Centurion lounges, oh how I love them yet they manage to get on my nerves at the same time. Since their inception, I have found them to be some of the best domestic lounges out there, especially their availability to credit card holders. They are only really rivaled by business class offerings in the likes of United Polaris and American Flagship lounges.
Recently, when flying out of Fort Lauderdale, I had planned to write a full review of the Centurion Studio lounge (their ‘lite’ addition of a full Centurion lounge that is truly an Escape Lounge), however due to the wait, I was only able to explore the lounge for 5 minutes before heading to my gate. However, because it is a small lounge, I was able to appreciate the experience, which is described here.
This article is part of my Cruise Trip Report: Weekend in the Bahamas including:
- Affordable and Efficient: Southwest to Florida
- Booking a Cruise: Triple Stack
- Liberty of the Seas: Interior Cabin Review
- Liberty of the Seas: Ship Review
- Perfect Day in Coco Cay Review
- Spending a day in Nassau
- Lounge Review: Centurion Studio FLL
- The Weekend Cruise… would I do it again?
The lounge is located in the connector between terminals E and F. It is right after security, just to the left. It should not be too hard to miss and is clearly labeled (unless you make a mistake like me and walk immediately right).
It was not a far walk to most of the E or F gates and I was able to make it to my American E gate within 5 minutes of walking out of the doors.
Once you walk past the small check in area with two counters, the lounge itself is not too large.
There is varied seating options, from tables to couches. For my short stay, I camped out at a high-top table that had plenty of open seats. There were also cubbied seats as well as a small office that was reserved.
Of course, you can also choose to sit at the bar, and really relax before your flight. The bar area was right next to the buffet and the “dining” area. Opposite the bar and behind the buffet, there was a small drink selection as well.
In the back of the lounge there is a small hallway to the bathrooms. Further, there is a shower available upon request, however, I did not get a chance to check it out during my short visit.
Food and Beverage
During my visit, since it was only about 10am, they were still serving breakfast options. I was actually quite pleased that there were breakfast taco options in addition to the more typical breakfast selection such as eggs.
In addition, there were toppings from cheese to onions, as well as frittatas and some fruit.
For drinks, I had some orange juice, but they also had a selection of other juices, coffees, and teas. It may be helpful to note that they had non-dairy milks. I did not have the chance to inquire about alcoholic beverages, but it is a fair assumption that such beverages would be available later in the day.
Overall, they had a decent selection for a quick bite, but it was nothing inspiring. There was not much variety, even compared to other Centurion lounges I’ve reviewed, and I think further options would have added to the experience. That said, it was also better than many other domestic lounges I have experienced.
The easiest way to get into the Centurion Studio/ Escape lounge is by using your American Express Platinum Card or Centurion card. This includes nearly every iteration of the cards from business to personal.
I believe for now; Centurion Studios still include up to two complementary guests for these cardholders. We will see if the change to remove guest access, similar to fully branded Centurion lounges, comes to fruition.
Further, holders of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card can gain access when flying Delta Airlines. Guests come at a cost of $30 per individual.
One big difference compared to typical Centurion lounges is that you can also buy access to the lounge if you do not hold an appropriate card. If booking ahead of time, it is $40 per person and upon arrival it is $45 per person.
The Last Point
I had a very quick visit but given the small size of the lounge, I was very easily able to understand the vibe and other aspects of the lounge. It felt very crowded and given the waitlist to enter, I would assume that is a common issue.
Given the crowd from the South Florida airport and the airlines that serve the terminal in which the lounge is located, I would expect a wait.
That said, it was a perfect place to grab a quick (and free) bite to eat, and it would be hard for me to complain about that. All things considered, it might not be the best place to be undisturbed and catch up on work unless you can reserve the conference room, but it is a great place to relax before your flight.
I visited last weekend for the first time. First visit was about 9am and it was pretty full to the point that coffee mugs were disappearing as soon as a clean one was set on the rack and seating was hard to come by – but mainly because families had camped out with children sleeping across entire sofas.
The Escape Lounges do allow pre-booking… and you can do so even with an Amex. There is a promo code that deducts the $40 or whatever it is as checkout (it’s AMEXACCESS or similar). I made reservation for prior to my afternoon flight (about 4pm on Sunday) a couple weeks in advance. I received a confirmation number and reminder emails and even a link to update my time of arrival based on any delays. I asked about it during my first visit and was told yes, they do reservations to better guarantee access and they limit them.
Well, go to enter, and am told that reservations are meaningless (they told this to someone in front of me too who had actually paid to enter) and that there were 41 parties ahead of me so it could be at least 90 minutes. I have written to Escape Lounges and not yet received any response. I did copy the Broward County aviation department’s revenue department who agrees that is contrary to their understanding.
Payton Turner says
Lounge overcrowding at its finest. I am curious how much longer until Escape Lounges follow the same fate as Centurions and limit access to just the cardholder. I do not imagine it will be too difficult to get a refund and if it is, just have Amex issue a chargeback.