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Inconsistency in Admirals Club admittance as a minor.

Inconsistency in Admirals Club admittance as a minor.

Old Mar 15, 22, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
This is exactly right. If you want something, push for it. Don't listen to all the people telling you to just accept the rules the way they are. It's terrible advice, here and in life in general.
Nothing wrong with asking for what one wants, but this kid's account didn't get flagged by accident, nor did AA implement the rule by accident. The adult-guardian rule obviously relates to liability, and we don't need AA's legal department to tell us the potential liability outweighs the value of the person's spending.

Even by the old "dragon" standards, I'm amazed multiple AC staffers have gone out of their way to keep this kid out of ACs systemwide. There might be more to the story here, even if booze wasn't involved.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 7:28 pm
  #92  
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Originally Posted by keyw View Post
There are probably far more EXPs under 15 (age to fly alone on AA) than there are in the 15-18 range who do a large amount of solo flights like myself. I am definitely one of very few in this group.
Right, I should have been more specific above. I'm sure there are quite a few under-15 EXPs, but they're mostly irrelevant for the purpose of this discussion. The 4-year-old someone else mentioned obviously isn't trying to get into ACs.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 7:29 pm
  #93  
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Originally Posted by js1993 View Post
Nothing wrong with asking for what one wants, but this kid's account didn't get flagged by accident, nor did AA implement the rule by accident. The adult-guardian rule obviously relates to liability, and we don't need AA's legal department to tell us the potential liability outweighs the value of the person's spending.

Even by the old "dragon" standards, I'm amazed multiple AC staffers have gone out of their way to keep this kid out of ACs systemwide. There might be more to the story here, even if booze wasn't involved.
1. 2 years of allowing me into the AC, to secure a lifetime of loyalty to AA would get pretty close to outweighing the liability of these 2 years IMO. Especially as a mid level EP who's spend and flights keeps increasing every year.
2. It was 1 agent who flagged it. I am pretty sure the flag is gone now after I was stuck in MIA overnight last week.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by keyw View Post
1. 2 years of allowing me into the AC, to secure a lifetime of loyalty to AA would get pretty close to outweighing the liability of these 2 years IMO. Especially as a mid level EP who's spend and flights keeps increasing every year.
Almost no chance of this being true. The starting number for lawsuits these days against a company like AA is in seven figures. You'd have to be EXP for ~30 years for AA to break even, and that's before we get to AA's actual profit margin on EXP spend.

2. It was 1 agent who flagged it. I am pretty sure the flag is gone now after I was stuck in MIA overnight last week.
Why would AA un-flag your account if the executive team just called to decline your request?

For that matter, are you sure you've been targeted specifically? Perhaps AA updated their AC systems to deny access to anyone under 18 traveling alone when the b.p. is scanned? (Seems like that would have always been in place, but with AA, who knows?)
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Old Mar 15, 22, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by js1993 View Post
Almost no chance of this being true. The starting number for lawsuits these days against a company like AA is in seven figures. You'd have to be EXP for ~30 years for AA to break even, and that's before we get to AA's actual profit margin on EXP spend.



Why would AA un-flag your account if the executive team just called to decline your request?

For that matter, are you sure you've been targeted specifically? Perhaps AA updated their AC systems to deny access to anyone under 18 traveling alone when the b.p. is scanned? (Seems like that would have always been in place, but with AA, who knows?)
30 years is definitely possible depending on the field I go into. Either way, I am definitely one of the lower profit EPs regardless of spend because I generally take relatively cheap flights and a lot of the times 2 stops.

The account was un flagged while I was stranded in MIA, it was just my account. The agent showed me the flag and it showed basically that I was an infant. The rebooking line was 100+ people long even at 11pm so I went to the AC to see what accommodations they would offer. She said something along the lines of I have to remove this so I can help you and she did. It was a simple agent flag from what I could tell. She also, like many I have talked with, agreed I should be allowed in. Lounge was closed at that time so I did not enter obviously, but the front lobby was still staffed. The following day I went to go into the AC after showering in the Turkish Lounge because I figured that was the absolute least they could do after leaving me in the Miami airport overnight. I was let in with no issue. It was definitely a targeted flag rather than a systemwide one. It would make a lot of sense for a systemwide one in place but my guess is it is such a small number of people it is not worth AAs time.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by keyw View Post
The account was un flagged while I was stranded in MIA, it was just my account. The agent showed me the flag and it showed basically that I was an infant. The rebooking line was 100+ people long even at 11pm so I went to the AC to see what accommodations they would offer. She said something along the lines of I have to remove this so I can help you and she did. It was a simple agent flag from what I could tell. She also, like many I have talked with, agreed I should be allowed in. Lounge was closed at that time so I did not enter obviously, but the front lobby was still staffed.
This is strange. What point would flagging you as an infant have served? Infants obviously aren't trying to get into the AC. It also seems strange that any AC staffer could remove such a flag if one had been attached.

