Airport Lounges Reviews

San Francisco Centurion Lounge review

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San Francisco Centurion Lounge Review

I recently had the opportunity to visit the San Francisco Centurion lounge on my weekend wedding trip to London. My itinerary to get to the wedding had me routing LAX-SFO-DUS-LHR. I made use of AA’s 24 hour stopover rule at SFO that included a stay at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport before continuing on through Germany with Air Berlin business class, and then finally on to London with British Airways Club Europe. I think I actually traveled longer getting to the wedding than I actually had on the outskirts of London celebrating. While I was at the airport I took the time to check out the San Francisco Centurion Lounge.

The Centurion lounge is located in Terminal 3. Remember that. TERMINAL 3. I was in International Terminal A going from lounge to lounge to lounge seeing which ones would accept me. Being One World Sapphire I should have been able to get into all of the lounges with an international ticket let alone a business class ticket, but BA and JAL aren’t allowing partner passengers to use their lounge. My flight was delayed and I thought I’d take the extra time to go and check out the Centurion lounge. As I was leaving security I asked how far away Terminal 2 was by foot. I know what you’re thinking…

Wait, I thought the Centurion lounge is in Terminal 3

It is!

So why did you ask about terminal 2

Who flipping knows?!

But I set out on foot to terminal 2

as you can see – terminal 2 is no where near International A. In fact, most people would even take the air train. Did I? No I walked.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 4.41.50 PM

And I walked, and I walked, and I walked. I walked from International A to Terminal 2. As you can imagine I was quite upset when I finally got there because THE LOUNGE IS IN 3!!!! Why didn’t I use the skytrain to get there?!? I think I walked for a solid 20-25mins HAHA. At least I got my steps in. I then googled  where the lounge was located and to my dismay it was another terminal over. Unflipping Believable!

When I got to Terminal 3…

the first TSA agent I spoke to didn’t think I could go through. I told her I just wanted to use the lounge and she brought over her superior. Without a hitch she said, ” Oh, Centurion…ya no worries go on ahead” Once I got through security it wasn’t too far down the terminal to the left.

There is a cool interactive map that I found to be helpful.

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 3 of 16

The Entrance

The Amex Centurion lounges looks DOPE no matter the airport. SO many lounges aren’t much of anything to look at it from the outside. Amex brands their Centurion lounges to be premiere refuges that their high end clientele can access.  I think they do a great job of exuding that image from the exterior. I was excited to see this lounge, especially after all the flipping walking.

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 4 of 16
American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 6 of 16

Who can get in:

  • American Express Platinum and Centurion card holders.
    • Any version…Business, Corp, Personal, Merc, etc
  • Amex cardholders can pay a day rate if there is space avail
    • Day rate is $50

The lounge was unbelievably crowded

Through no fault but my own, I had just walked 2/3 of the SFO airport and just wanted some water and food. Since the other lounges I’d visited in International A had verrrrrrry little on the food end, I was keen on plopping down and having a proper meal. I’d also missed the breakfast at the Hyatt Regency so I was like those Snickers ads with Joe Pesci.

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 7 of 16
main food and bar area
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across from the bar is a wine tasting machine with Napa Valley wines
American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 11 of 16
Classic Amex Centurion Bar

Instead of a spa…SFO offers a wine tasting machine

As pictured above, you can select from various wines in the San Fran region. I asked the check in agent if there was a spa and he said, ” our way of relaxing is the wine tasting machine. It’ll take the edge right off.” While this may be true, I was really hankering for a 10 min fresher to work the knots out of my shoulders from carrying my bags around the WHOLE of SFO. Oh well. On to the food.


It wasn’t really that big of an offering, but it was so much more plentiful than any of the other clubs I’d been to that I was very grateful. The soup they were offering was excellent as well. I don’t eat meat and that was kind of unfortunate as main entree was a braised short rib. I stocked up on salads and soup, some hummus and made my way to my seat. Or rather wondered and wondered when I would stop wandering and find a place to sit and eat. It was crowded you see.

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 12 of 16
Food bar
American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 13 of 16
main seating/gathering room
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work space in main room

I finally found one table that wasn’t occupied, reserved, or being held. Sort of crazy how crowded it was. That’s my biggest complaint in these lounges period. Aside from my experience in Miami, the Centurion lounges are typically bursting at the seams.

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO - 8 of 16


If you are flying out of Terminal 3 or International G, I would definitely hit this lounge up. International G, which is separated by security from International A, is connected to Terminal 3 post security. So, yes,  I could have just gone through security at International G and walked straight into Terminal 3 rather than walk allllllll the way around the airport like I did.

And yes…if you’re keeping track I ended up walking all the way around SFO. How many people can say that?! 8500 steps later…I could. But, I did make it to the Centurion lounge…which was the point.

I’m glad I did too. This would be a great place to come if it weren’t so crowded. I’d like to check out their different wine offerings, especially when I’m not dripping with sweat and battling low blood sugar. I really like the Centurion lounges and think that they add a considerable value to the American Express Platinum card. I currently have the business version of the card and will have to make a decision come year end as to whether or not to keep it. Since I have a business gold as well, I’ll probably let it go, but you never know what could happen with a good retention offer.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee


Points Earned

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    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
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We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

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Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

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