I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for American Express. I received a thank you item for my participation.
I love to travel, but contrary to the popular saying, for me it's about the destination and not about the journey. The journey itself can be long, tiring, and stressful, particularly when you have young kids. I've been going on 10-16 hour flights with my 3 kids ever since they were infants, and half the time I did it without my husband by my side. We can't afford anything other than economy, so the misery begins in the crowded waiting area and continues through the long flight.
That's why I was so excited to hear about American Express' newest cardholder benefit: The Centurion Lounge. It opened last week at the San Francisco International Airport, and I was lucky enough to be invited along with other Bay Area bloggers to the lounge's opening.
I'm going to go through a list of some of the wonderful amenities that travelers can enjoy at the Centurion Lounge, but before I go any further, I need to mention the best thing of all -- anyone can enter The Centurion Lounge. Anyone. That's right. You don't need to be a first class or business class passenger, and you don't need to have a million miles on your frequent flyer account. If you have a Platinum, Business Platinum or Corporate Platinum Card or if you're a Centurion Member, you and your immediate family, or up to two travel companions, can use the lounge for free. If you're an American Express Credit or Charge Card Member, you can purchase a one-day pass at the Centurion Lounge for $50. Yes, you can wait for your flight in comfort and luxury without shelling out big bucks for a first class seat!
The Centurion Lounge is located in Terminal 3 of the San Francisco International Airport. It's easily accessible from anywhere in the airport, even from the International terminal. The lounge is truly an oasis in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of SFO.
The lounge features multiple seating areas, dining areas, a kids' room, restrooms and showers. Televisions and terminals are visible from every area in the lounge so you can keep track of your flight.
The decor is fabulous: very soothing and tasteful, yet unique and quirky at the same time. My favorite decor items were the portraits of Steve Jobs hanging over the Apple iMacs at the computer station.
Between flights? Lay down on one of the chaise lounges, or take a quick shower in a luxury shower suite.
Travelers can sit down to hot food prepared right on site, with seasonal cuisine curated by Christopher Kostow, chef at Meadowood in Napa Valley -- you can even see the chefs at work! Enjoy a decent meal so you don't have to tolerate the horrible airplane food!
The opening was held in the morning, so the buffet table was stocked with fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, pastries, and cereal, as well as hot entrees like scrambled eggs, sausages, and pancakes.
You can pour yourself ice water, juice, tea, or coffee at the beverage station.
Check out the sippy cups! I love how The Centurion Lounge thinks of traveling families, not just businessmen.
If your tastes in beverage run more to the adult side, there's a nicely stocked bar that serves signature cocktails by renowned mixologist Jim Meehan.
There's even a wine tasting wall that allows guests to sample different vintages from Napa Valley, chosen by wine director Anthony Giglio. Guests are allowed to taste up to five wines free of charge!
There's a small workstation with two computers and a printer, but you can use your own devices and enjoy high speed Wi-Fi. There are outlets and chargers everywhere: in the walls, on the floor, on tables. No matter where you sit, you can charge all your gadgets.
Kids get their very own room, with a tv (which was showing -- surprise, surprise -- Frozen when we were there), video games, puzzles, toys, and comfy chairs. The wall separating the kids' room from the main lounge is floor-to-ceiling glass, so parents can relax outside the room and still keep an eye on their kids. And guess what -- the kids' room is soundproof!
There's no need to get your wallet out the entire time you're inside The Centurion Lounge, because all the services and amenities I mentioned are complimentary. Again, let me repeat: admission to The Centurion Lounge is complimentary for platinum cardholders and Centurion Members, and just $50 for standard American Express cardholders. So why not treat yourself to a bit of peace and quiet before your flight departs? Your flight may be cramped and miserable, but the wait for your flight doesn't have to be!
Disclosure: This is a compensated post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.