American Express announced today that it plans to open its 10th Centurion Lounge at JFK’s Terminal 4 in New York. This will be a 15,000-square foot lounge that spans two floors. The press release claims special features to be announced later, but in general most Centurion Lounges have a cocktail bar, hot food (that’s actually worth eating), showers, and work areas. The lounge is expected to open in 2019.
The biggest downside is that some lounges are so popular they suffer from persistent overcrowding, but hopefully the large size of this location will mitigate the issue. I still go out of my way to visit the Centurion Lounge at most airports when I have the opportunity.
- Review: Centurion Lounge Seattle
- Review: Centurion Lounge San Francisco
- Review: Centurion Lounge Las Vegas
- Review: Centurion Lounge Dallas
- Review: Centurion Lounge Philadelphia
- Review: Centurion Lounge Miami
Access to the Centurion Lounge requires either an American Express Platinum Card or Centurion Card. Cardmembers are allowed to enter with two complimentary guests, and additional guests cost $50 each. If you have issued additional cards to your family, they are also “cardmembers” and can use the lounge by themselves and admit their own guests. It typically costs $175 for three additional Platinum Cards.
JFK, and particularly T4, strikes me as an odd choice. It has a large number of international carriers, which tend to have more passengers who don’t live in the U.S. and may not be familiar with the Centurion Lounge program. There may be more upper-income passengers who can afford international travel, and not everyone who flies on an international carrier is from a foreign country, but it still seems that you’re facing an uphill marketing battle. Some of those passengers may already have access to one of the terminal’s existing business class lounges.
The other issue, although not unique to JFK, is that its terminals are connected by a tram before security. There is no requirement that your flight departs from T4 in order to enter and use the new lounge. However, it does make it a hassle. I spent the summer using the Centurion Lounge at San Francisco’s T3 before every flight that departed T2, re-clearing security. At least that airport has terminals close enough that I could walk.
Los Angeles strikes me as a much better option for a non-affiliated lounge since there are more walkways connecting terminals after security, but we still don’t know when (or if) American Express will open a lounge there.