American Airlines Club In Charlotte Re-Opens After 6 Months. Only One Part Is Better.

The main American Airlines Admirals Club has re-opened in Charlotte. It was closed for 6 months for renovations. And travelers are wondering what was even accomplished.

One area though has been improved.

With just two clubs in Charlotte (DFW airport has 5) there’s frequently little seating available to begin with. Taking the main club offline and the sole remaining club had lines to get in (and when you’d finally get in, the place was packed).

Carpeting was replaced throughout the club. Furnishings received an update. But the primary work was fire-related, and according to a posed permit included:

demolition and renovation of 2 gang toilet rooms…includ[ing] demolition, millwork, doors, drywall, tile, acoustical ceilings, painting, toilet partitions and accessories, repalcement of plumbing fixtures, relocation of HVAC diffusers/grilles and electrical.

So six months of down time and the old US Airways style remains. I’m generally ok with that because the recent Admirals Club renovation model has been very institutional (in my opinion they made the Dallas ‘A’ club worse when renovating it, for instance).

The airline still needs another club in Charlotte – and has passed on several opportunities to open one, as American Express and The Club have expanded to the airport instead.

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. You’re the only pundit I’ve seen who’s making a special effort to be hyper-critical about what was done in Charlotte. I believe (based on your consistent harping) that’s because you seem to have a vendetta against American Airlines, and apparently want to see the airline liquidated.

    I’m guessing (and only guessing) that much of the update was done because there was a need to remove asbestos, since it was mentioned that the improvements were “fire-related.” That work takes extra time and costs extra money because asbestos has to be handled in a special way to protect the workers, and make sure the area is totally free of any remnants (my home was built with some asbestos-containing materials, so I’m familiar with the issues). I guess public and worker safety aren’t important considerations when people apparently want bad things to happen to those they hate.

  2. Thank you, American Airlines, for the excellent news that the CLT Admirals Club is now open. After six months of waiting, we can now poop in a remodeled bathroom while seated on a refreshed toilet featuring high-speed Wi-fi access.

  3. I have a love-hate relationship with American, but this does seem to be a damned if they do/damned if they don’t situation. If they didn’t renovate, I assume the post would be all about how dingy the club was and **when** are they going to renovate? I was there two weeks ago when it was still closed and they had grab and go sandwiches and drinks upstairs on the mezzanine in a conference room for club members. It wasn’t perfect, but I sat in a rocking chair, enjoyed my lunch and got on my flight. It was better than eating Panera in the gate area. Yes, they need more lounge space, but now this one’s back open which should ease congestion to some extent.

  4. Any asbestos-related work would be obvious (area sealed off, negative pressure, signs, etc.) and need to be permitted. I don’t think anyone has noted that, so that probably wasn’t done, if asbestos is even present in the terminal. Someone would need to check on when the terminal was built to know if that is even a possibility, as it’s been banned as pipe-insulation since 1975, for instance. The WTC had some as fire-insulation, but it was built the pre-1970 ban for spray-on fireproofing. (Generally speaking, the best policy with asbestos is to just leave it alone, unless it’s fraying or crumbling.)

  5. The answer is/was to build a new club or two. How Amex got that space but AA didn’t is a fail on AA’s part.

    then they could renovate the existing lounge in stages.

  6. I know I’m repeating myself, and what you’ve said before. But I’m going to keep saying it everywhere I can until they figure it out. They need a 3rd and probably 4th club in CLT.

  7. CLT is to be avoided, regardless of AA Clubs (or lack thereof). I began booking other airlines when traveling to the SE just to avoid CLT.

  8. Can anybody please clarify whether or not this lounge has showers? Do any of the lounges at CLT got ‘em?

  9. Thanks @ Gary, is there a way to find out which ones do have showers, I’ve been trying to figure out how to. The AA website isn’t helpful because it doesn’t tell you in detail. Anybody? Thanks guys.

  10. @Gravelly – The website for lounges lists amenities, including showers. Just type in your airport.

    I find that site infinitely useful, as it tells you which lounges you can access with X status and ticket. Sometimes the list is surprising. Like access to the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge at LHR with any oneworld ticket and Emerald Status (PlatPro and above). Will come in handy when AA moves back to Terminal 3.

  11. Got it! I’ll check it out. Thanks C_M! I sometimes find it confusing because of lack of accurate information on different websites. I’ll be on the lookout. Thank You.

  12. There was no asbestos abatement. This project is part of the life safety upgrades at the airport. Fire sprinkler and fire alarm were added to the club. While the club was closed, AA chose to renovate the restrooms. The rotunda dome ceiling was also changed to accommodate sprinklers. Now that the club is completed, you can see the ceiling has been removed outside the club to add sprinkler/alarm moving toward the atrium.

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