In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!
Four Times Across The Atlantic
More from this series:
- Introduction: Four Times Across The Atlantic
- Review: ITA Airways Business Class A350 (MIA-FCO)
- Review: ITA Airways Lounge Rome Airport (FCO)
- Review: Prima Vista Lounge Rome Airport (FCO)
- Review: ITA Airways Business Class A320 (FCO-CAI)
- Changing Terminals At Cairo Airport: Still Complicated
- Review: EgyptAir Lounge Cairo Airport (CAI)
- My Rough Night At Cairo Airport, Made Better By EgyptAir’s Osama
- Review: EgyptAir Business Class 787 (CAI-CDG)
- Review: Sheraton Paris Airport (CDG)
- Review: YOTELAIR Paris Airport Priority Pass Lounge (CDG)
- Review: Air France Lounge Paris Airport (CDG)
- Review: New Air France Business Class 777-300ER (CDG-JFK)
- Review: Hyatt Regency JFK At Resorts World New York
- Review: Amex Centurion Lounge New York (JFK)
- Review: British Airways Lounge Newark Airport (EWR)
- Review: New British Airways First Class 777 (EWR-LHR)
During my recent review trip, I had the chance to visit the Amex Centurion Lounge JFK. This lounge opened in late 2020, and I know many people are quite fond of this location, and find it to be among the best in the Centurion Lounge network.
Unfortunately my experience was less than stellar, though admittedly that’s because I didn’t really have the chance to check out the full lounge. Nonetheless I’ll review this lounge to the best of my ability, as I imagine I’m not the only person to have an experience like this.
In this post:
Why my Centurion Lounge JFK visit was disappointing
Before I review the aspects of the Centurion Lounge JFK that I could experience, let me share what disappointed me. The lounge opens daily at 5AM, and that’s exactly when I visited. The Centurion Lounge JFK is one of the larger ones in the network, and it has two floors.
It’s my understanding that the lower level is the nicer one, and it has amenities like a speakeasy-style bar. Well, unfortunately the lower level apparently only opens at 9AM, four hours after the lounge opened. There was a sign indicating that the lower level was “closed for cleaning” during this time, though in reality I suspect this just comes down to staffing.
This doesn’t exactly provide for a great passenger experience, as the upper level gets ridiculously crowded in the mornings.
I understand that lounges often get crowded due to their size, given how tough it is to secure real estate at airports. However, it’s much more frustrating when the reason for overcrowding is simply because part of a lounge is kept closed.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the only amenity with limited hours. I was told that the shower suites are only available at 7AM, and I’m not even sure when the Equinox Body Lab is supposed to open.
Furthermore, typically Centurion Lounges only have a continental breakfast for the first 30 minutes the lounge is open, and then a hot breakfast starts 30 minutes after opening. At the Centurion Lounge JFK, the hot breakfast only starts 90 minutes after opening.
So as you can tell, if you visit early in the day, you’ll get a really watered down experience. As a result, I’ll also only be able to review part of the full lounge experience. With that out of the way, let’s get into the review…
Amex Centurion Lounge JFK location & hours
The Amex Centurion Lounge New York JFK is located in Terminal 4. This terminal is primarily occupied by Delta, but also gets service from all kinds of other international airlines, including Emirates, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, and many more.
The Centurion Lounge JFK is easy to find. Once you’ve cleared security at Terminal 4, simply turn left and keep walking, rather than taking the escalators down to the main concourse level.
You’ll then see the entrance to the Centurion Lounge on the right, next to the Etihad Lounge (which has been closed for years… I’m not sure what’s going on there).
Below is a map from Amex that shows the location of the Centurion Lounge JFK.
This is obviously a convenient location if you’re originating in New York. Just make sure you leave plenty of time to get to your gate, since Terminal 4 is massive. Meanwhile if you’re connecting, getting to and from this lounge could be a bit of a trek, depending on where your flights arrive and depart.
The Amex Centurion Lounge JFK is currently open daily from 5AM until 10PM.
