Visiting Amex Centurion Lounge SFO was something we very much looked forward in San Francisco. Although the SFO Centurion lounge was a bit crowded, it still did not disappoint.
Here’s our American Express Lounge SFO review.
San Francisco International Airport layout
San Francisco International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the West Coast. It has five separate terminals: two international terminals (Terminal A and Terminal G), and three domestic Airport Terminals – 1, 2, and 3.
If you have visited the San Francisco International Airport, you will understand the inconvenience of their decision not to connect each of the five terminals inside security airside.
It is simply not a great airport for transiting and continuing on with connections.
As a result, the terminals are separated by different enclosed systems, including having their own TSA security gates.
That means that you will only be able to visit one (or two connected) terminals per TSA security clearance. You won’t be able to visit other terminals without exiting and reentering the secured area.
The Gates at San Francisco Airport follow this sequence:
- International Terminal A – Gates A1-A12
- T1 – Gates 20-48
- T2 – Gates 50-59
- T3 – Gates 60-90
- International Terminal G – Gates G91-G102
The terminal you’re in is mostly determined by the airline you use. Check your boarding pass for the proper gate and terminal. Do not assume you can go to any terminal and get to your departure gate.
You probably can’t.
The Amex Centurion Lounge SFO staff informed me that SFO airport is actively working on a plan to connect all terminals, post security.
Amex Centurion Lounge SFO location
SFO Amex Lounge is in Terminal 3, which is not connected to any other SFO Airport terminal. You’ll find the lounge near Gate 74.
Proceed up to get to the mezzanine level, where the lounge is.
The main entrance to the Amex Centurion Lounge is very distinctive. You can recognize it by the two-story glass store front windows, as well as the big sign for the business class airport lounge.
You will need to either use the elevator or the staircase, leading to the main desk on the second mezzanine level.
Centurion Lounge Access and Checking in
Remember, if you are not flying in or out of Terminal 3, you’ll have to clear security to get to the Centurion Lounge in San Francisco Airport.
It’s inconvenient, but when you’re done, you’ll also have to do another TSA Security Check to enter your departure terminal.
The San Francisco Airport policy dictates that any passenger with a same-day boarding pass departing from the SFO Airport can enter any terminal.
There are a few ways to access San Francisco’s Centurion Lounge. The easiest way to get access to the Centurion Lounge is by presenting your American Express Platinum Card or the Business Platinum Card.
A Platinum Card holder may bring two additional guests at no extra charge.
I had to present my physical Amex Platinum card, as well as a Photo ID and a same-day boarding pass. After seeing my Delta boarding pass for my subsequent flight, the staff reminded me that I needed extra time to get to my Terminal and Gate.
They gave me a business card with the Wi-Fi Password for complimentary internet connection.
Layout and Design of SFO Centurion Lounge
A wall of plastic green plants adorns the entrance. A sleek, boutique-like interior design with old school travel memorabilia details the shelves and walls.
If you have been to one Centurion Lounge, you know what it feels like to be in one.
Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco has it all, and it is one of the larges Amex Centurion Lounges in the nation.
The Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco features local celebrities in black and white photography, which adorn some of the walls inside the lounge.
You can find different seating arrangements for you and for your party, from business style chairs, a conference room table, cafe tables with high tops, or individual sofa chairs.
There are small TV areas with lounge sofas and a few day beds, too.
Plenty of options to choose from.
Food and Drink
As with all American Express Centurion Lounges, the food and drink menu at the Centurion Lounge in SFO is carefully selected and crafted by professionals.
Most of them are locally inspired, and generally speaking, are more satisfying than your average lounge.
Executive Chef Daniel Patterson, a local celebrity chef, designed the Centurion Lounge SFO menu.
Here is a sample of the menu during my visit:
- Pimento Fennel Crusted Chicken with Green Garlic Salsa Verde
- Tuscan Kale with Lemon, Chile Flake, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Buttered Brown Rice with Red Pepper and Scallion
- Red Miso, Ginger Tofu Stew
- Spiced Red Lentil Stew
- Potato Leek Salad with Radicchio, Olive Anchovy Vinaigrette
- Faro Salad with English Pea, Fennel, Mint and Feta
Sounds really sophisticated! There are options for vegetarians, and each label clearly indicates the ingredients.
For dessert, I picked the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta Marinated in Berries, flavored milk, served with gelatin.
The hot beverage station is adjacent to a small TV room next to the front desk. The SFO Amex Lounge offers an espresso machine, a selection of flavored and basic teas, and a water filtration system for both still and sparkling water.
