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Seclusion from the hustle and bustle of normal airport traffic. Speedy wifi. Food. Drinks. Comfortable seating for naps. Outlets for recharging devices.

These are all things I value about airport lounges. What’s the most important amenity to you?

Now, we can all agree that, generally, lounges in the United States aren’t on the same level as international carriers’ abroad. But American Airlines lounges have greatly improved in the last year or two. They are also in the midst of renovating higher traffic lounges.

Check out the list of American Airlines lounges here.


An Admirals Club Membership, which provides you access to 50 American Airlines lounges and 40 partner lounges worldwide, costs $550 annually. The easiest and cheapest ways to gain access to all of these lounges is via the:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®, which grants access to yourself as well as a maximum of 32 other people to all Admirals Clubs. You can add up to 10 authorized users and each one will get access to American Airlines lounges for himself and two guests. They get the lounge access no matter what airline they’re flying, and even if you, the accountholder, are not present.
    • This card currently has a 60k sign up bonus for spending $5,000 within three months of opening the account, but that is changing on August 31, 2016– most likely to 50k.

You can also get access to all the Admirals Club lounges (along with Priority Pass lounges) with the:

  • Citi Prestige® Card, which offers American Airlines lounge access on any day you are flying American Airlines flights for you and either your spouse and kids or any two guests.
    • This benefit only applies to cardholders that apply by August 31, 2016. If you apply after, you will not get Admirals Club access. The benefit will end for all cardholders, no matter when you applied for the card, on July 23, 2017. If the Prestige is a card you were already considering, now is the time people! Note that nothing is changing regard the Priority Pass benefit.

Let’s take a look at some of the best Admirals Clubs.

5. LaGuardia International Airport, New York (LGA)

Terminal B, Concourse D

This lounge’s most appreciated quality is that it provides an escape from notoriously crappy Terminal B at LaGuardia, along with the notable views of New York. It looks pretty stylish and comfortable. Try to snag a window seat and watch planes take off and land amidst the backdrop of New York City’s skyline.


Sunday – Friday: 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday: 5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

4. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Terminal 2

This recently renovated Admirals Club is described as big, open, and clean with comfy seats. There is a big skylight and a few trees that contribute to a peaceful ambiance. It has also has showers.

Hours: Daily,  4:00 a.m. – 12:00 midnight

3. Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL)

Scott’s favorite American Airlines lounge is at Honolulu International Airport. It is shared with Japan Airlines and Air New Zealand Business Class passengers, so its offerings are slightly upgraded. You can’t beat its garden views.

It has tasty food options that are more of a meal than just snacks.


These yelp reviews rave about the customer service as being a stand-out quality. That can make all the difference if you have an undesirable seat or irregular operations/weather delays and need help rearranging flights.

Travelers with young children will also appreciate the large play area.

Hours: Daily, 5:45 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

2. Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Terminal A

Yelp reviews are pretty good for this Admirals Club. One yelper commented about the impressive showers: “They have 6 wall jets, a hand-held shower head AND a massive rainfall shower head”. Wifi is quick and there is plenty of seating and outlets.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 12.05.00 PM
Photo by Nelo Hotsuma

But the real reason this lounge is in second place is the “lounge within the lounge”.  There is no Flagship lounge at DFW, but there used to be. It is now just incorporated into the larger Terminal A Admirals Club, but not many people notice or know about it. One Mile at a Time gives directions on how to find it. What’s so great about it? It’s super quiet. No one is there. And it’s directly connected to a room with exercising equipment, which is pretty unique.

Hours: Daily, 4:45 a.m. – 10:15 p.m.

1. Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Japan (NRT)

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 8.47.50 AM
Photo by Nelo Hotsuma

Located near immigrations, this Admirals Club has many highlights. The food looks tasty, offering things such as burgers, sushi, salad, dumplings, pasta, fruit, cheese, crackers, and chocolate mousse. There are even automated beer dispensers.

American style outlets are located near seating so you don’t have to worry about converters. Reviews report good views of the runway and quick wifi. You can shower and nap (nearly every yelp review says its quiet) after a long international flight.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.36.42 AM


Thursday – Monday: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday & Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m

Bottom Line

I only focused on Admirals Clubs in this post, but you can also access Alaska Airlines lounges when flying American or Alaska on the same day, or select Qantas Clubs when departing on the same day on a Qantas operated flight or an American marketed flight operated by Qantas.

Did I leave out any of your favorite Admirals Clubs? Let us know in the comments which are your favorites and those that don’t deserve attention.

  • You get an Admirals Club membership by signing up for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. August 31, 2016 will be the last day to get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® sign up bonus of 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles.
  • You also get Admirals Club access by signing up for the Citi Prestige® Card by August 31, 2016, that will last through July 23, 2017.
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