American Airlines raises Admirals Club fees, but teases some upgrades

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Visiting the American Airlines Admirals Club is getting more expensive and (hopefully) more inviting.

On Monday, the Fort Worth-based carrier announced increased fees for visiting the airport lounges, which kick in as of July 23 — the same day that changes are being made to the popular Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

American is raising the cost of an annual membership by $200, and it’s also increasing the cost of a one-day pass by $20 (from $59 to $79 per pass).

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The airline is also raising the mileage cost for accessing the club: Memberships will start at 85,000 miles, while one-day passes will soon cost 7,900 miles. (Both of these redemptions represent a value of 1 cent per mile, far below TPG’s valuation of 1.77 cents per mile.)


American sells individual and household Admirals Club memberships, and it also offers discounts for elite status holders. You’ll find the full breakdown of updated annual rates at the bottom of this story. Note that renewals will be processed at the new rates, effective Sept. 10.

Of course, these new fees sting for anyone who has enjoyed the existing rates over the past few years. At $850, an entry-level annual membership to the Admirals Club now costs much more than Delta Sky Club ($695) and United Club ($650) membership.

(Despite the increased fees, accessing the Admirals Club via the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard still remains a compelling value and one that I’ll likely keep taking advantage of.)

To offset the fee increases, American is promising some improvements to the lounge experience that include revamped buffets, more extensive drink offerings and redesigned spaces.

The catering upgrades include “complimentary premium food” with new hot and cold options for breakfast and all-day dining. The airline’s teasing regionally inspired dishes, such as Cuban pork sliders in Miami and mini crabcakes in Washington, D.C.

Furthermore, American will add grab-and-go snack offerings at “select lounges” in the coming weeks.

The improvements to the food offerings will start rolling out in select cities July 23 and will expand to all domestic Admirals Clubs by early 2024.

In terms of drinks, American is enhancing the liquor offerings with complimentary sparkling wine, craft beer, spirits and cocktails, such as mimosas and bloody marys, coming to the entire domestic lounge network starting this month.

Finally, the airline is reiterating its plans to open two new lounges in the coming months — one in Denver and another in Newark. These new clubs have been in the works for years, and they’re both expected to feature American’s new design motifs that rolled out in October at the new club at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

American Admirals Club DCA Reagan National

While travel seems to be getting more expensive across the board, it’s interesting that American is now leading the pack with its increased lounge fees, especially because the airline has long offered perhaps the least inviting lounge experience of the Big Three U.S. airlines.

Delta keeps building newer and nicer Sky Clubs, and United has promised some serious upgrades to its clubs, some of which are already on display in Newark (with upcoming openings in Denver starting later this summer).

Except for the new DCA lounge, the experience at Admirals Clubs isn’t nearly as premium as at United Clubs and certainly Delta Sky Clubs — after all, just take a look at the buffet.


Assuming American makes good on its promises, this should certainly be a welcome improvement for Admirals Club visitors.

I, for one, can’t wait until the airline finally moves on from cheese cubes, crackers and hummus as its all-day dining fare.

Related reading:

American’s new Admirals Club membership rates

The following rates are in U.S. dollars.

Membership type General member AAdvantage Gold AAdvantage Platinum AAdvantage Platinum Pro AAdvantage Executive Platinum
Individual – new $850 $825 $800 $775 $750
Individual – renewal $800 $775 $750 $725 $700
Household – new $1,650 $1,625 $1,600 $1,575 $1,550
Household – renewal $1,600 $1,575 $1,550 $1,525 $1,500


The following rates are in AAdvantage miles.

Membership type General member AAdvantage Gold AAdvantage Platinum AAdvantage Platinum Pro AAdvantage Executive Platinum
Individual – new                 85,000                  82,500                         80,000                                77,500                                          75,000
Individual – renewal                 80,000                  77,500                         75,000                                72,500                                          70,000
Household – new               165,000                162,500                       160,000                              157,500                                        155,000
Household – renewal               160,000                157,000                       155,000                              152,550                                        150,000