Review: Centurion Lounge Mexico City

Location
MEX, Terminal 2
Date
November 2021
Rating

At the end of our overnight stay in Mexico City on the journey back from Nicaragua, we erred on the side of caution by arriving a full 2.5 hours before our Aeromexico flight’s departure time.

That allowed us to resolve some pre-flight testing uncertainties, as well as check out the American Express Centurion Lounge at Mexico City International Airport.

We visited the Centurion Lounge in Terminal 2, which is the home of Aeromexico’s operations at MEX, as well as a few more major airlines like Delta, LATAM, and Copa Airlines.

Meanwhile, if you’re flying with other airlines like Air Canada, ANA, American, Avianca, or United, you’d be departing from Terminal 1, which is also home to a Centurion Lounge of its own.

In This Post

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Access

Benito Juarez International Airport is a busy spot on the best of days, let alone during the morning bank of US-bound flights on the week that the US had just implemented new proof of vaccination requirements before boarding. Hopefully, Mexico City’s new Felipe Ángeles International Airport can help with the overcrowding issues when it opens in early 2022.

The Centurion Lounge is located on the second floor above the main concourse, alongside a few other lounges operated by HSBC and Citi. It was a relief to make our way upstairs after clearing security. 

Mexico City International Airport – Terminal 2 concourse
Mexico City International Airport – Terminal 2 concourse

The second-floor lounge area is accessible via stairs or an elevator. 

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Stairway access
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Stairway access

The lounge entrance is adorned with the signature Centurion sign and gladiator logo.

There are two separate queues for Platinum and Centurion cardholders. If a Centurion cardholder were to show up, then the lounge attendant gates off the Platinum queue and attends to the Centurion cardholder first before returning to the lowly Platinum cardholders. 

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Entrance
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Entrance

American Express Centurion Lounges are accessible by holding an American Express Platinum Card or American Express Business Platinum Card issued anywhere in the world, including in Canada and the US.

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to hold a Centurion Card (also known as a “Black Card”), then you’ll also get access to the Centurion Lounge and some exclusive spaces inside. 

I accessed the lounge using my Platinum Card, bringing Jessy in as one of my two allowed guests. At most Centurion Lounge locations, it doesn’t matter whether you use the personal or business Platinum card – but Mexico City is an exception, and it’s better to use the personal card, as you’ll see later on. 

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Front desk
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Front desk

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Seating

This isn’t the biggest Centurion Lounge out there, though it makes good use of the space it has across a two-floor arrangement. Still, some parts of the lounge can feel crowded or narrow at times.

From the front desk, a curved walkway brings you to the ground-floor seating area, which offers a mix of seating types.

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Walkway
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Walkway
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Ground-floor seating
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Ground-floor seating

A marble staircase leads towards the upper floor, where you’ll find another seating area looking out below, this one more geared towards productivity.

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Stairs to second floor
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Stairs to second floor
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Second-floor seating
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Second-floor seating
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Second-floor seating
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Second-floor seating

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Dining

Upon entering the Centurion Lounge, guests are asked if they’d like to enjoy a meal or a drink, and are directed to the dining room if so. 

Unlike most Centurion Lounges in the US, this one doesn’t offer a buffet selection. Instead, a team of servers are on hand to take orders and deliver items à la carte.

Food and drink can also be ordered from the other parts of the lounge, though I imagine service isn’t as quick as it is in the dining room. 

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Dining area
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Dining area
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Bar
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Bar

While I didn’t get a picture of the QR code menu, I was surprised to find out that most food and drink items are not complimentary here at the Centurion Lounges in Mexico City.

Instead, Platinum Card and Centurion Card members get access to select complimentary items on a limited basis per person. If you’d like to order off the wider menu or get additional portions, you’d have to pay for it.

Meanwhile, Business Platinum cardholders don’t get access to the free items, and need to pay for everything on the menu. So if you have the choice, always access the lounge with a personal Platinum Card. It’s my understanding that the Centurion Lounge at MEX Terminal 1 follows a similar policy.

Thankfully, the free breakfast menu included all of the items we needed: coffee, juice, a fruit salad appetizer, and a portion each of red and green chilaquiles.

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Black coffee
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Black coffee
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Fruit salad
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Fruit salad

I was feeling a bit disappointed at missing out on the chilaquiles at breakfast at the St. Regis Mexico City due to our early departure, so I was delighted that the Centurion Lounge served up a hearty portion too. 

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Red chilaquiles
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Red chilaquiles
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Green chilaquiles
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Green chilaquiles

For lunch and dinner, I’d expect there to be a similar smaller complimentary selection, along with a wider range of choices that would be at an additional cost. 

I later learned that the Centurion Lounge menus at Mexico City International Airport are designed by Enrique Olvera, one of Mexico’s leading chefs. His creative touches very much came through in the handful of breakfast items we tried, such as in the little chocolate bites sprinkled on the fruit salad.

The Centurion Lounge Mexico City may be more stingy than most of its other locations in that you have to pay extra for the full menu, but there’s no denying that the food is top-quality.

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Other Facilities

Also distinguishing itself from other Centurion Lounges, the Mexico City locations offers a few interesting extra features compared to its US counterparts.

For example, Platinum and Centurion cardholders are eligible for select complimentary and paid spa treatments and styling services at the in-lounge hair salon.

Our server let us know that a 15-minute massage was complimentary, although we didn’t exactly have too much time to fully unwind with a spa treatment. I also asked about getting a haircut, too, although that would be subject to an extra payment. 

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Spa
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Spa
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Salon
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Salon

There’s a private room that’s reserved for Centurion cardholders only. 

Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Private room for Centurion cardholders
Centurion Lounge Mexico City – Private room for Centurion cardholders

And finally, though I didn’t manage to snap some pictures, there’s a nap room and a shower room for some extra rest or rejuvenation before your flight. 

Conclusion

The Amex Centurion Lounge in Mexico City is an interesting concept that’s a bit of a departure from the major US lounges.

Only a limited food and drink menu is available on a complimentary basis, and only for personal Platinum and Centurion cardholders at that. There’s also a surprisingly wide range of amenities, like a spa and salon, packed in the lounge’s limited space.

While the quality of breakfast was outstanding and the lounge certainly beat waiting for our flight in the chaotic Terminal 2 concourse, I can’t fully get on board with the “freemium” model of the lounge’s features, which is somewhat reflective of the lagging state of premium airport experiences across Latin America as a whole.

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