Lounge access is lovely before your flight or on a layover. You get free snacks and beverages, generally comfortable seating, high-speed Wi-Fi access and outlets to charge your devices.
American Airlines is the largest domestic carrier, and it has Admirals Club lounges in airports around the world. Customers can even access lounges in airports American doesn’t fly to, thanks to a network of partnerships. Currently, options include over 50 Admirals Club locations and more than 60 partner lounges.
To reduce lounge overcrowding, American Airlines requires travelers to present a same-day boarding pass on American or one of its partners for lounge access. That's true for all of the below methods of gaining entry.
How do I get into an American Airlines lounge?
There are several methods you can use to get access to an American Airlines lounge. Here are the details.
Admirals Club membership
Admirals Club annual membership rates vary depending on your frequent flyer status with American Airlines:
Non-elite AAdvantage members: $650 (new membership), $600 (renewal).
AAdvantage Gold members: $625 (new), $575 (renewal).
AAdvantage Platinum members: $600 (new), $550 (renewal).
AAdvantage Platinum Pro members: $575 (new), $525 (renewal).
AAdvantage Executive Platinum members: $550 (new), $500 (renewal).
With an annual membership, you can bring your immediate family (including spouse and children) or up to two guests. You can also buy a household membership for $1,150 to $1,250 (depending on your status level), which includes access for you and your spouse or domestic partner even when you’re not flying together.
Day passes are available for purchase at select locations for $59, which includes access for you and up to three children (under age 18).If you’re thinking of signing up for an Admirals Club membership, getting the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is the most cost effective option as the $450 annual fee is lower than the annual cost of the membership regardless of your elite status level with American.
Admirals Club membership via credit card
You can get a free Admirals Club membership with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®. This membership allows you to bring your immediate family or up to two guests, and up to 10 authorized users also get access privileges. This card comes with the following sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
» Learn more: Top credit cards that offer lounge access
First class or business class ticket
You can access Admirals Club lounges if you are flying first or business class on an international itinerary between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Mexico, and New Zealand. Additionally, transcontinental flights with seats ticketed as Flagship qualify, including flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and Los Angeles and Miami. International first class customers can bring one guest, but other travelers using status to enter the lounge will not have guest privileges.
AAdvantage members who are Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro or Platinum can access Admirals Club lounges when flying internationally on the routes mentioned above — AAdvantage elites don’t qualify if they are only traveling within North America. If you have Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status, you can access Admirals Clubs and partner lounges with a qualifying itinerary for same-day travel on a Oneworld carrier. Elite status holders are allowed one guest each.
Alaska MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold elites automatically received a status match to Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire, respectively, and can access Admirals lounges. Eligible flights include the above mentioned domestic routes and international routes between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City (MEX), New Zealand and South America.
» Learn more: Guide to American Airlines elite status
If you’re traveling in uniform, you can access domestic and international Admirals Club locations (except the Airspace Lounge in San Diego and JAL Sakura Lounge in Honolulu) if there is space available. You will need to present military ID and a same-day boarding pass for a flight operated by American Airlines. Uniformed military personnel can also bring their immediate family members or up to two guests into the lounge.
More options: Arrivals Lounge and Flagship Lounge
If you’re flying into London’s Heathrow Airport, you can freshen up at the Arrivals Lounge when you land. To use that facility, you need to be flying in first or business class, or have AAdvantage Executive Platinum or ConciergeKey (invite-only) status. Oneworld Emerald status will also get you access, as will British Airways Premier status.
First and business class passengers flying internationally (or on some transcontinental flights) can access American’s premium Flagship Lounges, which feature more food options and shower suites. You’ll find these lounges at airports in American’s hub cities of Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York as well as London.
The lounge in Philadelphia will be opening soon. AAdvantage members with ConciergeKey status can enter Flagship Lounges. American Airlines Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum elites as well as Alaska MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold elites can access Flagship Lounges on qualifying international flights.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card