Most people dread going to the airport. Travelers view the long lines, TSA pat downs, delayed flights resulting in longer than desired lay overs, and rude transients as necessary evils in order to get to their destination. Enter American Express’ Centurion Lounge located right here in Terminal D of DFW Airport. I travel a significant amount for my business as a financial advisor, and even after having experienced every admiral’s club and first-class lounge from coast to coast, they all pale in comparison to the luxurious amenities provided by American Express.
While the interior has a modern contemporary look and feel to it incorporating glass, metal, stone and leather, every experience after that screams DALLAS, TX. To quote AMEX, this is a “lounge designed to be a destination,” because as soon as you enter through the front doors you no longer feel as if you need to go anywhere else. The Centurion Lounge decided to have local celebrity chef Dean Fearing design the southwestern cuisine available at the lounge including a barbecue menu and selection of local craft beers (Rahr and Deep Ellum Brewery).
The food options are plentiful and with signature items created by chef Dean Fearing specifically for the lounge like jicama-carrot slaw, spice rubbed smoked brisket with chipotle barbecue sauce, and a caramel apple buckle. I was able to speak with Dean for a brief moment and asked him of his involvement and general opinion of the space. He said, “Using my whole background of southwest cuisine I designed the menu so that people from around the world can experience authentic local cuisine whether they are continuing on their travels or staying here to visit. Genuine personality, great food, premium drinks, great wines, all in a beautiful setting. This is going to put a stamp for DFW Airport to be able to give their patrons an experience like none other.” It’s not all about the food though, there are several places that you can choose to spend your time. The sizeable business center is filled with enough hardware and seating to run a medium sized company, complete with a high-end coffee and espresso machine to keep everyone going.
In case you are traveling for pleasure instead of business, you can enjoy manicures, pedicures and massages by the award-winning lifestyle brand, exhale, in the peaceful spa in the back. Feel free to drop your little ones off in the soundproof kid’s room complete with toys, books and x-box console while you go rinse off in one of the two full size private baths. Recline in one of the over-stuffed chairs in the viewing area and enjoy framed pieces by Rock Paper Photo Fine Art Photography featuring Texas sports, music and history. Take a seat and watch the game on one of their big screens in the den while perched a story above all your fellow travelers as they rush to catch their next flight.
The icing on the cake would have to be the fact that no matter which of these areas you go to, the wait staff will come by and offer to bring you a beverage from the fully stocked bar with Texas-inspired signature cocktails created by renowned mixologist Jim Meehan (I strongly suggest trying the Tex-Mex, a jalapeno infused vodka cocktail).
Now, the question on all of your minds: How much does this cost? Arm, leg, kidney, first-born? If you are an AMEX Centurion or Platinum card holder, it’s free. Complimentary from the moment you walk in the door. If you are just a regular AMEX cardholder, it is $50 per person (free for children under 17) and all inclusive once you are granted entrance. If you don’t have an AMEX in your wallet, well, there is a Cinnabon down by Terminal C. Safe travels.