After our failed attempt to make it back to Houston for New Year’s Eve, we ended up with a four-hour layover in Dallas on New Year’s Day.  When I think of fun things to do on New Year’s, hanging out at an airport doesn’t exactly top my list, but this was already a trip where we were turning lemons into lemonade, so we were going to keep on making lemonade (with a little vodka in it!).   I usually like to sit back, relax, watch the big college football games, and enjoy a few glasses of bubbly on New Year’s Day, so I knew that I needed to find a place in the airport to relax, and luckily American Express DFW Centurion Lounge came to mind.

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Rebekah and Katherine at the Parthenon in Nashville

Rebekah and Katherine at the Parthenon in Nashville

Things to Do on a Layover in the Dallas Airport

When I was little, we would go to the airport regularly as my father traveled frequently for work.  I always had fun because I enjoyed riding on the inter-terminal train and having a snack in the Continental airline lounge.  Since I am no longer a small child, different forms of transportation no longer provide the excitement that they once did.  However, lounges still make me happy!  We had the choice of the American lounge (Admirals Club) or the Centurion Lounge at DFW airport.  I had heard great things about the American Express Centurion lounge, so we decided to give it a try.

What is the American Express Centurion Lounge?

The Centurion Lounge is an airport lounge available only to American Express cardholders and their guests.  You must have a confirmed ticket with a seat assignment to go in the lounge.  Access to the Centurion Lounges is complimentary if you have an American Express Centurion Card, The Platinum Card from American Express, or The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN.  Those cardholders are allowed to bring two guests or their immediate family members (e.g. spouse and children). If you have another American Express card, you can purchase a one-day pass for $50.  These passes can only be purchased in person on the day of travel and are subject to lounge capacity restrictions.

As of 3/11/18, you can find a Centurion Lounge at the following airports:

Dallas (DFW), Hong Kong (HKG), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), Miami (MIA), Seattle (SEA), and San Fransisco (SFO)

While each location provides a unique experience, all locations feature standard amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, shower rooms (except for the LaGuardia location), food from celebrity chefs, excellent cocktails, and wines chosen by a top sommelier.

How to Access the DFW Centurion Lounge

After landing, we took the Skylink to Terminal D and easily found the sign for the Centurion lounge (right by the L’Occitane store and Gate D17).  The lounge was upstairs and we did have a bit of confusion determining exactly how to get upstairs, but eventually, we made it.  With my American Express Card, I was able to buy two $50 passes so Rebekah and I could gain access to the lounge.   We asked about scheduling a treatment at the spa.  I booked a complimentary 15-minute chair massage (the availability was very limited though).

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The bathroom with L’Occitane products - "The Centurion Lounge - Making the Best of a Long Layover" - Two Traveling Texans

The bathroom with L’Occitane products

Food and Drinks at the Centurion Club

As we made our way into the lounge, we scoped out the various seating locations and found ourselves a table in the very last room.  We then went to the bar and got a glass of the sparkling wine.  I was not familiar with the offering, but it was nice and served in a very nice sparkling wine flute.

Then we explored the buffet.  This Centurion airport lounge serves a full hot lunch – so we had more than just the typical snack foods found at many airline lounges.  The enchiladas on the buffet were quite popular.  I had to wait a few minutes before they arrived with a fresh dish of those.  And for dessert, I had a chocolate chip cookie.  The food overall had a southwestern theme to it.  If it were a restaurant outside of the airport, it is not one that I would frequent, but I was able to find food that I could eat.

The enchiladas from the - "The Centurion Lounge - Making the Best of a Long Layover" - Two Traveling Texans

The enchiladas from the buffet

As we were half-way through our meal, two of the large lounge chairs by the TV became available.  Since it was a heavy travel day, we quickly moved locations so that we could relax and watch football.  Also, we were very near the bar so we were able to quickly refill our beverages.  I tried one of the craft cocktails but then went back to sparkling wine.

AMEX Centurion Lounge DFW Spa

Then it came time for my massage, so I headed back to the front to check in.  I was a few minutes early, so I asked to use the shower room.  I wanted to wash my face and also I just wanted to see it.  It had a nice shower and lovely L’Occitane products.  Then I went for my chair massage.  The massage was great, but the area was not segregated from the rest of the salon, so I could hear others conversations.  I guess I really shouldn’t complain though because all I paid was the tip to the masseuse.  The Centurion Spa also offers manicures. 

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Cocktails to start the New Year off right! - "The Centurion Lounge - Making the Best of a Long Layover" - Two Traveling Texans

Cocktails to start the New Year off right!

Is the American Express Lounge DFW Worth It?

In summary, this lounge was a good value for the $50 I paid.  When you think about it, that is a pretty reasonable price for lunch, a few drinks, and a massage.  Plus I got to watch football.  When the Centurion lounge opens in Houston later this year, I may consider upgrading to a Platinum Amex to get complimentary access.  While we were sitting there watching the game, it almost seemed as if I was at a friend’s house drinking and watching football.   I didn’t feel stuck in an airport waiting for my next flight.

How do you try to make the most of your time at airports?


Expert tips for visiting an AMEX Lounge DFW

  • If you want a spa treatment, book it immediately when you arrive at the lounge.
  • You must have an Amex (and pay with the Amex – unless you are getting complimentary access) to gain entrance into a Centurion lounge.
  • The American Express Lounge in DFW Airport is open from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm daily.