Here is my review of the Amex Centurion Lounge in Dallas. Please keep in mind that my review comes from someone who is totally NOT dependent on earning any money from pushing financial products (at least not yet & proud of it!) and who has never ever received any invites to events from American Express. So, when you read how wonderful this lounge is remember that blogger who says so derives income from the likes of American Express, Chase, Citibank and other banking institutions. As long as I can keep up my independent voice I am glad to do it because, well, I enjoy it as it gives me freedom to speak my mind and HELP readers while so many other bloggers have sold out and have become an extended marketing arm of these companies whose primary motivation is to convert you (get you to apply for a credit card) and not to help you!
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I have been making a conscious effort in 2014 to burn my stash of miles/points. I have actually started keeping a log, something which I had never done! I have burned 338, 374 miles/points this year (it does NOT reflect the family trip to Maui coming up as miles/points were deducted at the time of booking last year) which is not too shabby. Therefore, I decided, what the hell, to go spend a whole day in the Amex Centurion Lounge in Dallas. I burned just 15,000 British Airways Avios points for a round trip Detroit to Dallas flying American Airlines. I even got me a hotel the previous night at the Four Points by Sheraton at Detroit airport as my flight was departing at 6.30 am. The hotel night cost me just 3,000 SPG points and I left my car there. As Gold, I received 125 points back as amenity. Sadly, this hotel is now a Category 2 from Category 1, boo! Perfectly adequate airport hotel! I won’t ever bore you with a review of such a hotel! I spent about $20 in tips that day. Flights were uneventful and full. It has been so long since my last bump!
My overall impression of the Amex Centurion lounge is this: Very nice lounge indeed for US standards, below to average for international standards. With the loss of all the American Admiral and US Air lounges and the imposition of fees to enter Delta Skyclub lounges for additional persons (if you are flying Delta that day) the MAIN benefit of this $450 annual fee card has been totally demolished! With just two Centurion lounges built so far and a very slow build up of new ones all I can think of is: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING AMEX? HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO GIVE YOU $450? If I was flying through Dallas and Las Vegas A LOT perhaps I would think there may be some value to this card left. Of course, other bloggers would go out of their way to sell the hell out of this card because it remains the NO. 1 card in COMMISSIONS to THEM!
Ok, I am no trip report type of blogger so I will keep it brief and to the point. Excuse me I can’t afford me a high end camera, I just use my Samsung Note phone camera and, as you can see, I totally suck on taking pictures! If you want a pretty review please go towards the end where I link to the recent review of this lounge by One Mile at a Time. I get to pick on it a little bit, you know me [evil smile].
This is the view from the relaxation part of the lounge facing the bar and food area. The lounge is kind of weirdly shaped. You never get the GRAND feeling you get in other lounges with huge open space (just like the Admirals Club in the D terminal I visited in desperate search for wifi—more on that below).
This is the relaxation part of the lounge with a big screen TV, some nice seating and magazines/newspapers and behind this there is space for three day beds you can lay down on. Again, small space. If this places gets crowded…good luck grabbing one of these spots!
This is where I spent most of my time, eating and drinking. Ok now let’s talk about what happened to me. I could not get the darn wifi to work and I could NOT figure it out. Yes, I rebooted several times. The manager tried to help me and messed with my computer for a long time but nothing worked. Talk about VERY frustrating! The only other time this happened to me was in a Panera bread store I was visiting for the first time. But on the Panera main screen there is a phone number for tech support. I called it and a techie guided me through it and I was online in less than 10 minutes. I wasted hours in this lounge trying to get this done and I was not successful. So, I went to the Admirals Club next door and my laptop could not connect to the wifi there too! What the hell Dallas Airport? Why me? Anyways, I completely gave up after wasting so much time. I will forever associate this lounge with my wasted efforts to get online! Sidenote: I came home and my laptop worked fine. Next morning at Panera worked fine. So, thanks Amex and Dallas airport for messing with me. End of sidenote.
The fancy sign in front of the lounge. Zzzzzzz
Here is the other area on the right as you enter the lounge. It is a room with a conference table, several chairs and a few small conference rooms. There are plenty of power outlets which is good.
