Review: Amex Centurion Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)

Review: Amex Centurion Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)

NAME: Amex Centurion Lounge
Airport: LAX
DATE: September 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Amex Centurion Lounge LAX has an impressive selection of amenities, and a good selection of food & drinks. However, the limited hours, location, and lack of natural light, aren't ideal for many travelers.
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During my time at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), I had the chance to check out the Amex Centurion Lounge.

The lounge initially opened in March 2020, though closed down after roughly a week, given that this was the point at which the pandemic shut down global travel. Even as travel recovered, the lounge didn’t reopen, though, and it finally only opened in June 2022. Why the delay? Because there were apparently issues with jet fumes in the lounge, which required some major work to be done.

So, how is the Amex Centurion Lounge LAX? I’d say it’s probably one of the better Centurion Lounges in terms of crowding, though it also lacks views, and has a bit of an odd layout.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX location

The Amex Centurion Lounge LAX is located in Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). TBIT is connected airside to Terminals 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 — it’s only about a five minute walk from Terminal 4 (which is American’s primary terminal), and then expect it to take an extra five minutes per terminal, give or take.

In other words, to get there from Terminal 7 you’d take the underground walkway to Terminal 6, then the underground walkway to Terminal 5, then the underground walkway to Terminal 4, and then the connector to TBIT from there. It’s quite a trek.

Once inside TBIT, the entrance to the lounge is located on the fourth floor — it’s essentially immediately underneath the Qantas First Lounge. It’s actually located between the international arrivals and immigration area, and the international baggage claim area. Below is a picture of the lounge from the main level of the terminal (you can see the lounge on the left), and those escalators are inside the immigration facility.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX exterior

The entrance to the Centurion Lounge is just past the security checkpoint, and you can enter the area with elevators from either side.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX entrance

The lounge itself is on the second floor, so you can take the elevators down two levels to access the lounge.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX elevators

Once you’re down on the second floor, you’ll see the signature Centurion Lounge entrance, including the plant wall.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX entrance
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX entrance

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX hours

The Centurion Lounge LAX is currently open daily from 6AM until 7:30PM. Those are some fairly limited hours, when you consider that all kinds of flights depart from TBIT way later than that. As a matter of fact, 10PM-12AM is rush hour in the terminal, and the lounge is closed for all of those flights.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX entry requirements

This lounge has the same access policies as all Amex Centurion Lounges. Amex Centurion Lounges can be accessed by those who have any of the following cards, with restrictions noted next to each card:

When it comes to accessing Amex Centurion Lounges, there are some terms to be aware of:

  • You need a same day boarding pass to access Centurion Lounges, and in the case of Delta Reserve cardmembers, the boarding pass needs to be for travel on Delta
  • You can access Centurion Lounges up to three hours before departure, unless you’re connecting, in which case you can access earlier
  • You can’t access Centurion Lounges on arrival, or with a standby or non-revenue standby ticket
  • If you’re guesting people into Centurion Lounges, you need to stay with them the entire time they’re in the lounge

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating & layout

The Amex Centurion Lounge LAX is roughly 14,000 square feet, making it one of the largest Centurion Lounges to date. It has seating for over 200 guests. Of course Centurion Lounges do often have crowding issues, though I’d guess that this lounge is the least likely to have those issues, given its location, and how spread out LAX is.

The Amex Centurion Lounge LAX has a different layout than other lounges belonging to the portfolio. Rather than having one or two main rooms with some partitions, most of the lounge is essentially along a hallway, with a variety of smaller rooms.

Inside the entrance is a small room with the typical American Express art. The tables in this area were mostly marked as being “reserved” (presumably for Centurion cardmembers). It seems like an odd area to hold back for guests, since I’d consider this to be the least private or calm area of the lounge.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating

Further into the lounge is an area with several dining tables, a communal table, and a small bar.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating

Then there’s a room with a large communal table, which I assume is intended to be a workstation.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating

There are also some cool semi-private desks along the hall in this area.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating

The lounge then has a couple of tranquility areas. One is a sunrise room, intended to make you feel more awake, given that it’s pretty bright. I kind of appreciated this, given the lack of natural light in the lounge otherwise.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating

The other tranquility room is described as a moonrise room, and is intended to help you unwind and make you feel like it’s night.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX tranquility room
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX tranquility room

The Amex Centurion Lounge LAX also has a spa, though it’s currently only open from 11AM until 7:30PM, so that didn’t overlap with when I visited. The lounge offers a variety of complimentary treatments on a first-come, first-served basis, including massages and nail treatments. If you’re interested, you’ll want to try to reserve this as soon as you enter the lounge.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX spa
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX spa

