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Airport Lounges

The Complete Guide to American Airlines Admirals Club

Last updated: September 13,2022
Originally Published: March 07,2022
by Jestan Mendame

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Admirals Club is American Airlines’ network of airport lounges that operates at more than 30 locations worldwide. The lounges provide comfortable spaces for travelers to relax, charge their devices, dine, shower, and more.

There are many ways to become an AA Admirals Club member. For example, you can get a complimentary membership by getting a travel credit card, get a day pass by buying a first-class or business class ticket, or pay for your membership with cash or miles. All of these will be discussed along with other important details such as guest policies, benefits, locations, and more.


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Admirals Club lounges provide comfortable spaces for travelers to relax, charge their devices, dine, shower, and more.
Admirals Club lounges provide comfortable spaces for travelers to relax, charge their devices, dine, shower, and more.
(Image courtesy of Envato Elements)

What Is The AA Admirals Club?

The Admirals Club was created back in 1936 for loyal members and VIPs of American Airlines. Members were called “Admirals”, a term that was coined by the late American Airlines Chairman C.R. Smith to complement the collective name of the airline’s planes – the “Flagship Fleet.”

The first AA lounge was opened in New York LaGuardia and in its early years, only airline salespeople had the final say on who can get an Admirals Club membership, unlike now where there’s a published list of requirements that interested applicants can check.

There are two types of memberships offered by AA: Individual membership and Household membership.

What To Expect From These AA Lounges

Members will have free access to the lounge’s amenities, food stations, and services to make their travel more relaxing before or after the flight.

Here’s what to expect, although some amenities vary per lounge:

  • Snacks and drinks
  • Wine bar
  • Specialty dishes
  • Shower suites
  • Free Wifi

You can check the American Airlines website for more details.

Admirals Club Locations

As of this writing, here are the club’s current locations:

  • Atlanta, GA (ATL)
  • Austin, TX (AUS)
  • Boston, MA (BOS)
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE)
  • Charlotte, NC (CLT)
  • Chicago, IL (ORD)
  • Dallas / Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
  • Denver, CO (DEN)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL)
  • Houston, Texas (IAH)
  • London, England (LHR)
  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
  • Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)
  • Miami, FL (MIA)
  • Nashville, TN (BNA)
  • New York J.F. Kennedy, NY (JFK)
  • New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA)
  • Newark, NJ (EWR)
  • Orange County, CA (SNA)
  • Orlando, FL (MCO)
  • Paris, France (CDG)
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)
  • Raleigh Durham, NC (RDU)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (GIG)
  • San Francisco, CA (SFO)
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil (GRU)
  • St. Louis, MO (STL)
  • Tampa, FL (TPA)
  • Toronto, Canada (YYZ)
  • Washington D.C. (DCA)

How To Get Admirals Club Access

As mentioned above, there are multiple methods on how to get AA Admirals Club Access so now, let’s get into the details on how each method works.

Be An AAdvantage Elite Statusholder (Elite Status)

Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive members of the AAdvantage loyalty program can enter Admirals Clubs regardless of their fare class, as long as they fly on eligible flights operated by American Airlines or a Oneworld partner.

Eligible flights include long-haul flights in these regions:

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • New Zealand
  • South America

If you don’t have an AAdvantage status, you can also get access to Admirals Clubs with a Oneworld elite status – Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status.

Paying With Cash

Paying with cash is the easiest way to get access to AA lounges. All memberships last for a year and but the fees vary depending on your AAdvantage Elite Status and type of membership (individual or household). Additionally, the fees will also be cheaper once you renew your membership.

Individual Membership:

  • Non-Elite – Initial fee is $650/year ; Renewal fee is $600/year
  • Gold – Initial fee is $625/year ; Renewal fee is $600/year
  • Platinum – Initial fee is $600/year ; Renewal fee is $550/year
  • Platinum Pro – Initial fee is $575/year ; Renewal fee is $525/year
  • Executive Platinum – Initial fee is $550/year ; Renewal fee is $500/year
  • Concierge Key – Free

Household Membership:

  • Non-Elite – Initial fee is $1250/year ; Renewal fee is $1200/year
  • Gold – Initial fee is $1225/year ; Renewal fee is $1175/year
  • Platinum – Initial fee is $1200/year ; Renewal fee is $1150/year
  • Platinum Pro – Initial fee is $1175/year ; Renewal fee is $1125/year
  • Executive Platinum – Initial fee is $1150/year ; Renewal fee is $1100/year
  • Concierge Key – Free

For those of you who are not familiar with Concierge Key, it’s American Airlines’ invite-only elite status and it’s the highest status in the AAdvantage loyalty program. There are no published requirements for this but generally, one would have to spend at least $50,000 per year on American Airlines.

