It’s almost unfair to compare the LGA American Express Centurion Lounge to others throughout the system. The overall environment of La Guardia airport, aka, “the pit of despair,” simply overshadows the luxury of the club. Still, we’ll go ahead with what is, outside of the physical constraints of the space, a very fine club.
I visited the club at lunchtime on November 17, while arriving in New York for business.
It’s rare that I have to put much effort into the location of a particular lounge but, in this case, it might be worth it. Accessible through the B Terminal at LGA the Centurion Lounge is on the third level, its existence marked only by the white sign painted onto the side of a metal post, with a few other signs scattered throughout the terminal.
You’ll take a rickety elevator (It’s best to let loved ones know where you are before you enter.) to the third floor and then turn left, with a right-hand turn taking you down a never-ending hallway. At last, there’s some signage, and it lets you know that you have not, in fact, become the narrator in Araby.
Inside the Club
You’ll enter to the view of the living green wall, the standard for the Centurion Lounges. At last, we’ve made it to the promised land! There were two employees there to greet me, and when the woman noticed that I was arriving, not departing, she offered me two coupons for free Uber rides from the airport to the five boroughs. That could save you about $50 for each one, worth the price of admission. Lighting in the lounge, as you will see from the photos below, was mediocre.
Behind the entrance was a work area, with several desks and a few computers. While I was there, only a few people were in the room, so there was plenty of space to spread out. It was also the quietest area of the club, so this is where you’ll want to be if you need to get something done.
The lounges are known for their funky, but comfortable, seating areas, and this one did not disappoint.
The Centurion Lounges are known for having a better variety and quality of food than your standard lounge. Truthfully, I’ve always found breakfast to be their best meal, but lunch wasn’t bad, at least in terms of variety. There was a fried chicken that was somewhat greasier than the typical fried chicken (if that’s possible), which tasted as if it had been cooked for, well, an airport lounge. There were a couple of soups, a small salad bar and a jasmine rice. Brownies, cookies and vanilla panna cotta with berries for dessert. If you did not want to get a drink at the bar, they offered a pomegranate iced tea. The dining room was small and crowded, although I was there at the peak of lunch time.
Not many. Again, this lounge is size-constrained, so I wasn’t expecting a lot and, given the lack of international or even long-haul flying, there would be no reason to waste space on such amenities as showers or large rest areas. For most passengers, LGA is either their origin or destination, meaning that they probably don’t need these amenities. You’ll get good wireless, a few comfortable seating areas and several food & drink options.
Very good. The employees at the front desk were friendly and helpful, and told me where to find everything I needed throughout the lounge. Service in the dining area was subdued but fast, as used plates and cups disappeared quickly.
Of the Centurion Lounges that I’ve been to, the one at LGA was the least luxurious. That is not, however, a reflection on American Express, but rather, a function of the physical plant that they had to work with. It would not have been my first choice for a location, but I can understand the company feeling the need to have a presence in a New York airport. It was, however, higher quality than your normal airport lounge and a nice place to wait before or after a flight.
Location and Admission
The lounge is located in Terminal B at LGA. It is pre-security so, if you don’t have pre-check, you may need to give yourself some extra time.
Access is complimentary for holders of the Platinum Card or Centurion Card (Third-party platinum cards are generally not eligible for free admission.) with a same-day ticket. You may bring two guests or your immediate family. All other American Express card holders can get in for $50 and get complimentary access for children under 18.