American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review

Written and Published January 1, 2015

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San Francisco Airport has been upping its 'lounge game' in recent years. Several airlines invested in Premium lounges:

- the United Club SFO has just a basic food and drink service, but the views and the internet speed are impressive

- United Airlines also features a first class lounge which isn't much different (besides the stale sushi)

- the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is pretty cool

- the Cathay Pacific Lounge is also pretty cool and has fresh noodle soup

- the main American Airlines Admirals Club at SFO is brand new and rather decent

- Singapore Airlines maintains a KrisFlyer lounge, but with limited hours and very disappointing services

A number of airlines have decided to rebuild their lounges - incl. the Alaska Airlines Board Room and the Delta Sky Club - as the terminals go through a much-needed renovation.

Now in early November American Express just opened one of its trademark lounges. There are already Centurion lounges in Dallas and Las Vegas. I was really impressed by the lounge in Dallas.

The lounge in San Francisco is located near United's Gate 74. This allows all United passengers and most Star Alliance and SkyTeam international flight passengers to access the lounge without going through security twice. San Francisco does NOT allow inter-terminal transfers past security. It is possible to go through security just for the lounge though, but you will have your hands full explaining yourself to the TSA.

The lounge is much smaller than the Dallas lounge, but features a common design and corporate identity. The food buffet has about half a dozen tables and the larger 'living room' seats about two dozen people comfortably.

At the time of my visit on Christmas Day, the lines for the bathroom were 15 minutes long and the food buffet looked pretty empty after visits from many hungry passengers.

There is a self-service wine tasting bar and a fully-equipped bar with champagne and lots of beers for the more thirsty flier.

I liked the breakfast items - great, high-quality bread with a couple of spreads - but there wasn't a lot of choice which might become an issue if you don't like some of the items.

The lounge attendants gave out free Premium internet WiFi passes, which gives you really fast access.

In general, this lounge makes the SFO Airport much more enjoyable, and if that is your home airport, it gives you a strong incentive to get and keep an American Express Platinum card.

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