Now Open: Temporary Amex Centurion Lounge LAX

Now Open: Temporary Amex Centurion Lounge LAX

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There’s an update when it comes to the unusual Amex Centurion Lounge situation at LAX.

The Centurion Lounge LAX’s unusual closure

Amex is known for its network of Centurion Lounges, which tend to be excellent. In March 2020 (a few days before the United States largely shut down due to the pandemic), the Amex Centurion Lounge LAX opened, which many Amex Platinum cardmembers were excited about.

As you’d expect, the lounge closed within days, as did all Amex Centurion Lounges, due to lack of demand and a need for new safety protocols. Over time we’ve seen virtually all Centurion Lounges in the United States reopen… with the exception of the LAX one. Up until now, the lounge has instead offered a grab & go selection, where cardmembers can swing by an area in the terminal and be given a bag with food.

This has caused some confusion, as the lounge has been closed for over two years. We were told that the closure was due to “building repairs,” though understandably that’s a bit vague, especially when we’re talking about a brand new lounge, and when you consider that other lounges in the terminal are open.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX

The Centurion Lounge is closed due to jet fumes

As initially spotted by Thrifty Traveler, we recently learned the reason for this closure. Per an April 14, 2022, filing with the airport, apparently there was an issue with the HVAC that allowed jet fumes to seep into the lounge:

American Express Travel Related Services, Inc. was forced to close its lounge in June of 2021 due to an issue with their Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system that was allowing jet fumes into the lounge. To fix the issue, AMEX, at its sole cost, is replacing the HVAC system. This project will require the Centurion Lounge to be closed for approximately six months.

Amex anticipates that the fix will take six months, so you can expect that the permanent Centurion Lounge LAX won’t reopen until later this year.

Amex opens temporary Centurion Lounge LAX

Amex has worked out a short-term lease agreement, to temporarily use vacant space on the sixth floor of Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), intended to “offer replacement lounge amenities.” Well, this lounge space is now open. This lounge is open daily from 6AM until 2:30PM, and features grab-and-go food, pre-packaged food, and non-alcoholic beverages.

For context, the lounge is 4,401 square feet, so it’s much smaller than the 13,693 square foot lounge space that Amex otherwise has. The lounge is using the space of the former Etihad Lounge LAX, which has long been closed.

Currently this lease is in place through September 30, 2022, so it sounds like Amex is aiming for an October reopening of the primary lounge. Of course I’d imagine that timeline can change, since this must be a pretty complex project.

There’s no denying that this is all costing Amex quite a bit of money — Amex is still making the lease payment, and the company is also paying for all of the repairs.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX

Bottom line

The primary Amex Centurion Lounge LAX continues to remain closed, and many have wondered what the cause of this closure is, given that the lounge was the last Centurion Lounge to open before the pandemic. This is all due to issues with the HVAC system that are causing jet fumes to enter the lounge. Amex expects this fix to take roughly six months.

In the meantime, Amex has opened a temporary Centurion Lounge at LAX, in the space of the former Etihad Lounge. The lounge is roughly 4,400 square feet, and features a limited selection of grab & go food, pre-packaged food, and non-alcoholic drinks. This is better than nothing, but it sounds like the temporary space isn’t anything like your typical Centurion Lounge.

Anyone have plans to visit the temporary Amex Centurion Lounge LAX?

Conversations (49)
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  1. Tyler Mark Guest

    Do they let everyone stay in the lounge space or is the limited seating meaning they have to turn away guests...? I just want a place to sit and relax without all the hustle and bustle of people around me.

    If it is packed and unpleasant or if they are turning people away, maybe I try something else.

    Can anyone answer these questions?

  2. Beachfan Guest

    Closes at 2:30 pm!!

    I was annoyed , I went at 7pm.

  3. Jay Guest

    I was there yesterday-the first day they were fully open in the former Etihad lounge. It is not a grab and go lounge. They still will offer a grab and go chicken wrap if you request it at the entrance and leave… but it’s an actual lounge with a bar, barista espresso drinks, and a real buffet with both hot and cold food with dishware not paper or plastic. They have full service roaming servers that constantly ask if you need anything. It’s small but very pleasant.

  4. dander Guest

    6 months to replace HVAC that is nonsense. but then again you're dealing with government

  5. AW Guest

    It doesn't make sense that they would have to fix it "at their sole cost." That's almost never how a commercial lease would work. It would be the requirement of the landlord--especially in a case like this which is arguably a life safety issue. It's possible that they are fronting the cost with their own subs in order to get it done more quickly than LAX would have, but something doesn't exactly make sense in that statement.

  6. Andrew Diamond

    "Now open" is a bit of a stretch. I'm there every week but after 5pm. It's still effectively closed for me.

