Thanksgiving is almost here, and the travel season promises to be busier that ever. And thanks to airlines’ cost-cutting measures and stricter security regulations, the travel season promises to be more miserable than ever. Inside the airplane, travelers can look forward to reduced legroom, crowded flights, delayed departures, and horrible (or nonexistent) in-flight meals. The misery begins long before the plane takes off: at the airport, travelers face long security lines, expensive terminal food (not to mention more long lines to purchase the food), and crowded waiting areas. What’s a savvy traveler to do?
For starters, get an American Express Card. Last week I was a guest of American Express as they unveiled their latest amenity for cardholders: The Centurion Lounge, a luxury waiting area for travelers at San Francisco International Airport. I was blown away by the lounge’s amenities, not just for business travelers, but for kids and families as well. The best part? Any American Express cardholder can use it! Access to The Centurion Lounge is complimentary for Centurion Members or Platinum Cardholders and their immediate families (or up to two guests), and any American Express cardholder can purchase a day pass to The Centurion Lounge (subject to capacity limits) for $50.
The Centurion Lounge at SFO features:
- A buffet station with fresh, seasonal fare designed by renowned three-Michelin-star chef Christopher Kostow, Executive Chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley.
- Signature cocktails by acclaimed bartender Jim Meehan of the legendary NYC cocktail bar PDT.
- A wine tasting area with Napa Valley selections by wine director Anthony Giglio.
- Computer bar with printer/fax/copier and semi-private workspaces
- High-speed Wi-Fi throughout the lounge, with outlets and charging stations near every chair and sofa
- TVs, magazines and newspapers, plus departure and arrival monitors
- Shower suites with with plush towels and L’Occitane products
- A kids’ room with movies, videogames, books, and toys
- Member Services Professionals available to assist with your current travel itinerary, book future travel, address Card inquiries, make restaurant reservations and handle other requests
The kid-friendly atmosphere goes beyond the family room — which, by the way, is soundproof, and has a floor-to-ceiling glass wall so parents can sit outside the room and still keep an eye on their kids. The lounge has several seating areas, so families can ensconce themselves near the kids’ room without disturbing business travelers or couples. The food at the buffet station was extremely kid-friendly, with fruit, orange juice, and pastries. They even provide sippy cups for the youngest travelers!
All the services and amenities listed above are included with admission to The Centurion Lounge. And I can’t say it enough, admission is complimentary for Platinum Card Members, and $50 for American Express Card Members. That’s right, you don’t need to shell out big bucks for an upper class plane ticket to enjoy an upper class experience. The Centurion Lounge is the perfect place to relax, de-stress, and mentally prepare yourself for the journey ahead. You’re going to enjoy yourself so much at The Centurion Lounge, you might find yourself hoping your flight gets delayed.
Bonggamom attended the opening of The Centurion Lounge at the invitation of American Express. For more photos of The Centurion Lounge and her impressions on its amenities, head over to her post on her review blog, Bonggamom Finds.