The lounge also has a dedicated room for kids. However, it didn’t have all that much in the way of things that will keep kids entertained. Rather it just seemed to be about ideally having kids in a different zone, to limit noise in other parts of the lounge.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX play room for kids
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX play room for kids

In the back of the lounge there’s yet another room with some self-serve drink stations, plus some high-top seating.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating

The main part of the lounge — and this seems to be where a vast majority of guests immediately head — is the bar and dining area. This is an impressive space that has very high ceilings (unlike the rest of the lounge), and features a bar, plenty of dining tables, and the buffet.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX bar
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX seating

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX food & drinks

One of the things that people enjoy about Centurion Lounges are the food and drink selection. For food at the Centurion Lounge LAX, Amex has partnered with Chef Nancy Silverton, who is chef and owner of Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, and chi SPACCA. You can find the current menu below.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX food menu

Meanwhile all Amex Centurion Lounges partner with mixologist Jim Meehan on the drink menu. You can find the current cocktail and wine list below.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX cocktail list
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX wine list

When I visited the lounge, the full breakfast selection hadn’t yet been put out, as the lounge only has cold options for the first 30 minutes. Below you can see what the food looked like at the time.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX buffet
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX breakfast
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX breakfast
Amex Centurion Lounge LAX breakfast

The bartender at the main bar was also making drinks. The smaller bars in other parts of the lounge weren’t yet open, though I assume there are bartenders there later in the day.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX bar

There’s also self-serve water, tea, and coffee, at a couple of stations throughout the lounge.

Amex Centurion Lounge LAX coffee & tea

Bottom line

It’s nice to see the Amex Centurion Lounge LAX finally open. The lounge is a good size, has a solid food and drink selection, and has a nice variety of rooms and amenities to enjoy.

That being said, the lounge lacks natural light, which is a consistent problem at Tom Bradley International Terminal. Furthermore, while Centurion Lounges are way better than your typical domestic airline lounge, TBIT is obviously a bit more competitive when it comes to lounge options. For example, I’m not sure I’d visit here if I also had access to the Qantas First Lounge or oneworld Lounge.

In some ways I consider Centurion Lounges a victim of their own success. They’re superior to domestic airline lounges, which has made them so popular, to the point that they’re consistently really crowded. However, for me the single most important amenity in an airport lounge is that it’s a calm and quiet place to hang out. That’s also a reason that I only very rarely visit Centurion Lounges. Obviously others feel differently, or they wouldn’t be so busy.

If you’ve visited the Amex Centurion Lounge LAX, what was your experience like?

Conversations (27)
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  1. jak Member

    This review is so unlike my experience in this lounge around noon. It was so jam packed we were lucky to find seats at that conference table. I'm not even sure why they put that in every lounge?! There's no way someone says "let's have a business meeting here." The layout is so poor with awkward pinch points every 10-15' and the food was barely edible. Amongst other things I had a cup of gumbo,...

    This review is so unlike my experience in this lounge around noon. It was so jam packed we were lucky to find seats at that conference table. I'm not even sure why they put that in every lounge?! There's no way someone says "let's have a business meeting here." The layout is so poor with awkward pinch points every 10-15' and the food was barely edible. Amongst other things I had a cup of gumbo, and I guess it was what a California person's idea of a gumbo would be. And they were strictly enforcing the ridiculous "one alcoholic drink per person" rule, which is such a nuisance. If you're a party of two and both want a drink, you either both go at the same time and immediately lose your seats, or you go one at a time with each having to wait in line at separate times.

    When we left it was so crowded they weren't even letting people get in the elevator to go down to the lounge.

  2. Darren C Diamond

    I visited the basement CL seven times before it closed. When they switched to the boxed meals and Pellegrino I was still okay with it. The only way past the boxed food was to ask and be escorted to the restrooms.

    Once the *A lounge opened back up, I canceled my AP card.
    Both of the *A lounges have outdoor patios with natural light and less CO2 than the old dungeon CL.

  3. Jimbo Guest

    This lounge, with its maze of oddly small rooms, feels like it was converted from an old dentist's office. As such, you will find yourself awkwardly walking around in circles trying to find anything that you're looking for. Overall, it feels like it has half of the square footage than it actually does.

  4. Alan Guest

    Interesting how positive you are, Ben. I visited a month ago and would give it a 2 or a 3 at most. Horrible lack of natural light, weird layout, absolutely rammed in the main section with only the hightop seats, uninspiring food for an evening meal. Very disappointed overall. Was flying Virgin Upper Class so after trying Amex out I went to the Star Alliance lounge. Food still poor there but much more spacious and...