The following day I went to go into the AC after showering in the Turkish Lounge because I figured that was the absolute least they could do after leaving me in the Miami airport overnight. I was let in with no issue.
Bizarre. Was this the first time you had tried to get into an AC since you reported the flag on your account on Jan. 18?
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Old Mar 15, 22, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by js1993 View Post
This is strange. What point would flagging you as an infant have served? Infants obviously aren't trying to get into the AC. It also seems strange that any AC staffer could remove such a flag if one had been attached.



Bizarre. Was this the first time you had tried to get into an AC since you reported the flag on your account on Jan. 18?
Not sure, probably was just the agent working with what she had at the time of the flagging. Almost everything about this entire situation is bizarre imho.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by keyw View Post
Not sure, probably was just the agent working with what she had at the time of the flagging. Almost everything about this entire situation is bizarre imho.
Indeed. If unaccompanied under-18s aren't allowed as a rule, you'd think the system would reject them automatically. It's unclear why there would be any discussion, negotiation, need for a flag, etc.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by js1993 View Post
Nothing wrong with asking for what one wants, but this kid's account didn't get flagged by accident, nor did AA implement the rule by accident. The adult-guardian rule obviously relates to liability, and we don't need AA's legal department to tell us the potential liability outweighs the value of the person's spending.

Even by the old "dragon" standards, I'm amazed multiple AC staffers have gone out of their way to keep this kid out of ACs systemwide. There might be more to the story here, even if booze wasn't involved.
I'm not sure I see what the liability is. It has nothing to do with alcohol because the drinking age in every state in the US is 21; the lounge would get into just as much trouble if caught serving a 20 year old as they would serving a 17 year old, but the age is 18, not 21.

I don't see how the liability is any more than that of a restaurant, where minors are generally allowed unaccompanied. So, no, it's not at all clear to me that liability is the reason for the rule.

Regardless, it's a rule. Good for the OP for leveraging his value as a customer to attempt to get the rules changed, or to get an exception made for him. He's not doing anything wrong, and, successful or not, the experience of going through this negotiation is probably a good one.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 10:08 pm
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I'm not I understand the frustration people are having with this thread. Yes, I get the content is pretty repetitive, but if it's that bothersome, just don't click on it and read it. I find this whole situation super interesting, and thoroughly enjoy the frequent updates. I commend OP for his tenacity--I certainly did not have that confidence and poise at age 16.

As a college student traveler myself, I can completely relate to what the OP is going through. American Airlines' inconsistency is actually its greatest weakness, both in the air, and clearly on the ground. If OP was told from the start he, as a minor, was not allowed in the AC, point blank period, and this was enforced universally, I doubt this would even be a thread. But instead, AA decides his fate like a buffet, picking and choosing the instances when he is permitted access.

This is the same inconsistency that prompted my GF and I to book a cheap J transcon ticket ex-JFK and use an excess of miles to upgrade it to Flagship First. Obviously, we were worried about the Flagship Lounge being 21+, but I consulted some threads and Pm'd a few individuals, OP included, about their leniency. We both concluded that there was a good chance it would not be an issue, so a total of 30k miles + 350 was used to upgrade the flights.

Well, upon arrival at Flagship Check-in (probably the mistake) and the presentation of our IDs, the agents called the lounge and told them we were under 21. However, we were assured we'd have access to FFD, which is all I cared about anyways, since I could go to the Centurion in T4 for my buffet fix. Long story short, the agent decided we weren't allowed into the club period, not even FFD because "you need to walk through the lounge to get to it." However, like OP, my GF and I pleaded our case for several minutes and eventually reached a deal with the manager on duty that we were to be escorted into and out of FFD dining. I'm not going to lie, I was quite disappointed I was not going to have my fix of LPGS, but we sure made up for it with the amount of food we ate.

Younger travelers exist. I am fortunate enough to fly upwards of 30 segments per year, and even more fortunate to have parents who exposed my sister and I to the absolute thrill of traveling. OP is incredibly lucky to have such status with AA, and in my opinion, that status reflects not only the loyalty to the airline, but also shows that he is, at the very least, a competent traveler. I know of people double his age who are far less responsible in an airport, but they'd be let in the AC no issue.

OP, keep fighting the good fight, and please continue to keep us updated.

I rest my case

Last edited by FlyFreakquently; Mar 15, 22 at 10:33 pm
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Old Mar 15, 22, 10:47 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I'm not sure I see what the liability is. It has nothing to do with alcohol because the drinking age in every state in the US is 21; the lounge would get into just as much trouble if caught serving a 20 year old as they would serving a 17 year old, but the age is 18, not 21.

