Marriott"

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

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

American Express has just announced that it is opening a new Centurion lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 in 2019, writes Rhys. 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.

$30 off a $40 'experience' via Expedia - good for restaurants, airport lounges etc, including your home town
Bits: Plaza Premium loses Cathay T3 management, LOT launches City to Vilnius, BA launching Islamabad?
Click here to join our email list and receive all of the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

qatar
Amazon ad
Marriott

About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Unless the rules have changed again, only one guest is allowed per card holder. I believe it was two originally but it’s was dropped to one.

  2. Shoestring says:

    How do you get to be a Centurion cardholder?

    • Await an invitation from Amex.

    • Over to Nigel…..

    • Thomas Howard says:

      According to wikipedia you need annual spend of $250k, income of $1.3m and network of $16m. I don’t think its a card I need to worry about.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centurion_Card

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Centurion is a bit devalued ever since Medallion came in though.

      • Voltron says:

        What are the benefits of Centurion?

        • Peter K says:

          As far at as I can tell it gives you access to what are basically “fixers”.
          I read (on here I think) of someone who had the centurion card and couldn’t fly to South America due to the ash from the Icelandic volcano. At the time Eurotunnel/ferry route tickets were like gold dust. The centurion team worked out and booked a route for them to get there.

          Apart from that I think they are just nice to have if you like staying at the Sofitel Heathrow and eating at their restaurant 😁

        • No wonder the Sofitel can get away with charging £300 per night! I think I’d want an actual Centurion assigned to do my every bidding for that kind of dosh lol.

        • Actually I would love to be a “fixer”, I wonder how you get to work for them? My career to date has involved solving so many people’s “issues” I think finding Eurotunnel tickets in an ash cloud crisis would be a lot of fun.

        • Wots the Sofitel reference? Right over my head…

        • Lady London says:

          @Chris on a recent post @Nigel the Pensioner was mentioning a fondness for the Sofitel and its Belle Epoque restaurant.

          Remember HM the Queen’s a pensioner too 🙂

  3. Whilst on the subject of Amex, does anyone else get absolutely no targeted offers? I have a Platinum charge card and BAPP, and never get any offers, except ones like Shop Small. Amex just say “offers are targeted and you haven’t qualified this time”. Others seem to have lots of offers all the time.

    • Same here. I stopped receiving any offers in August. Before that, I used to get every single offer mentioned here. I currently have 0 offers across all of my cards as does my partner. Between us that’s Platinum, Gold, BAPP and SPG cards. I made two complaints to Amex, including formal one. First they said that I wasn’t signed up due to GDPR which was total nonsense and the formal complaint resulted in them saying that offers are not part of card member agreeement. They also went on that I should contact customer service if I have trouble saving offers. Totally missing the point of my complaint. On top of that everytime I call Amex, the automated system asks me to activate a new card that has been sent to me (it hasn’t and I’ve been using some cards for over two years!). I alerted Amex about it and they said that you don’t need to activate the card to use it and it’s probably just a glitch in automated phone system! Normally, I wasn’t a big churner, but I will be cancelling some of the cards today. I think that’s the only way to maybe start getting offers again.

      • Bonglim says:

        Did you have a card(s) replaced at some stage, because of fraud or lost or similar?

        If so I suspect offers might be being placed on your old card number rather than your new one.

        • No, not at all. Same card numbers. I find it all very strange and it’s poor form from Amex that they are not willing to look into this properly.

      • Heathrow Flyer says:

        I had this issue.

        Basically it was explained to me as an IT glitch – as it sounds like you have lots of supps and main cards across your Online Service Account(s).

        I think you may have been barking up the wrong tree with the escalation route you went down.

        Try removing any supps from your online services account (can be done in Card Management) leaving just the main cards. Once they’ve been removed you can ‘re-activate’ them (you’re not actually reactivating them but that’s what Amex call it) and create a new online services account for them – be sure to choose that option rather than logging into your existing account and adding them to that (as you’ll be back to square one).

        That worked for me and all my offers returned. Took a few hours and they came back first on the desktop site (strangely)..

        • Heather Flyer – thanks, I’ll give that a go. On my main account I have a Platinum Charge card and my BAPP card. My supplementary Platinum card that I’ve given a friend doesn’t show up.

          I’ll try removing/adding each one over the next few days and see if that help! Cheers!

        • @Heathrow Flyer I actually did what you suggested before and it didn’t work. I also removed all cards and added them again. No luck. For supp cards, we actually have separate accounts.