    Interesting how positive you are, Ben. I visited a month ago and would give it a 2 or a 3 at most. Horrible lack of natural light, weird layout, absolutely rammed in the main section with only the hightop seats, uninspiring food for an evening meal. Very disappointed overall. Was flying Virgin Upper Class so after trying Amex out I went to the Star Alliance lounge. Food still poor there but much more spacious and fantastic outdoor terrace - overall a much better lounge. I visited LHR T3 Amex Lounge on this trip too and was pretty disappointed by it too, again zero natural light and pretty limited food selection.

  5. listen Guest

    T7 to T6 is not underground, rather the airside path it is above the T6/T7 checkin areas

  6. Andrew Diamond

    I'm always a little baffled at the 'natural light' complaints about TBIT. I have a thousand complaints about LAX (mostly outside security, a few inside); for me, this would be the lowest on the list.

  7. liam Guest

    I'm a fan of the overall amex lounge initiative, but this centurion lounge is sad, sad, sad. The whole thing feels subterranean. It's not just the lack of natural light, it's the relatively small spaces, some of which have low ceilings....and then there is is the overcrowding issue. Such a shame because the reception folks were so proactive and welcoming and the food and drink seemed passable (but not great). Made an immediate u-turn and...

    I'm a fan of the overall amex lounge initiative, but this centurion lounge is sad, sad, sad. The whole thing feels subterranean. It's not just the lack of natural light, it's the relatively small spaces, some of which have low ceilings....and then there is is the overcrowding issue. Such a shame because the reception folks were so proactive and welcoming and the food and drink seemed passable (but not great). Made an immediate u-turn and headed to the alliance lounge spaces. In my opinion the Centurion Lounge at TBIT doesn't even rise to the level of an average domestic airline lounge. Truly a disappointment.

    1. Alan Guest

      Totally agree, Liam - just how I felt too. Was a bit surprised how positive this review was vs my experience!

  8. Super Gold

    Does anyone know what happened to the lounge above Korean's space? That seemed like it could've been a much better location for this Centurion Lounge. The dungeon like space isn't super appealing with it's white walls and office lights. Wish they would've gone with a muted and calming aesthetic a la CX The Pier.

  9. Donna Diamond

    To call their bulked up spritz concoction “Venetian” is criminal. No self-respecting Venetian would be caught dead with that mess. Why not just offer the original non-bitter recipe made with Aperol? Always amazed at the arrogance of celeb chefs that believe their special signature touches improve the original product.

  10. Sagar Wadhwani Guest

    Can you access this lounge via terminal 3? Delta operates from this terminal

    1. Icarus Guest

      The airside connection is under construction. Some DL flights depart from TBIT and customers are presently bussed over. You then have to walk back down the concourse to the great hall and up to the lounge level. You would have to ensure sufficient time then. Will de much easier once the connector is open.

    2. ross Guest

      I am also wondering if we can connect from terminal 3. If you can connect from Terminal 4, then T3 also should connect to Tom Bradley because T3 and T4 are in the same building facing north and south.
      By the Delta Sky Club at T3 is pretty good.

  11. Michael Guest

    As Yogi Berra (reportedly) said, "No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

    1. Steve Diamond

      Cant wait for the no guest rule to be implemented. 9 times out of 10 i am traveling solo for work and cant wait till the lounges have space again, gonna feel like 2015 when they first came out and you actually got good service at these lounges!

  12. Adam Enright Guest

    This lounge was packed when I was there and I agree the lack of sunlight and odd design made it feel stuffy. Hoping the card changes on 2/23 help with crowding. People act like vultures who’ve never seen food before LOL

  13. Lee Guest

    While the Amex lounge at LAX initially opened in early 2020, backing out the permit review and construction timeline, it was likely designed in late 2018 or early 2019. Roughly four years ago. And, I would offer that the design is that of a traditional, standard issue, one each airport lounge that we were used to seeing. If we look at the airline lounges that are just opening now, such as the new SkyClubs and...

    While the Amex lounge at LAX initially opened in early 2020, backing out the permit review and construction timeline, it was likely designed in late 2018 or early 2019. Roughly four years ago. And, I would offer that the design is that of a traditional, standard issue, one each airport lounge that we were used to seeing. If we look at the airline lounges that are just opening now, such as the new SkyClubs and the soon to be opened Admiral Club/Flagship Lounge redesigns, it's a whole different ball game. To me, there seems to have been a fundamental shift in look and feel. While complaints about the airlines abound, what they are doing with their lounges is a welcome plus for travel experience. Lounge operators, such as Amex, will need to rethink their approach to lounge design if they want to stay competitive.