Small hallway leading to the bathrooms and showers at the back of the reception.
Two showers. They look very nice inside and are very spacious. But WATCH OUT FOR THE TEMPERATURE! This was probably the worst shower I have ever taken. You can NEVER set the temp to be constant! There is no other feeling than getting burned and then a stream of very cold water follows it next. I tried every combination to get it to be even but NOTHING WORKED! I thought about suing for a $1 million dollars like that McDonalds customer with the hot coffee episode but I am not that kind of person. I swear I could take some nasty pictures of burns. As I was cursing myself not believing that a hyped lounge could offer such a traumatic shower experience I heard the door knock. Well, actually I was not so sure, the whole shower was surreal. I talked to myself “Did I just hear the door knock?”. Before I can answer myself, I hear the door open and I am all like “WTF!”. Well, I did not say that. Before I could say anything, the person realized someone was inside and politely said “Oh excuse me” or something like that. Yes, the curtain was drawn so no harm to the eyes was done. But, come on! Don’t they write down that someone is using the shower? I have had several showers in lounges around the world and this was a first for me. I told the manager about this and he said that there have been reports about the water temp and it will be fixed. I sure hope so!
Yeah, there is some art around the place. This is in the reception area. Next to it are some lockers which I did not use as I just had my carry on (which I actually won in a blog giveaway last year).
Ok, let’s talk about the food. I had heard about chefs and lots of hype about the food. Well, EXCUSE ME? I was very disappointed about the food! The selection was small and the taste about average. Don’t get me wrong, you get real food here instead of the crap you find in the US domestic lounges. But I again was disappointed to find out that the food is okay and nothing spectacular. And you just get two menus. The breakfast and lunch/dinner. I was hoping I could get some new entries for dinner but the answer was negative. Nothing I ate here made me go mmmmm. Naturally, there was a bias towards Mexican type foods.
I ended up eating lots of salad. At least the olives were good. Add some more salad dressings please!
Yes, the bar area is nice and there is a staff bartender who can make you what you want. They have lots of mixed drinks. I tried more than a few and they were fine. The service of the food/bar area was very good but still a bit rough around the edges as it is obvious staff are new and may be trying too hard.
This is the first lounge I visited that there is a huge painting of…Meat Loaf! Thank God there was no meat loaf served, I hate meat loaf.
The lounge has only two stalls and one urinal. It was not crowded so I never had to wait. But what if this place gets crowded? You may be better off going outside in the terminal!
There is a spa. It is actually one room where you can have a 15 minute chair massage and another table to have your hands/nails worked on. I must admit I liked my massage by this big guy. I did not catch his name, maybe it was Sven. He made me feel it and I like that as I am no fun of softy massages. As he was going at it I noticed the cute Thai lady working on another male’s hands. By this time I have had several mixed drinks and it all looked so heavenly watching her play with his hands. So, after my massage, I went back to the reception and booked me a treatment with her, no waiting! I really enjoyed her playing with my hands and she was very professional. I tipped her the same as Sven. I did not have the manicure. Actually this was my first time anyone in a spa situation played with my hands so I have no idea what I actually had; all I remember it was a very good buzz and her hands were very soft to go along with a beautiful smile 🙂
Finding the lounge is not so intuitive. Follow the signs, look around and you will eventually find it. It is upstairs and you have to take the moving walkways:
There was a big positive not being able to use my laptop!
I am NOT done yet if you are still with me! Here is the review of the same lounge by One Mile at a Time. Let me point out some differences:
“I finally had the chance to check out the Amex Centurion Lounge this past week, and all I can say is WOW!”
“This is hands down one of the top lounges in the US, and in my opinion is in the same league as the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York JFK…”
I call BS on that one! Get me to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK anytime, every time! But I guess if I was selling the Platinum Amex…
“While the chicken was extremely dry… the rest of the food was extremely tasty.”
This is getting kind of ridiculous now…”extremely tasty”, seriously?
“it’s totally worth going out of your way to route through Dallas or planning a longer layover in order to visit this lounge.”
No, it is NOT! I did and it was not one of the brightest things I have done in my life! I almost felt like a tool of my own making lol.
