Amex to open its first Centurion Lounge in Europe – at Heathrow Terminal 3

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American Express has just announced that it is opening a new Centurion lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 in 2019. This will be their first European location and the second non-US lounge, after Hong Kong.

Amex launched their Centurion lounge network in 2014 but there are still only a handful around. Currently they are operating at:

New York’s LaGuardia Airport
Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
Miami International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Houston’s George Bush International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport

New York JFK (Terminal 4, covering Asiana, Avianca, China Airlines, Copa, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Singapore, South African, SWISS and Virgin Atlantic), Los Angeles, Charlotte and Denver International Airport are all in development.

(Note that, confusingly, these lounges are not related to the ‘Centurion Lounges’ that Amex runs in Latin and South America and which are not of the same standard.)

The new breed of Centurion Lounges are a premium offering compared to American Express’ current Global Lounge Collection.  They are only open to Platinum and Centurion cardholders.  You may take two guests at no extra charge or, if you are a Centurion member, your full immediate family.

As is usual for Centurion Lounges, it will come with the usual

“complimentary food and beverage from top chefs and mixologists, premium showers, access to high speed wi-fi and private noise-buffering work stations”

as well as the more ambiguous

“specially curated amenities influenced by British hospitality, culture and style”

…. whatever that means. Amex sent us some photos of green walls from their current Centurion lounges, so we assume it will be a big feature:

Amex centurion lounge living wall

andAmex centurion lounge

….. as well as a rendering of the entrance, which looks quite cold and sterile compared to the warmth of the green walls. With the tiling and blue doors it looks like a cross between a tube station and the TARDIS:

Amex heathrow centurion lounge entrance

Conclusion

The Centurion lounges opened to date have an excellent reputation, especially by US standards where lounges tend to be less premium than their counterparts in Europe and Asia.  The biggest problem is overcrowding caused by their popularity.

However, Heathrow Terminal 3 is already inundated with excellent lounge options including the Virgin Clubhouse, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Emirates lounges, plus the more tired British Airways and American Airlines facilities.  There are also two excellent Priority Pass options – Club Aspire (reviewed here) and No 1 Lounges (reviewed here). Adding another, albeit excellent, option will not have quite the same impact as it might at another terminal where premium passengers are less catered for.

The lounge is to span approximately 7000 square feet, which is equal to one floor of the current Qantas two floor lounge or the Club Aspire lounge, and bigger than the 5000 square foot Plaza Premium lounge at Terminal 5.

It may be a relief for those flying Virgin Atlantic and Delta. When Delta moved its operations from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3 after its joint venture with Virgin launched, its Clubhouse lounge had to cater for a greatly increased number of departures.  The new Centurion Lounge may relieve some of the capacity issues and appeal to American Express Platinum cardholders looking for an alternative.  It may also free up some capacity in the Club Aspire and No 1 Lounges sites as Priority Pass holders who receive it via Amex Platinum move across.

Added to the two new sites opening in Gatwick South in the next few weeks, it looks like we are in for another promising period for new London lounges.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

$30 off a $40 'experience' via Expedia - good for restaurants, airport lounges etc, including your home town
Plaza Premium loses management of Cathay Pacific lounge at Heathrow
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Comments

  1. OT, Any suggestions for Milan Hotel near City centre preferably. Have Hilton, IHG status and points and Marriott, Club Carlson points.

    Next stop would be Emir if there are great options there….Please advise folks.

    • We stayed (but didn’t review) at Excelsior Hotel Gallia next to Central Station which has been exceptionally well refurbished very recently. 15 minute walk down to Duomo from Central Station. Hilton is almost next door but was a dump years ago when I stayed.

      • Thanks Rob. I was looking at Hilton but would leave it out now. Excelsior sounds good, also looking at Westin Palace, which is thereabouts….

        • Yes, about 90 seconds away as you head in.

        • Lady London says:

          Westin Palance did not use to get good reviews. Principe de Savoia is practically opposite and was much favoured by a number of people I worked with. I dont have up to date feedback on Principe de S but would defo choose something other than the Westin Palace.

          I stay outside Milan mostly now and very driven by hotel programs and the odd luxury venue so my knowledge is not totally up to date.

    • Lady London says:

      There’s a nice boutique one in Via Spadari but I can’t remember it’s name. It’s right next to the best food shop in Milan! I stayed at the Michelangelo a few years back and it was OK. Principe de Savoia used to be much liked by those who were less price sensitive, but I don’t have recent info on if it’s still that good.

      It depends which hotel program you want to earn in… but I’ve found that other than the Park Hyatt Milan, which is perfectly located for shopping and truly superb (according to those I know who did make stays there) price should never be taken as a guide to quality in Milan.

    • Star hotels Rosa Grand … ok no good if you want to use points but a great location and really smart rooms … stayed there last Feb 18

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