Several bloggers reported yesterday that American Express is opening a new Centurion Studio at SeaTac in 2015. Unlike the several Centurion Lounges that have been opened in Dallas, San Francisco, and elsewhere, the Studio concept is going to be a smaller version that probably won’t offer the full menu of specialty cocktails and prepared food (it will still provide wine, beer, healthy snacks, and probably some other stuff not explicitly mentioned).
As someone who lives in Seattle, it’s an important question for me where this lounge will be located. Will it be in the North Satellite, where the former United Club space remains vacant in the basement? Or is United going to face some tougher competition by the A Gates as Amex replaces the open-access Club Cascade?
I reached out to American Express and learned that it will be near the entrance to the B Gates from the main concourse. The individual I spoke to couldn’t provide an exact location, but in that area you can find a McDonald’s, Vino Volo, Hudson News, and a few other fairly unremarkable places.
To be honest, I don’t go to the B Gates very often. United/Continental used to have some flights there before they consolidated at the A Gates. Their former Continental Club space would still be available except it is too far away to match the description I was given. The bookstore location was formerly vacant after Borders went bust, so maybe Hudson is trying to get the lease off its hands. Even the Amex press release admits it was hard finding enough space for a full-sized Centurion Lounge.
In any case, I think it’s a good spot. The B Gates are a sort of leftover area for several airlines that don’t operate their own lounges. Yet Seattle has a fairly compact airport if you know your way around. It’s right near the main security checkpoints, so almost anyone could visit it before continuing to a flight departing elsewhere. (North Satellite is still too remote. We need a lounge there.)
It is also close enough to be a viable substitute for the Alaska Airlines Board Room when it gets too busy. Many people who use the Board Room do so with a Priority Pass Select membership obtained via the American Express Platinum Card. Those cardmembers will now be able to access both the Board Room and the new Centurion Studio. But unlike the Board Room, you’ll be able to bring your family or a companion for free, which you can’t do with Priority Pass Select.
Expect to find “comfortable seating, charging stations, fast and free WiFi, and complimentary healthy snacks and beverages. Access to The Centurion Studio is the latest feature in a suite of travel benefits for Platinum Card Members; entry to the space will be complimentary for Platinum Card and Centurion® Members, and their immediate family or one travel companion.”