Now if I had at least three affiliate links for the Amex Platinum card to slip into my post, maybe I would be as excited about it too!
Bottom line, dear readers, after experiencing the lounge I am very disappointed and I would be canceling the Amex Platinum card. That reminds me I still have not used the airline credits! I think I have about $400 or $500 or so as I just don’t like to spend money on airfare. And that’s what we do in this hobby while others SELL cards!
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The common man says
This First dedicated to Ramsey! Noob it up!
THATS A SICK DEAL, C. M. ………………………..NOOB IT UP!
Ben r says
Ben r says
Close but no amex centurion.
So… you burned 15k avios to fly and visit a third tier lounge in Dallas? Did your trip have any other purpose? I hope so. Although I can’t imagine what anyone would want to visit Dallas.
Agreed. Dallas? Texas? For a lounge? Rather shove a fork in my eye.
Andy Shuman @ Lazy Travelers says
Great review! You should thank the saint of your choice for the shower curtains. One time at PRG, I was not so lucky (or rather the lady who walked in on me, ouch!). In my case, I failed to move the lock all the way to the right and got a false-positive click. The girls at the reception couldn’t care less, and told me these things happened all the time. Really? All the time? How about fixing it just once? Right, that’s Europe to you.
On a serious note, I don’t share your disdain for Amex Plat. During my Asian trip, I had great experiences in Priority Club lounges, one in Phuket was much better than the lounge I originally had with Dragon Air. I really don’t see how the loss of AA and Delta clubs takes away so much value out of the program, but then what I really care is international travel. I also think that the new WiFi benefit is pretty good. At least it soothes the pain when there is not PP lounge around. Of course, I still cancelled the card, ’cause there is no reason to pay the annual fee minus the bonus, but that’s another story.
Don’t worry about the pics, I do have a pretty good camera (Canon 60D) and I still suck at taking photos! Of course my subjects are usually small, flying at the speed of light 200 meters above my head! Massage & Mexican food (in that order) works for me except I am not paying $450 annual fee for any card!
I’m trialing a new Captcha since some people were having trouble with the old one. The old one hasn’t been updated since the latest WordPress so may not have been compatible. This one was updated 2 weeks ago and you only have to type a number that answers a simple math problem. For example: Six x 3 = (you type in 18). Can you please help me test it and leave some comments about your favourite bird?
Hi Tara – It worked for me. I was still chuckling about TTB’s lounge review and managed to key in the wrong number and it told me I was wrong. Went back and did it correctly and it was slow in replying but happy in the end. Cheers!
I have not been in this hobby that long but yours was the funniest lounge review I have ever read. Actually I haven’t read all that many but I still am convinced yours is probably the funniest. In fact I kept laughing and my H kept asking me what was so funny. I told him I am reading George’s review of a lounge and he’s like “George? Lounge?” I did not bother trying to explain; he would not get why your crummy photos of hallways and doors struck me as so funny. Not to mention the urinal count. You sure succeeded in the Entertain part of the TBB mission today!
Oh dear, I just heard on the news that the Ducks lost today. Too bad.
Hard to believe that the lounge you visited is the same lounge the mainline bloggers keep raving about.
I get a manicure every two weeks or so. You could too!
fwiw, there’s a new review of the Centurion lounge at DFW just posted by some Rocky guy on uprgd
Looks like he may have been there the same day as you but for some :: cough now I have an excuse to post an AMEX Plat linky cough:: reason he seems to have enjoyed a more AMAZING experience. hmmm…
Over/under on new MMS trip report?
It's me says
LOL. That’s usually my post. I’m guessing 26
What do we win?
Good question. TBB’s used eyebrow pen?
I see you remember this post 😉
I should have bid higher, dang it!
@ the common man: Yeah, noob it up!
