A minuscule but welcome respite in an otherwise horrid airport
The American Express Centurion Lounges at LaGuardia is small and poorly located, but nonetheless a comforting spot to hangout and relax. Well known for being one of the poorest rated airports in the United States, LaGuardia was built in the mid 20th century, before airports had robust security protocols and before modern post-security amenities became commonplace. It’s for that reason that the Centurion Lounge at LGA is unique among American Express lounges in the United States in that it is positioned before security. The location of the lounge is the first strike against it, as travelers must be sure to account for adequate time to navigate security to their gate.
The LaGuardia Amex Centurion lounge is located in Terminal B on the 3rd floor, one level up from the 2nd level you enter on from the Departures lane. The lounge is accessed via an elevator somewhat hidden to the right inside the main terminal doors, near to the food court, which is below on the 1st floor.
Upon entering the lounge, visitors are greeted by a smiling representative who quickly verifies your access to the lounge. We were able to visit this lounge because we have the American Express Platinum Card, a premium rewards credit card that comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, but with benefits that far outstrip the costs. If you travel often, we do recommend this card because. (If you sign up through our referral link, you can get 60,000 rewards points and we can get 15,000.)
We entered the lounge on a Friday evening around 7:30 PM and were immediately told that the lounge was closing very shortly and that bar service was being discontinued. The lounge is open from 5:30 AM to 8 PM on weekdays and only until 6:30 PM on Saturdays. That’s a bit disappointing, as LaGuardia has many regular Friday departures until 10 PM and our own flight was at 9 PM, necessitating an extended time in the terminal.
The food and beverage selection at the Centurion Lounges is generally quite good and the LGA outpost is no exception. The bar features a variety of branded liquors, wines, and beers. Unlike cheaper lounges that may charge and try to up-sell you to top shelf liquor, everything is included free of charge at the Centurion Lounge. It’s nice not be sold to for once, especially when you’re already paying $550 a year for the privilege.
The buffet has a variety of cold and hot food items, many of which are unique to this lounge. We’ve been to this lounge a number of times and never seen the same food twice. The dishes are generally not what you’d find in a typical airline or Priority Pass lounge and therefore the food is always a cut above the rest at the Centurion Lounges.
At the LaGuardia Centurion lounge, the food is crafted by Cédric Vongerichten, son of legendary chef and restauranteur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and a world-class chef in his own right. The food really shines and it’s one of the many reasons to make time to visit the Centurion Lounge at LGA, despite it’s obscure location.
After a quick bite and drink, we were shooed out of the lounge, a disappointingly short stay at an otherwise welcoming oasis. Not much needs to be improved about the Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia. The one thing that would make it better is to reposition it after security, however a substantial airport overhaul (now in progress) would be required to accommodate that.
If you have an American Express Platinum card and find yourself at LaGuardia with some extra time, it’s worth making an excursion to the Centurion Lounge for the welcoming environment, delicious food, and top shelf beverages.
What It Cost
Centurion Lounge access is free with the American Express Platinum card which costs $550 per year.
How We Paid
Apply now through our link and you can get 60,000 Membership Rewards points and we can get 15,000.
Points We Earned
0 Membership Rewards points
Nothing paid, so no points earned.
We rate the Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia airport 4 ½ stars. It has great food and drink but is a bit small and it’s location before security is inconvenient.