less accessible than T-E.

  5. Caleb Guest

    Even with COVID, I've found most Centurion Lounges to be miserable. A recent trip through CLT had waits over an hour. I'm amazed that more people aren't pushing back at AMEX. I can't wait for the new policy for more restrictive access.

  6. Mary Kay Taylor Guest

    Convenience will be the biggest factor for those of us based in Atlanta. For transitioning travelers, time to next departing flight will weigh heavily. No one is likely to go to another concourse if the layover isn’t fairly significant.

  7. DLPTATL Guest

    My bet is that the lounge will be going into Terminal E, the former international terminal prior to the opening of the "International Terminal" one stop further on the train, and a terminal that still serves a number of international destinations along with domestic routes served by wide-body aircraft. There is a space near the food court at the top of the plane-train escalators that was previously occupied by Lufthansa (near One Flew South the...

    My bet is that the lounge will be going into Terminal E, the former international terminal prior to the opening of the "International Terminal" one stop further on the train, and a terminal that still serves a number of international destinations along with domestic routes served by wide-body aircraft. There is a space near the food court at the top of the plane-train escalators that was previously occupied by Lufthansa (near One Flew South the best restaurant at the airport) that has been vacant for 10+ years. The one Delta SkyClub in Terminal E is always packed, so an additional lounge would be much appreciated and would only be one stop away from the International Terminal. This is a long time coming given the relationship between AmEx and Delta.

  8. Frederik Guest

    In Miami I much prefer the American Flagship lounge to the Centurion Lounge. The food, ambience and space were all far better in the AA lounge.
    In Atlanta used a Delta lounge with great views but it was much too overcrowded (felt like a railway platform stood with my bag), so unless they are too packed I have tended to prefer Airline specific lounges.

  9. TM Guest

    DL reserve card holder here. I would absolutely go to a Centurian lounge on a longer layover, even if it wasn’t close to my gate. Currently with my ATL connections I typically use the closest SkyClub to my departing gate if I have less than 90 minutes-2 hours. Longer than that, and Im willing to go out of my way to the F SkyClub, especially if it’s a nice day out to enjoy the SkyDeck....

    DL reserve card holder here. I would absolutely go to a Centurian lounge on a longer layover, even if it wasn’t close to my gate. Currently with my ATL connections I typically use the closest SkyClub to my departing gate if I have less than 90 minutes-2 hours. Longer than that, and Im willing to go out of my way to the F SkyClub, especially if it’s a nice day out to enjoy the SkyDeck. An Amex lounge would just be another good option to check out. No ones forcing me to stay there if it’s packed anyway.

  10. Paul Guest

    Will be a crazy long wait and crowded no matter where it is. It's easy enough to get out to F if you have 101-15 minutes extra to spare and since many of us in ATL with Plats have Clear/Precheck and can speed through security, it will be mobbed. Also think of the Southwest travelers who have a Plat and right now use The Club. Plus people will probably book longer DL connections if they...

    Will be a crazy long wait and crowded no matter where it is. It's easy enough to get out to F if you have 101-15 minutes extra to spare and since many of us in ATL with Plats have Clear/Precheck and can speed through security, it will be mobbed. Also think of the Southwest travelers who have a Plat and right now use The Club. Plus people will probably book longer DL connections if they know there's a Centurion, especially given the terrible food options on board going forward.

  11. Anthony Guest

    It will be a nice addition, but the location is important, if I am not flying Delta and flying out of Terminal T, A, B or C, if I have a short connection I won't bother going to The Club in Terminal F.

  12. Chicago Traveler Guest

    Is anyone else surprised that Amex still hasn't announced an ORD centurion lounge? I feel like it has a lot of potential users and also would be much more of a value add for the mainly AA/UA travelers based out of or connecting through ORD, especially compared to somewhere like ATL, where as the article makes clear, Platinum card holders already have many lounge options.

  13. Eskimo Guest

    What do you make of Amex opening a Centurion Lounge in Atlanta, and how crowded do you think it’s going to be?

    Depending on the location. If AMEX smack it somewhere in E or F, such as right next to the Club ATL or the A380 gate, then not too bad. If it pops up in T or A, then yes it's a frenzy madhouse.

  14. George Guest

    As someone whose home airport is ATL unless the lounge is within the vicinity of my gate I would not go out of my way to visit it. The airport is so big that it would just take to long in some cases to go back and forth. My guess is it will be in either E or F to cover off the International passengers that Amex caters to.

  15. leol Guest

    The Seattle one may be the most crowded. Last time I was there, i was told there is a 50-minute waitlist.

    1. Weymar Osborne Gold

      When did you fly through there? I'm flying out of SEA tomorrow and was worried about that. I think I might head there first to put my name on a waitlist and then go to one of the priority pass restaurants for food while I wait.

  16. RF Platinum

    How many sq. ft? are you getting? Double it.

  17. Tony Guest

    ATL is my home airport, and IMO the "plane train" in between terminals is a pain, so I'd only go to the Centurion lounge if it were in my departure terminal. If I were on a long connection, however...

  18. Willem Guest

    You definitely overestimate how far the average traveler will go out of their way for a superior lounge. I'd walk however far, but most of my friends and all of my family would want the lounge closest to the gate, especially since we wouldn't necessarily arrive early to the airport just for the lounge

    1. EC2 Guest

      Agree 100%. If you are originating in ATL is someone really going to be going real early just to go to a lounge. Some maybe, most not likely. If you are connecting in ATL one is going to go to the closest lounge to their departure gate unless a long time to connecting flight. Personally I’m going to Gordon Biersch Brewery in ATL if I have the time. But there will be enough that will...

      Agree 100%. If you are originating in ATL is someone really going to be going real early just to go to a lounge. Some maybe, most not likely. If you are connecting in ATL one is going to go to the closest lounge to their departure gate unless a long time to connecting flight. Personally I’m going to Gordon Biersch Brewery in ATL if I have the time. But there will be enough that will absolutely go to the Centurion Lounge as it’s prestigious and one is paying a nice AF likely just for access. It’ll make Delta lounges thin out and I’ll be happy with that. This does make me want to get the AMEX Platinum card as I will be flying more in 1-2 years and ATL will be where I fly thru to connect most of the time.

    2. Lukas Gold

      I would also say that many frequent flyers would probably seek out less-crowded lounges. I, for one, would happily walk a couple of extra minutes to visit a spacious lounge with poor F&B offerings, rather than visiting a crowded zoo with better F&B. I value space much more than I value drinks.

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Willem Guest

You definitely overestimate how far the average traveler will go out of their way for a superior lounge. I'd walk however far, but most of my friends and all of my family would want the lounge closest to the gate, especially since we wouldn't necessarily arrive early to the airport just for the lounge

2
Caleb Guest

Even with COVID, I've found most Centurion Lounges to be miserable. A recent trip through CLT had waits over an hour. I'm amazed that more people aren't pushing back at AMEX. I can't wait for the new policy for more restrictive access.

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EC2 Guest

Agree 100%. If you are originating in ATL is someone really going to be going real early just to go to a lounge. Some maybe, most not likely. If you are connecting in ATL one is going to go to the closest lounge to their departure gate unless a long time to connecting flight. Personally I’m going to Gordon Biersch Brewery in ATL if I have the time. But there will be enough that will absolutely go to the Centurion Lounge as it’s prestigious and one is paying a nice AF likely just for access. It’ll make Delta lounges thin out and I’ll be happy with that. This does make me want to get the AMEX Platinum card as I will be flying more in 1-2 years and ATL will be where I fly thru to connect most of the time.

1
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