  14. Alec Guest

    How would you rank LAX lounges? Flying Qatar and trying to decide if AA Flagship, Oneworld, or Centurion is best option

    1. Lee Guest

      Get to the airport early and go to the AA Flagship Lounge first. Spend most of your time there. Then, head over to the TBIT. You'll pass the entrance to the Amex lounge. Pop in for a general feeling of the place. Then, head to the OneWorld lounge (up the escalator). Pop in for a general feeling of the place. After your visits, report back here. My sense is that you will enjoy the AA Flagship Lounge most.

    2. Super Gold

      Does flying Qatar get you access to Flagship or OneWorld First?

      If yes, then definitely check out the Flagship dining facility but otherwise, my opinion (contrary to Lee) is this order:
      1. OneWorld/Qantas First Lounge
      2. AA Flagship First Lounge
      3. OneWorld Business Lounge
      4. AAdmirals Club

      I'd personally just park at Qantas First the entire time. Great food and ambiance and you're in the correct terminal for departure.

  15. DMNYC Member

    Ben, you're not quite correct on the opening.

    The lounge actually DID open for about a week in March 2020. It was uncrowded (unsurprisingly), with servers serving the food to you wearing gloves, but no masks. Was definitely a bit of a strange feeling.

    It then closed because of the pandemic, and did not reopen at this location until now because of the issues you mentioned. But it WAS open in March 2020 on schedule.

  16. Anthony Diamond

    The issue - at most airports where Centurion Lounges are, you can find either a domestic airline club or another club accessible by card that is better. So the statement that they are better than "domestic airline lounges" isn't accurate.

    LAX - SkyClub is better
    SEA - SkyClub is better
    DFW - CapOne Lounge is better
    LGA - Admirals Club, believe it or not, is better
    JFK - Virgin Clubhouse is better
    PHX - SkyClub is better

    etc...

    1. Lee Guest

      Agreed. Referencing my prior comment regarding a new approach to airline lounge design, I think Amex will need to rethink the look and feel of its lounges.

      Regarding availability, the same goes for Priority Pass. I can't remember the last time I ever used one.

    2. Steve Diamond

      As soon as they remove the guest entry these lounges will return to the top. Cant wait for next year!

    3. Super Gold

      Problem with your assessment for LAX is that it's not really easy to pick either SkyClub or Centurion as the connector isn't built yet (I think, please correct me if I'm wrong!) and even if it was, the Centurion Lounge is on the opposite side of TBIT from Delta. So for all intents and purposes, if you're flying domestic, you'll go to the SkyClub, and if you're flying internationally then it's easier to go to...

      Problem with your assessment for LAX is that it's not really easy to pick either SkyClub or Centurion as the connector isn't built yet (I think, please correct me if I'm wrong!) and even if it was, the Centurion Lounge is on the opposite side of TBIT from Delta. So for all intents and purposes, if you're flying domestic, you'll go to the SkyClub, and if you're flying internationally then it's easier to go to Centurion.

      I think Amex picked this spot to appeal most to AA flyers because it's only a 5min walk for them.

    4. JayKay Guest

      I would respectful beg to differ on that. The Amex lounges are small, that's my foremost complaint, they get crowded quickly and feel cramped. However, as far as catering and beverages, I don't think we're comparing apples to apples, the domestic lounges you are referring to (Admirals, SkyClub) do not offer anywhere near the variety and quality of food that is offered in Centurion lounges. Admittedly there is room for improvement, but I would strongly...

      I would respectful beg to differ on that. The Amex lounges are small, that's my foremost complaint, they get crowded quickly and feel cramped. However, as far as catering and beverages, I don't think we're comparing apples to apples, the domestic lounges you are referring to (Admirals, SkyClub) do not offer anywhere near the variety and quality of food that is offered in Centurion lounges. Admittedly there is room for improvement, but I would strongly disagree the assertion that the food and beverages offered say at the Admirals Club at LGA is superior, it just simply is not.

    5. Wkc Guest

      2nd JayKay. The food in the general lounges in no way, no way, comparable to Amex. Polaris is comparable, but not the normal united lounge for instance

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Michael Guest

As Yogi Berra (reportedly) said, "No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

2
Donna Diamond

To call their bulked up spritz concoction “Venetian” is criminal. No self-respecting Venetian would be caught dead with that mess. Why not just offer the original non-bitter recipe made with Aperol? Always amazed at the arrogance of celeb chefs that believe their special signature touches improve the original product.

1
Lee Guest

Get to the airport early and go to the AA Flagship Lounge first. Spend most of your time there. Then, head over to the TBIT. You'll pass the entrance to the Amex lounge. Pop in for a general feeling of the place. Then, head to the OneWorld lounge (up the escalator). Pop in for a general feeling of the place. After your visits, report back here. My sense is that you will enjoy the AA Flagship Lounge most.

1
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