American Airlines is getting a huge new Admirals Club lounge in Charlotte. In fact, it will be the airline’s largest lounge, but it will take a couple of years to come to fruition.
Currently the Charlotte airport has two Admirals Clubs. The main club is at the intersection of the C and D concourses and there is a second club on the B concourse. Since the gate areas of the terminal are beyond packed, with less maneuvering room than passengers have in American Airlines economy even, a premium space has even more value in Charlotte than most other airports.
Here’s the existing club space:
It’s frankly quite awful and in need of a tear down. For instance, this is the door from the men’s room into the main lounge:
I’ve written for a long time that the Charlotte airport needs another American Airlines Admirals Club, though I’d certainly like to see one on the E concourse. For context, Charlotte has just 2 Admirals Clubs against capacity of 700 American Airlines flights, while Dallas – Fort Worth has 5 clubs to 900 American flights.
As first reported by aviation watchdog JonNYC, it appears American Airlines is working with the Charlotte airport to move the main C/D Admirals Club to upper level space in the D-E connector area. That will allow the airport to repurpose the current Admirals Club space for “a new passenger destination and experience at the departures level that will provide increased financial returns to the airport” according to airport planning documents I’ve reviewed.
still a couple years off, maybe I should have mentioned 🙂 pic.twitter.com/YG7QTFtnli
— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) March 17, 2023
At 40,000 square feet, the lounge would be 50% larger than the Virgin Clubhouse at London Heathrow. (I believe the world’s largest airport lounge is a tie between the Emirates first and business class lounges on the A concourse in Dubai, an entire floor in the terminal each they clock in at 136,000 square feet.) It would also be more accessible to the E gates, though farther most passengers.
The first half of last year the main Charlotte Admirals Club was closed mostly for fire-related work. It seemed strange at the time that they didn’t do much else to the lounge while it was shut down anyway since it’s in poor shape and still maintains its old US Airways design. The plan for a new lounge would explain why they didn’t invest the money.
American has a new design template for its clubs which is gorgeous. If they invest at the level of their new design in Charlotte, it will be worth any additional walk to get there.
Update: American Airlines offers a statement explaining that the new club is in its early exploration stages,
American Airlines is committed to its hub at Charlotte International Airport (CLT) and we continue to work with the airport on the ongoing redevelopment project. We have no announcement to share at this time.