Review: American Admirals Club Los Angeles Terminal 4

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Before the end of the year American’s LAX lounge situation will be better than ever before, as they’ve completely reinvented their lounge experience at LAX this year.

Earlier this year American opened a new Admirals Club in Terminal 5, which is the former Delta SkyClub. I’ve reviewed this lounge and was impressed. It’s a nice space, and most importantly it doesn’t get too crowded, since American doesn’t have too many flights out of Terminal 5. On top of that, American has an Admirals Club in the remote terminal, where American Eagle flights depart from.

This September American closed their lounges in Terminal 4, so that they could expedite the construction and also minimize disruptions to passengers using the lounge. Once all is said and done, American will have an Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge, and Flagship First Dining in Terminal 4.

The new Admirals Club Terminal 4 LAX opened this past week, and I had the chance to check it out yesterday morning. I accessed the Admirals Club using my Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. The card has a $450 annual fee and offers Admirals Club access for as long as you have the card, and you can also add up to 10 authorized users, and they get Admirals Club access as well, which is awesome.

In terms of the rest of American’s lounge setup, it’s rumored that American’s Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining will be opening sometime in December, which I’m excited about.

Now let’s talk about the actual lounge. The new Admirals Club is located in Terminal 4. It’s just past the security checkpoint on the right, across from gate 40. It’s open daily from 5AM until 2AM.


LAX Terminal 4

Even though the Flagship Lounge isn’t open yet, the sign outside the lounge already has the full updated branding.


Admirals Club LAX Terminal 4 exterior

On the ground floor there’s a reception desk where they checked me in. I didn’t even have to present my Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® — if you’re the primary cardmember then your membership is automatically linked to your AAdvantage number, so you can just present your boarding pass.

The club is actually located on the second floor, so after getting checked in there are two elevators or a set of stairs that will take you up a level.


Admirals Club LAX Terminal 4 elevators

Upon the exiting the elevators are several customer service desks, should you need help with any reservations.


Admirals Club LAX Terminal 4 customer service desk

Then to the left is the Flagship Lounge, which is opening soon.


American Flagship Lounge LAX entrance

To the right is the Admirals Club, which is now open. It’s interesting to note that the lounges have basically switched places — back in the day the Flagship Lounge (which had different entry requirements at the time) was to the right, while the Admirals Club was to the left, so the lounges have reversed places.


American Admirals Club LAX

Inside the entrance was a bar with water, orange juice, coffee, and cereal.


American Admirals Club LAX breakfast spread

When you turn left there you’ll be right in the middle of the Admirals Club.


American Admirals Club LAX seating

Then to the left is the more traditional lounge seating, with leather chairs largely lined up in rows.


American Admirals Club LAX seating


American Admirals Club LAX seating

To the right is the dining area, which has tables seating two people each, communal tables, the bar area, and then a counter overlooking the apron.


American Admirals Club LAX seating


American Admirals Club LAX seating


American Admirals Club LAX communal seating


American Admirals Club LAX seating


American Admirals Club LAX bar

Now here’s the secret to this club. It looks like the Admirals Club is just one room, and that at the end of the hallway there’s just an emergency exit, or something. Nope. The Admirals Club keeps going, and the back area was completely underutilized when I was there.

Around the corner is an entertainment room with four rows of seats facing a TV.


American Admirals Club Los Angeles entertainment area


American Admirals Club Los Angeles entertainment area

Then there’s another small room with a few rows of chairs, as well as some of those semi-private chairs that I love.


American Admirals Club Los Angeles seating


American Admirals Club Los Angeles seating


American Admirals Club Los Angeles seating


American Admirals Club Los Angeles seating

In this room there was also some food, including pound cake, whole fruit, and coffee.


American Admirals Club Los Angeles breakfast selection


American Admirals Club Los Angeles breakfast selection


American Admirals Club Los Angeles breakfast selection

The main buffet was back towards the center of the lounge. To drink there was a Coca-Cola soda fountain and an espresso machine.


American Admirals Club Los Angeles soda fountain


American Admirals Club Los Angeles coffee machine

Then there was pound cake, bread, oatmeal, fresh fruit, hardboiled eggs, and yogurt.


American Admirals Club Los Angeles breakfast selection


American Admirals Club Los Angeles breakfast selection


American Admirals Club Los Angeles breakfast selection

The entire lounge has great views as it faces the apron, and I especially enjoyed watching the 787 arriving from Sydney pull into the gate right below me.


American Admirals Club Los Angeles view

In terms of other features, the lounge doesn’t have any sort of workstations, though it does have have a play area for kids and showers.

There’s no denying this is a small Admirals Club, and at the moment it’s likely to be very overcrowded. However, once the Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining open, it should alleviate some of the congestion in the lounge, as many of the passengers presently using the Admirals Club will have access to that. That will be the real treat.

Bottom line

This is a nice enough Admirals Club, though it’s smaller than the previous space. However, American also opened a great new Admirals Club in Terminal 5, and more importantly, they’re about to open an amazing Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining at LAX, which is what I’m most excited about.

In terms of the club as such, there’s no denying that Admirals Clubs lag significantly behind Delta SkyClubs in terms of quality. Significantly. However, Delta also doesn’t have anything better than SkyClubs, while American’s new international premium cabin lounges are pretty great.

Hopefully before the end of the year, American will have three Admirals Clubs at LAX, a Flagship Lounge, and Flagship First Dining. I think that’ll be a pretty impressive setup.

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Comments

  1. Used the old Admirals Club a few years ago when flying back east over Thanksgiving weekend- had access through the Executive card. I know not many people with lounge access have children with them, but the kids play room at the old club was a real help, and good for other people as the kids weren’t bouncing around the main club area much. Too bad they couldn’t find room for a small play area again- personally I think that TV room will almost always be empty and mostly wasted space. I would never want to sit in there unless there was no available space in the club.

  2. What is it with all the TV’s in these lounges just blaring the news all day? It’s honestly a major reason why I don’t have a membership right now – no matter where you go in a lounge, you can’t escape the noise from the TV’s…unbearable.

  3. I was in the flagship lounge in Miami and found ti to be meh. Much better than most Delta SkyClubs (SEA, SFO, ATL B,F the only exceptions) but doesn’t hold a candle to the Polaris lounge. The food was not that great and not that fresh, there was no one at the “live cooking” station. I think thats a gimmick since maybe its only used at breakfast when there really aren’t that many flights anyway.

  4. We were in this lounge on its opening morning–November 21–arriving on AA’s 787 from Sydney. It was absolutely mobbed–we used our coupons for bottles of water and then left. Since we weren’t sure if it would be opening that day, we first went to the OneWorld lounge in TBIT, which is accessible to AA Platinum, and spent most of our time there. Far better food and much less crazy surroundings. Maybe that will change when the Flagship Lounge opens in a few weeks. Really enjoyed the Flagship Lounge at JFK, so maybe the LAX one will be similar.

  5. You were too nice about this review. This Admirals Club is a laughing stock. It is more undersized than the old United RCC was, and is teeming with people. While the Flagship should help, it isn’t going to help THAT much where the old lounge had to be 2-3 times this size. Having LAX as a base makes me livid about this.

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