Shame in the Airport

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Like so many each year, I showed up in Vegas a high roller.  I’m leaving with my tail between my legs.

I’d don my sunglasses for anonymity – and to hide my tears of embarrassment – but I wouldn’t be able to see the screen of my iPad to share my story.

You see… I was just turned away from the lounge.

The beckoning entrance of The Centurion Lounge at the Las Vegas airport.

The beckoning entrance of The Centurion Lounge at the Las Vegas airport.

I know, I know… it happens to OTHER people every day. But not me. I’m a rule follower.

The few others times in my life where I’ve been shunned, I’ve known ahead of time the answer would probably be NO.

But not today.

Today I was so sure of myself because those of us attending the Boarding Area Conference (BAcon) this weekend were placed on a special guest list for the week granting us complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge, a private facility where only American Express member can enjoy an open bar…

The fully stocked (and free) bar at The Centurion Lounge.

The fully stocked (and free) bar at The Centurion Lounge.

…nice buffet spreads…

Buffet at The Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas.

Buffet at The Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas.

…elegant nooks in which to work…

Nook at The Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas.

…and charge devices.

Charging station at The Centurion Lounge, Las Vegas.

I’d worked through lunch at the hotel knowing I’d soon be dining on Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Feta, and Lemon and the Smoked Chocolate Bundino with Cinnamon Ash and Sea Salt, two of the dishes available each day for lunch and dinner that would meet my food allergy-restricted dietary requirements.

I also knew that a glass (or two) of the Gruner Veltliner would pair perfectly while I used the free high-speed wireless and ample charging stations at one of the pillow-strewn work alcoves.

One seating area at The Centurion Lounge, Las Vegas.

One seating area at The Centurion Lounge, Las Vegas.

… and another seating area at The Centurion Lounge, Las Vegas.

But alas… it was not to be. I was turned away from the lounge because I had already squandered my access on a morning visit on Friday. I quietly pleaded my case, as I knew that others (who like me, would normally never have access) had visited both coming and going – but she just smiled and told me that if I wanted to produce my Amex card, I was more than welcome to access the lounge that way.

Ouch.

I exited quietly, tail between my legs.

Decor?  Or the bags of those who have decided to permanently move into The Centurion Lounge, as so not to be turned away ever again!

Decor? Or the bags of those who have decided to permanently move into The Centurion Lounge, as so not to be turned away ever again!

So I now sit here, battery-life dwindling, staring at a plate of limp iceberg. I am back to the ranks of everyday traveler, cutting my losses and leaving Las Vegas with a tiny bit of dignity still intact.

But Las Vegas always does lure me back… and when I return, perhaps my luck will change and that time I’ll be allowed through those blue doors again.

The subtle markings for those who may walk by those doors.

The subtle markings for those who may walk by those doors.

The Centurion Lounge is available exclusively to American Express card holders. Access for Platinum Card and Centurion members is free and allows for two guests as well. Other American Express cardholders can access the lounge for a $50 per-use fee based on facility capacity controls.

Current locations for The Centurion Lounge are Las Vegas, Dallas-Fort Worth, and New York LaGuardia with future locations planned for Miami and San Francisco.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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  1. LOL that was funny, how long is the acceptable time? I’m glad I didn’t fly out of Vegas as most likely i overstayed their hospitality too!

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