Just two days ago I wrote about American Airlines closing 11 lounges and restricting service in others. Now they’re further shuttering lounges.
- All Flagship lounges except New York JFK are closed. That means LAX, Dallas Fort-Worth, Miami, and Chicago O’Hare’s lounges have closed. In the previous update the JFK Flagship lounge became the ADmirals Club, and the Admirals Club there closed.
- All Flagship Dining – New York JFK, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas Fort Worth – have closed.
- Additional closures: In addition to those previously announced Charlotte B concourse; Dallas Fort Worth B concourse, LAX Eagles Nest; Philadelphia Terminal A and Terminal F; Phoenix B5; San Diego ‘Airspace Lounge’ (which welcomes Admirals CLub members) closes Friday, March 20, at 7 p.m.; Washington National B concourse
- Reduced hours: Atlanta (6 a.m. – 7 p.m.); Austin (6 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.); Boston (5:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.); Charlotte C concourse (6 a.m. – 10 p.m.); Chicago O’Hare H/K concourse (5 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.); Dallas Fort Worth A (5 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.); Dallas Fort Worth C (4:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.); Denver (6:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.); Houston (6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.); Nashville (6:45 a.m. = 6:45 p.m.); Newark (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, closing at 5:00 p.m. on weekends); New York LaGuardia (5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m); Orange County (5:45 a.m. to 5 p.m); Orlando (6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m); Philadelphia B/C (5 a.m. to 9 p.m); Phoenix A7 (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and A19 (6 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Pittsburgh (6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m); Raleigh (6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.); St. Louis (6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.); Tampa (6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.); Mexico City (7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.); Toronto (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday – Friday and 5:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday)
American Airlines Admirals Club DFW Concourse A
Many clubs are forbidden by regulation from serving alcohol. I don’t follow the logic of this restriction, since non-alcoholic beverages are still permitted. Strong enough alcohol and passengers would actually have hand sanitizer.
Many clubs are only permitted to serve ‘to go’ food. Since regulations vary from location to location, in some clubs the to go food may be eaten in the lounges, and in other cases eating lounge food in the lounge isn’t permitted.
These lounge closures make complete sense – American is flying only 3 long haul international routes (Dallas – London and Miami – London plus Dallas – Tokyo three times a week) so international business class lounges don’t make sense. The overall reduced flight schedule means fewer passengers and flights at compressed times. I’m surprised there are still 3 Admirals Clubs open in Dallas – though the airport is spread out and it’s difficult to fly from one terminal and use a club in another.
This is sad for the airline, and for premium services staff. While I’ve had my quibbles with food choices I do appreciate the improvements in the clubs in recent years. The Flagship lounges have been great, no not as nice as United Polaris lounges but open to many more customers than United’s business class lounges. Admirals Clubs have had guacamole and avocado toast stations (funded by Mastercard, and downgraded since first introduced) plus many lounges have been renovated – not to my taste, but certainly with better self serve soda machines!
Minutiae may seem trivial at this time but thinking back on them, I realize how much I’ve appreciated the effort. Mostly though I’ve appreciated the people. The ladies in the Austin club (they’ev all been ladies) have been amazing, taking care of me during the worst of American’s operational challenges.
I haven’t been in during recent days to offer support, and I feel badly about that too. After 9/11 I brought treats to my local United Airlines City Ticket Office to support the employees that I’d gotten to know and had been so helpful to me over the years. I sobbed a little bit thinking about the people who have done so much for me over the past several years, and that I haven’t been in a position to do much for lately.
If anyone has ideas how to offer your friendly airline employees support – hopefully still working, but airside – I’d love to hear it in the comments.