Review: American Express Centurion Lounge, Miami International Airport

The Centurion Lounge Miami opened this past Thursday, and it’s been a highly anticipated reveal from the frequent traveler community.

The lounge is located directly next to gate D14, which is at the far end of the American Airlines terminal. It actually sits well above the terminal floor itself, so to get there, look for the signs by the elevator, and take the elevator up to the level labeled inside. Funny enough, as you ride up you’ll notice an extensive amount of dust on the railings and pillars of the airport. Nothing the Centurion Lounge folks have control over, but something probably worthwhile for the airport staff to take note of.

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After taking the elevator up, you’re greeted with the check-in desks, which like other Centurion Lounges are backed by a live plant wall, which is not only beautiful but aromatic as well. I checked in, and was promptly given the wifi password (which is the same as the other lounges) as well as a brief explanation of the facilities. To access the Centurion Lounge, you’ll either need an American Express Platinum Card (complimentary) a Centurion Card (complimentary), or any American Express card with a $50 fee.

Next to the desk, is the small spa where you can receive complimentary treatments and massages. I didn’t get one on my visit, but should you want one, you can make an appointment up front.

Beyond the spa is the main seating area, which is laid out along a long glass wall with beautiful views of the runways and gates. I have to say, this lounge seems smaller than the Dallas and San Fransisco ones. Perhaps a bit larger than the La Guardia one, but not by a ton.

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There’s going to be a big problem with crowding in this space – the agent at the front desk made a particular note of telling me that they’re seeing very high usage and don’t anticipate it to go down. I did notice most seats taken in the space, but there’s a small “hidden” area next to the shower doors, if you need a quiet place to sit that’s out of the way (but, not near the food and drink, either).

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The food spread is decent, but not as much as the Dallas or SFO lounges, in my opinion. On hand was some fried chicken, potatoes purée (think mashed potatoes), some greens, soup and a salad bar. Personally, it looked a bit on the skimpier side in my opinion, but with the menu anticipated to vary out within the next few months, this might change.

There’s a bar across the way serving premium drinks, and if you’re able to get a seat here, you’ll certainly have a great view of some of the planes taking off next door. Interestingly, there’s a deck space just outside the windows here that’s vacant, and some radar/lighting equipment sticking up on the end. I’m not sure of the intended use of this space, but if American Express is somehow able to negotiate an outdoor deck space here, that would be absolutely fantastic. Right now, it’s a tease…

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As you continue down the elongated seating area there are male and female restrooms, each on the smaller side. In the men’s room, there were only 2 stalls and 1 urinal, which I believe is not enough for the amount of people I saw inside. Fortunately, there’s also a shower space on the opposite side of the lounge for folks to change in, so this may relieve some of the congestion.

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My Take

Overall, I am really happy with this new lounge, and it’s a welcome addition for AA flyers in and out of Miami. If you’re not flying AA, you can take the Sky Train from another terminal to here, though I’d plan extra time due to the fairly extensive walking distance you may encounter. It’s a good space – though, I wish there was more of it to accommodate what will probably be a ton of guests.

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  1. DavidB says

    Thanks for the “tour”. Just so nobody’s confused, at MIA the SkyTrain only travels up and down the AA D concourse and not to any of the other piers of the terminal. For that you must go landslide and walk along the main concourse, or on the upper level where there are moving sidewalks (when they’ve not broken down) as other than D and E, none of the other piers are connected airside with D. So if not flying AA, or from pier E where BA, IB and a couple of other overseas airlines fly from (but not most who use piers further down the terminal) you’ll have to also contend with security. Not sure what the policy at MIA will be if one’s not flying from the D or E piers and just want to use the Amex Lounge. Agree it sounds like it may get quite crowded at times. Look forward to my own visit in the future, though MIA is one of the airports I really hate — particularly when connecting off a LAN/TAM flight to an AA one!

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