    • Same here meta, no offers, but for as long as I remember, only the ones like shop small appear. Also, I have never had a credit limit increase on my BAPP card, it’s an instant no when I have tried. I have had Amex look into it and they email back office and marketing and just get back that I haven’t qualified “this time”. They aren’t interested in the fact I get no offers at all.

      So a few weeks ago I applied for a Gold Rewards card. It has a much larger credit limit (Despite not even wanting to add £1k to my BAPP card). I did have to create a new sign in as it wouldn’t let me add it to my existing account but it’s still linked to my Platinum charge card membership rewards points, so they know it’s me.

      On my new Gold card I now am getting offers, I have 13 today. I find this so bizarre. They are willing to give me a large credit limit but refuse to increase my BAPP. Something must be wrong on my original account buyt Amex refuse to accept that, just saying “we can’t comment” and “offers are targeted”. I’ve got nowhere with my calls to them.

  4. Surely you mean “when Delta moves its operations from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3”? Virgin have always been at T3.

    • Basic errors such as this start to make you doubt what other errors there are that may not be as minor.

      Also to address the crowding issue (which only really happened after DL switched all its flight to
      T3 as for a while only some switched then some switched back until they all switched) some DL elites are shunted off to one of the commercial longes. Also VS has a ‘guest must be on the same VS flight’ rule.

      • Apologies, both Rhys and I know what should have been written there. We are running a tight ship at the moment with the normal content, the party (we have got a sponsor over the line now) and the interviews for the full time HFP job, which are 2 hours each including an exam.

        • Not sure you mean ‘running at tight ship’ as a phrase? Would mean everything was spot on without any mistakes rather than very busy (as sounds to be the case!) 😛

        • I was meant to have a 7.30am meeting with Virgin this morning, luckily it got cancelled! At a lunch with Craig Kreeger, the Virgin Atlantic CEO, at noon. Meant to be getting the details on the new VS Upper Class seat on the A332s within the hour. Rhys down in Crawley discussing the party. No peace today!

        • After the appointment can you publish the ‘exam’, think we would all love a go!

        • You get 20 (real) random reader emails to reply to.

        • Fantastic idea for an exam, love it 😀 Is it open book (HfP website) for them? 😉

        • Doesn’t matter because it is impossible to answer all the questions in the time allowed if you don’t know the answers off the top of your head.

          Sample questions (all of which I actually took out because it got too long):

          “Hi Rob

          Just a small technical question. Are Avios points allocated according to the tier when you book or when you travel?

          Wanting to book a flight, currently bronze, but awaiting tier points from recent Qatar flight which will take me to silver.”

          and

          “Hi rob,

          Just a quick question, if I have the Amex platinum and book a hotel via the fhr program but decide the downgrade to green or cancel the card. Does that invalidate my booking? What would likely happen?”

          and

          “Dear Rob

          I have Silver status with BA. My Tier points collection year ends July 2019.
          My card expiry however is more than a year later, August 31 2020.

          I assume this is to do with the two year extension granted last June to compensate for the disrupted flights weekend (I did fly that weekend). I can’t remember receiving the email but it’s quite likely I did..

          My question is this – if my silver card status lasts until August 2020, what happens to the tier points I earn in this current year (until July 2019)? If I hit 600 points (very likely), will that qualify to extend my silver status a year further on than August 2020 – taking me to August 2021?

          Or is it a waste of time flying BA this current year – may as well collect miles/status with a different airline Partnership/group?

          If that’s so, then the BA status give-away last June wouldn’t have helped their sales this year..!”

        • Nice – wish exams at school & uni had been like that!

          Really excellent idea for getting someone who’s already up to speed.

        • ankomonkey says:

          Q1. What is the link to upgrade Amex Gold charge card to Plat? (although with the demise of the Gold charge card this question will disappear)

          Q2. I’ve earned a 241 from my BA Amex. If I cancel the card will it disappear from my BAEC account?

          Q3. Which Tesco branches have 3V cards?

          Q4. If I withdraw cash with my Curve linked to Virgin Money card, will it get charged as a purchase or cash advance?

          Q5. If I use Amex Travel to exchange currency, will it get charged as a purchase or a cash advance, and does it count towards welcome bonus and/or 241 spending?

          Q6. Where is the legendary ‘place in the sun’?

          Q7. Name at least 4 of Harry’s aliases.

        • Haha love it.

          2HF

        • Shoestring says:

          Actually 3 of my posts figure in the stretch task for candidates who finish with time to spare. They are gradations of ‘where exactly would you wield the big red pen?’ judgement calls.

