Review: The Centurion Lounge at LAX – opening day impressions

Opening day thoughts on the newest Amex Centurion Lounge at LAX.

This morning, the newest American Express Centurion Lounge opened its doors at LAX to welcome us in.

The LAX Centurion Lounge entrance is located on level 4 of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, and is open daily from 6:30am-11pm (the elevator takes you down to the lounge on level 2). Given the time restrictions for entry at various Priority Pass lounges like the neighboring Korean Air Lounge, the Centurion Lounge is a very welcome addition to the terminal that recently lost PF Chang’s at the end of 2019.

Like all Centurion Lounges, admission is complimentary for global American Express Platinum Card, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, and Centurion Members with a boarding pass for confirmed same-day travel. The caveat for Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card holders is that they must be flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight.

Holding one of these cards makes you eligible for complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges

At nearly 14,000 square feet, this will be one of the largest Centurion Lounge locations. With a max capacity of over 500, we’ll be interested to see in the coming months how well it handles one of the busiest airports in the world. 

To the right of the entrance is a stand alone buffet island, which rotates between breakfast and daytime food items at 11:30am.

During the early morning shortly after opening, a continental breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, and pastries is served. At 7:30, the hot breakfast items are brought out. This morning’s menu featured a nice variety of french toast, eggs, bacon, oatmeal, miso soup, and a couple other hot items.

The big breakfast bottleneck is that the buffet is not self-serve; employees stand by to serve you, which was fine when the lounge was empty but I imagine will be painstakingly slow when it’s busy. It’s possible that this is only temporary and precautionary because of the Coronavirus.

Beside the breakfast bar is a row of seating leading up to a full bar, which serves limited cocktails in the morning and a full drink menu after 10:30am.

Tucked away beyond the breakfast area is an overflow dining space known as the Cafe Terrace (aka the “Garden room”).

Cafe Terrace (“Garden room”)

Clearly, American Express has put considerable thought into the layout of the new Centurion Lounge at LAX. They designated plenty of seating space around the main dining area, and positioned several unique seating and refreshment areas on the opposite side of the lounge as well, likely in an effort to manage overcrowding.

Making a left at the lounge entrance leads you to the beer and wine bar, as well as several themed rooms and work spaces.

Premium beer, wine, and coffee bar

Past the bar was additional seating space, a large working area with private work stations, and a multi-purpose “family” room.

Beyond the working space was an Exhale spa (my wife was in awe of the nail polish wall) and two themed relaxation rooms: the Sunrise and Moonrise rooms. The spa was unattended this morning, but the staff members told us that spa treatments would be something to look forward to later this year.

Sunrise room
Moonrise room (“Serenity room”)

The moonrise room might very well be the quietest, most relaxing room in the entire airport.

The washrooms are located on this side of the lounge, as well. They’re quite small given how large the lounge is, but the aesthetic was very consistent with the premium Centurion look.

Lastly, the Centurion Lounge has two spacious shower rooms. I imagine the queue times will be extremely long, so you’ll want to leave plenty of time to get in line.

Unfortunately, the Centurion Lounge doesn’t yet have a WiFi network, so you’ll have to use LAX Free WiFi for now. Fortunately, this isn’t a big deal since LAX offers one of the best free WiFi networks of any US airport we’ve tested, and our Speedtest from inside the lounge logged 60mbps. Hopefully they’ll have dedicated WiFi in the near future, though the staff didn’t seem to have an idea of when that might be.

Final thoughts

The new Centurion Lounge is a major addition to the LAX lounge portfolio and couldn’t have come at a better time. With the lack of good Priority Pass options at LAX, this lounge is going to see significant traffic given its location and how many terminals are connected airside. We were super impressed by the culinary offerings and think American Express has really done a fantastic job putting the Centurion Lounge on the same playing field as some of the best lounges at LAX (without requiring a premium class boarding pass).

Overall, the Centurion Lounge is a great place to recharge before or between flights. When flying domestically, it’s safe to say that this will definitely be our go-to lounge. We’d still prefer the Qantas First Class Lounge, AA Flagship Dining, and Star Alliance First Class lounge when we have access — but the Centurion Lounge is miles better than the Los Angeles International Lounge or Korean Air Lounge. Be sure to stop by next time you are in the airport and see it for yourself.

Have you visited the new LAX Centurion Lounge? Let us know your thoughts!

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