While I gave credit to the Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco for having the best food, Dallas has the best drinks. The cocktails and wine have been excellent every time I visit, which is becoming increasingly often as my travel on American Airlines picks up. The servers moving throughout the lounge also do a good job of clearing plates and bringing another round of drinks, something I haven’t really noticed at San Francisco or Las Vegas.
Since this is clearly the reason I take the Skylink to Terminal D on every trip — even when arriving and departing from different terminals — here’s a picture of the Blue Door cocktail, which is my favorite. I’ve even gotten the staff to open the bar and serve me one at 7:30 in the morning!
Fortunately the location of the DFW lounge is much more convenient than at SFO. Dallas is a huge airport, but the inter-terminal train is located airside, past security, and the station escalator is close to the lounge. Unfortunately the TSA security checkpoint closest to the Centurion Lounge has no PreCheck, so you may receive a full-body massage before you arrive. The lounge itself is located above the shops and is in a U-shape, so be sure to explore both sides. The dining area near the bar and buffet tends to be more crowded, while the sitting area by the spa is often overlooked.
The Exhale spa offers complimentary 15-minute treatments, but I have not yet visited it. Spas are not my thing and likely never will be. Megan’s ears did perk up, and one day we may have enough time during a connection. Be sure to put your name on the list immediately after arriving. They are open each day from 9 AM to 8 PM. I’m often passing through on short connections or well after 8 PM, as all the photos in this post would suggest — it isn’t normally so dark, but the dim light does create a relaxing mood. During the day the lights are brighter and you’ll have to fight with the business crowd for a power outlet.
For travelers transferring between long flights, there is no shortage of places to get a quick shower at DFW. The Grand Hyatt outside security in Terminal D offers day rates, there are showers available at each of four Admirals Clubs, and there is a Minute Suites lounge that provides showers and private nap rooms by the hour. But passing through on a recent trip to London, I was disappointed to find there is no American Flagship (first class) lounge at DFW, so I went to the Centurion Lounge even though a regular Admirals Club was located right next to my gate. It’s just that much better than all the other options.
The Centurion Lounge has its own shower suite with L’Occitane amenities and provides the best overall experience when you also consider the included food and drinks. Even the regular restrooms are nicely detailed with heavy wood doors and more L’Occitane amenities. Lockers are available at reception if you would like a place to store your luggage.
Dining service is provided on one side, with a bar and a mix of chairs. At the end of the hall you can see some couches and a television. This entire area is often crowded during the day, but if you can flag down a server they may bring a drink to you. I mentioned my preference for the Blue Door. Megan gets a Prosecco.
The food itself is a mix of Tex-Mex and barbecue. I would say it’s only average. I would prefer that the tortilla chips not have barbecue flavoring on them, and it’s a little weird to make tacos with beef brisket. But the ingredients are fresh, they have some spice, and I can get as much guacamole as I want!
Normally I sit in this hallway between the reception area and the dining area. There are larger chairs, as well, and seating is located on both sides. It’s just narrow enough that they can’t put seating down the middle, so that creates an uncluttered pathway that actually makes it feel more spacious.
But if you really want to get away from the crowds, remember I suggested the back room by the spa. It has more chairs and small couches, including those large green seats on the right with walls for privacy. The room is dominated by a large wooden table, and I rarely see more than a dozen people in here.
In summary, the Dallas Centurion Lounge is my favorite location. The food has some flavors I don’t prefer, but it is high quality and substantial. Usually I’m just dropping in for a drink, which they do very well. The lounge is surprisingly convenient in such a large, sprawling airport.
Admission is free to Amex Centurion and Platinum Card members and their immediate family (or two guests). Other Amex cardmembers are permitted at a cost of $50 per person. There is lots of competition in Dallas, but I still consider this the best option if you have the time to reach Terminal D. More than any other benefit, this lounge has been worth the $450 annual fee on her Platinum Card, which drops to $250 after taking consideration of the $200 annual airline fee credit.