The Seattle (SEA) Centurion Lounge is all grown up – and easily one of the best lounges in American Express' network.
Following a relocation and a renovation, Seattle's new flagship Amex lounge officially opened last February. At 14,000 square feet, the new lounge is three times the size of its predecessor and bears many of the same features, decor, and local touches that have made Amex Centurion Lounges a go-to for travelers for years. But what truly sets this lounge apart is the full-service coffee bar, the first of its kind in an Amex lounge and a nod to Seattle's storied roasting history.
Flying out of the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Centurion Lounge is my first stop after security before each and every one of my flights. Between the cafe, comfy seating options, and all the free food and drinks you could want, I'd live in this lounge if I could.
Read on for my full review.
Read our ultimate guide to Amex Centurion Lounges!
Getting into the Seattle Centurion Lounge
The Seattle Amex Centurion Lounge is located on the mezzanine level of the Central Terminal. It's open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
It's not far from the old Centurion Lounge, which was located opposite gate B3 in the Central Terminal.
Although accessible from most terminals, you'll have to allot some extra time to catch the train if your flight is departing from the S or N gates.
To get up to the lounge, you have to take the dedicated elevator.
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You can also get into Amex Centurion Lounges with the top-tier *delta reserve card*, but there's a hitch: You have to be flying Delta that day, and you must have paid for your ticket with your Reserve card.
Learn more about the *delta reserve card*
Finally, you can get in with the American Express Centurion Card, which is an invite-only credit card reserved for Amex’s top spenders.
You can also now “check-in” ahead of time using the Amex app and simply show your ID and boarding pass upon arrival.
The days of bringing guests into the Centurion Lounge with you for free are gone. As of February 2023, each guest now costs $50 apiece ($30 for minors) unless you charged a whopping $75,000 to your Amex Platinum Card in the last year. Children under two are free.
Delta Reserve cardholders do not receive any complimentary guests, either – but they never have.
Have a layover? Keep your receipt for your guest pass and you could get free entry for that same guest at another Centurion Lounge location that same day. On my most recent trip, I was able to flash my receipt from the Seattle Lounge to get my traveling companion into the Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas (LAS), too, without having to pay another $50.
Another Thrifty Tip: Consider adding your travel companion as an Amex Platinum authorized user – they'll get their own lounge access!
With more and more travelers adding premium travel cards like the Amex Platinum to their wallets, crowding has become a serious problem at some Centurion Lounges. To combat the issue, Amex has tightened up on when you can get in.
Currently, you can only get into a Centurion Lounge within three hours of your originally scheduled flight departure. Luckily, this policy doesn't apply if you're at the airport during a layover. Without a layover, you can no longer get into the lounge upon arrival – only departing flights will qualify for a visit.
In my experience, crowding has never been an issue at the Amex Centurion Lounge in Seattle. Whether I'm taking a morning flight during the holidays or flying out in the afternoon, I've never had trouble finding a place to sit or found it to be too busy for me to relax before my flight.
Seattle Centurion Lounge Layout, Seating & Amenities
After the check-in desk, you'll enter an open-air space that overlooks the Central Terminal.
Once you enter the lounge, you'll see an assortment of seating options ranging from booths, cafe tables, and armchairs in the main dining area. Straight ahead is a fully-staffed bar, with the full-service cafe in the back left corner.
Every time I've visited, there are always plenty of open seats in this spacious area. And with all the windows, this room gets a ton of natural light – when Seattle isn't so gloomy, that is.
The dining area overlooks the runway where Delta planes are usually parked. I especially geeked out over this Airbus A321-271NX.
The bar area offers counter seating as well as booths, but you'll have to go up to the bartender to order any drinks. But, you can take your drink with you to any other area of the lounge.
To the left of the bar is the full-service coffee bar – dubbed “Blue Roast by American Express” – and quite possibly my favorite place in this lounge. Here you can get made-to-order coffee drinks, smoothies, snacks, and more, but more on that later.
There is also some additional cafe-style seating by the coffee bar.
Continuing on into the lounge, If you're like me and like to sit close to where the food is at, simply sit at a booth by the buffet. Similar to the main dining area, seating near the buffet is perfect for pairs sitting together. This area tends to be busier due to it's close proximity to the buffet. But spots always open up as travelers come and go.
There are also some additional seating spaces reserved for travelers with the exclusive Centurion Card.
Amex has included some local touches throughout the lounge, like this artwork above the seats here. This piece, “Beantown SkyLine” by Harold Caudio, depicts the Seattle skyline entirely in coffee beans – fitting for a city that's home to Starbucks and has a long history with coffee.
