Amex closing all Centurion Lounges in light of the coronavirus outbreak

Mar 18, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic is taking a massive toll on the travel industry. We’ve seen airlines slash capacity at unprecedented rates, and hotels are already laying off employees.

The latest company to announce changes due to the virus is Amex. It’s now closing all Centurion Lounges worldwide effective Saturday.

“As the health and safety of our Card Members and colleagues is our top priority, in light of the spread of COVID-19 we are temporarily closing all The Centurion® Lounge locations, starting on Saturday, March 21, 2020”, a statement on the Centurion Lounge website said. “American Express will provide notice here and on the Amex Mobile App when locations reopen”.

Amex currently operates 12 Centurion Lounges across the world. The sole international location — Hong Kong — has already been closed since 5 March, but now all stateside locations are shutting their doors too.

The network consists of lounges in:

  • Charlotte (CLT)
  • Dallas (DFW), includes spa services
  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX), includes spa services
  • New York (LGA)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Miami (MIA), includes spa services
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • San Francisco (SFO), includes a wine-tasting area

2020 was supposed to be a big year for the Centurion Lounge network. The company already opened locations in Phoenix, Charlotte and Los Angeles before the coronavirus spread rapidly across the U.S. Amex was also slated to open lounges in London-Heathrow (LHR) and New York-JFK in the first half of 2020 and a Denver (DEN) outpost before the end of the year. Though we haven’t yet received official word of a delay, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the openings postponed to later this year or the beginning of 2021.

Amex joins Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and United in closing some of its lounges. AA is taking a more measured approach than United, which is closing all of its premium Polaris lounges, as well as select Club locations across the country. Delta’s yet to announce changes to its SkyClubs, but I’m sure that’s coming soon.

Either way, these are unprecedented times, and Amex is just the latest to respond to the global crisis with the closure of all its Centurion Lounges.

All photos by the author. 

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