Should I Get To Philadelphia Airport Early To Have Lunch At The Centurion Lounge?

by joeheg

I have an upcoming trip to Philadelphia and haven’t flown there in years, except for that time when our JetBlue flight was diverted there for a medical emergency.

Since my flight home doesn’t leave until mid-afternoon, I have the opportunity to get to the airport a little earlier than usual and possibly check out the AMEX Centurion Lounge.

It will be my first chance to visit a Centurion Lounge since upgrading to the Platinum Card and might be my only chance since I’m not sure I’m going to keep it once the annual fee hits the statement next year.

I know that lounges can change over time and while there were plenty of reviews of the Philadelphia Centurion Lounge when it opened in 2017, there have been very few posts about it since.

a close-up of a reception desk

I’m wondering, has anyone been to the PHL Centurion lounge recently? Was it crowded? How was the food? Is it worth getting to the airport early to visit or should I stay at my hotel until it’s time to leave for my flight?

Frankly, I haven’t seen a lounge with as few reviews as this one in quite a while. If so, do you want me to take one for the team and visit there to give an update?

I don’t think it will be too much of a sacrifice as even the worst Centurion Lounge has to be better than the JFK Wingtips lounge.

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Alex November 30, 2022 - 6:31 pm

I’m there regularly (PHL is home). The food is generally solid but not spectacular, and the lounge is small, so if it’s in any way a peak travel time, it will be crowded. I don’t think I’d go out of my way, but it is a decent free meal ahead of your flight.

Scott L. December 1, 2022 - 5:04 pm

Philadelphia is my home airport and I frequent that lounge regularly. In my opinion the food is subpar to most centurion lounges. With that said, it’s a lot cheaper than eating in the terminals. The front desk staff tends to be very friendly but unfortunately that doesn’t carry into the wait staff.
In summary, the food’s not bad it’s just not “wow.” If you’re at the airport and you need something to eat it’s definitely worth visiting. The only time I wasn’t able to get in was just as it reopened post COVID. Normally there’s no line but it does tend to get crowded. Early mornings are empty.

Brutus November 30, 2022 - 7:10 pm

Last time I went was during the AM on a Thursday and the breakfast options were OK. It wasn’t too crowded.

Bottom line: It’s probably worth going a little early. Not really much to lose, but I wouldn’t wait if it were crowded.

Steve November 30, 2022 - 7:12 pm

Have stopped at the PHL Centurion Lounge twice now and it’s nothing special. It’s small and both times was packed. The last time I was there (a month ago) I ended up sitting in the hallway in a random set of chairs with no table(just seemed out of place). When I passed through last week I skipped the Centurion lounge entirely and went to the AA lounge to try my Qantas Club deal I scored a month ago and was surprised how quiet and empty the lounge was.

Pat November 30, 2022 - 7:15 pm

What kind of question is that? Of course you should factor in enough time to visit the Centurion lounge. When I’m at an airport, I visit every single lounge I have access to. I think I visited 4 at JFK recently, and 5 at SIN. Some people are into sports, I’m into traveling, and visiting lounges.

Sam November 30, 2022 - 8:36 pm


Food was so bad during my last stay that I exited to buy mixed nuts only to be told upon return that it was against club policies to eat nuts in the event there is another guest with a nut allergy.

BA Lounge (even First Class side) also stinks these days.

PHL desperately needs a Flagship Lounge.

Scott November 30, 2022 - 10:25 pm

Yes! If not the food – then the free liquor. Free liquor tastes 2.3 times better than liquor you pay for. It is science!

MrChu November 30, 2022 - 11:12 pm

Lounge is very crowded in the evenings. Food is mediocre and there is nothing spectacular or relaxing about the lounge. It thins out around 8pm but the lounge closes at 9pm and they have last call for drinks at 830pm ( which I don’t figure why) surely they can pay the employees past 9pm to clear up. As someone mentioned earlier I prefer the AA lounge in the BC connector as it gets quiet around 7pm since it is big and it is also open till 11pm. The only downside is that prime liquor is not complimentary! But they have snacks which are non existent in the Amex lounge.

N December 1, 2022 - 6:20 am

Centurion lounge in PHL has really good drinks. I feel like the food can substitute for a whole meal as it isn’t just bad snacks. Space is small but if it’s not crowded it’s a good experience.

JakePB December 1, 2022 - 7:00 am

@Scott +1!

Sal December 1, 2022 - 9:20 am

My most pleasant experiences there have been weekend mornings. The hot breakfast spread is above average. However, on the occasions where I’ve tried to access the lounge in the evenings, there were lines to get in so I didn’t even bother.

Nikki December 1, 2022 - 12:53 pm

I had a nice experience there both times I’ve gone. They were both layovers and, granted, it was pre-covid. Take advantage of your own. Make sure to check in on the app to save a little time, and enjoy a little bit.

Yosef_S December 1, 2022 - 8:18 pm

Have been there twice in the last month and both times it was insanely crowded. I popped in for a moment and left.

William C Rapp December 3, 2022 - 6:03 pm

I made sure I was able to visit this lounge on a short layover in September and was glad I did. I only had a few minutes but was able to grab a quick lunch, which included a few items from the buffet and a glass of Prosecco. I thought the food was pretty darn good (and I am not easily pleased)! So, I say, “go for it!”

BC December 3, 2022 - 6:32 pm

Philadelphia has great restaurants. I’d rather eat there if youre in the middle of the city than at a lounge.

Small and crowded are very appropriate ways to describe it.


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