Review: AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Airport SFO
Hilary Stockton

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Review: AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Entrance


This AMEX Centurion Lounge at San Francisco Airport SFO Review is one of several AMEX Centurion Lounge reviews, including the AMEX Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas, the AMEX Centurion Lounge in New York LaGuardia, and the AMEX Centurion Studio in Seattle

See all of our airport lounge reviews.

AMEX Centurion Lounge SFO Location, Access and Hours

The AMEX Centurion Lounge at San Francisco Airport, SFO is located in Terminal 3 near Gate 74. Even if you're not departing from Terminal 3, you can typically clear security at T3 to access the lounge (if you have enough time to clear security for both Terminal 3 and the terminal you're departing from) by mentioning to the TSA agents that you want to access the Centurion Lounge in Terminal 3, and presenting your same day boarding pass. It's naturally helpful if you have Global Entry / TSA PreCheck to expedite security both at Terminal 3 and your departure terminal.

The AMEX Centurion Lounge in San Francisco is open 5am-11pm daily.

As with other AMEX Centurion Lounges, you enjoy complimentary access to the lounge if you hold a valid AMEX Platinum or Centurion card, have a boarding pass for same day travel, and provide a government-issued ID.

Other AMEX card members can also access the lounge, subject to space availability, by paying $50 and presenting their AMEX card, same day boarding pass and government issued ID.

AMEX Platinum and Centurion members may bring up to two guests or their immediate family members (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) into the lounge with them as complimentary guests.

If you purchase a lounge day pass for $50, you may bring in children under 18 as complimentary guests, but you must pay $50 per person for all adult guests (including your spouse/partner).

Review: AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco-Reception


AMEX Centurion Lounge SFO Amenities and Seating

The AMEX Centurion Lounge at SFO was quite crowded during our morning visit, especially in the dining area, which you access by taking a left after reception, since everyone was trying to grab some breakfast.

AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review-Dining Room Seating


The seating area right by the reception offered the news on a flat screen TV, and again was occupied during most of our visit:

Review: AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Airport SFO


Even when we walked across to the other main lounge space, only a couple seats at the large communal table were available:

AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco SFO Review-Communal Table


Fortunately, the WiFi worked well enough for my Skype calls and some file uploading. You receive a WiFi password on a blue business card, when checking into the lounge.

There were also a couple of large Apple computer monitors and a printer available just behind the communal table, in case you need to print something out.

AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review - Business Center


There is a shower suite, but it was occupied during our visit, so I don't have photos of it. The bathroom was clean and featured L'Occitane Verveine hand soap and moisturizer, as is usual for The Centurion Lounge.

AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review-Bathroom

AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco SFO Food and Drinks

During our morning visit the Centurion Lounge was offering breakfast, which is served 6-11am. It's buffet style, served from an open kitchen, and the kitchen staff were hard pressed to keep refilling everything given the many hungry lounge guests. 

AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review - Breakfast Buffet


My favorite item was an egg frittata with mushrooms, although my son didn't want any, given his odd aversion to mushrooms.

Mushroom Frittata, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


There were also breakfast sausages (which my son did enjoy) and waffles (another winner with him):

Breakfast Sausages, AMEX Centurion Lounge SFO Review

Waffles, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


Fresh fruit included watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and pineapple:

Watermelon and Cantaloupe, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review

Breakfast Fruit, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


There was even some dragonfruit by the big bowl of Greek yogurt:

Greek Yogurt, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


There wasn't any fruit yogurt, so I mixed some jam in with the Greek yogurt before adding some crunchy granola on top for a DIY parfait.

Granola, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


The croissants and muffins didn't really tempt me, perhaps because we'd managed to treat ourselves to some awesome eclairs from Tartine Bakery the prior evening.

Croissants and Pastries, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


There was an Espresso machine as well as brewed coffee. There was also self-serve orange juice and water in an obscure corner of the dining room.

Espresso Machine and Brewed Coffee, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


While it was way too early for me to even consider wine, there was quite a wine bottle display:

Wines, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review


And for oenophiles, here are the wine lists, from which you can do a white wine or red wine tasting:

Wine List, White and Rose Wines, AMEX Centurion Lounge SFO Review

White Wine List, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review

Red Wine List, AMEX Centurion Lounge San Francisco Review

Red Wine List, AMEX Centurion Lounge SFO Review


The Verdict

It's a testament to how popular the AMEX Centurion lounges are that, no matter which AMEX Centurion Lounge I visit or what time I visit, they are always crowded. While I would have loved for the lounge to have been less crowded, it was still a good experience and worth the hassle in our case of clearing security, then exiting and clearing security for Terminal 2, which we were departing out of. Breakfast offerings weren't anything to write home about, but the mushroom frittata and granola were very good. I also appreciate the generally more polite service in AMEX Centurion lounges than in most U.S. domestic lounges.

A key offering in the San Francisco lounge, perfectly fitting for the gateway to California wine country, is the wine selection. I'll have to try a wine tasting and savory lunch/dinner offerings on a future visit.