You can also find freshly baked chocolate chip cookies here.
While you can have basic alcoholic drinks, such as beer and hard liquor, you can also get local, Bay Area inspired cocktail drinks as well.
Keep in mind that San Francisco Airport is near the world famous wine region of Napa Valley. You can get the standard wine selection from the bar.
But, don’t miss the highlight of the Centurion Lounge SFO: the wine tasting wall.
Ask a complimentary 5-serving wine card from the bartender.
Staff can show you how to use this card.
Amenities at the Amex Centurion Lounge SFO
Here are a few amenity highlights of my visit to the Centurion Lounge SFO.
Wine tasting wall
I’ve seen this kind of sophisticated wall before, such as in Delta Sky Club in Atlanta Concourse B.
While the wall consists of hundreds of wines from many different places, the actual DIY wine tasting only allows you to choose from 18 different wines.
Many of these wine selections come from Napa Valley vineyards.
If you are interested in tasting some of these fine wines at Amex Centurion Lounge SFO, here are a few steps you need to know.
- Ask your bartender for a tasting card. Each visitor can have one card per visit, with five different tasting opportunities.
- Select the wines you’re interested in.
- Scan in the tasting card bar code at the card reader below the bottle display. The light on each wine bottles will be lit.
- Ignore the price tag, my bartender informed me. These used to indicate a small additional charge for each tasting; however, they removed that requirement and now the tasting is free.
- Press one of the silver button above the desired bottle to taste.
You won’t get a full glass. But if you ask the bartender nicely, he or she might give you another card!
Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco Airport has an ‘open look’ kitchen design. While it is not accessible for the public to visit, you will be able to see the hustling and bustling of the kitchen from the main lounge room.
Even though it has an open window, the Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco has no problem in containing the kitchen smell and smoke inside the intended space.
Kids and Family Room
Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco is kid-friendly. It has a dedicated family room, where kids and their family can enjoy a plush, decent sized room all to themselves.
They have toys and entertainment, as well as a separate big screen TV, which play kids shows.
Shower at the Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco
There is only one shower available at Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco. If you need to use the it, I’d suggest asking for it as soon as you check in.
The waiting time for the shower can be extremely long, especially during the lounge’s busy hours.
The staff will put you on a waiting list, and will give you a buzzer to indicate when the shower is ready.
I requested a shower during one of the busies times in San Francisco International Airport. Sadly, I ended up cancelling my appointment after over an hour of waiting.
I opted to request one in my subsequent San Francisco Airport Lounge, the Delta Sky Club SFO.
Wi-Fi and Business Center
Generally speaking, the Wi-Fi connection here is reliable. When we visited, there were many guests in the Centurion Lounge – this slowed down the Internet connection quite a bit.
There is a business section where you can find two computers, big Apple monitors, and a printer.
However, most guests choose to sit at the rustic wood table, an Amex Centurion Lounge signature, outside in the lounge.
There are plenty of electrical outlets on this table, as well as throughout the lounge.
Member Service Concierge
There is a section at the check in desk solely dedicated to American Express Member Service and Concierge.
You can ask any Amex Credit Card and Member Travel specialist for help here.
Things to know
Amex Centurion Lounge SFO Hours
The hours for San Francisco Centurion Lounge are 5 AM to 11 PM daily.
Although it is on the second level, the Amex Centurion Lounge in San Francisco is accessible for people in wheelchairs. It has an elevator to the mezzanine level.
It may be slightly tight in the lounge room; however, thanks to all movable furniture, it is definitely not that difficult.
The Amex Platinum Credit Card
The American Express Platinum Card is one of the best travel credit cards out there. With it, you get complimentary Amex Centurion Lounge access, as well as to the Delta Sky Clubs if you fly with Delta Airlines.
You will also get a Priority Pass, which gives you access to 1000+ airport lounges all around the world.
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Other San Francisco Airport Lounges
Of course, there are other lounges in San Francisco International Airport. If you fly Delta Airlines, visit the Delta Sky Club San Francisco.
Are you flying somewhere else? We have reviews of other Airport Lounges Around The World.
American Express Centurion Lounge Reviews
We’ve visited a few other Amex Centurion Lounges around the United States and the world. Overall, it is a great system of airport business lounges.
Here are some other reviews:
- Mexico City Centurion Club
- Philadelphia Centurion Lounge
- Miami Centurion Lounge
- Seattle Centurion Lounge
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Halef moved from Indonesia to the US nearly two decades ago to go to college here. He hasn’t looked back. He’s been to over forty countries and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He’s a Landscape Architect in Atlanta, GA.