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American Express has today announced that it will open its 13th Centurion Lounge at New York JFK Airport Terminal 4 “in the “coming days”. While that’s hardly a precise way of letting us know when the lounge will open its doors, it’s probably safe to say that the lounge will be open by the end of the week.
Amex Centurion Lounge JFK
American Express is describing its JFK lounge as its “flagship lounge” and that should set expectation levels pretty high. The credit card issuer has said that at over 15,000 square feet in size the JFK Centurion Lounge its the largest Centurion lounge to date and is also the first Centurion Lounge to be set out across two floors.
This is what Alexander Lee, Amex’s Vice President of Travel Experiences and Benefits had to say about the new facility:
“Our flagship Centurion Lounge at JFK is our fourth location to open in 2020 and reiterates our commitment to backing our Card Members whenever they may be ready to travel while striving for a safe environment for all. Like many of our customers, we are proud to call New York City our home, and we are thrilled to have another lounge in our backyard. This new lounge will span two incredible floors and host a variety of amenities that bring New York City culture to life, plus floor-to-ceiling windows that offer sweeping views.”
Inside the 2-floor lounge, guests can expect to find American Express’s first-ever “1850” speakeasy bar (that’s a reference to the year the company was founded), complete with cocktails developed by Centurion Lounge mixologist Jim Meehan. There’s also an Equinox Body Lab “wellness experience”, a bespoke menu from Executive Chef Ignacio Mattos, and the whole design of the lounge is said to have “elements inspired by New York’s cultural landmarks”.
The “1850” Speakeasy Bar
The “1850” Speakeasy has been designed to evoke the Prohibition era through its decor and the classic cocktails guests can find on its menu.
1850’s cocktail menu will rotate to give frequent visitors some variety and the space will double as a cafe by day and will complement the lounge’s main bar which will also serve a full cocktail menu featuring local spirits.
American Express says that the JFK Centurion Lounge’s Executive Chef, Ignacio Mattos, has put together a menu that “channels both the elegance and ethnic diversity of the city’s vibrant restaurant scene”. Guests can expect to be offered signature dishes including the following:
- Caciocavallo and egg sandwich with tomato marmalade
- Fennel salad with castelvetrano olives and provolone
- Steak with romesco and taleggio sauce.
The JFK lounge will also feature some local wines from New York, selected by Centurion Lounge wine director Anthony Giglio, and coffee from Irving Farm New York.
As part of the new health and safety practices for all Centurion Lounges, when the New York JFK Centurion Lounge opens, all the food will be offered via table service instead of the buffet-style offering that was found in all the Centurion Lounges pre-Covid.
Here’s how American Express has described the JFK Centurion Lounge’s design:
Throughout the lounge, vintage New York City taxi meters, architectural renderings of Manhattan landmarks and other local artifacts are showcased on walls and shelves. The lounge will also offer six unique rooms, each influenced by a different New York City landmark or iconic design period. These rooms will maximize the sense of discovery visitors will feel while walking through the lounge and they are named for the year they were inspired by.
A phone room at the Amex Centurion Lounge JFK T4All seating arrangements in the new Centurion Lounge have been configured to allow for social distancing and to enable Card Members “to have an enjoyable, and productive, pre-flight experience”. As part of the new health and safety rules, lounge staff will help guide guests to available seating when they arrive.
The Equinox Body Lab
Amex has partnered with Equinox to provide guests at the JFK Centurion Lounge with the first airport-based Equinox Body Lab. The Equinox Body Lab, normally only accessible within Equinox clubs, will offer “performance-driven restorative therapies” including custom, self-guided meditation and stretching sessions using the Variis by Equinox app, a vibro-acoustic chair to help guests relax before their trip, and more.
When the lounge opens, these sessions will be offered to individuals, in a self-led format to prioritize health and safety.
Amex Centurion Lounge Safety Initiatives
Everything you need to know about the newly introduces health and safety measures can be found in the infographic below (click to enlarge).
Who Can Access Amex Centurion Lounges?
Access to Centurion Lounges is restricted to the following cardholders:
- Platinum Cardholders
- Business Platinum Cardholders
- Centurion Members
- Delta Skymiles Reserve Cardholders
- Delta Skymiles Reserve Business Cardholders
Holders of various American Express Platinum Cards and Centurion Members can access the lounges together with up to two guests regardless of what airline they’re flying with.
Delta Skymiles Reserve Cardholders (both varieties) can only access the Centurion Lounges when flying with Delta.
For flyers originating at an airport with a Centurion Lounge, access is granted a maximum of 3 hours before their scheduled departure time. For flyers connecting at an airport with a Centurion Lounge, that limitation is waived.
The largest Centurion Lounge in the world will be welcoming guests in the next few days when the doors of the JFK Centurion Lounge are thrown open. In the era of Covid-19 things won’t exactly feel “normal” but if you’re traveling through JFK Terminal 4 and have access courtesy of one of the cards in your wallet, this looks like it could be a very nice place in which to spend some time.