@ Ben r: So, so close…
@ dginchelsea and Paul: As I said, not one of the brightest things I have done in my life. It was a Friday, I haven’t been on a plane in a while, I needed to get out of my house to “get away” and regroup mentally to come back stronger to finish all the tax work left in just two weeks before Maui and just wanted to check it out to see what all the fuss was all about. Or I could pretend my amazing blogger journalistic instinct instantly took over and I had to go undercover or something, sounds more intriguing. Other than the wifi snafu, i really enjoyed myself. And that’;s what the miles are for;-)
@ Andy: I am glad to see this happens to others too. Funny how when I was shown the shower the guy said that it automatically locks from the inside, ha thanks! For people who travel A LOT internationally or who go through Dallas and Vegas all the time this card’s cost could bd justified. For most, it does not,. Unless you are a blogger selling it…
@ Tara: I ‘ll test later. I need to finish replying to the comments before heading out to a function my daughter participates today in! I am probably the worst photographer in the blogosphere!
@ TWA44: Entertainment is primary here at TBB. It was not so entertaining being burned in the shower though…I still find it weird for guys to get a manicure. Both UofM and Michigan State are in the Sweet 16 and a local high school here (MIlan) won the state title in BB last night after an improbable run!
@ bk3day: Yeah I read it. I wonder if I will sound as ridiculous if I can make money from it…
@ Scott: I say 22. You? “What is a lounge?”. Why is this guy presenting at conferences? The person who kept emailing me about MMS being unfairly listed at my “Blogs I Ignore” list has stopped, maybe he is embarrassed about it now too. Look at me and Emily, we burned miles to fly Ethihad and you can do it TOO! Always that darn exclamation mark in the end. Marketing hype to the max. Hold.nose.eeek
LufthansaFlyer left BoardingArea to co-found First2Board. Several bloggers have left F2B, and now LufthansaFlyer has bailed on his own project and returned to BoardingArea.
How can you possibly do an interview with him that doesn’t even mention F2B, let alone ask what happened there?
Hate it when u serve him some clicks from my site 😉
Amazing, Outstanding, Fan of your blog (wow so many). Giggles. Loves everything. Lay up questions. Easy content to distract from more credit card links and giveaway of crap.
Kissing ass to the max.
The above is my own opinion only.
Ignore. Proudly 😉
Thank you for reading the blog each day and for the 3 BIG clicks. Now go back and pimp your Amazon and other links a few more time I think I missed them as they were not very prominent in the post. BTW, perhaps your should point out reg the AMEX PLAT card the $200 airline credit, $100 GOES credit, free SPG Gold and on and on that more than wipe out the card fee over two years. Ah well, Angry’s gotta be angry I guess! 🙁
Thank YOU for reading TBB and your support!
How much do you earn per conversion? Giggles
I assure you the 3 who clicked did it for entertainment purposes only.
I did mention why I left. Last section of my response to his first question. But I can address it here if there’s a demand for the answer! 🙂
Unlike most (OK, maybe half of?) bloggers I have a ‘real’ job as a portfolio manager with a major midwest investment house. Suffice to say that the ‘day job’ requires a ton of time, etc. which obviously left me with not much time to help grow F2B the way I had envisioned it. Over time, I was doing less and less with F2B because of time constraints and Stacey & Casey (3rd partner/tech guru) would pick up the extra work load that I couldn’t deliver to F2B. It was only fair to them to get out of their way if I couldn’t give 100% to the project.
Another, ‘more minor’ (how’s that for a juxtaposition) reason for me leaving did have to do with some tech aspects. I wanted LH Flyer to have unique look and feel to it, which if you have looked at my site in the past vs. what it looks like now, is a major overhaul. (notice there are no shameless links to it!) 😉
Putting these 2 things together, and giving a 90/10 split between reason 1 and 2 made it a comfortable decision for me to make. At the time that I ‘de-partnered’ from F2B, everything was going well in spite of losing a few bloggers who pursued other avenues. A few new blogs have been added and they did refresh the main page and have a new logo.
Apologies for not having a more controversial reason for my decisions, but the one I made benefited all parties involved.
Thanks for responding more straight forward to the questions readers want to know and DP never asks.
I had no idea you are involved with what I do every day. Feel free to connect in a non TBB fashion, I am sure you can figure it out in case you don’t. Or just ask Rick FTG the person 🙂
Wallet Slot makes me angry..,.a little. Ok, ok… A LOT!
