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American Express opens a new lounge at Stockholm Arlanda for Platinum cardholders

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You are probably aware of the American Express network of Centurion Lounges. You will find these in various airports around the world, primarily in the US, for the exclusive use of Platinum and Centurion cardholders. We reviewed the only Centurion Lounge in Europe, in Heathrow Terminal 3, last week.

Alongside Centurion Lounges, American Express has an ad hoc network of other airport lounges – I went to one in Mexico City many years ago. They are advertised alongside the Centurion Lounges on the Amex website but are not officially part of the group.

The only European site is at Stockholm Arlanda, and it has just had a major overhaul.

American Express lounge Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Can you access the lounge if flying to London?

The new American Express lounge is at Stockholm Arlanda’s Marketplace in Terminal 5 between gates E and F.

The downside is that British Airways operates from Terminal 2. You can see the list of Terminal 5 carriers on the airport website here. Norwegian and SAS flights to London, and indeed the rest of the UK, depart from Terminal 5 so those passengers can access the lounge.

What’s inside the new American Express lounge at Arlanda?

What makes this different from other American Express lounges is the focus on food. In fact, the lounge is officially called ‘American Express Lounge by Pontus’ after Pontus Frithiof, a high profile Swedish chef who oversees the food.

For clarity, this is not a traditional airport lounge per se. It is basically a smart restaurant where food and drink is free! I’m not sure if there is anywhere to sit if you just want to put your feet up and get your laptop out. Whilst the photo below just shows the bar, it is surrounded by ‘traditional’ restaurant tables.

The new lounge covers 700 square metres, which is double the size of the previous lounge. In terms of design:

With inspiration from Scandinavian nature and simplicity, Maria Whyte and her team have carefully planned every square meter of the lounge to reflect Nordic beauty in everything from design to materials, color choices and furniture. The dynamic lighting in the lounge changes throughout the day and creates a play of light on the walls and ceiling, like the beautiful reflections of the sea. Together with the lighting, the elements of Nordic art, raw slate stone, sparkling crystals, solid oak and carefully selected textiles will contribute to an almost magical and dreamlike atmosphere.

American Express lounge Stockholm Arlanda airport

Frithiof already operates a fine dining restaurant at the airport, La Girafe, and will open an Italian-American themed site called Little Italy later this year. In the American Express lounge he offers local dishes such as traditional shrimp sandwiches and salmon salad, as well as various hot and vegetarian options.

Drinks are ‘carefully selected to complement the menu’ and include local beers as well as wine and champagne.

Before the renovation, the lounge offered a range of free meals with additional upscale options available for cash. There was also a difference between what premium drinks you could order for free if you were Platinum vs Centurion. It isn’t clear if this is still the case in the new lounge.

American Express Lounge by Pontus Frithiof is open Monday to Friday from 5am. It closes at 6pm from Sunday to Friday and at 3pm on Saturday.

You can get access with your American Express Centurion or Platinum card. You are allowed one guest per Platinum card and two guests per Centurion card.

You can find out more on the airport website here.

Comments (33)

  • Ghost11 says:

    Looking forward to trying it out next Monday.

  • RL says:

    The original format was two separate lounges, one for Platinum card holders, and next door there was a more upscale, calmer, quieter lounge for Centurion card holders.
    Sounds like they’ve now combined both lounges.
    It will be interesting to see what the level service and ambience will be in the mixed lounge

  • PlaneSpeaking says:

    Is it possible to use the lounge in ARN T5 and then switch to T2 to catch the BA flight home or is that a no no?

    • Tomas Eriksson says:

      Yes you could, if you like the hassle, and allow sufficient time to get to T2 and (in case you leave Schengen) to go through passport control. There is a transfer bus from gate F5 in T5 that will take you to T2, if you request it by pressing a button. This is usually faster than exiting, walking to T5 (or taking the Arlanda Express train, T5 to T2/T3/T4 is free) and going through security again.
      https://www.swedavia.com/arlanda/transport-at-the-airport/
      The information says “the bus will arrive within 20 minutes”, but that must be the time it will take if it has just left and needs to make a full circuit of the airport before returning (and possibly change driver).

      • PlaneSpeaking says:

        Thanks Tomas, I think I’m too risk averse to try it but it’s good to know it can be done and this will be useful for other readers too. Thanks again.

      • Alastair says:

        What would be more interesting is whether security in terminal 5 would let you through with a boarding pass for terminal 2 – otherwise you would have to go through terminal 2 security then take the bus to terminal 5 and then back to terminal 2. The airside transfer is very useful sometimes.

        • Bernard says:

          Which seems a huge hassle for a free drink. And keep in mind there’s the long slow passport process at Arlanda (at possibly Europe’s most unfriendly airport).

          • Alastair says:

            Having had two hours to kill airside in T2 (Schengen) I thought I’d give this a try. Reasonable wines – friendly service – and food that is good restaurant and not airport lounge quality. Definitely a major step up from the Pearl lounges. Note this is in the T5 Schengen area – about five minutes walk from the Schengen side transfer at T11 gate to T2 – whether you can do passport control in T5 and then use the non-Schengen transfer bus to mon-Schengen T2 (or even use the T5 security) I don’t know – but it’s certainly doable with a couple of hours over lunch in T2. And the airside bus transfer is quite fun too…

  • Man of Kent says:

    The bottom photo above keeps reminding me of Nighthawks painting by Edward Hopper.

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