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Minor: Rejected for LAX Flagship Lounge Access

Minor: Rejected for LAX Flagship Lounge Access

Old Jul 19, 18, 1:15 pm
  #1  
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Minor: Rejected for LAX Flagship Lounge Access

I'm a newly minted CX DM and just had a really upsetting experience with LAX Flagship L Access. I just got off LAX-MIA-DCA and it bugs me how the LAX lounge agent denied me access very rudely (said I am not 18/21+) and yelled at me for asking for a voucher in equivalent. I don't know if it is a standard rule to give out equivalents if denied entry due to age (CX did give me vouchers @ SFO since I cannot access BA Galleries due to age, and BA did give it to me @ JFK as well - maybe just kind gesture?), but if not, is it discrimination against minors (while I totally understand the legal implications, but no alternative offered, denied straight out)? Tell me what you think. (maybe I got lucky but in the past 10+ visits to FL dining and FL lounge JFK/LAX and AC @ DCA/BOS I had no problem w/ this)

Last edited by b.xiao; Jul 19, 18 at 1:24 pm
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by b.xiao View Post
I'm a newly minted CX DM and just had a really upsetting experience with LAX Flagship L Access. I just got off LAX-MIA-DCA and it bugs me how the LAX lounge agent denied me access very rudely (said I am not 18/21+) and yelled at me for asking for a voucher in equivalent. I don't know if it is a standard rule to give out equivalents if denied entry due to age (CX did give me vouchers @ SFO since I cannot access BA Galleries due to age, and BA did give it to me @ JFK as well - maybe just kinda gesture?), but if not, is it discrimination against minors (while I totally understand the legal implications, but no alternative offered, denied straight out)? Tell me what you think. (maybe I got lucky but in the past 10+ visits to FL dining and FL lounge JFK/LAX and AC @ DCA/BOS I had no problem w/ this)
I thought AA's standard policy indicates people under 18 cannot access the lounges if no accompanied by an adult. Given that, why not simply invite someone into the lounge with you? After all, you are permitted to bring a guest., If you are not eligible to go into the lounge, they do not have to give you anything in exchange. There is no such OneWorld benefit as "food voucher" if you don't qualify for lounge entry due to age. I don't know why your headline says "upsetting"... There are a lot of places off limits to people of certain ages, just as there are things they cannot do, such as drink alcohol

Last edited by mvoight; Jul 19, 18 at 2:11 pm
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:25 pm
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So my voucher experiences with CX and BA are just kind gestures offered by the ground staff?
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by b.xiao View Post
I'm a newly minted CX DM and just had a really upsetting experience with LAX Flagship L Access. I just got off LAX-MIA-DCA and it bugs me how the LAX lounge agent denied me access very rudely (said I am not 18/21+) and yelled at me for asking for a voucher in equivalent. I don't know if it is a standard rule to give out equivalents if denied entry due to age (CX did give me vouchers @ SFO since I cannot access BA Galleries due to age, and BA did give it to me @ JFK as well - maybe just kinda gesture?), but if not, is it discrimination against minors (while I totally understand the legal implications, but no alternative offered, denied straight out)? Tell me what you think. (maybe I got lucky but in the past 10+ visits to FL dining and FL lounge JFK/LAX and AC @ DCA/BOS I had no problem w/ this)
From https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...conditions.jsp

Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and hold a same-day ticket for airline travel that allows clearance through security and access to the Admirals Club lounge or Partner Lounge.

So you're not 18 and you're traveling alone, you would not be eligible for access unless accompanied by someone 18 or older.

This has nothing to do with the "Must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol." clause
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by enpremiere View Post
This has nothing to do with the "Must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol." clause
Well that's what they quoted me
And is flagship lounge included in the "club" they quoted?
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:31 pm
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Next time I will just find someone who happens to be standing outside the lounge and ask if he/she wants to be invited to the lounge haha
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by b.xiao View Post
So my voucher experiences with CX and BA are just kind gestures offered by the ground staff?
Or CX and/or BA policy, who knows, but I have never heard of such a thing with AA.

As mentioned above, AA lounge access policies have a minimum age for entry w/o an adult. This is no different than the policies that require you to have a certain status, class of service, or qualifying itinerary for entry to the lounges. They certainly don't hand out vouchers to every AA EXP who tries to access a FL without a qualifying itinerary, so similarly I wouldn't expect a voucher for being underage.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by b.xiao View Post
Well that's what they quoted me
And is flagship lounge included in the "club" they quoted?
Flagship lounges and clubs have different access rules (there is only a membership component to the Admirals Club not not Flagship Lounges) so while the age requirement is not specifically posted on the US AA Flagship Lounge landing page, you can find it on the CK Flagship Lounge rules page:

(specifically for Flagship Lounge access at the aforementioned link)
  • Travelers under the age of 21 can only enter the lounge when supervised by an adult.
In this scenario, it looks like they were following policy.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:54 pm
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Makes sense to me. According to the law, minors (under 18) cannot be held legally responsible for their actions, behavior, or well-being. In a lounge setting where customers are expecting a place of rest, relaxation, or productivity, minors should not be present without a supervising adult.

