Centurion Lounge SFO: So Stale I Left


Amex Centurion SFO Lounge Review is part of the TPOL Down Under Trip Report.

I just wrote about the mediocrity of Amex Centurion Lounges, specifically the Centurion Melbourne. After visiting the Centurion SFO, I think I was too hard on Melbourne. Next to Centurion MIA and aside from the SEA one, this has to be the worst Centurion Lounge.


This place is a zoo. There’s nowhere to sit.

There was one table that clearly was reserved.


I walked up and walked away with plates that would be discarded.


As this was the end of my TPOL Down Under trip report, I didn’t have a drink. My bar evaluation is incomplete. Like MEL, there was Stella on draft. Unlike MEL, they don’t use the Stella glasses.

Wine Tasting

It’s like I never left Blenheim. There’s wine tasting available. Ask the reception for the codes for four free samples.


There’s no ANZ barista app here. Back to the machine.


I never used Centurion access a basis for evaluating if I should keep or cancel this card. If I did, I would discount it considerably because the lounges have lost their luster (see Keep Vs. Cancel: Amex Platinum Charles Schwab).

Will not go through these doors again.


  1. Those pictures actually make SFO look emptier than usual. The last 2 times I was there, there was a group of about 10-15 people who had drinks in their hand near the check in area waiting for seats – ANY seat – to open up. If I didn’t live at IAH, I would probably cancel the card because the overcrowding hasn’t hit there… yet anyway. And PHL was pretty calm last week when I was there.

  2. Was there last week. This is definitely one horrible lounge. First, I was at the counter 5 mins before their 3 hour cutoff and they wouldn’t let me in. I asked the desk attendant if she was really going to just make me stand there and wait for 5 mins… she proudly said, “Yesterday, we made two people wait 2 mins.” So, I just stood at the counter and waited 5 mins.

    The lounge was super warm and stuffy… so uncomfortable that I left and went to sit by my gate, which was cooler and less crowded!

    Lots of groups of people, families with multiple kids in tow… a group of 6-7 20-something backpacker types headed out to some exotic location, starting with a wine tasting party… a lady with 3 kids occupying 2 tables but leaving one completely empty for about 20 mins because she went out to buy food for her kids. When she returned, attendant told her outside food was not allowed, but she was having none of that, so went to talk to the “manager”. Of course she lost the argument, so her kids just ended up putting the food under some cover, and stealthily eating from the containers the rest of the time.

    There was consistently a line of at least 3-4 people waiting to get a drink. The bartenders were grouchy and unpleasant.

    This is one lounge where you have to leave to get some quiet and calm in an airport. Definitely won’t be back.

    BTW, the wine tasting is free.

  3. Wow. So many of you are actually hating on a Centurion lounge because its become so popular. I’m sure you’d rather have 3 hours of free premium food and cocktails than schlep around an airport terminal like the rest of the commoners. I actually saw multiple empty chairs in those photos. You just seem unhappy that this lounge isn’t as empty as a Delta/AA/United lounge. Well, there’s a reason those lounges are empty. They suck. So people complain about a lounge being too popular. But also want to complain when Amex tries to restrict entry and limit visit times. There’s no pleasing you folks.

  4. I agree with the others. That looks like a good day. I’ve seen it close to seating capacity on several occasions (the only seat left was at a computer lol) but hey, it’s free food and drink.

    Btw those table(s) aren’t reserved. Anyone can sit there but you have to get up if a Centurion member comes along. They also have access to better whiskey!

    I agree they can be pretty draconian in their rules (once had a bartender refuse to serve my friend 2 drinks at once bc I was out of sight) but rules are what make the world (and travel hacking) go round. Disappointed about the recent no access on arrival rule but I’ll still renew (well, churn) my plat card.

  5. Over the few years it has been open, the food has deteriorated from something special for the SF Bay area into inedible slop. I came close to cancelling my AM Ex Platinum card, but was offered a pretty good incentive. I’m not really sure what the alternative is, but there are times I just bailed and waited in the terminal rather than suffer the occasional crowds. The situation in Oakland airport, my alternative home airport, is just as bad.

  6. I think maybe some of you just don’t remember what long waits in airports CAN be like. We have always enjoyed the food here immensely, and the front desk staff have been charming to us. The waitstaff scurry around constantly cleaning off used dishes and scoping out available seats for your party. Yes, it’s crowded. Yes, it can be overwarm. But we still look forward to connecting here rather than LAX, largely because of the lounge (and certainly not because of the fog delays at SFO!)

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