American Airlines Closing Tokyo Narita Admirals Club in March 2020

American announced today that they’re closing their Tokyo Narita Admirals Club “around late March 2020,” with premium services agents moving over to work at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. This club was large, and had huge windows and plenty of light, but wasn’t as nice as the nearby Japan Airlines club.

It makes perfect sense that American would close this club.

Indeed, even Admirals CLub members flying American Airlines same day out of Tokyo Haneda can access the Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge there (regardless of elite status or class of service). This policy will be extended to Tokyo Narita as well.

A year ago American closed Hartford, Greensboro, and Caracas clubs. They shut down one of their two New York JFK clubs to expand their business class Flagship lounge.

Those aren’t all the club losses of course, they closed the second Boston club and years ago gave up Kansas City, San Juan, and Seattle years ago and in fairness they’ve added Houston and an additional club at LAX.

I’m not a fan of the new design palette myself, I find it institutional, but American has invested in redesigning clubs and they’ve improved the food offerings in several as well from breakfast tacos to the new mac and cheese bars (which Delta offered for some time).

The Narita club closure is fully expected. What I’d love to see is more openings and expansions because kicking out passengers not flying the airline same day isn’t really about reducing crowding, it’s about making it less enjoyable for club members to fly other airlines when they don’t have access to an airport club (in hopes they’ll stick with flying American).

The reason I’d like to see more clubs is because the agents inside are often the absolute best at keeping customers moving during irregular operations. Certainly the agents in the Austin club (and only the agents!) make membership worthwhile, and the same is true with the legacy American staff at Washington National. And after all, memberships aren’t getting cheaper.

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 »

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  1. The Sakura Lounges are allready jam packed. So now all those same flyers who were in admirals club will have access to Sakura? It will be more obnoxious than the old Centurian Lounge at DFW. Lounges are no longer an exclusive perk thats for sure. They seem to let in anyone these days..

  2. I’ve always been rather disappointing by the lounges in Japan. I would have thought a society so focused on service, and with airlines that provide such great on-board experiences, would have better lounges, but they really don’t.

    This is across airlines and private lounge operators, too.

  3. The problem with Sakura lounge crowding is that they let Premium Economy passengers in.

    Considering AA is moving flights to Haneda, I expect the net effect of both actions to reduce NRT Sakura crowding.

  4. We were at the Narita AA lounge and it was ok. We were Business Class so we were “allowed” in. If we were flying Economy as Executive Citi Card holders we would NOT be “allowed” into any of the Sakura lounges. Narita is an hour drive from central Tokyo where as Haneda can actually be reached by the Metro.

    It is the same thing with Boston Terminal E. Citi Card Executive can NOT access British Airways One World Lounge. Same thing at LHR BA T5 Lounges.

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