American Express had a Centurion lounge at DFW previously, but it shut earlier this year.
By luck, I was passing through DFW Terminal D the day after the new Centurion Lounge opened.
When I say ‘by luck’, I really mean it, as in, my luck was very lucky.
The lounge options in Terminal D at the moment are fairly awful.
Generally, I think DFW is a superior hub. They really care about the customer experience, and this terminal is only around 10 years old and is pretty good, and the queues (lines) aren’t bad and there are some decent restaurants and a new duty free shop that is top end.
But…. if you are flying American you will know that there are new Admiral’s Club and Flagship Lounges planned for 2019, and if you didn’t know that, then you’ll soon know it when you turn up since there are signs to that effect everywhere.
What that means is if you are flying American or British Airways or Qantas you will probably end up in what is called the Premium Lounge. It’s not awful, but it’s not Premium. On the plus side, it is very large. On the negative, well, that would require a few more words, but let’s not focus on the negatives. The lounge does what it can, bearing in mind it doesn’t have a kitchen and the only running water is in the restrooms.
So after a couple of hours I really wanted some hot food beyond the miso soup or tomato soup options and so went walking and then like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (D12), I found this new Centurion lounge, which had opened the day before, and quite honestly, I could not believe my luck.
Where is it?
By D12 – you take the lift up there which is accessible through this door – good bit of marketing for all those walking past as well.
What’s it like?
It doesn’t change the winning formula of the other lounges (see our reviews below) but it is long, large, light and has a great choice of both food and drink, as well as plenty of seating and lots of places where you can power up and get to work, or just shoot the breeze while working through the cocktail list.
No wonder the demand for these lounges is growing.
I was welcomed at reception, presented my card (platinum), boarding pass and ID (passport), and then I was in.
My joy would be hard to explain to someone who doesn’t travel a lot, and thinks of travel as being fun, but of course five hour layovers in airports aren’t fun, and anything that makes it easier (good food, a choice of drinks, comfortable seating, a view, power for my devices) is a joy.
Reception is smart and I love the green wall, which was such a change from the ubiquitous grey and white of the Premium Lounge.
As you enter the lounge on the left there are lockers. I know, wow.
Then you turn left (unless you want to head straight for the spa), and walk down the corridor, past seating towards the dining area and the bar.
At busy times there’s a helpful person telling you this, because otherwise people turn right, get confused as they walk past the showers and the spa, end up at the conference room, and then come back in a really bad mood.
Turn left, they find the bar, and after that, everything is OK.
On the way there, you pass the food, which is delicious – salads, hot items, and a good choice which is replenished even when it’s busy.
The two bartenders were kept very busy making cocktails, and if you compare that with the normal US lounge experience where some weary guy pulls the top off a beer and then expects a two dollar tip, you can understand the contrast (and yes, I recognise that they don’t make much money, and the tips are important to them, but it’s still depressing enough travelling without having to confront all of that just to get a drink).
The choice of cocktails, wines, beers, ciders and premium liquors is large.
I just took a photo of the choices since it is quicker than writing them all out – I hope you can read it below.
There are lots of seats, and I chose one of the high seats with a shared table looking down onto the departures check-in area, and the security lines.
There are some lounging seats, and a final, large room, which is beyond the bar and quieter. If you want to work, there’s a good table behind the television wall in here, and some computers and desks.
Generally, decoration-wise, on the walls are large black and white photos of musicians, presumably from Texas or the South. The lighting is kinder than a lot of lounges, with spot lights hanging from the ceiling and enough light generally to avoid either the hospital waiting room feel or that twilight end of days atmosphere other lounges effortlessly create before a red-eye flight.
Finally, there is a spa, with manicures or massages (15 minutes). I went for the massage, which is on one of those kneeling down forward leaning chairs. It was excellent, and just perfect before the flight home.
God I love these lounges.
In Asia (eg: Hong Kong) it’s great they are there, but you have options. In the U.S, they are like a mirage to a thirsty traveller.
Entrance: Well, yes, you need to have a platinum or Centurion card. But then that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s a benefit that comes with paying those fees (one of the benefits). For travellers, it’s a wonderful thing. Now can they open another 100 of them?