Review: Philadelphia International AMEX Centurion Lounge

Is it worth trekking all the way to Terminal A to visit the Amex Centurion Lounge in PHL?

With plans to open 6 new locations through 2020, the expanding list of Centurion Lounge locations creates an even more compelling case to have an American Express Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card. Additionally, starting in 2020, using an American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card to book a Delta flight will also grant the cardholder free access, as long as the full fare is booked using the Delta Reserve card.

As a reminder, access is limited to passengers on a connection or arriving to the airport less than 3 hours before scheduled departure. Access is complimentary for the cardholder and up to two guests. For additional guests, a $50 fee per guest will apply. For more on the American Express Platinum, you can check out our review here.

The Philadelphia Centurion Lounge is located in Terminal A – almost immediately after security. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll likely be departing out of Terminal A, which makes lounge access very convenient. Otherwise it only takes 5 minutes to walk through each terminal on a series of moving walkways called the “Express Way”. There’s also a shuttle between Terminal A and F if you happen to be on the opposite side of the airport.

Immediately after exiting security, make a right and you’ll see The Centurion Lounge sign on the right hand side. The lounge itself is located on the second level — accessible by stairs or the elevator. The aesthetic is familiar if you’ve visited other Centurion lounge locations.

The lounge is on the smaller side, at just 6,300 square feet (that’s less than half the size of the new LAX Centurion Lounge). It features two main seating areas with the standard buffet line and bar. It was at about half capacity when we arrived at 6pm, and quickly filled up during the hour we were there.

Dining area
Dining area
Lounging area
Lounging area

Dinner was very consistent with what we tend to see at other domestic locations – Mediterranean salad and vegetables, a soup option, and a few hot dishes. Today’s menu was tomato squash soup, marinated chicken, grilled cauliflower and zucchini, and seasoned white rice. We were quite pleased with dinner, especially since we wouldn’t be fed on-board, given we weren’t able to secure first class upgrades on our returning leg to LAX — which was coincidentally the first time in over a dozen legs in September, so we were definitely due.

Iced teas, fruit-flavored water, and coffee available for self-serve.

At the rear of the lounge was a small private room, gender divided restrooms, and a separate shower room. The facilities were impeccably clean, and the men’s room was divided into three private stalls.

Interestingly, only the third and larger stall in the men’s room had a toilet seat and changing table. The other two were private urinals. I didn’t get a chance to look at the shower since it was occupied for the whole hour, but it’s nice that a shower is available.


Overall, the Philadelphia Centurion Lounge was a comfortable space to hang out in for an hour, though I wouldn’t want a layover much longer than that. I imagine the queues for the restrooms and shower must get long during peak hours, so I wouldn’t count on a guaranteed shower after a long-haul flight. If you’ve got a short layover and need a quick bite, it’s definitely worth a quick walk to Terminal A.

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