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Even though accessing airport lounges is getting harder, a slew of openings means there is still a reason to check in early for flights. There are two new Capital One Lounges coming to Denver and Washington Dulles, at least nine new Chase Sapphire lounges coming to airports like San Diego and Phoenix, plus five new Delta lounges at Kansas City, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Boston Logan, Newark, and JFK.
One of the most exciting airport lounges to launch in 2023 isn’t technically new but rather a reopening of an American Express outpost after a major renovation.
In February, Amex unveiled a new 14,000-square-foot Centurion Lounge at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. With lounges like this, it’s easy to see why SeaTac was the only U.S. airport to make the top 20 on the Skytrax World’s Best Airports list in 2023. The new Centurion Lounge is nearly triple the size of the previous Seattle offering and can accommodate roughly 400 fliers, which should help with some of the overcrowding issues Amex cardholders have experienced in recent years. It also offers locally inspired food and drink options (including barista-made coffee), noise-buffering workspaces, shower suites, and views of the concourse, airfield, and the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
Here’s what it’s like inside the new Centurion Lounge in Seattle.
Food and drinks
The expanded size of the new Centurion Lounge means travelers have more dining opportunities.
For the main buffet, chef Kristi Brown, a James Beard Award semifinalist and chef of the Seattle-based Communion Restaurant and Bar was tasked with curating a “Seattle Soul” menu that calls upon the flavors that represent the communities of the Pacific Northwest, ranging from West African to Southeast Asian. Some of her featured dishes are “Trinidadian Spiced Pork Belly,” “Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad,” and “Peach Cobbla’ French Toast.”
The lounge also features a full-service coffee bar—a first for the Centurion Lounges. The wellness-themed café serves its own custom blend, called the Blue Roast by American Express, made by Seattle-based roaster Caffè Umbria. There’s also cold brew, matcha, kombucha (from Seeking Ferments, another local company), smoothies, and a selection of light bites, including premade sandwiches and salads (which are intended to be consumed on site). There’s also a separate bar with signature cocktails, like the Match Tonic (featuring East Imperial tonic, Botanist gin, and matcha soda) and the Macrobiotic Buck (which includes Seeking Ferments hibiscus punch, Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, and lime juice). The cocktail menu was developed by Jim Meehan, a bartender, author, and spirits educator who previously worked at PDT, the award-winning New York City speakeasy.
Art and design
The sprawling footprint of the revamped lounge allowed Amex to create various distinct dining and relaxing areas. For instance, near the bar, travelers will find high-top barstools and two- and four-top dining tables under the soaring ceilings of the atrium. Farther inside the lounge is a second dining room with swirling blue, green, and gold wallpaper, wood beams, and teal-hued, tufted leather couches. Farther yet, guests will find relaxation areas, with wide black leather couches, recliners, and a handful of coworking tables. The overall design is meant to support business travelers, with outlets near every seat, dedicated phone rooms, and high-speed Wi-Fi.
Like all Centurion Lounges, some fun design Easter eggs pay tribute to the city the airport is in. At the SeaTac location, that manifests in a large mural in the main lounge, created by artist Harold Caudio, depicting the Seattle skyline, made entirely out of coffee beans. (Starbucks, the largest coffee company in the world, got its start in downtown Seattle.) And the watercolor wallpaper in the main dining area? It’s a nod to the waterways of the Pacific Northwest.
How to visit the Amex Centurion Lounge in Seattle
The Seattle–Tacoma Centurion Lounge is found on the mezzanine in the airport’s Central Terminal. (It’s accessible by taking the elevator or staircase located in the food court behind the Ever Greens restaurant.) It’s open every day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
To enter the lounge—and the 40+ other locations in the American Express Global Lounge Collection—you’ll need to have an Amex card with lounge access. That includes the Platinum Card® from American Express, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. Corporate Platinum Card® members and Centurion® members also can access the Centurion lounge network.
If you’re flying Delta or its SkyTeam partners pretty much exclusively, the Delta Amex cards might be worth signing up for, but according to Paul Rubio, AFAR’s points and loyalty special correspondent, the Platinum Card from American Express is hands down the best personal credit card available for airport lounge access, in terms of both quantity and quality.
>> Read the full review: Why the Amex Platinum Is the Best Credit Card for Airport Lounge Access
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
Bailey Berg Bailey Berg is the associate travel news editor at AFAR, where she covers breaking news, trends, tips, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. When not interviewing sources or writing articles, she can be found exploring art galleries, visiting craft breweries, hiking with her dogs, and planning her next adventure (at present, she’s been to 75+ countries and hopes to spend time in every one someday).