Amex Centurion Lounge LGA LaGuardia Airport
The following is a guest post by Scotty. I love to visit a Centurion lounge whenever possible while traveling. Too bad there aren't many out there.
Arriving at LaGuardia Airport
As our car pulled up to Terminal B of the airport I became conscious of the fact that I was about to enter a major US airport with no luggage or ticket. These thoughts were quickly dispelled by the self-important attitude I took on when I decided to have my Sunday dinner at La Guardia airport’s Centurion lounge. The Centurion lounge is a bright beacon within the La Guardia airport that arrived on Level 3 of Terminal B in 2014. The easiest way to find the lounge is to drop this Centurion LGA location as your drop-off pin for your Uber/Lyft/Gett.
One interesting element to be aware of is LGA Centurion's land-side location is prior to the TSA checkpoint. This means different things to different people. To some, it means they can meet up with people from different terminals, or even people that live in the city, during layovers. For a select few, it means they can access a super secret door (see below) that goes directly to the curbside area of Terminal B, allowing them to check luggage curbside and go straight to the lounge. For others, it means they cannot maximize their time as a centurion, since you need to leave with some wiggle room for possible delays in the security line. The lounge does have a series of monitors with CCTV feeds of the security lines. You can keep an eye on things while enjoying the lounge.
Access to the lounge is free for American Express Centurion (‘black card’) and American Express Platinum card holders with a same day boarding pass, and 2 guests are allowed, free of charge. For all other Amex card holders, a day pass to the Centurion lounge is available for purchase at the seemingly innocuous price of $50. My buddy, Dandy Dave, had a boarding pass to fly from LGA to Boston and had invited me to join him for drinks before I sent him off like any good friend would. Amex Centurion lounges do not require the guests to have same day boarding passes, only the Amex cardholder (which is how I was able to gain access).
Don't have an American Express card? Learn more about American Express here.
The decor of the lounge is modern and stylish, and I can just picture the interior designer excitedly talking about the functional space and focused lighting and me excitedly listening and thinking about what role I would play within this space.
The Centurion’s cuisine is really the star of the show, in my opinion, and features culinary options created by Cedric Vongerichten, who has a restaurant in NY called Perry Street (his father was also a notable NY chef). Fine drink pairings are plentiful, as there are a number of wines and top-shelf liquors to choose from. The bartenders make real nice cocktails that have whimsical names.
If you are a Platinum card holder you would have to suffer massive head trauma not to take advantage of this lounge every chance you get. So if your friend Dandy Dave happens to have a Sunday evening flight out of LaGuardia, the most cromulent course of action would be to shuffle over to Queens with said friend and make with the feasting and imbibing, free of charge.
As one would expect, the food is served buffet style. On this particular Sunday they were serving Herbal Chicken Soup, Passion Fruit Chipotle BBQ Beef Brisket, pureed sweet peas, roasted vegetables, and ginger rice, with brownies for dessert. They all danced on my tongue until I washed them down with a (several) cocktail.
During a separate visit I was surprised to see these braised lamb shanks w brussels sprouts. This is not your typical airport lounge food!
Here's the LGA Centurion drink menu:
still plenty of room…
Worth the experience! I drop by LGA Centurion every time I fly out of LGA. And since the lounge closes 8pm (drinks end 7:30pm / food ends 7:45pm), I try to book flights that either fly out before 8pm or land before 7pm.