American Express Centurion Lounges set the standard for U.S. airport lounges, starting with the Centurion Lounge at Las Vegas (LAS), the bank's first-ever lounge. After a sizable expansion and redesign completed in 2021, it's bigger and better than ever … and yet still not big enough.
Centurion Lounges are typically a big step above almost any lounge in the country – and that's both a blessing and a curse. They're popular to the point of overcrowding, none moreso than the Las Vegas location where lines to get in are common and getting a seat inside can be a challenge.
Still, it's easily the best lounge in Sin City and a great spot to relax with a bite to eat or something to drink before a flight. While the lounge was predictably packed over the hectic Thanksgiving travel weekend when I visited, our group of four was able to find a spot to sit and enjoy the free food and drinks that set Centurion Lounges apart from the competition.
Read on to see what you should expect and keep in mind.
Curious what Amex Centurion lounges are all about? Read our master guide to these best-in-class airport lounges!
How to Get Into the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge
You'll find the Las Vegas Centurion lounge in Concourse D across from Gate D1, not far from the main bank of escalators at the center of the terminal.
One of the best reasons to get the The Platinum Card® from American Express is the unrivaled lounge access. It gets you a free Priority Pass Select membership, which will get you and two guests into 1,000-plus Priority Pass lounges across the world. You can get into Delta SkyClubs if you're flying Delta that day. And you can also enter Escape Lounges, like one of our favorites at Minneapolis-St. Paul.
And then there are Centurion lounges, which are the cream of the crop as far as Amex lounge access goes.
Getting into the Centurion lounge Las Vegas is the same process as at any of the other outposts. Simply show your Platinum card, a boarding pass, and an ID, and you'll be whisked straight in. But after years of allowing you to bring two guests for free, that's no longer the case: As of Feb. 1, guests cost $50 apiece (or $30 for minors) unless you charged a whopping $75,000 to your Platinum Card in the last year.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express will get you in as well. And there’s a relatively new option: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, Delta’s top-tier travel card. But you have to be flying Delta that day to use a Centurion lounge, and guests will cost $50 each.
Read our full guide to Amex Centurion lounges!
In addition to charging for guests, American Express has tighten access restrictions in other ways to combat overcrowding. You can only get into the lounge within three hours of your departing flight – though passengers on a longer layover may be allowed entry. And you can no longer get into the lounge at the airport upon arrival.
Seating (& Crowding) Inside the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge
Let's start with the good news: The Las Vegas Centurion has some comfortable seats, from a place to grab dinner near the bar to cozy, personal love seats where you can sit and work or take a quick nap. And the whole lounge is nice, decorated in a familiar Centurion style – right down to the green wall that greets you as you walk in.
There's more of this lounge to love, too. In 2021, Amex finished expanding by another 4,400 square feet of space to the lounge, which now clocks in at about 13,400 square feet total. Amex added multi-purpose areas, new private telephone rooms, a newly designed reception area, and new workspace areas.
The bad news? Depending on how busy the lounge is, it can still be pretty packed. And these lounges fill up fast. Later in the day or on the weekends, it can be a struggle to find seating or grab food quickly.
This was the line at the bar around 2:30 p.m. on the Saturday afternoon of Thanksgiving. And that's not unusual.
At the back of the lounge, there's more dedicated seating, with a mix of those familiar black cubes and sets of small tables with chairs.
While most seats had sleeping people in them, this is a good look at one of the more private pod-seating areas at the LAS Centurion.
You'll also find another bank of the in-wall, green seats here. They're perfect for two.
Elsewhere were more social seating areas for couples and even a few pods of four chairs for larger groups.
The terminal side of the lounge skews a little bit dark, but the tarmac side has huge floor-to-ceiling windows.
The lounge has a pretty wide variety of different seats, including these two loungers just outside the entrance.
As part of the refresh of the lounge, Amex installed these cool travel-themed wall decor items that have become something of a fixture at newer lounges. This one, which includes a TV showing the football du jour, was put behind a long table where a family of six or so people had set up shop for the afternoon.
A similar display was found just around the corner, too.
Along with the open seating areas and pods you can see spread throughout the lounge, the Centurion in Las Vegas also has some individual rooms.
Called the Multi-Purpose room, this section of couches, tables, and TVs was open for public use. It was mostly empty during our time there. And here's one of two phone booths, with room for one or more people to escape somewhere quiet during a lounge visit.
There's free Wi-Fi throughout the lounge – just snag a card with the passcode from the desk as you check in.
There are men's and women's bathrooms inside the lounge. And while they're decorated beautifully and stocked with L'Occitane amenities, they're quite small. There were just two urinals and one stall inside the men's room. Another expansion may be in order…
There are also plenty of tables and chairs inside the dining area, which was significantly expanded in 2021.
And that brings us to the highlight of the lounge.
Food & Drink at the Centurion Lounge Las Vegas
Airport lounges in the U.S. are typically pretty lackluster – especially when it comes to food and drinks. But this is where Centurion lounges really shine, and the LAS location doesn't disappoint.
Let's start with the bar. Though still fairly small, it's decorated nicely.
There is plenty of free wine, sparkling wine, and beer available. But the star is the cocktail menu. When we were at the lounge, two bartenders were working furiously to prepare many of these items for travelers (and fending off rude lounge guests arguing about the rules … sigh…) and they were stellar.
During a visit way back 2019, we ordered a Blue Door, which was every bit as delicious as it sounded – including that hint of star anise. And once again, all of these cocktails are free.
Food can be hit or miss in lounges, but not at this Centurion, in my experience. Even with the volume of people streaming through the buffet line, the food was delicious.
The lounge seems to mix up its menus weekly, so depending on how often you pass through, you can probably try something different.
On the main buffet, you had your choice of a full salad bar and then the main course. Along the wall is the soft drink section.
There were ample coffee and espresso options at the lounge, with three big jugs of juice and iced tea alongside them.
While the menu rotates, American Express offers this as a sample menu on its website.
The day we were there, the vegetable curry was the star. There was also a chicken dish not listed on this menu, too.
Overall, the food was the best part of our time in the lounge. I went back for seconds and thirds if you count the chocolate cookies we took for the walk to our gate. The Las Vegas Centurion lounge is a great place for a hot meal before your flight.
The Centurion Lounge Las Vegas has a lot going for it: great seating, top-notch cocktails, and good food.
But as with all Centurion lounges, the only question is timing. If you're lucky, you'll be able to enjoy it all freely. If not, expect to work to find a seat or grab some food … if you can get in at all.
We were there on a Friday afternoon, returning from a conference in Las Vegas. It was crowded as you say. What was somewhat annoying was that individuals had taken the love seats and other double seats to spread out making it very hard to find two for my wife and me together. Because of where I live and where I travel the only other Centurion Lounge I have been to is San Francisco on a few occasions. It was similarly nice and similarly crowded. I have recently opened a Chase Sapphire Reserve account and closed my AMEX Platinum. I think the only thing I’ll miss is the Centurion Lounge.
Curious to ask if the cocktails you speak highly of are free like the beer or if they cost money?
It’s all free!