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Learn more about how to access lounges at US airlines. You can read my series on how to access Alaska Lounges and American Admirals Clubs, Delta SkyClubs and United Clubs.
American Airlines has a network of almost 50 Admirals Clubs around the world. Due to the differences in policies around the globe, there is often confusion as to who has access. Most places around the globe will grant you access to lounges with any business class ticket, but this is not the case in the United States.
This post will provide a detailed look at American Airlines lounge access, particularly since American recently changed some policies.
What can you expect from American Airlines Admirals Clubs
Do not get excited about American Airlines Admirals Clubs' quality.
Admirals Clubs are, for the most part, lounges that offer complimentary Wi-Fi and snacks.
American Airlines Admirals Club Miami
Admirals Clubs often offer premium beverages and more substantial food.
Admirals Clubs can be significantly quieter than terminals in certain cases, but they are still very crowded in other cases. The Admirals Clubs in my home airport, Miami, are my preferred lounge. They're quiet and consistent.
American Airlines Admirals Club Miami
How to Access American Airlines Admirals Clubs
Admirals Clubs can be referred to as membership lounges. There are other ways to access Admirals Clubs, depending on what status you have, which type of ticket, and what credit card.
Here are the available options for American Airlines lounge access.
Purchase an Admirals Club Membership (with miles, cash)
You can access Admirals Clubs by purchasing an annual membership. This can be done using miles or cash. This will vary depending on whether you are looking for an individual account or a household account.
Here's how much it costs to purchase an Admirals Club membership.
American Admirals Club membership costs in cash
Here's how much it costs to buy an Admirals Club Membership with Miles:
American Admirals Club Membership cost in Miles
This is valuing AAdvantage points at one cent per mile. I would not recommend this method of redeeming miles. Instead, I value AAdvantage points at 1.5 cents per mile. I would rather have cash than use my miles to redeem more worthwhile items.
You can also redeem 3,300 points through the Americans Business Extra program to get an annual membership. This is the Americans Small Business Rewards Program. Although I would prefer to redeem my Business Extra points another way, it is an option.
Here are some things for Admirals Club members.
Admirals Clubs can only be used on American Airlines and oneworld partner airlines that fly the same day.
You can bring either your immediate family (spouse, domestic partner and children under 18) or two guests.
Citi AAdvantage Executive Cards available
Review of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. It is my favorite airline credit card. This card comes with a $450 annual charge and an Admirals Club membership.
This is a cost-savings opportunity by itself, since the Admirals Club membership costs $550 annually.
It gets even better. The card allows up to 10 authorized users. Each authorized user receives Admirals Club access to American Airlines on the same day, for themselves and their immediate family members or two guests (they don't have to be the primary cardmember).
It is true that a single $450 annual fee allows up to 11 people access to Admirals Clubs. This is incredible.
Purchase an Alaska Lounge Membership
An alternative to purchasing an Admirals Club membership is to purchase an Alaska Lounge membership. Alaska Airlines offers two types of lounge memberships. You can only access Alaska Lounges with an Alaska Lounge membership.
Non-elite Mileage Plan members: $450 per year
$350 per year for Mileage Plan MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K members
You can get Alaska Lounge+ membership and access to American Admirals Clubs and Alaska Lounges, and select Qantas Clubs when flying Qantas.
Mileage Plan Non-Elite Members: $600 per year
500 annually for MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members
Alaska Lounge membership cost
This could be a slightly better deal depending on your status or lounge requirements.
Alaska Airlines Lounge New York
Purchase a day pass
An Admirals Club Day Pass can be purchased for $59 per person or 300 American Business Extra Points (these points are not American AAdvantage miles).
The pass is good for the whole day. You can also use it to connect with other clubs. These passes are available at the club.
The pass is per person. However, you can bring up three children under 18 years old with you. To purchase a day pass, you must be flying American Airlines or a partner airline on the same day.
This is a good deal for most people, except:
If you happen to have multiple long connections, it is possible that your connection is very long.
You're traveling with children under 18 years old, as they can travel with you at no additional cost
Book a first-class or business ticket
You won't be able to access Admirals Clubs with a standard domestic first-class ticket. Certain types of tickets, however, will allow you to access Admirals Clubs.
