I only hold one American Express, a very basic Gold UK card and this would not normally allow me entry to the Centurion Lounges that seem to be springing up in the US. Well, I could secure entry in exchange for $50 I suppose. (Centurion and Platinum Amex cardholders get free admission. They are not in the PriorityPass or Airport Angel Schemes.)
The lounge at Las Vegas made an arrangement for bloggers attending the BAcon2014 to access the facility over the weekend of the conference. As I had a 7.30am departure I went to the airport early and entered the open doors of the lounge just after it opened at 5am. The lounge is near gate D1 and accessible from many of the gates at LAS.
After the agent found my name on the list I was told that there was cold breakfast until 6am and hot there after. There is a code for the pretty nippy Wi-Fi.
There are lots of different seating areas – couches, tables and chairs, single seats, desks – pretty much a solution to fit everyone’s needs. I selected a comfy sofa, with shoulder high power and a little table. A good combination of sitting, working and reading I found. The departure boards show all flights leaving the airport which is most useful.
There is a large service desk, although I didn’t see it manned whilst I was there.
The cold food consisted to yoghurt, cereal, fruit and some pastries. There is a self service coffee machine as well as urns of coffee prepared. Proper nice plates and bowls which a nice change from the plastic provided at most lounges.
At 6am scrambled eggs, poached eggs, potatoes and the famous vanilla pancakes appeared. The pancakes are, I can confirm from personal experience, exceptional.
There are two TV’s which were tuned to sports and news channels when I was there. The sun rose over the waiting planes whilst I enjoyed my visit.
In the UK, the annual free for the Platinum Card is £450. You’d need to do a good number of visits to their lounges before the $50 per visit fee is repaid. These Amex lounges are a very different experience to most US lounges and so I can understand what all the excitement is about. The food on offer is superior to almost every US lounge I have visited. It compares exceptionally well to United where it’s pretty much cheese and biscuits, and to American where anything decent requires payment.