American Airlines Introduces Return Of Hot Food To Lounges

American Airlines has re-opened 15 Admirals Clubs at their hubs and they’re offering ‘service centers’ in 12 cities for club members to get assistance with reservations.

In re-opened clubs a full bar is offered where permitted by local regulation, and packaged snacks are offered. They’ve added plexiglass shields at reception and at service desks, and in some cases foot-operated door openers for restrooms. There are also hand sanitizer stations and floor decals to promote social distancing.

On Monday I told you to expect an announcement about the return of hot food in Admirals Club lounges this month. That news is out.

  • Complimentary breakfast: complimentary customizable scrambled eggs or oatmeal starts August 12
  • Complimentary afternoon fare: customizable mac and cheese along with garden vegetable; southwest corn; tomato portobello and butternut squash soups start August 12
  • Food for sale: all day paid offerings return August 19

Complimentary food will be prepared by “[g]loved and masked team members..behind protective acrylic screens at a safe social distance” and will be served “in disposable containers.” Paid food will be “accessed using QR codes.”

Specific food will vary by lounge, with deep dish pizza a paid option at O’Hare and a brisket sandwich at DFW, along barbecue pork or chicken sandwiches; cuban, turkey club, or mediterranean vegetable sandwiches; caesar salad and chicken bites along with pretzels and cheese, and a southwest quesadilla. These new food items are in addition to prepackaged snacks that have already been on offer.

American Airlines executives have frequently talked about watching what the competition does and making sure their product gets upgraded to be in the same range that other airlines are offering. Delta has been offering a much more robust food product, so it’s not surprising that American feels a need to improve theirs as well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Ugh, the fomite theater continues. It matters less whether it’s self-serve than that people, unmasked, might be breathing in each other’s faces.

  2. I have been craving the Mac and Cheese.

    This pandemic and the lack of hot food at the Admirals club has forced me to lose 10 pounds.

  3. I was in CLT on Sunday. It was M-T. Like, count on one hand. The cold food offering at breakfast was a snack bag with warm yoghurt, a lousy bagel and a warm, !, cream cheese, a small plastic box of nuts, and another small plastic box of spicy snacks. I don’t know who dreamt that up. The food at the clubs was never anything to write home about but come on. Also, it’s been how many months now that the CDC and other medical authority have admitted that there’s no proof of fomite transmission? How long can this kabuki theater of no self serve foods continue? Especially if mask wearing remains.

  4. (Rant)

    JFK offers nothing but a “snack bag” and that’s ONLY when you are leaving the lounge!

    Delta in T4 has a full bar and food!

    So “local restrictions” means JFK T8 but not JFK T4??

    AA’s Twitter team claims it’s for my “safety”


  5. I think the term “hot food” to describe items such as grits or soup is misleading, to say the least. 🙂

    Nonetheless I always appreciate the updates from you Mr. Leff.

  6. Gary, thank you for letting us know that the deep-dish pizza is a PAID option at the American Airlines Admirals Club in O’Hare. As we can pay for entry to the club using our valuable AAdvantage frequent flyer miles, will passengers have the option of paying for high-end luxury gourmet food offerings like the pandemic pepperoni pizza with AAdvantage miles?

  7. @Gary would you kindly reach out to your AA contacts and ask why JFK is under “local restrictions”. The “premium transcon experience” starts with a lounge with bottled water only and a “sad snack sack” provided ONLY when leaving the lounge!

    Delta in T4 has full bar and real food. Surely “local restrictions” don’t vary between terminals?

  8. Agreed about the ridiculousness at JFK….it’s at LGA too….DL has a full bar open and tons of fresh food options…..again same airport…same city….AA is lying to people.

  9. United lounges have totally downgraded and cheapened the offerings by only putting out packaged snacks. They could (if they wanted to) offered fresh food in sealed off individual dishes (covered with plastic wrap) but that would take too much time, effort and $$ to have contracted workers (who usually put out and refresh the food) to this. Going in there now isn’t worth the added cost….and even when I access for free, these packaged junk food isn’t worth it. Cost cutting at it’s finest.

Comments are closed.