7 Ways to Access American Airlines Admirals Club Lounges

Day passes, certain business or first class tickets, or a specific credit card can get you Admirals Club access.
Elina Geller
Rosemarie Clancy
By Rosemarie Clancy and  Elina Geller 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Lounge access before your flight or during a layover enhances your travel experience. You get free snacks and beverages, generally comfortable seating, high-speed Wi-Fi access and outlets to charge your devices. If you’re flying with American Airlines or any of its partners, you may be able to visit an Admirals Club, which is the airline’s airport lounge.

In addition to Admirals Clubs, customers can access partner lounges in airports American doesn’t fly to. There are currently almost 50 Admirals Club locations and more than 50 partner lounges in airports worldwide.

Rack up miles or enjoy lounge privileges with our favorite American Airlines cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best American Airlines credit cards and find the right card for you.

To enter the lounges, American Airlines requires travelers to present a same-day boarding pass on American or one of its partners. That's true for all passengers, regardless of status or flying class. Here are all the ways you can visit American Airlines Admirals Clubs.

Admirals Club in DCA airport. (Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

1. Buy an Admirals Club Day Pass

Day passes are available for purchase at select locations for $79 or 7,900 AAdvantage miles. The day pass includes access for you and up to three children (under age 18). You can log in to your AAdvantage account to purchase a pass or do so as a guest.

NerdWallet values American Airlines miles at 1.7 cents each. If you use your points to purchase a day pass, you’re only getting 1 cent per point. Based on the valuation, you’d be better off paying cash than using your points.

$79 per person is a steep price for visiting a lounge, so you’ll want to do the math on how much you could realistically save on food and drinks and whether you value the specific location’s amenities.

2. Get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Only one credit card will get you into an American Airlines Admirals Club lounge.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® includes an Admirals Club membership, allowing you to bring your immediate family or up to two guests and up to 10 authorized users with you. This card comes with the following sign-up bonus: For a limited time, earn 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $10,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

The card includes a $100 reimbursement every five years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, $120 Avis or Budget car rental credit every calendar year, $120 in Grubhub credits (up to $10 in statement credit on each monthly billing statement) and $120 in Lyft credits ($10 credit each month after taking three eligible rides).

When flying with American Airlines, you'll receive other benefits such as a free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions as well as priority boarding, priority check-in and priority screening.

You will also earn:

  • 4 miles for every $1 spent on eligible American purchases.

  • 10 miles for every $1 spent on car rentals and hotels booked through aa.com.

  • 1 Loyalty Point for every $1 spent, which counts towards elite status.

  • A 10,000 Loyalty Points bonus after you earn 50,000 Loyalty Points in a status qualification year. Plus, another opportunity to earn an extra 10,000 points if you reach 90,000 during the same time frame.

  • 25% off on in-flight food and beverages purchases.

Although the card has a steep annual fee of $595, as you’ll see below, that is still less than the cost of an annual Admirals Club membership. So, if you plan to visit Admirals Club lounges often, the card's cost along with all its perks, will be your best bet for getting access to the lounges.

Adding another person to your credit card account will cost $175 annually for the first three authorized users and $175 per additional user. It's important to note that authorized users on the credit card only get access to Admirals Clubs; they do not get access to other airline lounges or clubs that American Airlines has a lounge partnership with. Getting into partner lounges is a benefit solely reserved for the primary holder of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

3. Purchase an Admirals Club membership

Admirals Club annual membership rates vary depending on your frequent flyer status with American Airlines:

  • Non-elite AAdvantage members: $850 (new membership), $800 (renewal).

  • AAdvantage Gold members: $825 (new), $775 (renewal).

  • AAdvantage Platinum members: $800 (new), $750 (renewal).

  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro members: $775 (new), $725 (renewal).

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum members: $750 (new), $700 (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 $1,550 to $1,650 (depending on your status level), which includes access for you and your spouse or domestic partner even when you’re not flying together.

Make smarter financial decisions at Disney
Join our free webinar for magical money-saving hacks, smart credit card strategies, and more.

4. Fly on a first class or business class ticket

You can access Admirals Club lounges if you fly first or business class on certain international, transcontinental and domestic routes. Those flying on American Airlines and on Oneworld partner airlines are eligible.

Qualifying international itineraries include flights between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East and New Zealand. International first class customers can bring one guest, but other business class or first class domestic passengers will not have guest privileges.

Domestic flights with seats ticketed as Flagship for the following routes qualify:

  • New York-John F. Kennedy to/from San Francisco, Los Angeles or Orange County.

  • Los Angeles to/from Boston or Miami.

  • Dallas-Fort Worth to/from Honolulu, Kona or Maui.

  • Chicago-O’Hare to/from Honolulu.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Passengers on these tickets can also access American Airlines Flagship lounges (more details below).

5. Earn AAdvantage elite status

AAdvantage members with Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro or Platinum status can access Admirals Club lounges when flying internationally on the routes and airlines mentioned above. The member can bring one guest (children above the age of two count as a guest) and the guest must be traveling on a departing or arriving Oneworld ticket.

6. Earn Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status

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 domestic and international routes mentioned above between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City (MEX), New Zealand and South America.

7. Use your military benefits

If you’re traveling in uniform, you can access domestic and international Admirals Club locations (except the JAL Sakura Lounge in Honolulu or the Airspace Lounge in San Diego) if space is available. You will need to present your 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.

