The American Airlines Admirals Club at LAX is located airside (after security) in terminal 4 near gate 40. It’s a co-op lounge shared with the Qantas Club. Open to premium cabin passengers on international flights, first class passengers on three-cabin JFK flights, Admirals Club card holders, oneworld elite members (sapphire and emerald) traveling on international itineraries and those wishing to pay the $50 entrance fee, the Admirals Club at LAX is one of the better domestic lounges you will find belonging to any of the legacy carriers. You do not need to fly American Airlines to use this lounge.
Lounge amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, PCs with internet access, complimentary snacks and house drinks, showers, an enclosed children’s room and two conference rooms. The lounge is open daily from 4:00 AM to 1:00 AM.
On this trip, I was flying first class on American Airlines’ A321T service to JFK. That granted me access to both the Admirals Club at LAX and the Flagship First Class Lounge located within the Admirals Club. Walking to the lounge from security, I followed the signs to the Admirals Club. I presented my boarding pass to the front desk agent, was granted entry and given a key card for the Flagship Lounge.
American Airlines Admirals Club at LAX:
The lounge is a large space with the main seating/dining area located along the windows facing the ramp and runway. Along the center of the main seating area is the staffed bar where you can order complimentary non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks such as Trinity Oaks wines, Coors beers and house spirits. Premium drinks and hot food can be purchased for a fee. Next to the bar area are two food stations with a small selection of baked goods, yogurts, instant oatmeal, juices and coffee during the morning hours.
To the left of the main seating area, there are two open TV rooms with lounge chairs and a set of computer stations overlooking the boarding gates. The computer stations are not very spacious or private but are they great for some casual work if you want to be distracted by the awesome views of the TBIT heavies parked across the way.
The lounge is well decorated and there’s plenty of seating to go around. The space is bright and airy with lots of natural light and great plane spotting. In addition to the lounge chairs, there are Bose listening stations scattered throughout the lounge where you can use the house-provided Bose headphones and listen to pre-set radio stations. Great idea but I didn’t see a single person using them.
Traveling with kids? There’s an enclosed kid’s playroom with toys and video games to keep them entertained and not disturb your fellow travelers.
And just when you thought you’ve seen the whole lounge, you round the corner to the right side and there’s a whole new separate seating area. Keep going down the hall, past the bathrooms and shower suites, and you’ll reach another enclosed seating area (much quieter) and business center with proper cubicles, printers, fax and copier.
The lounge was kept clean and there were employees constantly cleaning, busing dishes and refilling the food stations. There’s a customer care counter located on the second floor to help passengers with any concerns and an unsecured luggage storage room to set your stuff down. As you can see, no one used it and most people just kept their carry-on bags by their side.
American Airlines Flagship Lounge at LAX:
Now for the secret lounge within the lounge. . . To enter the Flagship Lounge, you must be flying first class internationally, to JFK on a three-cabin plane or have oneworld emerald status on an international itinerary. To gain access to the Flagship Lounge, use the keycard provided upon entry and enter the unmarked sliding door to the right of the customer care counter. You cannot purchase a day pass for the Flagship Lounge.
So the Flagship Lounge is just a smaller version of the main lounge with nicer seats grouped in sets of two. These are nice for people traveling together but are not so private for those traveling solo. It wasn’t that busy during my morning visit but I would imagine this would be annoying if the lounge was more crowded. With large windows, there’s plenty of natural light and views of the ramp and runway below to zone out and kill some time.
Workspace-wise, there’s only a small table located in the middle of the lounge if you need to get any work done. It’s not the largest space or the most private.
What really separates the Flagship Lounge from the main lounge is the food and drink selections. Here, you’ll find a hot breakfast buffet spread and a self-service bar with top shelf drinks. The breakfast selections included hot and cold items such as eggs, sausages, potatoes, oatmeal, pastries and fresh fruit.
Overall, the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge is pretty nice for a domestic US lounge and is one of the better ones that I have visited. The main lounge is huge and there’s plenty of seating for everyone and plenty of space to spread out if you need to get some work done. Now, this was my first time visiting the lounge but I do hear it gets pretty crowded during the afternoon hours. But at 9:00 on a Wednesday, it wasn’t crowded at all.
And the Flagship Lounge wasn’t bad either. The upgraded menu and self-serve bar were appreciated and the lounge was good enough to keep me entertained and productive for a couple of hours before my flight.
This review is part of my trip around the world with stops in Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong and Beijing. The other trip reports in this series include:
- American Airlines Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge at LAX
- American Airlines A321T First Class, Los Angeles to New York
- British Airways Concord Room at JFK
- British Airways Boeing 747 First Class, New York to London
- British Airways Concord Room at LHR
- British Airways A319 “Club Europe” Business Class London to Dusseldorf
- DoubleTree Amsterdam
- Hugo Junkers Lounge at Dusseldorf
- British Airways A320 “Club Europe” Business Class Dusseldorf to London
- British Airways Galleries Lounge at LHR terminal 3
- Emirates Lounge at LHR terminal 3
- Qantas A380 First Class, London to Dubai
- Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Dubai to Hong Kong
- Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong
- Dragonair A330 First Class Hong Kong to Beijing
- Hilton Beijing
- BGS Lounge at Beijing
- Air China Business Class Lounge at Beijing
- Japan Airlines Boeing 737 Business Class, Beijing to Tokyo Narita
- Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Tokyo Narita
- Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER First Class, Tokyo to Los Angeles