American’s Second High-End Admirals Club Now Open At Newark Airport

The American Airlines Admirals Club in Washington National airport’s E Concourse is absolutely stunning and a huge departure from the institutional design rolled out in spring 2018.

With an increase in club membership fees and Citi premium co-brand annual fee also comes a modestly bigger investment in lounge food (like sweet chili meatballs in Austin).

American has opened its second Admirals Club that follows the elevated design template pioneered at Reagan National. The Newark airport Admirals Club by gates A7 and A8 is 7,050 square feet – not large, but hopefully capacity for 137 seats is large enough given the carrier’s wholly domestic footprint at the airport.

Credit: American Airlines

The lounge design offers “serene pavilions found in park-like settings…[featuring] incorporation of elements like wood, stone, metal accents, and greenery – exuding tranquility.”

To infuse an industrial touch into the lounge, a dark metal frame surround, inspired from bridge frame construction, with the monolithic appearance of the American Airlines flight symbol can be found in the reception area.

The lounge space is adorned with unique lighting as a nod to Thomas Edison’s invention of the Edison bulb and his home and lab being in West Orange, NJ.

In an homage to Newark’s nickname, ‘Brick City’, the dining pavilion features brick to highlight the typical construction material used in the northeastern region.

Credit: American Airlines

Credit: American Airlines

Credit: American Airlines

Like the lounge at National airport, there’s a fireplace in the center. There’s “local nature-inspired art – including renowned Newark cherry blossoms from Branch Brook Park” and a view of airport operations from a variety of seating areas. 90% of seats have access to power and USB ports, and several side tables offer charging pads.

Soft elements of the lounge include:

  • Zoned music and mood lighting

  • High-end coffee machines and Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, which are outstanding at the other Admirals Clubs where offered.

  • Grab and go options, plus:

    • Breakfast: “Belgian waffles, a seasonal quiche tartlet, premium fruit, bacon and locally sourced pastries”
    • All day: “Pastrami sliders, falafel served with cucumber tzatziki, a quinoa, kale and edamame salad, an antipasto salad, locally sourced meats and cheeses and premium desserts, including black and white cookies, brownies, and seasonal macrons.”
    • Local beer: Flying Fish Brewing Co. Hopfish IPA

Credit: American Airlines

Credit: American Airlines

Next up should be the Denver Admirals Club. Austin was announced nearly two years ago but no work has been done (and seems likely to ultimately be in a different location than what was announced). There are no other Admirals Clubs currently announced in the pipeline to receive this new design approach, unfortunately.

I’ll look forward to using Newark on an upcoming New York trip to see what American has put together with this new lounge. If they’d pull forward further investment along these lines, then the elevated cost of lounge access could be worthwhile.

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. Weird to me that AA’s spending money on lounges when they are deficient severely in other ways that reduce their bottom line.

    What incremental customer business is there to be gained from a slightly improved lounge?

    And will AA ensure receptionists are trained in proper greetings? I was at the JFK Flagship Lounge back when it existed and I had a Flagship First ticket. I didn’t receive a dining invitation proactively, so I asked very politely whether I’d be eligible for dining access. The drone behind the counter pored over my ticket, then handed me a dining invitation, all without making eye contact, saying a word, or smiling.

  2. @Geary
    Giving someone training on how to greet guests properly does not mean that person will greet guests properly.

  3. High end hahahahha also Newark???? I really think that AA leadership are missing some brain cells.

  4. Lovely, but Newark? I guess they had to do this since AA is operating from a brand new terminal, but this feels like a waste, given that all AA serves from EWR is hub traffic, but whatever….hopefully, though they will train (and dress) the customer service agents who work these lounges to match the new product. I was barked at by the Chelsea Lounge attendant last week when I asked why my LHR flight was delayed.

  5. You must have copy and pasted the paragraph that included “Reagan National” – you would have never typed it. Makes sense since there were no spelling errors either.

  6. Glad to see AA investing in clubs. The pictures show a vast improvement compared to the old club at EWR. Unfortunately, I was at EWR twice in June and they had already closed the old club but the new one wasn’t open yet. But I was blown away by the new Terminal A at EWR which is an immeasurable improvement from AA’s old terminal there; I thought we had landed at the wrong airport.

    Also, it would be nice if instead of just renovating clubs that AA would add some expansion targets such as reopening the one at IAD (or partner with BA there which took over the old AA club space) and adding one at LAS.

    Finally, while they’re thankfully adding space in some of the renovations, AA really need to put more effort into solving the club overcrowding and other problems they’ve created. In the 1990s when I first joined the Admirals Club, they were advertised as an Oasis in the Sky away from the commotion of the terminal and they were. Now, many clubs are overcrowded and seem like Nurseries in the Skies where indifferent parents release their large brood to noisily romp around the club while grabbing the food at the buffets with their hands.

  7. Thanks, Gary, for telling us about the new Newark club. Newark EWR can be a more convenient option than LGA for us carless New Yorkers as EWR is directly accessible by commuter trains (even Amtrak), and has an AirTrain. It’s nice to see AA paying some positive attention to our area.

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