An Honest Guide to the Airport Lounges at Denver International Airport

DEN has nearly a dozen airport lounges and lounge alternatives. Here’s everything you need to know about the four best ones, including how to access them.

Lobby of an airport lounge with large pinecone art hanging from ceiling with elevators leading up to a second floor

The entrance to Denver International’s United Club East features a piece of artwork made out of repurposed skateboards that looks like pine cones.

Courtesy of United

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There’s a battle underway at Denver International Airport (DEN) for which airline or credit card company can offer the best lounge space. In the last year, Capital One opened its third lounge in the United States, American Airlines unveiled a new Admirals Club, and United rolled out a grab-and-go concept and two lounges (and is currently building another 35,000-square-foot one to open in 2025).

Why Denver? Well, it is the third busiest airport in the United States and sixth busiest in the world. In 2023, the airport saw nearly 78 million passengers—a number that is expected to grow to 100 million as soon as 2027. And the 29-year-old airport currently serves more than 200 nonstop destinations worldwide. That’s all to say, chances are you’ll have a layover there in the not-so-distant future. And given that, airlines and credit card companies are betting big on Denver, creating swanky new lounges in hopes of wooing more airline and credit card loyalists.

As a travel journalist who flies multiple times a month and a current Colorado resident, I’ve spent a staggering amount of time in Denver International Airport and its many lounges—I often joke that the airport is my second home. Presently, there are nine lounges and two Priority Pass lounge alternatives (including one, Mercantile, that’s helmed by a James Beard Award–winning chef) at DEN. Read on for the best of the best—including how to access them.

All the lounges at Denver International Airport

DEN has three terminals (called Concourse A, Concourse B, and Concourse C), all of which are easily connected by an underground transit system. Currently, Concourse A is where mainly American, Delta, and Frontier operate (though there are also a handful of common use gates, which airlines like Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, Copa Airlines, and Lufthansa use as needed). Concourse B is solely the domain of United. (The airline has the lion’s share of flights in and out of the airport—in 2023, it brought 36 million passengers into or through Denver.) And Concourse C is where Alaska, Southwest, and Spirit hold court.

Here’s where the various lounges are in DEN:

Concourse A
• Capital One Lounge (near gate A34)
• Delta Sky Club (near the pedestrian bridge)
• Mercantile Dining and Provisions (near gate A39; a food and beverage credit at restaurant with Priority Pass)
• United Club (near gate A26)
• USO Lounge (near the pedestrian bridge)
Concourse B
• SweetWater Mountain Taphouse (near B79; a food and beverage credit at restaurant with Priority Pass)
• United Club West (near gate A32, but temporarily closed)
• United Club East (near gate B44)
• United Club Fly (near gate B60)
Concourse C
• American Airlines Admirals Club (near gate C30)
• Centurion Lounge (near gate C30)
The bar area inside the Capital One Lounge, with no people in it

Capital One Lounge bar at Denver serves cocktails from Yacht Club, a downtown Denver cocktail and natural wine bar that consistently lands on the list of North America’s 50 Best Bars.

Courtesy of Capital One

Capital One Lounge

Opened in November 2023 as the third of Capital One’s lounges nationwide, this 10,800-square-foot retreat near gate A34 is worth the trek from another terminal or an early check-in if you’re already in the Mile High City. It’s arguably the best of Denver’s lounges; however, considering anyone can access it, it’s often the busiest. It is open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The buzz

Whether you’re looking to jot off some work emails in a quiet space on your layover or get your vacation started with a craft cocktail overlooking the runway, Capital One’s Denver lounge delivers.

Let’s talk about the food and drink first. For those short on time, there’s a grab-and-go area in the lobby where visitors can run in and fill a brown paper bag with hot breakfast sandwiches, prepared salads, vegetable and hummus cups, cookies, cold brew coffees, and canned beverages. For those with time to kill, the hot and cold food bars offer a range of small plates that are constantly rotating (though some common fare includes mac and cheese with bacon, Colorado bison sloppy joes, and mini carrot cake loaves from Good Bread, a local bakery). For NA bevvies, visitors can choose from a range of artisanal soda (like pineapple cream), flavored waters, and drip coffee from Denver’s Unravel Coffee Merchants. At the bar, staff members can whip up espresso-based drinks, as well as pour beers and wine and mix cocktails. Two of the cocktails are borrowed from Yacht Club, a downtown Denver cocktail and natural wine bar that often appears on the list of North America’s 50 Best Bars. One of those is the Espresso-Tini and Tonic, which features Marble Distilling Vodka, La Colombe cold brew, Oloroso sherry, and tonic.

From a layout standpoint, there are distinct areas for eating, relaxing, and working. On one side of the lounge are private workspaces, like phone booths and office spaces, as well as two Relaxation Rooms, one of which features an EnergyPod (a zero-gravity chair designed for power naps). At the back of the lounge is a midcentury-modern living room area, with booths overlooking the concourse, and a hallway of gender neutral bathrooms and two shower suites. The bar and dining area is full of two- or four-person tables and booths.