I don't see how the liability is any more than that of a restaurant, where minors are generally allowed unaccompanied. So, no, it's not at all clear to me that liability is the reason for the rule.
The difference might be that 18-year-olds are considered adults, the alcohol issue notwithstanding.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by keyw View Post
I have absolutely no reason not to try and get an exception with AA to be let in before I turn 18. From what I have been told by a few people I talk to, they are actually working on figuring something out at HQ now.
AA is a private company.it can refuse to do business with anyone who causes problems or repeatedly violates its policies. Even after you turn 18, you could face consequences if you had a flag on your record for trying to circumvent policies. Not trying to scare you, but assuming youd like to have a long-term business relationship with your favorite airline, you might want to let this go for two more years.


I think the issue of unaccompanied minors in lounges is really all about LIABILITY. Minors cannot be held legally responsible for their actions. Nobody is watching you in the lounge to make sure you dont violate alcohol laws, cause damage, or otherwise misbehave. On board the aircraft, FAs are specifically tasked with the safety of the passengers. In the airport, its the airport authoritys responsibility. Lounges are a tricky jurisdictional in between. The space is rented by the operating carrier, but is not private property the way the aircraft themselves are. Im not an attorney but Im sure we have some on the forum who could weigh in.

In any event, my advice is: just follow the rules! If you dont like the rules, write to HQ to see if they could change them. But in the meantime, do not attempt to violate them.

Finally, let me say that I make no judgments about the OP's level of maturity. In fact, based on our interactions in this thread, I suspect the OP is quite an experienced young solo traveler who behaves responsibly. But the policy must be the policy for ALL minors, not just the well-behaved ones.
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Last edited by ESpen36; Mar 15, 22 at 11:47 pm
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Old Mar 15, 22, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyFreakquently View Post
Younger travelers exist. I am fortunate enough to fly upwards of 30 segments per year, and even more fortunate to have parents who exposed my sister and I to the absolute thrill of traveling. OP is incredibly lucky to have such status with AA, and in my opinion, that status reflects not only the loyalty to the airline, but also shows that he is, at the very least, a competent traveler. I know of people double his age who are far less responsible in an airport, but they'd be let in the AC no issue.
I was quite precocious myself (particularly around the OP's age), and there's no doubt that individuals in that age group can make significant societal contributions and can certainly be much better behaved in public situations than many older adults.

That said, all of this pleasant commentary regarding worthiness of high school age students to enjoy the same freedoms as adults does very little to help AA's potential liability here.

Maybe the OP will somehow effect great change at the airline. If someone signs off on this, would I ever want that person to be part of the legal team in my business? Probably not -- I favor a conservative liability approach in these sorts of situations. Risk is risk, whether it seems entirely fair or not. In the U.S., 18 is the general age of majority, which controls so much when you have to consider prudent policy-making in a large corporation.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by js1993 View Post
The difference might be that 18-year-olds are considered adults, the alcohol issue notwithstanding.
Sure, but that's not a liability issue. A 16 year old can go unaccompanied into a McDonald's. Does that expose McDonald's to extra liability? A 16 year old can even go unaccompanied into a restaurant where they serve alcohol.

It's not clear to me why allowing them in the lounge creates liability that is acceptable for a McDonald's or a Red Robin but is unacceptable for an AA lounge.

So, again, I understand that there is a rule in place, but it's not clear to me that liability has anything to do with the rule.

Regardless of the reason for the rule, it's arbitrary (and not required by any law). While AA has the right to create arbitrary rules, they also have the ability to change those rules (or to make exceptions) so what the OP is doing makes perfect sense.
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Old Mar 15, 22, 11:18 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Sure, but that's not a liability issue.
It's 100% a liability issue, both in terms of the kid's potential actions and in terms of what AA's staffers might do (or be accused of doing) to the kid.

A 16 year old can go unaccompanied into a McDonald's. Does that expose McDonald's to extra liability? A 16 year old can even go unaccompanied into a restaurant where they serve alcohol.

It's not clear to me why allowing them in the lounge creates liability that is acceptable for a McDonald's or a Red Robin but is unacceptable for an AA lounge.

So, again, I understand that there is a rule in place, but it's not clear to me that liability has anything to do with the rule.
How much booze is there at McDonald's or Red Robin?

Booze aside, if your argument applies to 17-year-olds, then why wouldn't it apply to 8-year-olds? AA didn't choose 18 by accident.

The rule probably isn't even there for unaccompanied flyers like the OP. It's probably there so people can't dump their kids in the AC and then go wander around the airport.
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Last edited by js1993; Mar 15, 22 at 11:28 pm
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