Furthermore, if a person under 18 were to become injured or ill while in a club, the airline could be sued if there were nobody supervising or attending to the needs of the minor. It's not the same as having status or flying premium cabins, which minors can do on their own (including the OP). Here's why. While travelers of all ages are proceeding through the airport terminal, there are employees specifically looking out for them (agents, security, police, TSA, etc) as well as on board (crew members). However, the same does not apply in the secluded conditions of a lounge. If you were having a medical problem, you could find a quiet corner of a lounge and it's possible nobody would notice for hours. If the person were an unaccompanied minor, it could be the airline's liability.

IMHO, for good reason, AA does not sell Admirals Clubs memberships to persons under 18, nor allow anyone under 18 into the clubs unless accompanied by a supervising adult. (I remember purchasing my first year of AC membership just a few days after I turned 18 and became eligible!)

The Flagship Lounge rule prohibiting access to unaccompanied persons under 21 is probably because of the self-service alcohol. The 50 states of the USA have enacted state laws that prohibit alcohol purchase/possession by persons under 21, with very few exceptions.

Last edited by ESpen36; Jul 19, 18 at 2:06 pm
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Old Jul 19, 18, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
According to the law, minors (under 18) cannot be held legally responsible for their actions, behavior, or well-being.
Not true... just look at all the high-profile cases of teenagers being "tried as adults" and sentenced to prison in the US.

I suspect that the AC's minimum age rule is a result of simply not wanting to have to deal with unsupervised teenagers in a lounge that's meant for adults. The nature of supervision doesn't really make a legal difference.

Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
The Flagship Lounge rule prohibiting access to unaccompanied persons under 21 is probably because of the self-service alcohol.
Bingo. They'd risk losing their alcohol license, and there are also liability concerns if they unintentionally serve alcohol to a minor (it's similar, in most if not all states, to serving alcohol to a visibly drunk person -- the person serving the alcohol becomes liable for whatever the minor does while under the influence).
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Old Jul 19, 18, 2:42 pm
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Different states have different laws. In California, the age for drinking alcoholic beverages is 21.

AA has established policies that may supersede state policies, but provide them with some mitigation of liabilities, I suspect. Ergo, Flagship Loinges with self-service alcoholic beverages have the 21 years of age admission policy.

At Admirals Clubs you ask the bar keep for alcoholic beverages; that person would be responsible for checking clients meet the state requirements. But there’s an 18 year old threshold for Membership or admission.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Different states have different laws. In California, the age for drinking alcoholic beverages is 21.

AA has established policies that may supersede state policies, but provide them with some mitigation of liabilities, I suspect. Ergo, Flagship Loinges with self-service alcoholic beverages have the 21 years of age admission policy.

At Admirals Clubs you ask the bar keep for alcoholic beverages; that person would be responsible for checking clients meet the state requirements. But there’s an 18 year old threshold for Membership or admission.
All US states and DC have a minimum age of 21, due to federal highway funding. A couple US territories are still 18.

There are a couple exceptions if a parent or guardian is present or on your own property.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 3:01 pm
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Now if they would just ban people who talk loudly on their cell phones...
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Old Jul 19, 18, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Different states have different laws. In California, the age for drinking alcoholic beverages is 21.
In my state (CT), the minimum age for purchase and possession of alcohol is 21 in most cases. The only exceptions are when the alcohol is part of a religious ceremony (e.g. taking communion), prescribed by a physician and taken under his/her orders, or when purchased and served to a minor by a parent/legal guardian, and the guardian remains present at all times while the minor possesses the alcohol.

There are no specific laws about alcohol "consumption" in my state, but it is pretty hard to consume alcohol without possessing it in a legal sense.

AA has established policies that may supersede state policies, but provide them with some mitigation of liabilities, I suspect. Ergo, Flagship Loinges with self-service alcoholic beverages have the 21 years of age admission policy.
As a private company, AA can establish whatever policies it wishes, as long as they are not discriminatory under federal, state, or local laws or regulations. People who do not like AA's policies can choose to travel with a different airline.


At Admirals Clubs you ask the bar keep for alcoholic beverages; that person would be responsible for checking clients meet the state requirements. But there’s an 18 year old threshold for Membership or admission.
Exactly! However, at the Flagship Lounges, alcohol is self-service.

I wonder how it works overseas at Admirals Clubs where alcohol is self-service? Local laws overseas might make the drinking age 18, even though AA follows US state laws on board aircraft and restricts alcohol use to persons 21 and older, even on the ground overseas, when overflying other countries, and in international airspace.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
Now if they would just ban people who talk loudly on their cell phones...
Or, brings in an ESA...

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