How to access to Capital One Lounge

Travelers with a Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (plus authorized users) or Capital One Venture X Business card have unlimited complimentary access to all Capital One Lounges, plus complimentary entry for their first two guests per visit ($45 for any additional guest after that).

Capital One Venture and Capital One Spark Miles card holders receive two complimentary visits to Capital One Lounges annually, which may be used for themselves, their authorized users, or guests who are traveling with them. Additional visits are available for a discounted rate of $45 per person.

Everyone else, regardless of whether they have a Capital One card or not, can enter the lounge for $65 per visit.

Airport lounge with leather seating area in front of fireplace with logs stacked at one side

The United Club East lounge has seating for more that 600 guests, with lots of cozy, quieter nooks.

Courtesy of United

United Club East

The largest of all of United’s lounges, this 35,000-square-foot, three-story getaway near gate B44 opened in September 2023. At some point in 2025, its twin will open on the western side of Denver International Airport. It is open from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The buzz

More than 600 travelers can fit into this lounge and even then it wouldn’t feel crowded. What makes this lounge sing is its unique sense of place. On the second floor there’s a brewery-inspired bar area where guests can indulge in some of the dozen Colorado-brewed beers (in pints or as part of a tasting flight) and play shuffleboard among a collection of locally curated art. On the third floor, there’s three buffet areas (serving dishes like vegetarian green chili and maple-mustard pork tenderloin), two bars (which serve complimentary wines and spirits, plus a clutch of Colorado whiskeys, including Tincup and Stranahan’s), and a slew of seating areas, ranging from high-top tables to leather sofas overlooking the runway. There are also a handful of self-service snack stations, where guests can fill baggies with trail mix, gummy bears, and chocolate salted caramels from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to take away.

How to access United Club East

If you’re flying with United (or another Star Alliance member airline) and have a United Club Membership or a one-time pass, Star Alliance Gold Status, or are flying in a premium cabin, you can access any of the United Lounges at DEN. The

United Club℠ Infinite Card


United℠ Explorer Card

also grant users access to the lounge.

Woman with a suitcase using a grab-and-go snack station at a United lounge

All of the items in the United Club Fly lounge, which opened in 2022, are meant to be grab and go.

Courtesy of United

United Club Fly

Opened in November 2022 near gate B60, this is the first and only grab-and-go lounge concept in United’s portfolio. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The buzz

While this United offering is not your typical lounge (it doesn’t, for example, offer alcohol or bathrooms), it does serve a unique function. Because this pint-size lounge is located near B61, where the small regional flights that don’t typically offer food or beverage service depart and land, all of the food and beverages are meant to be grab and go, so guests can take them on the plane. The space includes a row of coolers packed with prepared sandwiches, salads, cheese trays, and beverages, as well as a barista bar for made-to-order espresso drinks. There’s also a handful of standing desk spots and cushy seats next to USB-A and USB-C outlets for those who have a couple of minutes and need to charge their devices. It has a ski chalet theme, with wooden beams forming an open A-frame roof, a faux fireplace, and frosted windows that look snow-covered.

How to access United Club Fly

Like the United Club East, if you’re flying with United (or another Star Alliance member airline) and have a United Club Membership or a one-time pass, Star Alliance Gold Status, or are flying in a premium cabin, you can access this lounge. The United Club℠ Infinite Card and United℠ Explorer Card also grant users access to the lounge.

Room with a shuffleboard table and pool table, with mural of blue mountains on the walls

The Denver Centurion Lounge’s game room comes with pool and shuffleboard tables.

Courtesy of American Express

Centurion Lounge

Open since February 2021, the Centurion Lounge near gate C30 was Denver’s first nonairline lounge. It’s open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The buzz

At 14,650 square feet, the Denver Centurion Lounge is one of the largest in DEN. It’s arranged in a horseshoe, with distinct areas along the way. Going counterclockwise from the check-in area, there’s a long narrow hallway lined with leather chairs and coffee tables, followed by the buffet area, which typically offers soups, salads, a couple hot entrées (which rotate every few months), and baked goods. At a tiled bar at the back, guests can order one of the signature cocktails, house wines, or beers. Rounding the curve is a hallway with bathrooms and shower suites, followed by a makeshift business center with communal tables and a single phone booth and a self-serve coffee area. Then there’s a beer bar with pub-style games (like billiards and shuffleboard) and a children’s play room. It’s an elegant and relaxing place to while away the hours between flights; however, given the popularity of the Platinum Card, there’s often a wait to get in.

How to access the Centurion Lounge

For those with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, the Centurion Lounge is available every day. If you want to bring a guest, it will cost $50 per person (or $30 for children ages 2 through 17, free for those under 2, with proof of age). Those with a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card can visit Centurion lounges for free when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. They can bring up to two guests for $50 each.

While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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