Earlier this year on Sunday, February 25th, I entered the Centurion Lounge studio at Seatac airport. I met up with two attendees of a conference I had been at and two of us went to the bar to order drinks. Our third friend had asked for an apple martini (don’t judge me for that!) and we asked the bartender to make it. He admitted he didn’t know how to make it, which we initially thought was a joke, but it turns out he actually didn’t know how to make it. He said he’d look for the recipe and I left the bar with my drink.
A little while later, the bartender approached us and asked us if we can verify with his manager that we did indeed ask for an appletini. We said yes, and asked why. He explained that he was looking up the recipe on his phone and that his manager had admonished him for being on his phone.
A moment later, his manager, Betuin, came over to us to confirm his story. But her demeanor and tone of voice was very accusatory towards the bartender. We told her, “yes, we asked him to make that drink.” Her response was that there is a book of recipes which he could use. That response struck us as irrelevant to us as customers and very defensive. We responded with, “well sometimes it’s faster to look it up on a phone vs. a book.” And her response took us all aback: “Well a good bartender would know how to make it.”
I don’t care if he should have known the drink or not. The manager’s response really soured me on the Centurion Lounge. It’s a clear reflection of her inability to lead, motivate and manage her team. And frankly it’s inappropriate to call your employee out in front of a customer, especially since we didn’t think he did anything wrong. I attempted to speak to the manager after this incident but she hid in the kitchen for the duration of my stay.
I even followed up with American Express afterwards and discovered there’s no direct way to lodge my complaint with the lounge. Very poor customer experience and I have my doubts if I will ever return to this lounge.
*the banner image is courtesy of https://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2017/03/22/amex-centurion-lounge-seattle-expansion/*