Charlotte Centurion Lounge
I’ve been focusing more recently on smaller Centurion lounges. Visiting the Charlotte Centurion Lounge, one of my natural airport transit points, has been long overdue. Like many of you, I’ve tempered my Centurion Lounge expectations based on recent experiences. Mine have most recently been at larger Centurions, so I was intrigued to try a smaller one at CLT. Here are my first impressions from my Charlotte Centurion Lounge visit in early December.
Smooth Check-In Experience
After a quick elevator ride up a floor between terminals D and E, I arrived at check-in. Three attendants helped at the check-in desk. There was no line at check-in, and I attribute that partly to the relative wealth of staffing there. I arrived on an early flight, so that may have helped, also. I caught myself feeling like I won the lottery by not experiencing a line at check in. But it immediately hit me – has my bar been so low with Centurion Lounges that no check-in line is now considered impressive? Yes, and how comical that is!
The Charlotte Centurion Lounge is shaped like a T, with most primary services – dining, bar, two coffee machines – at the top of the T. The lounge was about 90% full, seemingly uncrowded by Centurion standards. Again, that’s another low bar I hold for Centurions. I was elated to find a small table close to the buffet. I could actually use the lounge for one of its intended purposes – a serviceable meal. As a bonus, it was also an excellent people-watching location.
Food and Beverages
The buffet held a satisfactory variety of morning favorites – scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, potato, pastries, etc. I enjoyed the greens being available early in the day, as well. Importantly, I found the condiments well-stocked (enough) at the buffet. I liked the salad dressing selection, and while I prefer Tabasco, Tapatio was sufficient for my eggs.
Beverages is where things got tricky. Three coffee machines are available in the lounge. That’s great, if they all worked. During my visit, one unit was completely out of order, and the other two units weren’t capable of producing most of the usual beverage types (see photo below). My cafe Americano was fine, but enjoying other options would have been nice. And, not surprisingly, lines backed up for the two semi-working coffee machines. I was experiencing the infamously long Centurion check-in line, but inside the lounge this time. Full disclosure, pre-brewed coffee is also available. But this coffee snob held his nose and waited in line.
Self-serve ice water and orange juice is available. I didn’t bother with any other cold beverages, as that would entail even more waiting amongst the throngs at the bar. It’s always a huge crowd at the Centurion bar – shocker.
The lounge offers a family room available for spreading out. That is, if there’s not a traveler occupying the room as his private office (see above). Luckily, I didn’t have a need for this room as a solo traveler. The lounge holds personal workspaces and the other usual Centurion furniture. Bathrooms were clean enough. Wi-fi connectivity was satisfactory. The lounge held substantial views of the tarmac on one side and the terminal below on the other.
I found lounge workers attentive, thoughtful, and diligent. Two workers actively cleaned my table after my breakfast and two-too-many coffees. Employees were busy but in good spirits – I exchanged good morning greetings with multiple. Most shortcomings from the lounge – a dearth of coffee mugs and other dining supplies, for instance – I attribute to understaffing and patron overcrowding.
Charlotte Centurion Lounge – Conclusion
I’ll gladly visit the Charlotte Centurion lounge again if my travel requires a connection at CLT. It’s useful enough, and the CLT Admirals Club is a US Airways fossil. I’ve certainly been to worse Centurions (more on that in another article). And no doubt, this lounge is a bit of a respite from the hectic-feeling CLT terminals. Like many travel aspects, I’ll set my expectations low and be pleased with a future satisfactory experience. Regardless, I hope they’ll resolve the coffee debacle by my next visit. What’s your take on the Charlotte Centurion Lounge?
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In the last year, CLT has been where I connected the most and the Centurion Lounge there has been lovely. Easy entry, consistently good food, pleasant staff, and a nice bar. I’d rate this lounge highly on its own merits but considering that there is no other quality lounge in CLT this becomes a no brainer.
I appreciate your perspective!
” I’ve certainly been to worse Centurions (more on that in another article).”
Phoenix, it’s Phoenix. Has to be Phoenix.
Just curious what you mean by “smaller” as this is one of the biggest lounges in the network. Smaller would definitely be Seattle and probably DFW.
It felt smaller in comparison to a few others I’ve visited. DFW seems clearly bigger than CLT. I agree CLT’s definitely not the smallest.
FYI it’s at the start of Concourse E (or between D and E).
I live in Charlotte so this is my “go to” lounge (unless flying one of the Terminal A airlines or the rare occasion the Centurion Lounge has a line when I go to the Club CLT on Terminal A. Frankly, I have never had much of a wait there (usually the wait is for the slow elevator, not to check in). However, I have been a few times when there was no seating (or only the reserved seating for Centurion card holders available). In those cases a place to sit opened up in 5-10 minutes.
I’ve been to almost all the Centurion Lounges (including Hong Kong) and feel the one at CLT is upper half. The overall size is much better than the PHL club, for example, and it doesn’t get the constant lines the ones at LAS and DFW are famous for.
If you originate at CLT or have a decent connection would definitely recommend stopping in. BTW, agree the Admirals Clubs are an embarrassment at CLT. Dropped my Citi card that got me access when I retired and haven’t looked back
Thanks for chiming in, AC!