AMEX reopens Sydney, Melbourne lounges; Centurion rebranding to follow

American Express will take its Australian lounge experiences to the next level.

By David Flynn, March 28 2022
AMEX reopens Sydney, Melbourne lounges; Centurion rebranding to follow
Executive Traveller exclusive

The boutique American Express airport lounges at Sydney and Melbourne are once again open ;– some two years since they were shuttered in the early days of the pandemic – as international travel continues its steady return.

And later in the year both will be relaunched as Centurion Lounges, in common with AMEX’s premium lounges around the world, alongside what’s expected to be a step up in food and drinks.

A spokesperson for American Express tells Executive Traveller that visitors can expect to see “some exciting new enhancements... to elevate the experience of guests.”

At overseas Centurion Lounges travellers often find an extensive list of wine, spirits, and signature cocktails on the bar menu, including Champagne for all guests, plus an à la carte menu featuring a comprehensive range of hot meals.

However, the AMEX spokesperson said that despite the Centurion rebranding, the Sydney and Melbourne lounges will still welcome the same broad swath of American Express cardholders as before, confirming “Who will be able to enter the lounges won’t change.”

Access to international Centurion Lounges is typically reserved for travellers holding the card company’s most exclusive cards.

On the local front, entry is provided with a flash of your AMEX-issued Platinum card while a broader set of American Express Explorer and partner cards from Qantas, Virgin Australia Velocity, Air New Zealand and David Jones – includes two free visits per year.

And American Express is extending the use-by date of free lounge visits which went unclaimed in 2021 through to the middle of this year.

“If your card entitles you to two American Express Lounge entries per calendar year and you didn’t use your entries in 2021, we are now extending them until 30 June 2022. Your unused entries have automatically carried over, which you’ll be able to enjoy in addition to the usual two entries you will have received for 20222.”

The lounges may also provide a handy Plan B for travellers on some Qantas partner airlines on days when the Qantas international first class and business class lounges will close well before the partner airline’s flight takes off, with Amex listing its lounge opening hours as follows:

  • Amercian Express Sydney lounge: 6am to 10pm daily
  • Amercian Express Melbourne lounge: 6am to 11pm daily

The American Express Sydney lounge opened its doors in 2019 after outgrowing AMEX's previously-cosy Sydney space, which was then taken over by lounge specialist Plaza Premium; the AMEX Melbourne lounge debuted in 2018 and is co-located with a Plaza Premium Lounge.

Recent international Centurion Lounge openings include a Centurion Lounge at London Heathrow T3 (the same terminal used by Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Finnair, JAL and several British Airways flights) with blends signature high-end touches with luxurious local design influences; and the sprawling Centurion Lounge LAX with a cocktail and wine bar, day spa and two “tranquility” rooms.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 266

Will this be the only centurion lounges in the world to not change who is allowed in (aka higher tier cards), or will this be a regular thing? Because I don't really understand why the branding update was needed - they could have just enhanced the food/drink quality as it was.

I think most international AMEX lounges are branded as Centurion so maybe this is just to bring these into line with that brand, and they will happen to be exceptions to the tighter Centurion access limits.

16 Oct 2012

Total posts 36

I have tried to use the AMEX lounge twice (pre-covid), but turned away because it was full. Seems to me the entry requirements are too loose - too many people with too many cards get in. Perhpas they ought to reserve entry to Platinum and Centirion only.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 313

Bugger.  I have a 6am departure later in the year. I was hoping to try the AMEX Lounge out.

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