Lounge access is available to first- or business class passengers who fly on eligible international or premium domestic flights operated by American or oneworld partners.
Itineraries that qualify as international itineraries are flights between the United States of America and:
Caribbean (This includes Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and even though they are part of the US).
Admirals Club access is not available to Alaska Airlines first-class passengers traveling between the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
These are the qualifying domestic itineraries:
New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX).
New York (JFK), and San Francisco (SFO).
New York (JFK), Orange County (SNA).
Los Angeles (LAX), and Miami (MIA).
Dallas (DFW), and Honolulu, (HNL).
Dallas (DFW), and Kona (KOA).
Dallas (DFW), Maui (OGG).
Chicago (ORD), Honolulu, (HNL).
Charlotte (CLT), Honolulu, (HNL).
Business class passengers cannot bring additional guests. However, transcontinental A321T first-class travelers can bring one guest.
Lounge access is available to select business class passengers
Get Concierge Key status
This is similar to the Admirals Club membership. However, Americans invitation-only Concierge Key members receive an Admirals Club Membership at no additional cost. They also get Admirals Club access in the same way as regular members.
American Airlines AAdvantage elite status
American AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum flyers receive Admirals Club access on the same day they travel on a one-world flight between the United States of America and:
Admirals Club access is not available to oneworld elite members who fly Alaska Airlines between the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Access is not limited to the international gateway. It can be at any airport throughout your trip. Eligible AAdvantage elite members may bring one guest.
Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status in a foreign program
You can access Admirals Clubs if you are a oneworld Sapphire member or Emerald member and have earned status through a different program than American AAdvantage, Alaska Mileage Plan or Alaska Mileage Plan.
One guest can be brought by eligible oneworld Sapphire or Emerald members.
Active duty military member
Admirals Club access is free for active duty military personnel who travel in uniform on the same American Airlines flight. Your military ID will be required.
Two guests, or immediate members, can be brought by eligible military personnel. This includes a spouse or children under 18.
How about American Airlines Flagship Lounge Access?
American Airlines has Flagship Lounges in Chicago and Los Angeles as well as Miami and New York. These lounges are America's top international lounges and offer better food and drink selections as well as other premium amenities.
These lounges were closed for more than a year due to the pandemic. However, they are slowly reopening. We saw Flagship Lounges in New York and Miami reopen in September 2021. Other Flagship Lounges should reopen by the end of 2021.
American Airlines Flagship Lounge Dallas
What are the requirements for lounge access? Flagship Lounge access is available to the following groups:
Concierge Key members and non-Alaska Mileage Plan oneworld Sapphire or Emerald members are eligible for ConciergeKey memberships.
For those on first and eligible business itineraries
AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro and AAdvantage Executive Platinum members who travel on eligible itineraries.
Flagship Lounge access: What are the eligible itineraries? These are eligible itineraries for Flagship Lounge access:
The US and Asia
Between Australia and the USA
Between the US & Europe
New Zealand and the USA
Between the US (excluding Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador), and South America (excluding Suriname, Suriname, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname)
Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), and New York (NYC)
Between New York (JFK), and San Francisco (SFO),
Between New York (JFK), and Orange County (SNA).
Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA)
Between Dallas (DFW), and Honolulu, (HNL).
Dallas (DFW), Kona (KOA).
Between Dallas (OGG), and Maui (OGG).
Between Chicago (ORD), and Honolulu, (HNL).
Between Charlotte (CLT), and Honolulu, (HNL).
Flagship Lounge access is available to American AAdvantage and Alaska Mileage Plan elite members, if they are not flying in business or first class.
Flagship Lounges are not available at all airports. If you're traveling from Tampa to Chicago or London as Executive Platinum, you can use the Admirals Club in Tampa. The Admirals Club is located in Chicago.
American will also begin selling Flagship Lounge access at $150
Admirals Club & Flagship Lounge Miami entrance
There are many ways to access American Airlines lounge access. Admirals Clubs is one of the most popular.
American Airlines lounges are primarily membership-based clubs. I recommend the Citi AAdvantage executive card instead if you're considering joining. You can also get access to authorized users for a $450 annual cost.
Admirals Club access is also available to select members of oneworld elite and premium cabin passengers.
I hope you find the information above helpful. Please let me know if I have missed something.