American already closed 23 airport lounges including all Flagship lounges and many Admirals Clubs. The airline has been consolidating operations at airports to handle fewer flights, so major hubs still have at least one club.
That will no longer be the case come Thursday. They attribute this to a desire to avoid large gatherings. With load factors on remaining flights averaging in the 20s, and from most of the photos of airports I’ve seen, there haven’t been very many large gatherings in Admirals Clubs.
American will temporarily close most Admirals Club lounges, but will maintain front desk customer service at large U.S. airports and at London’s Heathrow Airport. These changes go into effect beginning Thursday, March 26.
Team members working at the locations below will be available to offer travel assistance. To reduce large gatherings, lounge services — including all food and beverage offerings, restrooms and shower facilities — will be temporarily suspended.
The clubs with ‘service desks’ will be:
Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT), Concourse C
Chicago (ORD), Concourse H/K
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Terminals A, C and D
London Heathrow (LHR), Terminal 3
Los Angeles (LAX), Terminal 4
Miami (MIA), Gate D30
New York (JFK), Gate 12 (Flagship Lounge with temporary Admirals Club service)
New York (LGA), Concourse D
Philadelphia (PHL), Terminal B/C
Phoenix (PHX), Gate A7 and Gate A19
Washington (DCA), Terminal C
American Airlines Dallas Fort Worth Admirals Club A
Lounges at outstations which still had operating clubs will not even have service desks. That presumably means Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Denver; Houston; Nashville; Newark; Orange County; Orlando; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; St. Louis; Tampa; Mexico City; and Toronto.
It is not yet clear what will happen to club memberships when there aren’t clubs. American acknowledges they’re going to have to address this and also the annual fees being paid on premium Citi Executive cards which come with lounge membership.
However Sr. Vice President of Customer Experience Kurt Stache says they will ‘explore’ this “[a]s the travel mandates abate and the COVID-19 crisis subsides.” In the meantime I anticipate American will be losing membership renewals and Citi will shed some co-brand cardmembers. Quick action here would be helpful in retaining customers for a future where there are airport lounges again.