Review: Amex Centurion Lounge (Miami)

This post is part of a broader Aruba & NYC trip report from October 2015.

  1. Introduction
  2. Review: American Airlines 777-200 Economy Class (LHR-MIA)
  3. Review: Amex Centurion Lounge – Miami
  4. Review: American Airlines 737 Economy Class (MIA-AUA)
  5. Review: Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club
  6. Review: American Airlines Admirals Club Miami (Gate 30)
  7. Review: American Airlines 737 First Class (MIA-LGA)
  8. Review: Andaz 5th Avenue
  9. Review: American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK
  10. Review: American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class (JFK-LHR)

The Amex Centurion lounge in Miami opened in June of this year and was a welcome addition to an airport where the lounges are really not up to much.

The lounge is situated in concourse D of Miami Airport, near gate D12, which this makes it very convenient for American Airlines travelers whose flights depart from the surrounding gates.

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

The lounge sits on the 4th floor above the concourse housing the airline gates and is open to travelers between 5am and 11pm every day.

Entry to the lounge is via one of two elevators at concourse level….

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

…and, when you reach the fourth floor, you’re greeted by the Amex Centurion Lounge welcome desks. Or, in our case, a line of people:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

The Amex Centurion lounges are accessible, for free, by holders of an American Express Platinum Card or the American Express Centurion Card. Holders of these cards can also bring in up to two guests.

All other Amex Card holders may access the lounges by purchasing a one-day pass for $50 per adult – children under 18 get free access when accompanied by an adult with a one-day pass.

Note: You do not have to be a US Amex Card holder to access the lounges. World wide Amex Cards are also eligible.

Find out more about access to the lounges here.

The lounge was already very busy when we got there and it would get even busier during our stay (apologies in advance for the poor pictures in this post but it’s hard to take a good shot when there are dozens of people milling about).

The lounge has a number of seating areas, most of which are ahead of you as you stand at the welcome desk, but there is seating to the left and right of the welcome desk too:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

This area here is also where you’ll find the lockers that you can use to store your carry-on if you’d rather not have it with you while you’re in the lounge:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

The seating areas further inside the lounge are set up along a large, floor-to-ceiling, glass window which overlooks part of the Miami Airport apron.

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Most of the comfortable seating is in this area but, due to the volume of people in the lounge, we ended up sitting in one of the areas to the side of the welcome desk.

The dining area is also in this part of the lounge:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

And this is also where you’ll find the bar:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

As with all the Amex Centurion Lounges, the food is self-serve and considerably better than anything you’ll find in the lounges run by the US airlines.

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

On the day of our visit the main meal was beef short ribs (which were delicious if not exactly good for the waistline)

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

There was a corn chowder to start and various accompaniments to go with the short-ribs including sprouts and a barley-type dish whose name I forgot to write down despite the fact that I liked it enough to go back for seconds.

For the more health-conscious there was also a salad bar:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Most of the drinks are served by the bar staff or the wait staff who regularly come around to clear up and make sure you have what you need – they really are SO much better than the wait staff at regular US lounges.

Coffee tea and cookies are self-serve as are water and peach iced tea:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

The lounge incorporates a Spa (which is free) and is available from 9am to 8pm. The Spa works on a first-come-first-served basis so, if this is something you’re interested in, you should book the moment you walk into he lounge – it gets very busy!

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

There are a good number of 15-minute choices from which you can choose although, as the menu says, not all therapies may be avail be on the day you visit.

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

As well as a Spa, the Amex Centurion Lounge offers a shower (singular – so reserve that when you walk in too) where you can freshen up before your flight:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

Overall the lounge has some very nice amenities, the staff are mostly great and the food is pretty good too….but there is a growing issue with the Amex Centurion lounges that was very obvious during this visit – overcrowding.

The number one thing I look for in a lounge is somewhere to get away from the crowds that pervade every-single-space in an airport. A lounge is somewhere to relax, unwind and, if the mood takes you, somewhere to do a bit of work in peace and quiet. Unfortunately it’s becoming harder and harder to do any of that in an Amex Centurion lounge.

Due to the crowds in the lounge on this visit we were sat within sight of the lounge entry for almost all of our visit and the stream of people coming in (or trying to come in) was endless:

Amex Centurion Lounge Miami

At no point was there a lull and it reached a point where, due to fire safety regulations, the staff were turning people away. That’s not good.

What I think Amex should be doing about this is for another post but, when these lounges came into existence (not that long ago), I never envisaged a moment that I would be sitting in one wondering if we should move to an Admirals Club to get some peace and quiet – but that’s what it came to on this visit. This is an issue Amex will need to solve and solve soon.

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