  7. Mark G Guest

    This is seriously annoying. The limited hours for the bag lunch is the worst part. Like is it so difficult to have supplies and staff until standard hours?

  8. BradLAX New Member

    Lucky's timeline is off here. Having flown through TBIT numerous times over the past 2+ years, here's the saga of the LAX Centurion Lounge:
    - March 2020: Yes, open for about a week before Covid closed the world
    - April(ish)2020-June 2021: Grab and go boxed lunches
    - Late May 2021: I visited to pick up a lunch before my flight. Knowing that LA County was on the verge of lifting indoor dining...

    Lucky's timeline is off here. Having flown through TBIT numerous times over the past 2+ years, here's the saga of the LAX Centurion Lounge:
    - March 2020: Yes, open for about a week before Covid closed the world
    - April(ish)2020-June 2021: Grab and go boxed lunches
    - Late May 2021: I visited to pick up a lunch before my flight. Knowing that LA County was on the verge of lifting indoor dining restrictions, asked when the lounge might reopen. A cheery desk attendant replied "Hopefully soon!" She even let me use take a peek at the space and use the restroom, and it appeared ready for showtime.
    - Mid-June 2021: Literally the SAME WEEK as the County allowed indoor dining, the mysterious "building repairs" language appeared, and even grab & go food service ceased. That means either:
    1) AmEx knowingly allowed its employees handling grab & go operations to inhale jet fuel fumes for well over a year
    – or –
    2) AmEx knew its leased space was not big enough to handle the mass of LAX travelers with Centurion Lounge access, and has been spending the past 10+ months feverishly expanding under the guise of first "building repairs" and now "curbing jet fumes"
    - Feb/March 2022: Probably in response to lots of questions being raised about what the hell is going on w/ the LAX Centurion Lounge, they resumed grab & go with limited hours at a temporary location on the 6th floor, and have now put lipstick on a pig by allowing you to eat your pre-packaged wrap and potato chips inside this former Etihad Lounge space.

    When seeking a Platinum retention offer last year, you best believe I expressed disappointment at my home airport Centurion Lounge being closed, and you best believe that issue will be raised again when my renewal comes up in November.

  9. Jeffrey Chang Guest

    It's easier for many in Southern California to fly out of LGB or SNA then transfer in SFO or DEN to use that locations AMEX lounge.

    1. Dr.Plantain Guest

      This would apply for most people, however flying out of LGB can become expensive for certain routes.

    2. Andrew B Guest

      From LGB, unless you are flying an LCC/ULCC, your only connection with a Centurion lounge is PHX, which is often over-crowded.

      AA only flys to PHX (dropped DFW a few months ago), DL to SLC, and UA or AS don’t fly there at all.

      As much as I love the airport, it’s not super useful. (Though it does have direct flights to both HNL and OGG)

    3. Jay Guest

      DL flies 5 flights a day from LGB to SLC. Hawaiian has flights to OGG and HNL. WN flies to many destinations from LGB that are hubs with lounges.

    4. Jeff Guest

      That requires a connection where as LAX has many non-stops and more flexibility in terms of scheduling.

      I have driven to/from OC or Riverside counties because of LAX’s superior air service. It can easily save a day or two on a trip avoiding connections and having more scheduling options. When I’ve flown ONT or SNA, my trips start much earlier or later than preferred or I’m stuck at another hub because of a missed connection.

  10. Anna Guest

    Pay $600 for a credit card, get a bag lunch. Cool.

  11. Jerry Diamond

    I wouldn't exactly describe the Centurion Lounges as "excellent."

  12. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

    Jet fuel exhaust??? *Deep inhale* Ahhhh!! But....I guess it's not really healthy despite that wonderful fragrance! LOL!

  13. Eskimo Guest

    But the question should be

    1. How long has this been going on with HVAC, before the pandemic?
    2. Given it's location, how can jet fumes leak into this HVAC and not others in TBIT, lounge or retail.

  14. Jackofalltravels Guest

    I can’t help but think of all the negative and entitled comments from people who, without any facts, accused AMEX of being cheap, complaining obnoxiously, that AMEX was “trying to save money” and just “cheap” for not opening the lounge.

    Thank you for sharing this news, and once again, American Express proves to be a platinum standard company by undertaking these repairs at great cost to themselves.

    1. Kingofalltravels Guest

      If Amex didn't want the negative speculation, they could've released this information nearly a year ago. You realize that the people complaining are paying a hefty annual fee, right? They absolutely have a right to wonder why a benefit that they're paying for is closed with no explanation for nearly a year.

    2. Frank B Member

      Do you think the terms of this lease are anything other than triple net? Amex is paying for these repairs because Amex is obligated to under their lease.

    3. CHRIS Guest

      You don't seriously believe this mysterious "building repairs" nonsense which magically they were willing to further explain as the HVAC system a full year later......do you?