I didn’t realize that there was much interest in me, my modest lil’ site and my decisions so I tried to keep things as high level as possible whenever asked about me and F2B. But I’ve seen more and more people asking about the change so I figured to go a bit deeper. Theres no other ‘scuttlebut’ to it!
Thanks for being so honest about reviewing a lounge. This honesty is absolute must amongst all bloggers as there are so many people who rely on these feedbacks to take some decisions. Once they realize that what they read was just not an honest opinion, they will never come back to read what someone is trying to write as it is clear that there are other motives behind those words except honesty. I love you and your blog for being so honest and looking forward to good quality posts as usual. You shine bright amongst those dishonest bloggers willing to sell anything for money in their pockets.
Kumar, thank you so much. You have no idea how these supportive emails help me to keep blogging. It’s a lonely battle going against the mainstream but it feels right to me. Especially when you get bloggers whose blogs you Ignore proudly come over here to give ME lessons on pimping Amazon links!!! I mean, this is entertainment or what! At the end of the day, TBB is mostly about entertainment 🙂
Keep supporting the bloggers in my two good lists and don’t let friends click on ads in my Ignore list!
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!
Dang, your funny! Now I’m ready to start my day.
I start my day with two slices of whole grain bread and hummus. Then I go to Panera and down at least four to five cups of Hazelnut coffee using my loyalty card and paying with either gift cards I bought at an office supply store using my Ink Plus card or use my Discover for 5% cash back this quarter for restaurant charges 😉
Thank you. That shower sure was NOT funny!
The photo quality just adds to the parodyesque nature of the lounge review.
Actually I had no idea how blurry they came out until I came home and downloaded them to my home desktop PC. I thought they actually looked good at the moment. I guess that is what several mixed drinks do to your vision 🙂
Shaky pics remind me of the Blair Witch Project movie. Glad you didn’t take video.
Yeah, you all should be very glad I did not go that far lol!
IRONICALLY, Gary Leff just posted this today…”Regular readers know that I consider the American Express Centurion lounge in Dallas to be among the best lounges in the United States.” cmon Gary, Buzz’s pictures tell the story…………..To me spending the day in that lounge looks like torture, hopefully Sven the masseuse, made it a little less painful. The less time on an airplane or at an airport the better…….BUZZ, I was inspired by Huntley Mayo, self proclaimed mile/point expert, video lecturer, and yesterdays MMS interviewee, to make my own video lecture series, free of charge of course, for TBB readers. I am working on it now with my Hollywood actor friend Woody and it will show TBB readers how to buy mass amounts of gift cards without raising any suspicions by the checkout clerk. Tune in tomorrow for …………………………………………..HOW TO PAD YOUR ORDER AT THE CHECKOUT REGISTER………………………………HT to my man, the common man.
Looking at those pix again of the lounge, and I’m thinking that the service waiting area at my car dealership looks more comfortable. Those are the most uncomfortable looking chairs ever for a big butt like mine. The food looks like a bad Mexican Buffet Restaurant at 3 pm, with leftovers from lunch laying there for hours.
I call them as I see them Ramsey, you know that! I must admit I was really disappointed about the food. Much better food and service at the JFK Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse! Last time I checked there were no affiliate bank card for that airline 🙂
Looking forward to your trick. Make the TBB Comments section even better!
I gave up on chips completely so I did not get to eat them. They sure looked tasty. But the rest was so bland, pfft!
ben r says
When can we expect more reviews? It might take a while, but I bet you could review 100% of the Centurion lounges in less than a year.
I did have the pleasure of visiting the LAS lounge. Positives: saved buying a few meals, the wifi worked, lots and lots of liquor and no slot machines. Negatives: mediocre food, lots and lots of liquor, not enough comfy chairs and no massage parlor.
I have no idea when you should expect the next review. I think the previous review I did was for the Hyatt in Thessaloniki Greece several months ago so don’t hold your breath you will see one soon:
I will send my review to the Amex team on twitter to get their reaction.
It's me says
I have to jump over to VFTW and check it out. He’s usually pretty upfront but you now are the first blog I read. You have become the standard bearer for the hobby. Can you take such a responsibility?? I think so.
