How Overrated is the DFW Amex Centurion Lounge?

How Overrated is the DFW Amex Centurion Lounge?

Let me preface this “review” with a full admission that I frequent the DFW Amex Centurion Lounge on a regular basis. As an American Express Platinum card holder, I receive complimentary access, regardless of airline or class of service I’m flying. Platinum Card and Centurion Card holders receive complimentary access (plus 2 guests) while holders of any other American Express card can access the lounge for a $50 fee. When this lounge isn’t crowded, it’s a decent place to grab a cocktail or catch up on some work in comfort.

However, I have quite the frustration with some aspects of this lounge. It’s touted as a premium travel lounge and it seems nearly every points blogger raves endlessly about every Centurion lounge. My experience certainly hasn’t matched the glowing reviews of others. The blatant lack of cleanliness in this lounge and the gruff service at the bar have really worn on me on the DFW Amex Centurion Lounge.

My photos on this post are from the DFW Amex Centurion Lounge on various visits, some on more crowded days than others.

The Ugly

There are a few things I really dislike about this lounge, first being the overall poor cleanliness of this lounge. The bathrooms are absolutely DISGUSTING. I’ve gotten to where I’d rather just use the regular restroom in the main terminal. On my last visit, the door on the bathroom stall didn’t lock and there were stains all over the walls.

In terms of the service, this is a mixed experience. The folks at the front desk are almost always friendly and polite. However, the bar staff is always grouchy. On several occasions, I’ve stood around waiting for the staff to end their bickering behind the bar so I can order a drink. I have encountered one or two folks at the bar that are friendly but the experience is more likely to be negative than not.

The snaking layout of the lounge makes one feel very claustrophobic. The seating is nice but the lounge could use more power outlets for charging devices. On top of that, during peak hours, you may find that there is not a single empty seat in the lounge. If you arrive before 4 PM on a weekday, you shouldn’t have trouble. On Friday evenings or on a holiday weekend, you can expect the place to be painfully crowded. And while I don’t mind kids in the lounge, when there are more kids than adults in a crowded lounge, the noise is a bit ridiculous.


The Pretty

As mentioned before, the check-in staff at the front desk is almost always pleasant so your first impression here is usually good. There’s also showers and an Exhale spa inside this lounge but I’ve never utilized either as I haven’t had time thus far. I have been offered a spa service by the front desk staff a couple times.

I do enjoy the great selection of complimentary food in this lounge. The menu is designed by local chef Dean Fearing and the food is usually quite good. Keep in mind that during peak hours, there’s quite the line for food.

In terms of style and decor, the lounge is very nice. The furniture is comfortable and I like some of the hidden cubicles. Unfortunately the efficiency of the lounge is constrained by the narrow and oddly-shaped floor plan. The WiFi at DFW airport is already solid but the Centurion Lounge has complimentary WiFi as well. The WiFi connection has always been reliable and fast. 


The Verdict

So is the Centurion Lounge overrated? In short, yes. I’d say the lounge is over-hyped and puffed up to be greater than it actually is.

I’ll continue to visit this lounge for the good qualities it has but I think there’s room for improvement.The general comfort during non-peak hours and the high-quality food are the high points for the Centurion Lounge DFW. However, the bathroom cleanliness has got to be addressed in this lounge. It’s quite embarrassing for a premium lounge. The bar staff sure could use a bit of customer-service training as well.

Bottom Line: Don’t run out and get a Platinum Card just for the benefit of Centurion Lounges.

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