  15. Icarus Guest

    If they’re looking for alternative space, the Etihad lounge is closed and there are several new lounge spaces in the new concourse

  16. sdfamily Guest

    San Diego traveler here. Serious lack of flights to connect at LAX. Have routed most of my travels via SFO.

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      Not just this, but as a recent former SAN flyer, on several occasions rolling delays have meant that I'd miss my connecting flight at LAX and I've instead simply rented a car and driven SAN-LAX to make my int'l connection. It's ridiculous that I should have to account for a 3-4 hour layover in LA "just in case".

  17. Disappointed card owner Guest

    I have a different take: AmEx is in no hurry to reopen this lounge. Everyday that they are closed they save on the expense of staff, food, and drinks.

    1. Cecilia Cardwell Guest

      Yes & I just read over the wknd that unless you spend over $73,000 or $75,000/yr on the Platinum card starting in 2023, the Centurion lounges will no longer admit you, just for Havin a platinum card. Might be time to cancel it & go back to a gold card…..

    2. Dr.Plantain Guest

      That is true, there is also rumor that the Goldman Sachs versions is extending the benefit to 2024, based on some Reddit posts.

    3. RC Guest

      Isn't that specifically just for bringing in a guest? Pretty sure for solo travelers the card itself provides access still with no spending requirements.

    4. Cecilia Is Wrong Guest

      This is completely wrong. You'll still be able to enter with a Platinum.

  18. Emerson Guest

    So Amex is still…
    Paying the lease, paying for the repairs, and with no obligation to do so, leased additional space so they could give some sort of offering to their customers? This says a lot about this company and it’s ethos. Happy to be a customer.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      And yet people still complain about coupon books.

    2. Guest Guest

      No - not correct. AMEX isn't paying rent for the lounge - I guess the article's author was too busy to read the 6 page Report to the Board of Airport Commissioners that summarized the Centurion Lounge issue. Basically, the space was part of AMEX's sponsorship deal at LAX - AMEX pays $2 million a year for "Brand Sponsorship program" including indoor advertising, sponsorship, and emerging media opportunities. This Report contains the recommendation by LAWA...

      No - not correct. AMEX isn't paying rent for the lounge - I guess the article's author was too busy to read the 6 page Report to the Board of Airport Commissioners that summarized the Centurion Lounge issue. Basically, the space was part of AMEX's sponsorship deal at LAX - AMEX pays $2 million a year for "Brand Sponsorship program" including indoor advertising, sponsorship, and emerging media opportunities. This Report contains the recommendation by LAWA management to the Board in allowing AMEX to temporarily have the space at level 6 given the fact that AMEX still timely paid the sponsorship fee. If approved, the only items that AMEX would have to pay for with the temporary space is insurance and maintenance stuff.

      As for the repairs, AMEX is likely paying for it because it likely wanted its own general contractor/crew to build out the location. Think about it - if you own the place and a long term tenant is coming in and wants to do a little renovation butrefuses to use people you trust, would you as the owner agree to pay for any repairs your tenant's people worked on?

  19. Andrew Diamond

    I hope they expand the hours of that grab and go. 6:30am - 2:00pm are the exact times I’d never be in that airport.

  20. bill Guest

    Why would AMEX need to pay for these repairs?

  21. BeachfSn Guest

    It’s been much more than 6 months since they closed the lounge. Why did they wait so long to start?

    1. Icarus Guest

      I just looked at the plan on the link and indeed it is the former Etihad Lounge

  22. David O Guest

    @GroeneMichel if you read the attached filing, it very clearly says Amex is paying for the cost of the repairs.

    Quite frankly I'm surprised, because I would also expect it to be LAWA's problem, but thats not what the doc says....

    1. GroeneMichel Member

      Thanks for clarifying, didn't see that! Very surprising indeed.

    2. Frank B Member

      Given that this space is on a separate HVAC from the rest of the terminal, the lease is quite clearly triple net which obligates Amex to pay for the repairs. To their credit, they are leasing replacement space when they are not obligated to do so.

  23. GroeneMichel Member

    I doubt AMEX needs to pay a dime for this, LAX will be responsible since they rent out the space and most likely contractually obliged for working HVAC.

  24. Avery Guest

    Do they know how many staff and customers were exposed? For how long? At what concentration?

    Jet fuel is nasty stuff.

    I smell a class action...

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Dr.Plantain Guest

Someone always having to take it in the wrong direction. No one is here complaining about drump defrauding the non profit for kids with cancer.

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TomLV Guest

"Pay $600 for tax, money for Brandon to buy weapons for NATO. Cool." Lucky, your comment section is basically a Live And Let's Fly-esque dumpster fire, as Eskimo's comment demonstrates. It's gross.

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lkmk Guest

What? How is that relevant?

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