Standard bearer? Wow, thanks a lot. I am certainly no standard bearer for being commercially successful in blogging lol.
Thank God the day job pays well and Mrs. TBB has the same work ethic as me.
As long as we are all entertained the mission is being accomplished…
After seeing some of your pics, I realize now that I need glasses…..didn’t realize that the world around me is so blurry! 🙂
It’s the alcohol talking. You should have seen the ladies
ah the things they ban in the ‘free-ist’ country in the world…..
As I said above, at the time I was seriously thinking that these were some of my best pics ever. They looked GOOD to ME on my phone! It was only after I downloaded them to my desktop PC that I realized how typically horrendous bunch of crap they were! The only explanation? Alcohol!
That was a great commercial!
Mommypoints today recommended people with “dog walking gigs” to apply for a Chase Ink card.
Is this type of advice doesn’t get you to the blog to ignore list, I don’t know what does.
Does a paperboy qualify?
I will get to it, I saw the headline and marked it for later reading. I shook my head when I saw it.
Why is that such horrible advice? I am not self-employed and my day job sucks up a huge part of my time. I claim my day job as income available to pay off accounts but I certainly can’t list it as business income. I have to list my modest proceeds from the blog. What difference is walking a dog? baby sitting? or a hundred other things that people do to earn income? You have to claim something, else you will miss out on signup bonuses for business cards. That’s leaving a lot of points on the table.
The main reason why it’s horrible advice is because the whole post is an excuse to push more Chase cards. So you can explain to a Chase CSR with a straight face that you walk dogs for a living? Would she really give that kind of advice if she was no paid for that card?
People with fake businesses will apply thinking that it’s easy and will be denied by recon. You get a wasted pull because a stupid blogger thinks more about his/her pocket than the reader AND if you have been following FT, one poster reported that the CSR actually referred all his/her existing account to an underwriter who went ahead and closed ALL the accounts which was probably due to some MS.
Actually, I sure hope that more newbies apply for Chase business cards and get denied after following the bloggers bogus advice. That will show them that these vultures are not trying to “help” them.
Mommy Pointe says
Call it dog sitting then instead of dog walking, but I assure both can be real businesses…coming from someone who has had dogs for many years and spent plenty on both.
Lots of folks have side businesses, and you are shooting yourself in the foot to not try and leverage that for biz card rewards. Of course nothing works for everyone. Thanks for reading though!
Thanks for responding to half of the comment. Do you provide the same bogus advice for cards that do not pay you a commission? I do not see you going out of your way to advise people on how to apply to any of the Citi AA cards but very good coverage of the Chase ones (except the Hyatt ones that does not pay you).
And by the way, I like how bloggers keep on pushing the Chase cards as if it was business as usual while the value of UR points have been substantially reduced with the Hyatt and United devaluations.
Makes it even more disingenuous to not mention any the Citi AA cards or once every 50 times the Chase ones are mentioned.
How does JPMorgan/Chaselook at this? They of course test read your blog and must be aware of a greater number of dodgy businesses applying for Ink/Bolt using your/Dansdeals/VFTW/MMS links (vs other links).
On the other hand, JPMorgan/Chase has been know to running their business and the world economy into the ground.
@ ABC: That is a great question! I don’t know. I think if the conversion numbers are good they probably look the other way. My guess.
@ John: It happens with all blogs. If they don’t get conversions they lose the links. It’s brutal out there. I understand it. Do I like it? HELL NO! But I understand it. I reserve the Ignore list for ones who have totally gone down hill and would never let my friends and family click on them.
@ Mommy Points: I always like how you respond. But I think John has a good point about warning the newbies about the known difficulties with Chase approving business cards, it’s NOT like the old days. As far as his point about writing more posts about Chase vs Citi (or other non affiliate) cards is, well, pretty evident in the blogosphere. I do understand why bloggers are doing it. Hope the knee healing is going well.
Brian Cohen says
May I write a review of an American Express Centurion Lounge even though I have never been to one?
At Princeton the faculty used to say that anyone can write a review of a book he – yes, he – has read. Writing a good review of a book one has not read is the real skill. So I say, go for it!
Brian Cohen says
Sounds like you had a wise faculty at Princeton, TWA44.
