The Overcrowded AMEX Centurion Lounge @ DFW

Sunrise at DFW

Our journey (like most people reading this blog) started off with a visit to the AMEX Centurion Lounge in Terminal D at DFW. It’s surprising that I haven’t written about the DFW Centurion Lounge yet considering that I fly through DFW 9/10 times I take a trip. However I am sure you guys appreciate that considering this is one of those lounge reviews that has been beaten to death on blogs. I’ll try to make this as interesting and short as possible without further beating the already dead horse.

Introduction: Incredible India
Focal Point: Incredible India in 8 Pictures
AMEX Centurion Lounge – DFW
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge DFW
Lufthansa A330 Business DFW-Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Lounge Gate B21
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Frankfurt
Lufthansa A380 Business Frankfurt – Delhi
Holiday Inn – New Delhi Int’l Airport
Air India Economy Delhi – Udaipur
Taj Lake Palace – Udaipur
Focal Point: Lake Pichola
Hyatt Regency New Delhi
Air India Business Class Lounge – Intl Departures T3
Plaza Premium Lounge – Intl Departures T3
Air India 777 Business Class Delhi – Hyderabad
Westin Mindspace – Hyderabad
Focal Point: Golconda Fort
Focal Point: Raitu Bazaar
Plaza Premium Lounge – Hyderabad Intl Airport
British Airways Club World Hyderabad-London
No. 1 Lounge London-Heathrow T3
BA Galleries Lounge Heathrow – Terminal 3
AA 777W Business Class London – DFW

The AMEX Centurion Lounge at DFW is located across from gate D19, up a pair of escalators. In order to use the lounge, you need an AMEX Centurion/Platinum Card, or pay the daily fee if you don’t have one of those cards.

The lounge was opened back in 2013 to much applause among journalists, card members, and of course bloggers. Understandably so considering that the lounge offers gourmet food (including full meals), complimentary spa services, and showers. Crowding wasn’t an issue during the first few months after lounge opening.

But as time has gone on, AMEX has become more forthcoming with Platinum card sign on bonuses and the lounge is no longer exclusive at all. So lately, overcrowding is an issue at the lounge, and some have even mentioned that they have been turned away because of how crowded it gets – I get this.

Here is a panorama of the lounge in the days before it got crowded:

Nowadays it isn’t even possible to stand here and let alone take a picture. Perhaps the design of the lounge itself lends itself to feeling crowded due to the corridor seating setup as seen above.

Service continues to be outstanding (at least it was for me) and the highlight of the lounge has to be the dining area for most people. The only problem is finding a seat is rather difficult before your flight departs. It’s perhaps made worse by the banking of flights at DFW.  On this particular day we were lucky to find a table, but a lot of people did leave complaining about the crowding.

It’s important to note that the DFW Centurion lounge has a very strong vegetarian food selection with most items being marked with a “V” for vegetarian or vegan. So kudos to AMEX for taking the minority into consideration when making the menu.

I do like to occasionally take a shower and my wait has always been surprisingly short even during peak times. There are in total 2 showers, which both offer L’Occitane toiletries (apologies for lack of pictures). As for the spa services, the wait is usually very long and luckily for me I don’t really care much for massages. What is 15 minutes really going to accomplish – other than feeding your twitter feed about how you got a free massage?

Bottom Line:

Despite being one of the largest Centurion Lounges in the AMEX network, the DFW Airport lounge is perhaps the most crowded. Despite the crowded nature of the place, service is usually fantastic, and the place is being maintained quite well.

Lately I’ve actually been preferring the newly renovated gate areas all around DFW for my waits and just occasionally step into the lounge for a quick shower and those lovely fresh cookies they put out. Don’t get me wrong here, it is easily the best lounge at DFW, but the crowd really takes away from the relaxing nature of the lounge.

And so: if you think that you are in for an exclusive “elite” lounge experience, you will be very disappointed. But hopefully you knew that going in because you will have read about it here 🙂