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Once checked in in the departures hall, and without a bag to check, I proceeded upstairs to clear formalities.
Once you cross through passport control and security, you’ll head towards gate 9 — which is in the opposite direction from the American Airlines gates, but none are especially fare — and then head upstairs.
American has built a new lounge, quite stylish, and I wanted to check it out. On the same level is the LAN lounge, and as a oneworld top tier member presumably I could have checked that out, but I was especially interested in what American had done with the first of its new template Admirals Clubs.
The entrance features 3 desks for agents that are similar to the newly redone section of Dallas Fort Worth’s terminal A — free-standing, rather than large and bulky.
The lounge itself is furnished in white, plenty of light, and a glass wall looking out to the terminal.
It features restrooms and showers…
There’s comfortable seating and dining area seating.
And there’s a buffet that’s quite good by American Airlines lounge standards (I thought the food was actually a bit better than in some Flagship lounges).
There’s also a self-serve bar.
Don’t bother taking bottles of water from the refrigerator with you when you are leaving the lounge, though, as there’s a security check planeside for US-bound flights that will confiscate liquids over three ounces.
One thing that struck me, though, for a brand new lounge operated by an American flag carrier — there were no North American-style power outlets! Fortunately I had an adapter, but it still struck me as extremely odd.
The other thing that struck me about the lounge is just how busy it is. American has a Dallas, a New York, and two Miami flights.
While this serves as Iberia’s lounge, their flights leave around noon and midnight so shouldn’t much conflict with American’s needs.
Nonetheless, with every business and first class passenger gaining access, and every mid-tier oneworld elite member and higher even flying in economy gaining access, 124 seats turns out not to be very many. It gets crowded. And being packed into a lounge, having a tough time finding solitude and space, is the one thing more than any other that takes away from a lounge experience for me.
American has a gorgeous new facility in Buenos Aires, it just isn’t big enough for the flights there at peak times.