As for you, George — I enjoyed reading your trip report.
I did not attend that esteemed institution and just realized how pompous that comment must have sounded. My H taught there many years ago. Don’t bother being impressed; it was a terrible place to work. And I laugh every time I remember that while he was hired to teach there, he was rejected when he applied as HS student. And then – poof – a few years later he was good enough to teach both undergrads and grad students. These elite institutions are weird places. The guy who said the thing about writing reviews also used to feed live mice to the pet snakes he kept in his office, preferably in front of coeds who came to ask him a question.
Made it to Staples today to get the MC GCs which earn you a Staples GC as a rebate. The employees and managers knew nothing about the offer and had the $200 cards behind the counter. It then took more than a half hour to check out because the rebate forms never printed. I guess if you go on day one you risk that, while if you go a few days later they may be sold out. Ah, the trials and tribulations of MS! Milenomics would shake his head at today’s T-rate.
On the upside I may have actually made some progress convincing my 20-something son that there are better cards out there than his REI visa and a Hilton Honors Amex. FM’s update to his best CC offers page could not have come at a better time!
Oh the things you learn in TBB Comments TWA44. “feed live mice to the pet snakes” Yikes!!!
If there was an affiliate offer for the REI Visa we would know all about it…oh oh 😉
Don’t forget to add that you can get $100 for Global Entry and make it sound that it is an annual benefit!
I don’t fly much – a few domestic flights a year plus one international itinerary which is typically a 3-6 week trip – is about my average. The people I tend to travel with would prefer a short wait at the gate to getting to the airport early enough to hang out in a lounge. So I really don’t have much need for lounge access.
Occasionally it comes in handy; I was glad to have free access, courtesy of CIB, to a Priority Club Lounge in Istanbul during a 6 hour layover last August. Having a quieter place to wait, with wifi, some snacks, free drinks, and a lounger my H could nap in was just fine and more than enough. I’m sure there were fancier lounges we couldn’t enter, but were their amenities really that much better? A nap is a nap. And neither of us are big drinkers; in fact I think we had one drink between us!
I can certainly see how some road warriors might need lounges to make their long travel days more palatable, but the whole my-lounge-is-better-than-your-lounge stuff is overblown to me.
Nice to see TTB confirm that the Centurion has no clothes. And no I am not referring to Emperor Gary, whose tweet about his review popped up in my twitter feed right after TTB’s!
Lounges are nice to have. It is nicer to get in for free. Paying $450 even with all the “benefits” that come with it is not worth it unless you are a true road warrior and fly Delta a lot (or use the Priority Club lounges a lot) or go through LAS and DFW A LOT! It is one of those “in” things people in this hobby like to brag about, something that the airline guys are finally getting the message and starting to deal with us the “entitled” ones 🙂
At the end of the day, you will be fine with the common men and women around…
I only visited airport lounge twice (thanks to Chase card): one in Houston, and one in Los Angeles. I was just happy to be able to get some coffee, and use the wi-fi. Thanks for a very entertaining review of this lounge, George. You should really take your family to visit Cancun. The Moon Palace Resort has great manicure and massage 🙂 Thanks.
Lounges are over rated. It helps to sell more credit cards to pump them up!
I had my eyes on Cancun and the Hilton over there. It is certainly an easy place to get to. I like more challenging destinations, like Maui for 4 during Spring Break!
Brian Cohen says
How come no one is talking about the “hacking” of hack.travel?
Because we are afraid of the Iranians going after us too.
I am not going there then 🙂
OK, George, I’ve got to address the “manicure” issue. Unless I’m missing something, it sounds like the lady playing with your hands gave you a manicure. Just without the nail polish. That’s kind of what a manicure is, it just usually involves some nail polishing as well.
Love the review. And the resulting comments, as usual.
Thanks Jamie. I think you are right, it must have been a manicure. I remember her teasing about applying a clear color to my nails and then she showed them to me and looked kind of weird shiny like that.
