The Plaza Premium Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2 is currently one of the more important lounges in the airport because as far as I can tell, it's the only lounge open in Terminal 2. Virgin Atlantic and Delta are currently directing their premium passengers to the Plaza Premium Lounge while they wait to return to their home in T3, and with none of the Star Alliance lounges open, the Plaza Premium Lounge is the fallback option for just about everyone else traveling out of T2.
American Express is now operating all but two of its domestic lounges so on a recent layover in San Francisco, I dropped into the Amex Centurion Lounge at SFO to take a look at how things are shaping up in the current environment and to see what Amex is offering travelers fortunate enough to have access.
One of the nicer benefits that are offered by the Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card from American Express is entry into the Centurion Lounges that Amex has been opening up around the United States and in select countries around the world. Covid-19 has seen all of these lounges closed for much of this year but a few lounges have now reopened and, with a bit of luck, more reopenings may be on the way.
Chase has issued a press release to say that it plans to open a series of lounges at airports around the United States and that each lounge will be branded as a "Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club". Not much detail has been given about what the lounges will offer or where the lounges will be located but there are one or two things that we do know.
The British Airways First Lounge is the only British Airways lounge currently open at Heathrow Terminal 5 and so until that situation changes, it's open to all travelers passing through T5 whose fare or airline status gives them lounge access as one of their benefits. With American Airlines and Qatar Airways now operating out of T5, this is currently a lounge for more than just British Airways passengers.
American Airlines has announced that this month will see it reopening more Admirals Clubs that were shuttered towards the beginning of the pandemic, that some lounges will see their operating schedules extended, that more touchless technology is being trialed to reduce unnecessary contacts when accessing a lounge, and that revamped food offerings are now being served.
Star Alliance may have more branded lounges than any of the other major alliances (we're still waiting for more news on the first oneworld branded lounge that was announced two years ago) but it's about to lose a key lounge in South America - the Star Alliance lounge at Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport is about to be closed.
American Express has today announced that it plans to open its 16th Centurion Lounge at Washington D.C.'s Reagan National Airport (DCA) and it has confirmed existing plans to almost double the size of the Centurion Lounge in San Francisco and to triple the size of the Centurion Lounge in Seattle.
Towards the beginning of October and despite the pandemic, American Express opened its new 15,000 sq ft lounge at New York JFK. Today and in continuing defiance of the world around us, American Express announced that its new Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport will open next week.
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