I’ll put it very simply: American Airlines is dominating the competition with their new Admirals Clubs.
You’ve heard me talk about the new Flagship Lounges at JFK, ORD, and LAX, and I’ve heard Miami is just as nice. What about American’s fortress hub of DFW? This weekend brought the first big lounge re-opening for American’s home airport.
The Admirals Club Shuffle at DFW Airport
As part of American’s massive Admirals Club initiative, they are shuffling things a bit at DFW. The first domino was the Terminal A Admirals Club, which closed last year for renovations. The refreshed Terminal A Admirals Club reopened over the weekend, the same day the Terminal D Admirals Club closed for renovations. American went above and beyond to create a temporary Premium Lounge in Terminal D for their international passengers (review coming soon) across from D36, ensuring there is still a lounge presence at every American terminal at DFW.
So basically the update is: Terminal A Admirals Club is now open, Terminal D Admirals Club is now closed, Terminal D Premium Lounge is open, but only for international business and first customers (normal Oneworld and American status access rules apply I believe as well).
The new Terminal A Admirals Club
I’ve been to the Admirals Club in terminal A probably hundreds of times over the years. It felt homey and kind of cavernous, desperately in need of an update. Before Terminal D, the Terminal A club was a Flagship Lounge, so it had quite a bit of space but it was almost too spread out. The new design unifies the style with the rest of the new lounges with some premium touches that I think customers will appreciate. Let’s take a look.
The entryway into the lounge has been reworked to match the new brand standard, a glass facade listing the name of the lounge and displaying the Oneworld status levels which can access it during international travel (the green and blue ovals).
As you walk in you see a beautiful silver wall behind the check-in agents with a backlit American logo displayed proudly.
Upon clearance into the lounge there are stairs and elevators up one level into the lounge. I took the elevator up, the doors opened, and I was greeted by the absolutely beautiful new entry foyer of the Admirals Club.
On either side of the foyer were desks manned by lounge agents, ready to assist with flight information or re-accommodations.
As you will see, there are countless pieces of art from local artist Nikki Cade (although I told them they needed some Andy Luten originals in their lounges, as I’m sure you’ll agree) around the lounge which gave it a local feel.
I absolutely love the wooden separators that American uses in their new lounges. It clearly separates spaces but you can also see through it, which helps the environment feel more open and spacious.
The lounge is fairly long, so I started down the right towards the business center.
A quick note about the blurred out faces
I was a guest in the lounge when it was very full. I always try to blur out any recognizable faces in an attempt to respect the privacy of guests and lounge staff. There are times when I think the blurred faces distract from the rest of the pictures but I hope you’ll forgive me, the last thing I want to do is intrude on the private lives of people in the lounge, so if it seems like everyone is facing away from the camera in my pictures, it’s by design 🙂
Ok back to the lounge
I walked down the hallway towards the business center and saw more seating areas, again using the wooden separators to delineate the space while still feeling open and airy.
The business center
Usually I feel like airline lounge business centers sort of default to a long table with two or three computers on it, not really anything functional. The new Terminal A Admirals Club may have the best business center I’ve ever seen.
There were 20+ individual cubicles with power strips for laptops and comfy office chairs. Along the wall were, yes, the requisite computers set up for customer use but seeing so much functional space for individuals to do business was a pleasant surprise. Probably the best compliment I could pay to the design of the business center is that I saw a bunch of people actually doing business in the business center, instead of kids playing solitaire on the computers. Well done.
The kids area
Kids areas always make me laugh in a lounge but I’m glad they exist, better to have the kids contained to a single area than running around the lounge kicking everyone (yes I’ve seen a kid running around The Pier in Hong Kong kicking random people).
The kids room is large, well appointed with some cool looking furniture, and should be a nice place for kids to scream, laugh, and kick to their heart’s delight.
The variety of seating options
There are lots of seating areas with a mix of lounge chairs, bar seating, and sort-of-recliners. Let’s take a look.
Oh and there are power outlets all over the place as well, forgot to mention that.
This picture is a personal favorite of mine, I got super lucky with the light coming in through the window!
A unique touch I saw was that some seating areas had qi wireless charging stations, super helpful for those of us with iPhone 8 or X and most Android phones nowadays.
The “hidden” part of the lounge
If you take the elevator up to the entryway of the lounge and make a hard left turn you’ll see another hallway to what looks like another part of the lounge. This used to the be the Flagship section of the lounge and was always a nice hidden respite away from the rest of the hubbub. Not many people know about that part of the lounge so it’s very seldom crowded. Happy to report the new lounge retains this “hidden” area. While the rest of the lounge was crowded, there was nary a soul in this part of the lounge, I’d recommend making it your home base on your next visit.
American has conference rooms which are available to rent by the hour for business meetings, which is incredibly convenient for passengers on the go. There are two (that I saw) in the new lounge, each equipped with big tables, A/V equipment, and in the smaller room a whiteboard hidden by Fixer-Upper-esque barn doors!
Ok finally the bar and food areas
There are snack stations around the club, each with water, coffee and tea stations, and some light bites.
In the more central area there’s a really nice silver-walled dining “sub-area” where you can get a little more than a lite bite, this area has a Coke Infinity Machine as well.
Also, because I fancy myself a bit of an architectural photographer, there are some skylights which join with the curved walls of the ceiling to make for some beautiful architecture.
As you move to the left of the Club (from the entryway facing the big world map) you walk toward the main bar and food area. As you’d expect during Peak Lounge Time it was a bit crowded, but the lounge staff managed everything very well.
The main bar area is also where one of American’s premium offerings was located: a guacamole bar where a lounge attendant makes guacamole on request right in front of you!
There were a few different seating options in the bar area, from smaller cocktail tables to a long table with a unique lighting fixture above it.
So how was it?
I think American did a wonderful job. They maximized the space they had and made it functional and accessible. The showers were booked while I was there so I couldn’t review them for you but it’s good to know they’re still there. At every turn there were seating areas with power outlets, the food areas were well thought out, and even though it was crowded it didn’t seem too crowded.
The new Terminal A Admirals Club at DFW is another example of how thoroughly American Airlines is crushing the competition in airline lounges. Be sure to pay it a visit your next time through DFW!
Have you stopped by the new lounge yet? What did you think? What do you think of the lounge from the pictures above? Tell me in the comments below!