OK, I’m going to defend Lucky and some of the other bloggers on this lounge thing. I haven’t yet been to the Centurion lounge, but since I’ve been to over 100 lounges around the world, I think I kind of know from the reviews what I’d expect. It’s going to be a terrific lounge by USA standards, and a very good lounge by int’l standards. I mean, I’ve got to move it into the “int’l very good” category due to the spa treatments. That’s pretty unusual from my experience.
My guess is that some folks get more excited than other folks by lounges. I know I wouldn’t be as excited as Lucky by a lounge. But I’d certainly enjoy it. And my guess is Lucky is GENUINELY excited by nice lounges; it ain’t just the money. I also know that because I don’t get to DFW very often, I’m not going to sign up for a $400 credit card to get me into this lounge.
We are all different. We have our own opinions. I stated mine. I have no doubt if I was pushing Amex cards my review would have been more positive. NO DOUBT. Spa is not a real spa, just a small room with the massage and nail person working next to each other. 15 minutes. But you can go back again and again if no waiting!
Lucky has been to SO many lounges as he likes to post on trip reviews. I have not bee to many of them. And I found this one definitely NOT worth the hype!
I just wanted to provide a different review and make you guys laugh 😉
Why Meat Loaf, why???
I have gotten some good use out of my Lounge Club card that was provided by my Chase Ink Plus Card. It came with 2 free visits, and subsequent visits are $27. I only use it if I have a very long layover at an airport and use it in lieu of a hotel stay. For example, I recently had an 8 hour layover in Lima. The only hotel next to the airport is the Sheraton, and it is close to $200/night. Central Lima has some nice historic hotels, but it is a huge pain in the ass to get there and back in an 8 hour time period. So I ponied up the $27 to enter the SUMAQ lounge, which has a resting room, business center, an outside terrace, fairly decent snacks, and a good bartenders who make a tasty Pisco Sour. I also have spent a night at the Lima airport sleeping on benches. The lounge visit makes all the difference in the world. On the other hand, there is no way I would spend $400/year on lounge access.
I need to dig out the Lounge club cards I have. I think Fairmont also gets them. Hey, can I have TWO Lounge cards (one for Ink Plus and one for Fairmont cards)? This just hit me. Anyone?
Good to know that about Lima. Thanks.
Nick @ Personal Finance Digest says
George, I’ve got a review of the Centurion Lounge coming later this week which was inspired by OMAAT’s review. Unlike you, I haven’t actually been there, so I had to be a little more creative.
Looking forward to it!
I might be a bit late in commenting on this post, but it’s hard for me to overlook the possibility that both this review and Lucky’s review of the AmEx Centurion lounge are rife with confirmation biases.
In Lucky’s case, as is pointed out here, his livelihood depends on reviewing lounges and other premium travel experiences to generate revenue for his blog. Once can also presume that he gets a higher high from going into a new lounge compared with the average traveler. Hence the exuberance in his review. Though it seems likely that “one of the top lounges in the US” is probably accurate.
In TBB’s case, his opinion [and indeed one of the reasons for this blog’s existence] is that the influence of financial services companies in various travel bloggers’ choice of content is unsettling, and therefore likely influenced the other reviews of this lounge. So unsettling, in fact, that he took a special trip down to DFW to see this presumably overhyped lounge for himself, and sure enough he found it wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.
My arm’s length analysis of this situation [I don’t know either Lucky or TBB from Adam] is that the truth about this lounge probably lies somewhere in the middle. But, even if one goes into a situation intending to be impartial, the human brain is a fantastic information-filtering device and thus has a tendency to color one’s outlook in spite of best intentions. It is possible that both Lucky and TBB thought they were being honest and impartial in their reviews.
As Richard Feynman once famously said about performing scientific analysis, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”
I agree about the confirmation bias! I deal with it daily and do my best to…not be affected by it;-)
I did go to the lounge with the best of intentions. I was REALLY looking for a reason to be blown away by it AND keep the Platinum card as the primary reason I have it is to give it to my three top clients to remember me each time they use it (and they did!).
I wrote the review in an entertaining way (I hope). It is MY review alone. We are all different with our own personalities, biases and gustos. I gave my take on it and stand by what I wrote AND I will be canceling the Platinum Amex. My clients were disappointed by it but understood and mentioned “All good things come to an end”.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!