Review: Centurion Lounge Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Review: Centurion Lounge Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Finally! Another lounge to compete with the multitude of Delta SkyClubs in the Atlanta airport. American Express has opened another one of their highly popular lounges right inside the world's busiest airport. Unfortunately, right at opening I didn't have any travel plans, so it took a little while for me to visit the lounge. Delta has some stiff competition now.


The lounge is located in Concourse E (next to Gate E11). The concourse serves mostly international widebody flights and very few domestic flight, meaning that unless you're connecting to an international flight the location of the lounge is quite far from most of the domestic flights being operated from the airport.

That's going to be the biggest barrier for the lounge, its location isn't the most ideal or centralized and will require quite the walk to get to and from the lounge.


American Express has tightened down their access restrictions in the previous years. From denying lower tier cardholders from paying to access, to restricting complimentary guests to only cardholders who have spent a lot of money on their cards.

However, if you're one of the lucky few who meet all the restrictions, you'll be allowed in. Firstly, you'll need the correct card, this means either a Platinum card or the Delta Reserve card. Then you'll need a day-of-departure ticket within 3-hours from departure, no arrival tickets allowed (unless you're connecting). Lastly, if you bring any guests, you'll need to either pay for them or have spent enough money to be allowed complimentary guests.


The Centurion is blessed with having some pretty good food choices. While I was there, not only did they have a buffet of food, they had a specialty table of some assorted local snacks. As well as a dessert and snack bar, there was no shortage of food choices.

Along with food choices, there's also The Reserve by American Express, which is their version of a specialty bar. Along with serving standard cocktails, there was a specialty list of whiskey infused drinks, including a whiskey margarita. Which was... interesting.


One of the biggest complaints with any Centurion lounge is seating. American Express has had to build their lounges bigger and bigger. At the world's busiest airport, space is key for any lounge.

While there is a massive amount of seating around the lounge, it still isn't enough. During my visit in late April, the lounge was packed with people and space was at a premium. During the roughly two hours that I was at the lounge I heard multiple announcements for passengers to only use the number of seats they need and not to save or put their feet on other seats.

I was surprised that the lounge has not one but two terraces. One is secluded on the interior of the building and the other is ramp side with great views of the airplanes.

It was very zen likes in the private secluded garden of the interior terrace, with lush green plants and shaded from the loud noises of airplanes. It was pleasant.

However, the airplane side of the terrace is where it's at. I could sit here all day and look at airplanes. On the warm spring day, every seat was taken and everyone seemed to be enjoying the day.

Because the lounge is on the international side of the airport, that means you get great views of the widebody operations at the airport.

But if you need to get some actual work done, there's a quiet room off to the side of the main dining and lounge area for those to work. There's a long conference table and a few private booths to get away from the noises of the lounge.

And if you really need to get away, there's a quiet multipurpose room for those who don't need the auditory overload of the lounge.


While the lounge is large, the views are incredible, and there are a lot of different seating areas to pick from, one thing stuck out in my head constantly. It was kind of uncomfortable. People moving by constantly, inconsiderate people bumping into everyone, a lady with her barking 'service dog.'

I like to go to lounges to have a quiet place to relax before being crammed into a metal tube and sent across the world. It's no doubt that the popularity of the lounge, the location at the busiest airport, and the number of people who hold eligible credit cards are high.

In comparison, the Delta SkyClubs at the Atlanta airport felt much quieter and less busy. To me, it's not about who is running the lounge, it's about the quite relaxing atmosphere that they maintain.

Final Thoughts

Of course, I'm being absolutely nitpicky on the details and the lounge itself. I've always enjoyed Centurion lounges, and it's my preferred lounge of choice when I travel. It's also nice to see another lounge than the Delta SkyClub at the Atlanta airport. Maybe once the first year jitters rub off, the lounge will calm down and be more zen. Until then, just purely due to the location of the lounge, I might still find myself at a SkyClub over the Centurion lounge unless I happen to be flying from Concourse E.

Read more