American Express is operating their own lounge concept for owners of the Centurion or Platinum cards at 19 airports worldwide at the time of writing this report. Most of the lounges are located in the US. The only European lounge is not operated in one of the mega hub cities such as London, Amsterdam or Paris – as you may think – but in the rather small airport Stockholm Arlanda. We have checked out the lounge for you. Read on to find out how it did.
Lounge Location & Access
The lounge is situated in terminal 5 at Stockholm Arlanda airport near the F gates. Once you pass the security through fast track, to which you have access to in any way as an American Express Platinum or Centurion card holder, you will find the lounge to your left near the Oak café after about 100 m. The lounge is part of the restaurant Pontus In The Air, so it’s not the typical lounge concept you would expect.
As a Platinum card holder, you and an additional guest will have access. As a Centurion card holder, you and two additional guests will have access. I have talked to the manager and asked if it’s possible to use the lounge when arriving in Stockholm Arlanda. Unfortunately, this is not possible.
The lounge is part of the Pontus In The Air restaurant but is completely seperated from the rest of the restaurant. It basically consists of two rooms. The lounge was definitely pretty busy when I was there but it was still a nice and comfortable atmosphere. A bit more like in a restaurant of course but I didn’t mind that.
The view is pretty nice as you look directly towards the airport runway. There is still a tiny bit of construction work left but it doesn’t disturb the view at all.
The only downside I found was that there were no proper working tables. The only spot with electrical plugs was on the side, but the space was very small and low, so your posture wasn’t really comfortable in case you wanted to work for a few hours here.
Food & Beverages
The most exciting part of this lounge surely is the food. As it’s part of a restaurant as mentioned before, the food quality really sticks out compared to other lounges. As a visitor, you receive an a la carte menu and you are free to choose from the various items. You can order as much as you want. So you can even order two lunch items or if you stay in the lounge for a long time, you can order breakfast and lunch later on. There is no time limit, so you can enter the lounge several hours before without a problem. There are items that are charged additionally but those are pointed out.
I personally didn’t try the food but our Travel-Dealz author Valentin Messmer described the food in his review on the German site as “one of the best meals he ever had in a lounge”. He thought the food could have came from a very good restaurant and that it is miles ahead of normal lounge food. Seeing and smelling what has been served while I was there, I can still only guess but would probably agree with that statement if I tried it.
The lounge works very similar to a restaurant, therefore there is no real self-service. You order water, coffee, soft drinks and food with the waiters. I actually really liked that and thought it was very refreshing. I also thought that the service quality was of a really high standard. The waiters were very friendly and helpful. Even though the lounge was busy at some point, I didn’t think that the service was slow in any way.
For a short layover, this lounge is perfect, especially if you are looking to get a high quality meal in between your flights. It is probably not the best if you plan on working for a few hours during your layover, as some work space is missing here. Overall, the lounge is very enjoyable and you are really getting a lot of benefits here as an American Express Platinum or Centurion holder.