Amex has installed these cool travel-themed wall decor items at many of its newer lounges, and the Seattle Centurion Lounge is no exception.
Past the buffet is another seating area where you'll find these pod-style armchairs that offer a little more privacy, in addition to some communal seating options.
There are two phone booths you can reserve at the check-in desk and a multi-purpose room.
Now, here's my only issue with the Seattle Centurion Lounge: The bathrooms. While I can't speak to what the women's restroom is like, the men's restroom only has two stalls – and during peak hours, you'll often find yourself waiting in line just to use the bathroom. For such a large lounge to have so few bathrooms is disappointing, to say the least.
This problem isn't unique to the Seattle Centurion Lounge either. I've encountered lines for the bathroom at the Las Vegas Centurion Lounge recently as well.
On the plus side, the restrooms are clean and the L'Occitane toiletries Amex stocks in the bathrooms are a nice touch.
The Centurion Lounge also has showers you can reserve, which are especially useful if you want to freshen up before or after a long international flight. While I didn't use the shower on this visit, in the past when I asked to make a reservation, I was told it wasn't available and directed to a Priority Pass lounge in the airport that also had showers.
There have also been times in the past year when the entire Centurion Lounge was closed without any advance notice.
Fortunately, there's no shortage of accessible lounges if the Centurion Lounge in Seattle is closed.
Food & Drink at the Seattle Centurion Lounge
All the food and drinks at the Seattle Centurion Lounge are complimentary – and the options are far from the usual lackluster airport lounge spread.
Let's start with the full-service coffee bar. The dedicated baristas can whip you up espresso-based beverages, cold brew, and other seasonally rotating specialty drinks from local Seattle roaster Caffè Umbria – a far cry from the typical drip coffee and automated espresso machines you'll find in most Centurion Lounges. My go-to drinks are usually the latte or matcha latte.
Beyond coffee and tea, you can also order smoothies and small bites, although some items are only available during lunchtime. Regardless, the cafe is open whenever the lounge is.
Beyond coffee and tea, you can also grab smoothies and small bites from the glass display cases, although some items are only available during lunchtime. Regardless, the cafe is open whenever the lounge is.
On this visit, I opted for the breakfast bowl, which was quite healthy. I prefer the smoothies, but they weren't available until after 11 a.m.
I snagged some different drinks to try this time, including the cold brew coffee and seasonal honey lavender latte. The former was bland while the latter was tasty. The peppermint mocha was giving Starbucks vibes.
At the bar, you have your pick of beverages from wine and beer to cocktails – all complimentary. Here's a sample of what you can order.
Airports are wild places: You could order a glass of wine or a cocktail as early as 6 a.m., although they only offer a limited menu before 10:30 a.m.
In my experience, the cocktails are must-try items here at Centurion Lounge. On a previous visit, I got an expresso martini and this matcha cocktail. Both were delicious and left me very caffeinated.
The buffet at the Centurion Lounge in Seattle has different spreads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The first thing you'll see in the morning is a yogurt bar filled with fruit and hard-boiled eggs. Nothing beats getting your fix of fresh fruit mixed with yogurt in the morning.
There was also a selection of pastries, breads, and other small bites.
But the real stars of the show – and what I always save myself for – are the entrees, curated by Kristi Brown, an acclaimed soul food chef and owner of the local Seattle restaurant Communion.
For breakfast, there was an assortment of savory beans, potato wedges, and scrambled eggs.
There is also a quiche dish, along with sausage, mashed potatoes, and biscuits. I went back for seconds.
Are you the type to shyly help yourself to a single plate? At this lounge, it's okay to grab several plates at a time or make several trips to the buffet to make the most out of your lounge visit.
Near the condiments, silverware, and plates, you'll also find soups and some cookies to choose from. For breakfast, though, they had a selection of cereal and several milk options.
From the coffee bar to the cocktails to the overwhelming number of options at the buffet, nobody does it better than the Amex Centurion Lounge in Seattle. You certainly won't board your flight hungry.
I've lost track of how many times I've been through the Amex Centurion Lounge when flying out of Seattle for my travels. Whether I'm trying to get work done before or just want to grab a bite to eat before my flight, it's the perfect place to post up for a few hours.
Between the ample seating options, top-notch food and drinks, and unique, full-service coffee bar, the Seattle Centurion Lounge is easily one of the better lounges in Amex's network – and worth paying the steep annual fee on my Amex Platinum Card to get into.