If you've recently visited the AMEX Centurion Lounge in San Francisco Airport, what was your experience?

Related Posts

Review: AMEX Centurion Lounge in New York LaGuardia

Review: AMEX Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas

Review: AMEX Centurion Studio in Seattle

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport SFO Hotel Review

Review: Loews Regency San Francisco

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Picture?type=large Peggy L. commented 13 Jun 2016
I visited there one afternoon within the last year, and my experience was similar to yours as far as it being crowded. I was hungry and the food was yummy, although I only remember having rice and not what I had with it. (Too bad my husband wasn't with me, as he could tell you everything I've ever eaten in a restaurant!) Loved the 2 cappuccinos I fixed, I do know that! It was a challenge finding a seat afterwards anywhere else in the lounge.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 14 Jun 2016
Thanks for sharing your experience with the lounge, Peggy--your husband sounds like he has a photographic memory! Seems the AMEX Centurion Lounge is a bit of a victim of its own success. Better food and wine = more crowds.
Picture?type=large Jeff Y. commented 13 Jun 2016
Similar experience to yours, But with a few other bits of information and observations. The shower suite, is often unavailable do to high demand, I was able to get a time slot due to an extended layover and grab a shower. The amenities in the room are fine, and the room clean, though the shower's plumbing fixtures were in disrepair and the hardware was literally falling apart in the shower. The design of the shower is poorly thought out and when used for its intended purpose the water literally floods the entire floor of the bathroom area rather than being limited to the shower stall. Staff warned me of this before entering the room and I am glad they did or my belongings likely would have been soaked with water Their is a persistent irritation for me at this lounge seen during each of my half a dozen visits over the last year: After breakfast service, during the lunch and dinner hours, they pull the orange juice and replace it with what they call "Mango Calypso Unsweetened Iced Tea". While I am sure there are some people that like fruit flavoring in their tea many of us do NOT. If you want a glass of milk or coffee do you want only strawberry (or Mango Calypso) flavored offered? And one has to wonder WHY not just offer generic unadulterated true Iced Tea, and then allow your customers to add flavorings if and as they wish? Someone in the management of the kitchen seems to have a fixation for offering fruity beverages as the only option and even after asking the staff if they would consider offering unflavored tea we still get this Mango tainted tea on every visit. If you arrive after breakfast has stopped your choices for non-carbonated, non-alcoholic beverages are ice water or this fruity "Mango Calypso Tea" mixture. How about offering only Mango Calypso flavored coffee and see how well that goes over? The food serving staff was truly struggling to keep up with the patrons. Quite often the serving plates were empty moments after they were restocked due to the lines of hungry folks awaiting the refill. This wine tasting wall is really nice, and the power outlet available for electric hungry travelers needing to recharge for the next flight are quite plentiful. Though half the outlets at the long wooden table in the large lounge area adjacent to the Apple computers did not work and I had to break out my handy power extension cable to power up by computer and tablet chargers. The aforementioned Apple computers are generally unavailable as patrons perennially seem to allow their children guests to sit at these for hours playing online games while adult travels are trying to get some work done, and waiting for the kiddies to give up the computer space. Seating is truly at a premium in this lounge. It depends on the time of day but there often are no, or few seats available. If you are traveling with one or more family members do not be surprised to have to circle the lounge a few time or wait out departing guests to get a adjoining set of open seats. An expansion of the lounge's size by a good 50% to 100% would serve them well. I cant imagine seating to be any better in the future with more and more customers discovering this lounge. At present it does not help that even here we have several guests that place their bags in adjoining unoccupied seats in order to block these from other guests being able to sit nearby. The front desk staff are truly professional and helpful. The bar tender is a friendly and helpful fellow happily serving guests all manner of beverages during the day. The overall impression one gets from the SFO AMEX Lounge is one of relaxed and sophisticated comfort. But the volume of guests and the small details bring it from a 5 star experience to a 3.5 star. With some more space & seating and some attention to details it could easily be a top of the line experience in SFO. Hoping that as time passes this lounge will resolve its minor shortcomings and reach its full potential. - Jeff Y AMEX Member and freq lounge guest.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 14 Jun 2016
Jeff, thanks very much for your very detailed assessment, from multiple lounge visits! Great to know that the shower suite is not only rarely available, but also prone to flooding the floor, no one wants their belongings to get wet. I hear you on the flavored tea; while I'm not an iced tea drinker, I have the same objection to only offering regular teas that are fruit infused, when I infinitely prefer regular green tea, with no added flavors. Given all the over crowding, I wonder if lounge reception is limiting the number of day passes sold, or whether it wouldn't help matters since there are so many Platinum and Centurion cardholders anyway.
User_avatar_default Richard L. commented 14 Jun 2016
Best things in what is really a pretty reasonable lounge are the lemon drop martini and wine tasting. We come here rather than any of the oneworld lounges.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 14 Jun 2016
Good to know! Look forward to trying the wines and a lemon drop martini next time. I saw folks at the bar even during our morning visit, but it was too early for me personally :)
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