On Monday American Express opened its second international lounge in Melbourne, Australia, following the previous location in Sydney. The lounge is not part of the official Centurion Lounge collection but does offer many similar benefits.
- Complimentary food, beverages, and barista-made espresso
- Internet access and flight information monitors
- Reading material including international magazines and newspapers
Interestingly, the press release mentions furniture design elements from the Plaza Premium Lounge. This could indicate a closer relationship between Amex and Plaza Premium going forward. Plaza Premium already provides lounge access to Amex Platinum Cardmembers, but in my opinion most locations are pretty basic (I was unimpressed with a recent visit to the U.S. departures lounge at Vancouver). If Amex can utilize Plaza Premium’s experience in this area but bring it up to higher standards, that’s a good thing.
Access to the lounge is restricted to those with an American Express Platinum Card or Centurion Card, but otherwise admission is free. You don’t need to be traveling on a specific carrier to gain entrance. The lounge is open from 6 AM to 11 PM every day.
These are similar access rules for using the Centurion Lounges in the United States, and there are more and more Centurion Lounges out there even if you tell yourself you’re never going to visit Melbourne. Philadelphia opened recently, and Denver was just announced. You can find all locations on the American Express website.
Unfortunately, American Express didn’t provide any photos of the Melbourne lounge beyond the front door. Check out this review by Australian Business Traveler for more details.