          🙂

    • Yes we do 🙂

    • Also Delta appears to be missing from the list of airlines at JFK T4

  5. How can I get a centurion card?

    Any tips?

    • Push a shed load of money through your Platinum?

      • Big Dave says:

        and by shed he means litterally fill a shed up with money, count it and thats how much spend you need to put through – and then you need to be invited

    • I was putting through 6 figures annually on my Platinum, soo just phoned them to ask one day. They played it all cool, told me how they couldn’t do anything other than pass a note on, yet then about 2 months later I received the invite in the post. Then I read said invite, realised it offered me nothing of use – other than a drain on my bank account for the high fees they charge – and never went ahead.

      • Best option is to find a mate with one and give him the £500 fee for an extra supp card. He is not out of pocket and you get all the benefits inc Hilton Diamond etc.

        I was offered the ICC version and, like Tom, refused because under no scenario can it offer value for money, unlike Platinum. Despite common opinion, people who have made their own money after many years of hard work do not suddenly forget how hard it was to get it and suddenly start throwing thousands around willy nilly.

        • Unlike Nigel the pensioner who prefers to boast about wasting his money willy nilly!

        • Absolutely, wealthy people are often precisely that because they are extremely prudent! And the kind of person who values things like the 2 4 1 voucher and free breakfast will generally want a lot of value out of any credit card fees they pay.

        • Alex W +1!!! Amen brother.

        • Hence the Aldi offers from Amex 😀

        • Aldi offers on 3 cards – it was like Christmas come early!

      • Lady London says:

        I’ll take a bet some are ‘comped’.

  6. Re list of current Centurion lounges – I think you missed out Buenos Aires.

  7. “Centurion” lounges – infested with platinum card holders 🙂

  8. filipino_chino says:

    only been in one amex lounge back in DFW and i have to say i was impressed… hope they open more!

  9. There is the Mexico City Centurion Lounge which I have always thought the best in the network which doesn’t get a mention in the article!

    • +1

      • Didn’t want to muddy the water, that is NOT a Centurion lounge in Amex’s eyes as a quick look at their Centurion Lounge website will prove.

        • But can Plat card holders use it?

        • Yes

        • That is odd as it is I believe the only lounge with a dedicated Centurion side which I must say is superb! Maybe this is why Amex doesn’t want to confuse things. If your a Cent card holder and go there the rest of the lounges seem pretty poor by comparison!

          Equally I think its worth pointing out these other lounges so people know about them if HfP is your main source of info on these things!

  10. Slightly OT – in Jan i will have a long stopover in LHR T5, to ease the boredom i was wondering if its possible to terminal hop and go over to T3 and lounge hop? Is it possible? Not sure how you would get out of T5 departures. If not possible it means i will be stuck in the Concorde Lounge 😉

    • Heathrow Flyer says:

      You can go landslide at T5 no problem and take the tube/HEX for free to T3.

      You’d then need a ticket for T3 to go airside – I guess you’d have to ‘miss’ your T3 flight and be asked to be escorted back landslide – they also probably ask you to go through passport control again I imagine?

      Maybe someone on here will have experience of missing their T3 flight?

      • No no no no no.

        I have done this many a time; never go landslide as it will cause many problems with ‘Ready to Fly’ later on. You will also not be allowed into T3 from landslide with a T5 boarding pass. The ‘shopping rule’ doesn’t apply when entering T3 you see from landslide (it only applies from airside). So seriously! Don’t do it!

        However, Simply during your stopover take the airside flight connections route to T3. When done, simply take the airside bus back to T5. You will have to clear security both times. On Saturday it took me 45 minutes to get from C gates T5 to the Cathay Lounge T3. It was only 30 minutes back but I’d leave an hour to be safe.

        • Shoestring says:

          Landslide is presumably better option than airslide, then? 🙂

          I can see why you might do this as a student but these days I think I’d stay in T5 Concorde.

          Why waste valuable time?

    • How long is long?

      it is possible but you would have to go through security twice – once on entry into T3 and then again at T5 on the way back.

      There are threads about it on the BA flyer talk board if you google them that have more details in.

      Just remember to be back in T5 to comply with conformance etc.

      • 7 hours! Due to no avios availability back to GLA, there is however lots of availability to EDI, but that’s a pain as car will be at GLA. Several hours in the Concorde Lounge sounded not too bad at the time of booking, but now as it draws closer i am going off the idea (although OH still thinks its a great plan). Getting airside at T3 doesnt seem doable.