Amex Centurion Lounge JFK entry requirements
This JFK lounge hasthe same access policies as all Amex Centurion Lounges. Amex Centurion Lounges can be accessed by those who have any of the following cards:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express(review)
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express(review)
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card(review)
- Delta SkyMiles®Reserve Business American Express Card(review)
- Amex Centurion Card
When it comes to accessing Amex Centurion Lounges, there are some terms to be aware of:
- You need a same day boarding pass to access Centurion Lounges, and in the case of Delta Reserve cardmembers, the boarding pass needs to be for travel on Delta
- You can access Centurion Lounges up to three hours before departure, unless you’re connecting, in which case you can access earlier
- You can’t access Centurion Lounges on arrival, or with a standby or non-revenue standby ticket
- If you’re guesting people into Centurion Lounges, you need to stay with them the entire time they’re in the lounge
Note that guesting policies differ based on the card you have and how much you spend on it, and you can read more about that here.
Amex Centurion Lounge JFK seating & layout
The Centurion Lounge JFK is roughly 15,000 square feet, making it the second largest in the network. The lounge is spread across two floors, though as hinted at above, I only got to visit one level during my stay, as the other level was closed.
The level through which you enter has a really odd layout. Clearly this space wasn’t initially designed to house a lounge, though I have to give Amex and the airport credit for making the most of this space. While the layout is strange, I actually think that’s an advantage in one way, as there are lots of different nooks where you can hang out. This isn’t just one big room.
When you first enter the lounge, there are two small sitting areas right by the entrance, along the main path. This is also where the entrance to the Equinox Body Lab is located.
This lounge has all the typical Centurion Lounge design touches, as Amex is incredibly consistent when it comes to lounge decor.
There’s also a family room near the entrance, so that families can have a bit of privacy.
Then down the hall are the bathrooms, as well as the elevator and stairs to the lower lounge level.
Past that is the main part of this level of the lounge, which is a rather narrow and long space with floor-to-ceiling windows. There are a variety of seating options in this area, from lounging chairs, to couches, to semi-private cubicles, to dining tables, to high-top communal tables.
When you turn right and go deeper into this space, you’ll find the bar and buffet.
Meanwhile if you turn left and then make another left, you’ll find a communal workstation, as well as some really cute phone booths.
There are also some printers, should you have something you need to print out.
This lounge has spectacular views of the apron and runway, so that’s a real treat as an avgeek.
Unfortunately that’s all of the lounge that I can review. I believe the lower level of the lounge is even nicer than the upper level, so hopefully I can check it out next time. Below is a virtual tour of the Centurion Lounge JFK, if you want to see what the lower level looks like.
As you’d expect, lounge crowding was a serious issue, given the very limited capacity.
Amex Centurion Lounge JFK food & drinks
During my visit, continental breakfast was served from 5AM until 6:30AM, while a hot breakfast was served from 6:30AM until 11:30AM.
The continental breakfast included cereal, muffins, bagels, fresh fruit, yogurt, and muesli.
Then when the full breakfast was brought out, we saw the addition of croissants, biscuits, oatmeal, quiche, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, french toast, and sausage.
For what it’s worth, below is the sample Centurion Lounge JFK menu from Amex’s website.
As far as drinks go, there were espresso machines, filtered coffee, orange juice, and water.
All other drinks are available at the bar. However, alcohol is only served later in the day. Below is the sample Centurion Lounge JFK drink list from Amex’s website.
Amex Centurion Lounge JFK bathrooms & showers
The Amex Centurion Lounge JFK has bathrooms not far from the entrance. The men’s room has three stalls and no urinals, and a large, shared sink with three faucets. Toiletries in the bathroom are from L’Occitane.
The Centurion Lounge JFK also has showers, but they weren’t open until 7AM, so I didn’t have the chance to check them out.
The Centurion Lounge JFK is a favorite of many, thanks to the unique amenities, great views, and spread out design. Unfortunately during my visit, I didn’t have the chance to enjoy the entire lounge. While the Centurion Lounge opens at 5AM, full breakfast starts at 6:30AM, showers are available at 7AM, and the lower level of the lounge opens at 9AM.
So if you do visit this lounge in the mornings, be prepared to have a watered down and very crowded experience. Hopefully I’ll have a better experience next time.
What do you make of the Amex Centurion Lounge JFK?