Admirals Clubs locations

There are nearly 50 Admirals Clubs and more than 60 partner lounges in domestic and international airports. In addition, American Airlines also has a network of more than 650 Oneworld lounges worldwide. Unfortunately, people with day passes and Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® authorized users do not get access to the partner lounges.

  1. Atlanta (ATL).

  2. Austin (AUS).

  3. Boston (BOS).

  4. Charlotte (CLT).

  5. Chicago (ORD).

  6. Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW).

  7. Denver (DEN).

  8. Honolulu (HNL).

  9. Houston (IAH).

  10. Los Angeles (LAX).

  11. Miami (MIA).

  12. Nashville (BNA).

  13. New York (JFK and LGA).

  14. Newark (EWR).

  15. Orange County (SNA).

  16. Orlando (MCO).

  17. Philadelphia (PHL).

  18. Phoenix (PHX).

  19. Pittsburgh (PIT).

  20. Raleigh-Durham (RDU).

  21. San Francisco (SFO).

  22. St. Louis (STL).

  23. Tampa (TPA).

  24. Washington D.C. (DCA).

  1. Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE). 

  2. London, England (LHR).

  3. Mexico City, Mexico (MEX). 

  4. Paris, France (CDG).

  5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (GIG).

  6. Sao Paulo, Brazil (GRU).

  7. Toronto, Canada (YYZ).

Other American Airlines lounges and how to access them

In addition to Admirals Clubs, American Airlines has other lounges that passengers can visit if they have the right access.

Arrivals Lounge in London Heathrow

Shower suite in the Arrivals Lounge at London-Heathrow. (Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

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, Platinum Pro or ConciergeKey status. Oneworld Emerald status and British Airways Premier status will also get you access.

American Airlines Flagship lounges

Flagship Lounge at DFW. (Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

American Airlines also has Flagship lounges that offer premium sit-down dining, chef-inspired meals, cocktails, showers and much more. These lounges are located in Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX) and Miami (MIA) airports. A Flagship Lounge in Philadelphia will also be opening soon.

The following passengers can visit these lounges:

  • AAdvantage members with ConciergeKey status. 

  • American Airlines Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum elites.

  • Alaska MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold elites. 

  • Passengers flying on qualifying first and business class tickets (see qualifying routes here).

  • Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire elites.

  • Single visit pass holders. Passes can be purchased for $150 or 15,000 American Airlines miles at the lounge. If you purchase a day pass, you cannot bring in guests.

International First Class lounge in London Heathrow

This exclusive lounge is available to those flying international first class or ConciergeKey, Oneworld Emerald, AAdvantage Executive Platinum and AAdvantage Platinum Pro elites (regardless of cabin class). Elites must show proof of a same-day flight operated by American or another Oneworld airline.

Flagship Lounge and British Airways partner lounges at JFK

Through a new partnership with British Airways, American Airlines opened three premium lounges in New York-John F. Kennedy airport that are available to certain passengers flying on American Airlines, British Airways or Oneworld tickets.

The Chelsea Lounge, Soho Lounge and Greenwich Lounge are the names of these new lounges.

Chelsea Lounge at New York-JFK. (Photo courtesy of JT Genter)

The Chelsea Lounge is the most exclusive. Access is granted to those flying in Flagship First or Flagship Business Plus on certain international and transcontinental routes. ConciergeKey members on qualifying routes on American Airlines and British Airways long-haul flights also get access.

Soho Lounge at JFK. (Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

Access to the Soho Lounge has more flexible entrance requirements, allowing the following passengers to visit:

  1. Alaska’s MVP Gold 75K elites and AAdvantage Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members who are flying on qualifying same-day international or long-haul routes operated by American or any Oneworld airline.

  2. Any passengers flying on a Oneworld first class ticket between the U.S. and certain destinations.

  3. Oneworld Emerald elites flying on any Oneworld flight.

  4. ConciergeKey elites flying in any cabin on a Oneworld airline.

Next up is the Greenwich Lounge, which offers a cocktail bar, chef-inspired meals, showers, premium wine and more. Access is available to the following flyers:

  1. Alaska’s MVP Gold and AAdvantage Platinum elites who are traveling on a certain same-day international flight operated by American or any Oneworld carrier.

  2. Any passengers flying on a Oneworld business class ticket between the U.S. and certain destinations.

  3. Oneworld Sapphire elites flying on any Oneworld flight.

  4. Any passengers flying in business class on a Oneworld long-haul flight.

Final thoughts on accessing Admirals Clubs

Lounge access can be the lynchpin between a good flight experience and a great one. There are several ways to access American Airlines Admirals Club lounges, from having the right credit card to earning elite status with the airline. If you want a taste of the comforts, consider purchasing a day pass during your next American flight.

Frequently asked questions

You can access American Airlines lounges in several ways: buying a day pass or an Admirals Lounge Club membership; holding elite status with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or British Airways; holding Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status; traveling as a member of the military in uniform; flying on a business or first class ticket; or holding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

Yes, a one-day pass to American Airlines lounges can be purchased online or at select club locations for $79 or 7,900 AAdvantage miles.

Yes, passengers flying on American Airlines first class receive access to departure lounges around the world and the arrival lounge when landing at London-Heathrow.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

New Card Spotlight

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card


Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating

Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s $600 toward your next trip.

Read Full Review
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.