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While lifestyle hotels are embedding themselves inside neighborhoods to add the local touch to their lobbies and events, American Express is attempting to do likewise, to a certain extent, at its new Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia Airport.
While it doesn’t exactly have the authenticity of scoping out Sezchuan plates in nearby Flushing, Queens, or gorging on fried squash and eggplant at a tavern in Astoria, American Express’ Centurion Lounge at LGA will tap into something more demographically appropriate — seasonal selections from Cedric Vongerichten, executive chef at Perry St in Manhattan, and “New York-inspired specialty cocktails and wine selections” from mixologist Jim Meehan and wine director Anthony Giglio.
The American Express branded lounge in LaGuardia’s Terminal B, which officially opened August 12, is the company’s third, and follows the opening of lounges at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Lounges in San Francisco and Miami are in the works.
The lounge-opening blitz follows the loss of American Express Platinum cardholders’ free access to American Airlines and US Airways lounges in March 2014, as the merged airline switch card allegiances.
American Express Platinum Card and Centurion members and their immediate families, or up to two traveling companions, get free access to the LaGuardia lounge. Members can also buy one-day passes for $50.
The 5,000-square-foot lounge also features Wi-Fi, outlets near every seat, and work spaces with noise-buffering capabilities.
Cardholders can also access travel-related services such as reservations for flights, hotels and restaurants.
American Express cardholders thus now have a choice of lounges at the three airports; they can opt for the Centurion lounges or spend time at lounges where they are members of airline loyalty programs.
With five American Express airport lounges either operational or in the works, the company will still be hard-pressed to replace all of those American Airlines and US Airways lounges that used to feature free access for Platinum cardholders across the U.S.
Disclosure: American Express is a Skift sponsor, and this has no impact on editorial coverage.