Paying With Miles

You can also get an Admirals Club membership using your miles and the pricing categories are the same as you would pay with cash.

Individual:

  • Non-Elite – Initial fee is 65,000 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 60,000/year
  • Gold – Initial fee is 62,500 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 57,500/year
  • Platinum – Initial fee is 60,000/year ; Renewal fee is 55,000/year
  • Platinum Pro – Initial fee is 57500 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 52,500 miles/year
  • Executive Platinum – Initial fee is 55,000 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 50,000 miles/year
  • Concierge Key – Free

Household Membership:

  • Non-Elite – Initial fee is 125,000 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 120,000/year
  • Gold – Initial fee is 122,500 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 117,500 miles/year
  • Platinum – Initial fee is 120,000 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 115,000 miles/year
  • Platinum Pro – Initial fee is 117,500 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 112,500 miles/year
  • Executive Platinum – Initial fee is 115,000 miles/year ; Renewal fee is 110,000 miles/year
  • Concierge Key – Free

While you may have the option to pay for a membership with miles, it’s not recommended since you can get more value when you use it towards award flights and stays.

Purchasing An Admirals Club Day Pass

A day pass costs $59 per visit and you can purchase it online or in person. All you need is a valid government ID and a same-day ticket on an American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or OneWorld partner airline.

You can buy a day pass ticket online 30 days before your flight since the ticket has a 30-day validity upon purchase. If within 30 days you decide to sign-up for an Admirals Club annual membership, $50 of your $59 spent can be deducted from the total cost of your membership fee.

AA Lounge Access With AirPass

If you purchase an American Airlines Airpass (which is simply paid-for Elite Status) you are granted access to Admirals Club lounges for as long as you hold an Airpass subscription. Although Airpass isn’t really a cheap option and is only valuable in certain circumstances.

An American Airlines Pass is basically a paid AAdvantage status. You don’t have to sign-up for an AAdvantage membership and work your way up on the different tiers to earn certain benefits. It comes with VIP benefits, fixed-rate fares, premium seating, zero cancellation/change fees, and complimentary Admirals Club access.

It doesn’t come cheap but it gives you the flexibility to use your AirPass benefits with American Airlines and its partner airlines.

Using A Co-branded Credit Card

As of this writing, there is only one credit card that comes with an Admirals Club membership and that is the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

Getting the AAdvantage credit card is a cost-efficient way to get exclusive lounge access because it only has a $450 annual fee, a price that is much lesser than paying for an Admirals Club membership in cash or miles. It also allows you two bring two traveling guests with you when you enter AA lounges.

Additionally, the card lets you add 10 authorized users for free which means that each user will have the same Admirals Club privileges as the primary cardholder. For example, if your spouse is an authorized user, he or she can use the card (even without the primary cardholder) and bring two traveling guests at Admirals Club lounges as long as the flight was booked on an American Airlines or Oneworld Alliance partner airlines.

Flying First or Business Class

First-class and business class passengers on eligible departing international and transcontinental flights marketed and operated by American Airlines and Oneworld alliance partners will have access to Admiral Clubs access.

Eligible international flights if you’re departing from the US:

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • New Zealand
  • South America

Eligible transcontinental flights, specifically non-stop flights between

  • JFK and LAX
  • JFK and SFO
  • LAX and BOS (available if you’re flying one an A321T plane)
  • LAX and MIA (available if you’re flying on a Boeing 777-300 plane)


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Admirals Club Guest Policy

Guest access depends on how the primary member got his or her Admirals Club membership. One guest is allowed for members who got their membership by being a:

  • First-class passengers
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Platinum statusholders
  • Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire statusholders

Meanwhile, two guests are allowed for members who got their memberships via:

  • AAdvantage credit Card;
  • Airpass membership
  • Paid Admirals Club membership using cash or miiles

Additionally, one-day pass holders are allowed to bring up to 3 children with them who are under 18 years old. Meanwhile, business class passengers are not allowed to bring guests.

Note: Primary members and their guest/s must be departing from an international or transcontinental flight marketed and operated by American Airlines or a Oneworld alliance partner.

Bottomline

Having an Admirals Club membership may come in handy especially when your flights get delayed or if you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport.

The most cost-efficient way to get a membership is through the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard because you’re only spending $450 but you’re getting benefits both from your card membership and your Admirals Club membership.

  • Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on other travel purchases

 

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