Review: The Centurion Lounge LGA (LaGuardia Airport)
August 7th, 2018
We landed at LaGuardia Airport at approximately 8am after the quick jaunt from Pearson Airport. Since we only had carry-on bags, we made a quick getaway out of the gate and through the crowds as we headed towards The Centurion Lounge. (I’ve written about my experience at The Centurion Lounge within SFO, and you can read all about it here.)
The interesting thing about this particular Centurion Lounge is that it’s located pre-security which is typically unlike most other lounges where you can only access them once you pass security. Normally this would pose some access issues for arriving guests since you’re usually required to show an outbound boarding pass to enter a lounge. The beautiful thing about The Centurion Lounge in LGA is that they allow you to access the lounge even if you’ve just arrived from a flight.
Compared to the lounge at SFO, this Centurion Lounge is a little off the beaten path, if you will. There was no grand entrance, no stunning/welcoming facade by any means, nor was it visible from the many passersby within the terminal. The only mention of the lounge from the main terminal was a pillar with an advertising wrap on it telling you that the lounge was on the 3rd floor. Alas, tucked away on the 3rd floor in Terminal B between Gates B and C, above the food court, down a long narrow hallway, was the entrance which truth be told, reminded me of visiting a dentist or walk-in clinic.
Upon entering the lounge, you are greeted by a large welcome desk, a friendly lounge attendant as well as a massive living feature wall full of leaves of differing shades of green. Whether or not this was a real living wall or one filled with fakes leaves, I couldn’t tell you but it sure looked convincing! Around the corner from the front desk was a quaint lounge/work area with a few couches, window seating with views of the tarmac as well as a communal table with swivel chairs and seating for about 8. Directly behind the communal table was a built-in feature wall with magazines as well as as suitcases on display in a Tetris-like configuration. It was pretty neat.
The other section of the lounge consisted of the dining area if you will, with the buffet spread, the bar, coffee station, dining tables as well as the washroom facilities. The bar itself had seating for about 10 people and flanked around were tables and chairs as well as a section along the wall with couches and coffee tables. Similar to the lounge/work area, the dining area also had window seating with views of the tarmac.
Since it was early morning when we arrived, they were only serving a select few alcoholic breakfast drinks – mimosas, screwdrivers, etc. We opted for the mimosa and screwdriver options. The coffee station consisted of drip coffee, a wide assortment of Twinings tea as well as a super-automatic espresso machine capable of making any espresso-based drink you could think of.
The breakfast food items were quite substantial and covered a lot of bases in terms of proteins, carbs, fruits and dairy; it consisted of the following:
- poached eggs with wilted spinach
- frittata with cream cheese, potatoes and heirloom tomatoes
- home-fries with sautéed peppers and chicken sausage
- crispy french toast and pancakes with strawberries
- fresh fruit – watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, etc.
- parfait with granola
Connecting the two areas of the lounge (lounge/work area and dining area) was a long hallway with ample couch seating as well as wall-mounted t.v.’s. Within each section of the lounge were flight information display monitors which, you guessed it, told you about the flight status’ within the airport. This is super helpful since as I mentioned, this lounge is located pre-security and you would need to give yourself ample time to go through security screening and the like.
This was my second visit to a Centurion Lounge and I’m happy to say, I’m still pleased and impressed with the quality that American Express puts into its proprietary lounges. We arrived at the lounge early morning on a Tuesday and I was anticipating it being super busy with business travellers (from what I’ve read, morning tend to be busiest) but for whatever reason, this wasn’t the case. I was chatting with the bar attendant and asked why it wasn’t busier (not that I wanted it to be and I was grateful it wasn’t) and she mentioned it was really hit or miss and that the lounge is usually at its busiest during/after a storm or bad weather when there are lots of flight delays. I suppose that makes sense. Either way, we had no trouble finding a table, there was no shortage of food and didn’t have to wait long to be served a drink. That’s a win in my books any day of the week!