Review: American Airlines Admirals Club Buenos Aires

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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.

(Update: power adapters are available to borrow from any staff member in the lounge.)

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.

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. I suppose this is EZE, not AEP, right? Well, LAN and TAM have quite a bit of traffic out of there, and even though there is a LAN lounge there might be quite a few pax from these carriers there as well.

  2. Next trip down, stop by the Centurion club. The main room is pretty nice and there is a separate room for Centurion card holders with better champagne and meals ordered from a menu. Not the greatest food but a nice, quiet place to pass the wait.

  3. I saw the AA lounge on my way to the *A lounge and it did seem quite small and busy. It also looked and felt like an aquarium because everybody walking the hallway can look in the lounge and the lack of windows with an outside view did not help that feeling.

  4. @Gary – If I remember correctly, the US style outlets are prohibited by code in Argentina. My mom was doing some renovations in her condo and they couldn’t put them in. Not sure if that was true or the electrical contractor was making it up….lol.

  5. Certainly an upgrade over the GRU club. I agree with your comment about crowds and a diminished lounge experience. While I haven’t been to the EZE Club since the redo, I find a similar situation in most airline lounges these days. Some feel like day care centers. The crowds are not conducive to business or relaxation at all. Often I can find better solitude in the main terminal area near a non-active gate. I have AMEX Centurion / Priority Pass / Lounge Club access via credit cards. Otherwise I won’t pay to renew any airline lounge memberships in 2015.

  6. @Agnel – interesting. Seems like they might have a sign saying “if you need an adapter let us know we have them” or something to that effect..

  7. @DFWSteve – not sure if AA’s lounge is already open, but the new lounges in GRU T3 are MUCH better than the old ones. I’ve been to *A lounge and it looks great, though the food still leaves A LOT to be desired.

  8. @Denis – good point, no, I haven’t been in the new T3 lounges at GRU. My last visit there was about 18 months ago. So my opinion may be out of date. Frankly, I’ve been spoiled by the fantastic Centurion Club at my home airport DFW. Rarely visit the Admirals Clubs at DFW anymore.

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