It’s a general consensus that long layovers are the worst. You’re cramped in a seat next to a stranger, the food is all of the fast variety, and finding an open outlet for your drained smartphone can feel like a real-life game of Where’s Waldo.
Don’t you wish things could be different? Don’t you wish there was a place you could go where everyone knows your name?
Can you believe this is in an airport? (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
Well wish no more. American Express has introduced the Centurion Lounge, a network of premium airport lounges exclusively for card members. And folks there will know your name because it’s on your card. Yahoo Travel was given a sneak preview of the the newest space at New York’s LaGuardia Airport before it opens later this month. And we gotta say, it’s not too shabby.
As you enter the double blue doors, it almost feels as if you’re walking into a swanky hotel lobby. The decor is modern and minimalist, with accents of bright green and orange throughout the space. The walls are decorated with iconic portraits from Rock Paper Photo of celebrities traipsing around New York. And while you lounge in the lounge, you can watch planes take off and land on the runway.
Relax and reboot in the American Express Centurion Lounge. (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
For the business traveler, the Centurion Lounge is like a trendy offsite office. New York City might be working on getting free Wi-Fi in its airports, but the lounge isn’t waiting. Wi-Fi is free. There are also cute noise-buffering workstations for solo workers. However, I like to call them cubbies and I would probably just take a nap inside one.
Noise-buffering workstations (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
And there are plugs everywhere: under every table, in every nook, on every wall. They’re even hidden on top of the table! Your devices are guaranteed to be fully charged before you step foot on a plane.
Can’t find a plug? Just look under the counter. (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
OK, now that we have the business out of the way, let’s talk about what really matters — the food! The Centurion Lounge features world-class service, chef-crafted fare, premium wines, and specialty cocktails. At the New York location they’ve brought on Cédric Vongerichten, chef du cuisine at the restaurant Perry Street in New York City. This means that the food will not only be gourmet, but it will also be a tad healthier than the food court cuisine. Adding to the chic factor, the signature cocktails were created by Jim Meehan of New York’s PDT, and many of the drinks will be infused with ingredients inspired by the big apple.
Eat and drink in the American Express Centurion Lounge. (Photo: Brittany Jones-Cooper)
All right, so how much is this going to cost you? The Centurion Lounge is complimentary for American Express Platinum Card and Centurion Members, and their immediate family or up to two travel companions. All other American Express card members have the opportunity to purchase a day pass to the lounge for $50. The fee covers food and drinks, so keep that in mind while considering your budget.
The lounge in LaGuardia will open later this month, joining existing lounges in McCarron International Airport and Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport. Lounges are currently planned for San Francisco and Miami International Airports in the near future.
And if you do decide to stop by the lounge when it opens, you might see me there—sleeping in one of those noise-buffering cubbies.