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Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner at John Glenn Columbus International Airport [Review]

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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On a recent trip to New York City, I was excited to check out the new Escape Lounge – A Centurion Studio Partner from my home airport of John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) just 2 weeks after its opening. While I love the ease of flying out of this airport, the one thing it lacked was a lounge — until now.

This Escape Lounge location is the only lounge at the Columbus airport, so it’s going to be a welcome addition to my travel days.

In this review, I’ll show you what you can expect when you visit the Escape Lounge in Columbus. Let’s get to it!

Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner

Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner is a network of lounges found mostly in small to mid-sized airports. There are currently 14 locations in the U.S. as well as 5 in the U.K.

You can think of Escape Lounges as the little brother of the grand Centurion Lounges. They are smaller than Centurion Lounges but have almost identical entry requirements and offer similar, yet pared-down menus. However, don’t expect any of the premium perks like shower rooms, children’s play areas, or spa services that you would typically find at Centurion Lounges at an Escape Lounge location.

Escape Lounge Columbus Ohio entrance
The Escape Lounge in Columbus features large sliding glass doors at the entrance.

The Escape Lounge at John Glenn Columbus International Airport

Since John Glenn Columbus International is my home airport, I was overjoyed to visit the new Escape Lounge location just weeks after its opening. It’s especially exciting because this location is the airport’s only widely accessible lounge (there is a small UFO lounge for military members as well).

First visit to the Columbus Escape Lounge
In case you couldn’t tell, I was extremely excited to finally have a lounge at my home airport.

Location

The Escape Lounge at Columbus Airport is located after security in Concourse B near gate 32.

If you’re flying out of either Concourse A or C, you can access the Escape Lounge but you will have to go through security again.

Hot Tip: John Glenn Columbus International Airport has both TSA PreCheck and CLEAR lanes at security, so it won’t take much extra time to visit the lounge if your flight is leaving from a different concourse.

Hours of Operation

The Escape Lounge in Columbus is open daily from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Entry Requirements

There are a few ways you can gain entry into the Escape Lounge at John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

You’ll get complimentary access with any of the following cards:

You’ll get complimentary access when flying on a Delta-marketed ticket with either of the following cards (guests cost $30 each):

There are also ways to access the Escape Lounge in Columbus, Ohio without having a specific credit card.

  • Pay $45 per person at the door
  • Pay $40 per person when a reservation is booked online at least 24 hours prior to entry
  • TAV Passport Card members get free entry along with 1 guest
  • Select Dreamfolks cardholders can get complimentary access
  • Children under 24 months old get free access
  • AAA members and members of the military may be eligible for discounts

Hot Tip: Escape Lounges in the U.S. are not part of the Priority Pass network, however, Escape Lounges in the U.K. are accessible with a Priority Pass.

Escape Lounge Columbus Amenities

Seating

The lounge wasn’t crowded at all during my visit, so there was plenty of comfortable seating available.

More seating at Escape Lounge Columbus Ohio
There were different seating options throughout the lounge.

There were tables next to the buffet as well as bar seating against the back window.

Escape Lounge The Centurion Studio Partner at John Glenn Columbus International Airport
The lounge was practically empty during my visit.

At the far end of the lounge was a bar with a few stools for guests.

Escape Lounge Columbus bar area
There was a bar and table seating on one side of the lounge.

There were some unique chairs in the middle of the lounge that offered a bit of privacy as well as a place to put food and drinks.

Unique seating at the Columbus airport lounge
There were some unique seating options.

Along the front window was a long work desk with plugs and lamps at every seat so you could easily crack open your laptop and get some work done if needed.

Seating at Escape Lounge Columbus
Some seats had individual lighting and plugs so you could easily get some work done.

Food Options

The food options at John Glenn Columbus International Airport’s Escape Lounge reminded me (on a smaller scale) of what you may find at a Centurion Lounge — a curated menu featuring a small selection of chef-prepared items. There aren’t any grab-and-go items or a huge selection like you’ll find at a Capital One Lounge. However, much like Centurion Lounges, the food quality was excellent.

The menus were designed by 2 chefs, Colin Smith and Avishar Barua. Barua is a Columbus resident and owner of Joya in Worthington, Ohio, and will soon be opening his second restaurant called Agni in the Brewery District in Columbus.

