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American Airlines is raising prices of Admirals Club membership by $100 per year effective February 1. At the same time they’re reducing the mileage cost of membership — that’s still too expensive, though, since they’ll ‘only’ be giving you 1 cent per mile in value using miles to pay for membership. (Today’s mileage pricing is even worse.)
They are also eliminating household membership discounts. Adding a spouse as a member will be just buying them their own membership starting February 1.
With these changes the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® becomes an even better relative value. The card comes with Admirals Club membership. It also lets you add up to 10 authorized cardmembers at no additional annual fee, and each can access lounges themselves with up to 2 guests.
The card also has a day left offering 75,000 miles after $7500 spend within the first 3 months of cardmembership. [Offer expired]
And an even bigger deal, to me, effective November 1, 2019 same-day boarding passes on American Airlines, oneworld partner airlines, or Alaska Airlines will be required for entry.. This follows Delta and United was first with the same-day boarding pass restriction.
Under American’s literal published terms you would not be able to enter:
- with a prior day boarding pass in the event of a flight delay when a lounge remains open
- after a redeye flight (leaves one day, arrives the next)
- when flying on a non-alliance partner like Air Tahiti Nui or Fiji Airways
I reached out to American to see if they really intend to be so draconian, and a spokesperson
confirms that they do update: 11:26 a.m. Eastern: clarifies that “we’ll allow redeyes and delays into the lounge” despite the rule that says “[s]ame-day boarding passes … will be required for entry.” Hopefully agents will understand things as-intended, or American will update their website to make this clear.
American raised prices $50 – $100 in July 2016. Ironically it’s an historical accident that US airlines charge for lounge access at all rather than offering it to most elites.
Here are prices of a new Admirals Club membership. Renewals are $50 lower, and will be 5000 miles lower as well.
|Current Price (Cash)||February 1 Price (Cash)||February 1 Price (Miles)|
American promotes that they’ve added new clubs in Houston, Orlando, and a second Los Angeles club. Of course they’ve closed clubs too. The most most recent closure announcements are Hartford, Greensboro, and Caracas. The main New York JFK Admirals Club was eliminated to expand the business class Flagship lounge there.
Lounges do now include some more substantive food options such as avocado toast and made to order guacamole. They’re also testing new food in Houston, Phoenix, Chicago O’Hare and the Dallas Fort-Worth A club. I’m not a fan of the meatball sliders, but there ya go. I’m also not a fan of the redesign of the DFW A Club but opinions vary.
You have 3.5 months to renew at current pricing, and American lets you renew up to 4 months in advance. The reason you get membership is for better assistance during irregular operations. That’s why I keep my membership.
United’s pricing tops out at $550 for general members. Delta charges $495 without guest access for lounges with more robust food offerings, but $745 with complimentary guests. Delta offers slightly better than 1 cent per point when redeeming miles for membership and offers decent value spending miles for good champagne in the lounge.
I asked American whether we can expect to see a change to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and a spokesperson tells me “No changes to the Citi card.” It just seems crazy that someone who can get this card would pay for an Admirals Club membership.