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All The Ways To Access American Airlines’ Admirals Club

If you’ve flown with American Airlines or through one of its many major destinations, you may have noticed the Admirals Club. Open to the airline’s elite flyers, these lounges (usually) provide a way to grab some food and beverages before a flight, get some work done, or freshen up with a shower. While it might seem like only those in the front of the plane or high-rolling AAdvantage members can enter, there are several (much cheaper) ways to enter as well. Here’s all you need to know.
Premium tickets
Perhaps the most complicated way to enter the Admirals Club (ironically) is with a qualifying business or first class ticket. Many have been caught out by the entry requirements if you’re flying in premium cabins. American doesn’t allow domestic first class members to enter without status or a card, reserving this only for international passengers. You can enter any Admiral Club if you’re flying:
Flagship Business or Flagship First between New York JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Orange County and from Los Angeles to Boston or Miami (transcontinental routes)
Flagship Business or First between Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago to Hawaii
Business or first class when flying with American or oneworld member between the US and Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand, and South America
Photo: American Airlines
Note that flights marketed by JetBlue and flown by American, except routes to and from Europe, are also eligible for entry to the Admirals Club until 31st January 2024. Alaska Airlines first class passengers also can’t use Admirals Clubs when flying to Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico (not Mexico City).
Speaking of guest access, passengers in international first class can bring one guest, while those in business cannot bring any.
Love learning about points and miles? Read more of our loyalty news and guides here.
AAdvantage and oneworld elite members
If you’re one of American’s elite flyers, you’re probably familiar with the Admirals Club, and the rules to enter. You can enter if you’re:
an AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum
and flying on an international flight between the US and Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand, and South America
Photo: American Airlines
As always, it’s actually better to be a non-American oneworld elite member when it comes to lounge access. You can also access the Admirals Club if you have oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status with another carrier. The rules vary for US-based programs, however:
Alaska Airlines MVP Gold, Gold 75K, and Gold 100K can only access the lounge when flying between the US and Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, New Zealand, and South America or on Flagship-marked transcontinental flights from New York JFK and Los Angeles (in any cabin).
All other oneworld elites can access the lounge before any flight with American or another member airline.
However, all elite members get to bring one guest (traveling on an oneworld flight) to the Admirals Club (children under two do not count as a guest).
Read more about elite status with American Airlines here!
Citi/AAdvantage Executive Cardholders
For those who don’t want to necessarily spend for first class tickets or earn towards elite status, credit cards are the next best option. In particular, you’ll need the Citi/AAdvantage Executive credit card, the highest-end offering from the carrier. You’ll get 70,000 miles for signing up, an annual Admirals Club membership, an earning rate of 4 miles per $1 spent on travel with American (10 miles on hotels and car bookings with American), 1 mile per $1 spent on other spends, and 1 Loyalty Point toward per dollar spent.
All of this won’t come cheap, it’s $595 per year. However, the airline is quick to point out that it’s cheaper than an annual membership alone (more on that in the next section) and there are plenty of travel perks too. You get priority check-in, security, Group 4 boarding, and two free checked bags for all companions too just by taking out the card.
Photo: American Airlines
You can enter the lounge by showing your physical credit card, a government ID, and your same-day boarding pass for any American or oneworld flight. Guest access includes any immediate family members (spouse, partners, and children under 18) or two guests. Note that you get the same lounge access benefits as an annual member, as listed below, including Qantas Clubs.
Annual membership and one-day pass
For those who aren’t interested in the credit card can still purchase an annual membership to the Admirals Club. Prices recently went up to $850 per year starting July (previously $650) while renewing your membership rose to $800 (prev. $600). However, the membership also gives you access to:
All Alaska Airlines lounges (when flying with American or Alaska)
Qantas Clubs (when flying with Qantas or transpacific with American)
Select partner lounges
Domestic and international Admirals Club locations
You can also any immediate family or up to two guests into the lounge while flying.
Photo: American Airlines
If you just want to try out the lounge on a particularly long layover, you can buy a one-time pass for $79 (up from $59). Note that the lounge has the right to turn away customers with one-time passes due to capacity restrictions, something that has been happening more commonly due to crowding. In a statement about current issues of crowding, a spokesperson for American Airlines said,
“American Airlines is dedicated to delivering an enjoyable experience for our customers, including providing complimentary snacks, beverages, and meals based on flight region and length of flight.”
Military members
If you’re an active duty US military member traveling in uniform you may access any Admirals Club (domestic or international) along with immediate family or up to two guests. This is subject to capacity and excludes the Airspace Lounge in San Diego and the JAL Sakura Lounge in Honolulu. You’ll need a military ID and same-day boarding pass to enter as well.
What do you think about American Airlines’ Admiral Clubs? Would you purchase a membership to access the Club more frequently? Let us know in the comments!



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