Ultimate Guide To American Airline Lounges

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Sweet, glorious airport lounge experiences. There’s nothing quite like it, especially in the overcrowded, buzzy airports of the U.S. of A.

When it comes to American-based airlines, there’s one that comes to mind first thanks to its clever name… American Airlines. Well done on the (not so creative but very sticky) branding. 👏

And to tie all of this together, yes, American Airlines has its very own set of lounges. So if you’re wondering how you can get into the American-specific airport lounge, you’re in the right place!

Let’s take off into all things American Airlines Lounges.

What is an American Airlines Lounge?

These are airport lounges affiliated with good ole’ American Airlines—the perfect place to relax pre-flight, and in some cases, post-flight.

In case you’re new to airport lounges, welcome to your new favorite part of travel! An airport lounge is an exclusive access hub in an airport that gives you space on your travel day to kick back, relax, and not pay $100 for airport burritos 🌯

Seeing as the American Airlines lounges are affiliated with American Airlines, you might think you can only find these in American Airlines hubs, but there are over 50 locations globally. You certainly can find these in American hubs (and some of the best ones at that!), but you’ll also find American lounges internationally (and in perhaps some surprise locations).

Types of American Airline Lounges

American Airlines Admirals Club

Courtesy of American Airlines

These are your standard lounges brought to you by American Airlines. You can expect:

  • High-speed WiFi

  • Complimentary snacks

  • House Drinks

  • Cozy chairs

In some locations, you might find shower suites, business suites, and made-to-order food. Starting in 2023, American prioritized their lounge experiences. They began to enhance the food & drinks, along with the design of the lounges.

Goodbye outdated airport carpet, hello modern looks.

American Flagship Lounge

Courtesy of American Airlines

These are American’s premium international lounges designed with the first-class traveler in mind. In these premium lounges, you can expect:

  • Chef inspired meals

  • Specialty cocktail bars & wine bars — Cheers!

  • Shower suites because yes, yes you do need a shower on travel days.

  • Personalized service

And of course, you can expect plenty of seating.

American Airlines Arrivals Lounge

This is my personal favorite type of airport lounge and such a gem when you can experience one. However, there’s only one American Airlines Arrivals Lounge and it’s in London Heathrow Airport.

How to access American Airline Admirals Club Lounge

These standard American Airlines lounges have the most ways to gain access. We’ll start with arguably the easiest way, and our general favorite way to access airport lounges around here.

1. Credit Cards

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is the go-to card for frequent American Airlines travelers and gives you full Admirals Club access when flying American or one of its OneWorld partners. 

While this card comes with a $595 annual fee, that’s still cheaper than purchasing a membership. Plus, the card comes with more premium perks and benefits.

2. Buy an Admirals Club Membership

Speaking of purchasing a membership, here’s what you can expect to pay if you’re not holding the previously mentioned card:

You can also pay for this membership with miles at 1 cent per mile. Not the best of the best use of miles, but hey if it’s worth it to you… 🤷‍♀️

3. Purchase a Day Pass

Continuing on the cash or miles topic… You can also snag yourself a Day Pass for $79 or 79,000 AA miles. The important thing to note here is that if an Admirals Club is at full capacity for the day, even if you hold a day pass, you may not get access.

4. Fly First or Business Class

…on eligible flights. I’m just going to let the American Airlines site break down the eligibility for you:

Pretty solid amount of route options for you there 👆

5. Status helps

If you have Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Platinum status with American Airlines and are flying a Oneworld flight, you can join this lounge party.

Or if you have Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status, and again are flying a Oneworld flight that day, you too get access to these lounges 🤗

6. Active Duty Military

If you are active duty and are flying in uniform on a same-day American Airlines flight, you are also welcome into the American Airlines Admirals Club.

How to access American Flagship Lounge

Let’s turn the luxury up a notch. You can currently find the Flagship Lounges in Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York City (JFK). There are three main ways to access the Flagship lounges.

1. Eligible First and Business Class Flights

The eligible flights are same-day flights that are ticketed as Flagship by American, a oneworld partner, or marketed by Jet Blue operated by American.

The routes are as follows.

International flights between the U.S. and:

  • Asia

  • Australia

  • Europe

  • Middle East

  • New Zealand

  • South America (excluding: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela)

You can also access Flagship lounges on connections during the day of your international travel.

Transcontinental Flights between:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK)

  • LAX and Miami (MIA)

  • LAX and Boston (BOS)

  • JFK and San Francisco (SFO)

  • JFK and Orange County (SNA)

And other domestic routes:

  • Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and Honolulu (HNL)

  • DFW and Kona (KOA)

  • DFW and Maui (OGG)

  • Chicago (ORD) and HNL

  • Charlotte (CLT) and HNL

2. Once again - Status helps!

But they can’t just make it cut and dry for us here. If you have status with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or Oneworld status, you might be able to get into a Flagship lounge, but it all depends on the itinerary you’re traveling on.

This holds true if you have Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Platinum with American or MVP Gold 75K or MVP Gold with Mileage Plan through Alaska, and you are traveling on a same-day international ticket operated by American, a Oneworld partner, or marketed by JetBlue operated by American.

<Takes breath> Did you catch all of that?!

If you solved that word problem, then you can enter a Flagship Lounge.

If you have Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status, then… are you ready for it?

You can access the Flagship Lounge if you are departing, arriving, or connecting to any same-day flight marketed and operated by American or a Oneworld airline. Regardless of cabin or destination.

Oh, thanks for making that one simple for us to take in. 😅

3. Single Visit Pass

The final way to join the Flagship fun is by paying for a one-time pass.

It’s $150 or 15,000 miles, and you can be traveling in any cabin on an American or Oneworld flight.

Your pass is only valid the day you purchase it, and no guests are available on a single visit pass.

How to access the American Arrivals Lounge 😍

Arrivals Lounges are my favorite type of lounge. I love being able to decompress, eat a snack, and SHOWER after a long overnight flight. And that is what the American Arrivals Lounge is designed for.

There is only one American Arrivals Lounge, and it is located in London Heathrow International Airport (thanks, London).

You can access the Arrivals Lounge if you flew on American to LHR the same day and flew in on Flagship First, Flagship Business Plus, or Flagship Business.

Or here comes the status perks… if you’re AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro, ConciergeKey, Oneworld Emerald, or British Airways Premier, you also get access.

Speaking of British Airways, you can also access the arrivals lounge if you’re on a same-day long-haul international British Airways flight that arrives at Terminal 3 on First or Business class.

Bottom Line

American Airlines offers a variety of ways to access their lounges and several other types of lounges. One of the best ways if you’re a frequent traveler is by signing up for an American Airlines credit card, which will save you money on an annual membership.

Like most lounges, you are required to bring a government-issued ID along with a same-day boarding pass, which in most cases, must be operated by American or a Oneworld partner.

Happy lounging!

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