        • Yeah I had 4h in CCR – was fine, but very busy and wouldn’t want 7h! Worth Ix the Heathrow Shopping route I mentioned?

    • Best method I can think of is the Heathrow Shopping route – find a store that’s only in T3 and say you want to visit. Never done it myself though so don’t know if they then just leave you in T3 or accompany you there and back again (which could be tricky unless they fancy a lounge visit too!)

      • Alan’s shopping route sounds like the best option. I’m not sure it even has to be a store that’s only in T3. I’ve never done this, but one of the stores actually suggested this to me when they were out of something, and thought their store in one of the other terminals might have it. Presumably you could then say you want to take your time shopping and use your onward boarding pass to get to T5 via the airside bus.

        On the other hand, someone at the Concorde room might just take pity on you and put you on an earlier flight back to GLA, but it could be a problem with luggage.

      • ankomonkey says:

        And when you get to T3 you tell your chaperone that you just need to use the bathroom and run for your life to where you wanted to go to in T3. Then repeat the request to shop in T5 to get back there.

  11. Graham Walsh says:

    This will be a great addition to T3 for those not flying in business and no status. Another reason to keep the Platinum card to pair with PP in T5.

  12. Does anyone have an idea when this will be open?

    I would like to make some T3 plans for 2019

    • Shoestring says:

      Press release just says ‘in 2019’.

      But hey! I thought somebody said the pop up was only 1 day? Not according to PR:
      Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers can get a taste of the Centurion Lounge’s premium service and amenities at an exclusive pop-up at Unit 6, Langley Street, in London’s Covent Garden which will be open from 13 to 16 December from 11:00am to 6:00pm each day. A much needed sanctuary from the hustle and bustle, the pop-up Centurion Lounge will offer complimentary bites and beverages, gift wrapping services, charging stations and family programming. Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers are welcome to attend with up to two complimentary guests. More information about The Centurion Lounge pop up at Covent Garden can be found here.

      • Don’t remember anything about it only being for a day, I think it’s earlier closing than last year though? Planning to be there on the Thurs, hopefully no pre-arranged events this time!

  13. If it’s like the other centurion lounges it will become overcrowded very quickly. The main benefit of this could be a quieter clubhouse, Cathay lounge etc.

    • Yep their overgenerous guesting policy has really caused issues in the US where folks were bringing their whole family in! (& of course Plat is much cheaper there given all the rebates on offer)

    • Scallder says:

      However surely part of the reason that they’re so overcrowded is lack of competition in the US. As pointed out some other very good lounges in T3, so hopefully won’t be such a problem as in the US…

  14. Optimus Prime says:

    OT but lounge related – is there a lounge for those flying BA F out of LAS? I can find just Centurion, Club and United.

    • I think it’s just “the Club at LAS”, which is also the priority pass lounge

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Thanks. I guess it’ll be packed!

        • The club at LAS is pants. Centurion lounge is quite a long walk + shuttle, but it’s definitely worth it. Without a plat I think you can buy access for $50 if you have another amex card, unless the rules have changed.

        • thehornets says:

          The Club at LAS is incredibly poor. Don’t waste your time.

    • I had the same question but couldn’t figure out if you can get to D gates where the amex lounge is if you are flying from E gates, flying BA F next may I’m still hoping they switch the plane as currently its the very old 747

  15. What are “premium” showers? Do they rain unicorn tears?

    The showers in the VS lounge are good, but if it’s heat and volume you want, the shakers in the VS Revivals are excellent!

  16. There is a ‘Pontus in the Air’ lounge at Stockholm Arlanda that is, to all intents and purposes, a Centurion Lounge. It only allows Platinum and Centurion cardholders in. It’s up on a mezzanine with a great view of the runway.

  17. Scott Mitchell says:

    There is also an AMEX lounge in Sydney, Australia
    https://thepointsguy.com/2017/11/amex-lounge-sydney-review/

  18. Benylin says:

    Just used the Centurion lounge in HK. Looks new and modern, but not much comfortable seating if you had to slum here for a few hours. Good food selection and a large bar.

  19. Scottydogg says:

    OT
    When you bring a guest into a lounge using Lounge club card , is it still £15 or did it go up to £20 ?
    I remember reading that Priority Pass had put it up to £20 but can’t find anything about Lounge Club ?

  20. Kevin C says:

    I was in Club Aspire T3 a couple of weeks ago for breakfast. I wouldn’t class it ‘excellent’. I’d say it is ‘just about okay’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.