I was hoping to try the breakfast menu but I arrived just as the staff was putting out the lunch items (which happens around 10:30 a.m.).

Buffet at the Escape Lounge in Columbus Ohio
I arrived just as lunch was being brought out to the buffet.

All of the food items (except for the soup) were portioned out in individual servings so you could easily grab what you wanted. The choices during my visit included the following:

  • Antipasti board
  • Assorted cookies
  • Beef barbacoa cornbread
  • Chicken with succotash
  • Creamy brie turkey baguette
  • Deviled eggs
  • Thai butternut squash soup
  • White bean and truffle hummus
  • Pear chai smoothie (left over from breakfast)
  • Pumpkin spice cake
  • Seasonal fruit thyme salad (left over from breakfast)

Everything I tasted was delicious. My favorites were the beef barbacoa cornbread and creamy brie turkey baguette.

The entire backside of the lounge is made up of windows looking out onto the tarmac so you can watch the planes while you eat.

Lunch at Escape Lounge Columbus Ohio
I enjoyed my lunch with runway views.

My only complaint was that there weren’t many kid-friendly food items for my very picky 9-year-old to eat (we have the same problem at Centurion Lounges). However, since it was her birthday trip, I just let her enjoy the kid trifecta — Coke, a cookie, and her iPad. I may not be getting a mom-of-the-year award based on these dietary choices, but she was happy and that was all that mattered.

Ellie eating at the Escape Lounge Columbus
A lack of kid-friendly food choices meant my daughter was having a Coke and a cookie for lunch.

Beverage Options

There was a selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available at the Escape Lounge in Columbus. The small bar served up both complimentary and premium alcoholic beverages. Complimentary options included wine, beer, and spirits. Premium liquors and specialty cocktails are available for an additional charge.

Soda and coffee were complimentary and there was a coffee machine for self-served specialty coffees, including lattes and cappuccinos.

Escape Lounge Columbus coffee machine
There was a self-serve coffee machine located behind the front desk.

Restrooms

Unfortunately, there aren’t any restrooms within the Escape Lounge Columbus, however, there are restrooms located close by in the terminal.

Staff

The staff at the Escape Lounge in Columbus was wonderful. They all seemed like they were trying to make our experience great. They were quick to clean up our used dishes and paid close attention to how the buffet was set up.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am thrilled to see an Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner location at John Glenn Columbus International Airport. It’s a great little spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat before your flight, and it fulfills the need for an airport lounge in Columbus. In the not-too-distant future, I hope to witness the expansion of additional Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner locations at airports serving smaller markets.

The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the Escape Lounge Columbus opening date?

The Escape Lounge at John Glenn Columbus International Airport opened on November 14, 2022.

Does the Columbus Airport (CMH) have any lounges?

Yes, John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) has an Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner location that opened in November of 2022.

Is food free in Escape Lounges?

Yes, food is free in Escape Lounges. Options vary by location.

Is alcohol free in Escape Lounges?

Some alcohol is free in Escape Lounges. There’s a selection of sprits, wine, and beer that’s available complimentary while premium spirits and specialty cocktails cost extra.

Does the Columbus Airport have a Centurion Lounge?

No, the Columbus Airport (CMH) doesn’t have a Centurion Lounge. It does, however, have an Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner.

How can I gain access to the Escape Lounge in Columbus, Ohio?

You can purchase a day pass to access the Escape Lounge in Columbus, Ohio. Or you can get free entry with the Amex Platinum card, Amex Business Platinum card, or Centurion card. Guests flying on Delta Air Lines who have a Delta Reserve card or Delta Reserve Business card can also get free access.

What's the difference between an Escape Lounge and a Centurion Lounge?

Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner and Centurion Lounges are 2 separate lounge networks with very similar entry requirements. Both offer free access to select American Express cardholders however, anyone can purchase a day pass to an Escape Lounge. Escape Lounges tend to be smaller than Centurion Lounges and are found in smaller airports. Centurion Lounges are located in large airports and offer more premium amenities including spas, shower rooms, and children’s play areas (amenities vary by location).

Where is the Columbus Escape Lounge located?

The Escape Lounge at John Glenn Columbus International Airport is located after security in Concourse B near gate 32.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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