Lounge Review: American Express Centurion Lounge at San Francisco International Airport

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On my flight to Seattle from San Francisco, I wanted to check out the Centurion Lounge at SFO. Since I have never been there before I checked the Centurion Lounge Website for the location of the lounge and got fooled a little bit.

Centurion Lounge SFO 02I was flying on Alaska Airlines to Seattle and after checking in my luggage I went through security inside the International Terminal. Because on the website it says I can just walk to Terminal 3, where the lounge is located, without leaving the security area. Well, that is only half-true and not clearly stated on the website. You can walk over to Terminal 3 without leaving security, but you have to be at one of the G-Gates of the International Terminal. Because Alaska Airlines flies out of the A-Gates, I had to leave the security area right after I just cleared it. I followed the signs to Terminal 3 and it’s about 10 minutes walking until you get to the security checkpoint for Terminal 3. Fortunately, the line was short and only a couple of people were in front of me. The walk back seemed shorter, but I had to take a different route. After you exit the Centurion Lounge, look to your left and there are the signs to get to the International Terminal, just follow them.
The Centurion Lounge is near Gate 74, which happens to be right after the security checkpoint. It looks pretty awesome from the outside and way better than the one in Las Vegas. It’s only a door which leads into the lounge but doesn’t look like something special.
To get to the lounge in San Francisco you can walk up the stairs or take the elevator.

Centurion Lounge SFO 01
Entrance to the lounge



Centurion Lounge SFO 06
Check-In Desk


Other than that, the lounge is pretty similar to the one in Las Vegas. There is a kids play area, shower suite, business area with two Macs and a printer and of course the bar and food area.

Centurion Lounge SFO 10
Inside the Lounge
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Part of the Centurion Lounge Bar
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Yum Yum…Food
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Rest Area
Centurion Lounge SFO 03
Wall decoration and newspaper stand


But the special of this lounge is wine tasting. They have a wine wall and  18 wines from Napa Valley, which you can taste. Ask the barkeeper for the coupon, which is good for 5 tastings. You have to scan it at one of the three wine tasting areas and then hold the glass under the nozzle and press the button for the wine you want to try.
Two tips for you. I learned the hard way.

  • Make sure there is still wine in the bottle from which you want to try. Sometimes it is a bit hard to see and on my first try it just spits out a tiny little drip, because the bottle was completely empty.
  • Make sure you hold the button. It won’t overflow your glass because it shuts off automatically.

I don’t know why you get the coupons with only five tries for wine tasting. You always can ask for more coupons or for any wine you tried at the bar or a cocktail. Everything in the lounge is complimentary.

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Wine tasting
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Wine Wall


The lounge features also free high-speed WiFi, telephones and a little locker room, where you can lock your stuff away if you go for a shower or just don’t need all your belongings during your stay in the lounge.

I have to admit I liked the food here more than in Las Vegas. But that was just the menu of the week when I was there. Because you always get different food, and that makes it awesome if you visit the lounge a lot.

The staff was super friendly and helpful about the questions I had. I am really looking forward to coming back here. The only thing I missed here compared to the Lounge in Las Vegas was a view at the tarmac because I love to watch planes.


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