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HELP DESK: Will I Have Lounge Access? Which, Access, Rules (2023-24)

Old Jan 2, 2023, 10:33 am
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HELP DESK: Lounge Access, Access Rules. Will I Have Lounge Access? (2020)
Please read this wiki carefully; some fine nuances exist.

Admirals Club lounges have reopened from the Covid closures, but not all Clubs have reopened, and hours have changed.
Link to aa.com Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge Access rules.
Also see Admirals Club rates increasing, new restrictions: 2019


PLEASE DO NOT ALTER THE CONTENT OF THIS MODERATOR NOTE

The Lounge Access Help Desk

To assist members with questions about Lounge Access Rules that they have not been able to answer on their own using the above resources, the AA Moderator team has decided to institute this thread, the third in a series of "Help Desk" threads. N.B.: If you have questions about physical access to a specific lounge (e.g., airside vs. landside, different terminal, etc.), please search for and post to the appropriate specific thread for that lounge.

New threads on this topic will be merged into this one and bumped by the moderators as necessary. As such, we do not expect that this thread will develop into a searchable database, but that it will nonetheless provide a valuable resource to members. As well, we may shed / pare down posts from time to time to a trailing thread or similar device.

Our goal is to provide a place where members can feel welcome to post such questions and expect helpful, accurate responses. In this way, we hope to accommodate the needs and desires of both new and veteran members - those who aren't sure they are interpreting the available resources correctly can ask for help without fear of snarky-appearing responses; those who do not wish to participate in such threads are invited and, indeed, encouraged, to ignore this thread.

Please be forewarned: This thread will be subject to heavy moderation. Posts that are incorrect will be subject to deletion without notice - DO NOT POST answers unless you are sure your answer is complete and correct. Posts that are unhelpful or off-topic will also be subject to deletion without notice - DO NOT POST unless you can be friendly, helpful, concise, and salient.

Finally, a few guidelines for members posting queries to this thread:
  • Please DO make an effort to review the listed resources before posting here.
  • Please DO try to give as much information as possible, including your entire itinerary, with carrier for each segment and codeshares and stopovers clearly designated, your class of service and fare class purchased, whether or not you have Admirals Club or Qantas Club membership, a Citi AAdvantage Executive card (which includes full Admirals Club membership), and the number of guests and your family relationship with them, if any.
  • Please DO understand it could take some time for answers (especially on holidays and weekends.)
  • Please DO thank helpful members volunteering to reply to your questions.
Note: Members interested in arranging AA lounge meet-ups or offer guesting in should use this thread: Admirals Club / Flagship Lounge Meet Up & Guest Offer (master thread)

Also see the future changes in lounges and access: Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge Changes, Renovations & Additions

Sincerely,
The American Airlines AAdvantage forum Moderator Team
(Help Desk established by dstan
=================end mod note===================


Help Desk: Lounge Access Rules / Will I Have Lounge Access?
Lounge Access can be obtained in a number of ways during travel on AA and its oneworld partner airlines. These include purchasing an Admirals Club one day pass, or via Citi AAdvantage Executive MasterCard (including, as of Dec 2015, authorized Executive card users), reciprocity agreements with other airlines, traveling on certain transcon flights in F or J, or traveling internationally with Platinum or Platinum Pro (oneworld Sapphire) or Concierge Key or Executive Platinum (oneworld Emerald) status or in F or J classes of service - except if flying solely within North America destinations other than MEX as AAdvantage elite or AA elite in Business class. The last is often the greatest source of confusion, despite lounge access rules being described clearly on aa.com.

Admirals Club members paid or Executive primary cardholder members) are entitled guests as follows:

Up to two guests or household members (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under the age of 18) may accompany the member.

* Note that AA no longer offers a 30-day membership as of July 25 2016.

Executive card subsidiary cardholders have admission as well.

PLT and PPRO members are eligible for access to all oneworld Business Class lounges, now including Flagship Lounges, including Admirals Clubs; EXP and CK members are also eligible for access to nearly all oneworld First Class lounges, including Flagship Lounges.

For AA status-based access (PLT, PPRO, EXP, Concierge Key),* passengers must: (1) be traveling on an international itinerary (Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and Mexico City, excluding the Caribbean and other destinations in North America (other than on certain three class transcontinental flights) including other destinations in Mexico, and (2) have an onward flight on a oneworld airline marketed and operated flight on the same day.

Lounges operated by third parties or premium lounges operating outside of oneworld rules (e.g. BA Concorde Room, Qatar Al Safwa or Al Mourjan lounges, AA Flagship First Dining) may be excluded, and all may may refuse admittance if they claim they are crowded. There are other exceptions.

*Non-AA oneworld Sapphire and Emerald elites are not subject to rule #1 above.

Emerald / EP on CX JFK-YVR are not subject to AA limitations and are issued Flagship Lounge invitations for use at JFK.

The following exceptions apply: (in part; for the entire list, see here)

American Airlines and Qantas paid programmes
American Airlines and Qantas offer programmes enabling customers to pay to gain access to their lounges. These programmes are not part of the oneworld agreement, and members of these programmes are not entitled to access lounges under the oneworld agreement.

American Airlines AAdvantage member North American flights
American Airlines Airlines AAdvantage members, regardless of their tier status or class of travel, are not eligble for lounge access when travelling solely on North American flights within or between the U.S, Canada, Mexico (except Mexico City), the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Carribean. For more information, visit, http://aa.com/i18n/travelInformation...miralsClub.jsp

Traveling Flagship® Business Transcontinentalalso gives you lounge access and other amenities:
Los Angeles (LAX) - New York (JFK)
San Francisco (SFO) - JFK
LAX - Boston (BOS) – traveling on A321T aircraft only
LAX - Miami (MIA) – traveling on B777-300 aircraft only (through October 26, 2019)

The following exceptions apply:

First and Business Class customers who do not hold Emerald or Sapphire tier status are not eligible to access American Airlines lounges when travelling on solely domestic flights within the U.S. or between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico [except Mexico City], the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean; customers travelling in First or Business class on U.S. transcontinental flights between JFK-LAX, JFK-SFO and vice-versa are eligible for lounge access. oneworld lounge access page - link

On February 17 2016, AA announced an addition to the above. As stated on their Reimagining our lounges page, in the Flagship Lounges section, "Starting in 2017, lounge access will be extended to customers booked in Business and First Class on A321T, Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Pacific and deep South American flights."

Important Note: Though this announcement excluded Northern South America and Central America, those travelling to or from those destinations in J/F or who hold OWE or OWS, including AA elites, do indeed have access to the Flagship Lounge. See the link below for Flagship Lounge access rules for details.

In the Flagship Dining subsection, they state:
Beginning in early 2017, the Flagship Dining experience will be available in select cities with 3-class service:
● Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) (2019)
● New York (JFK)
● Miami (MIA)
● Los Angeles (LAX)

First Class customers on American’s three class international and transcontinental flights will have exclusive access to Flagship Dining.

All Admirals Club visitors receive free Wi-Fi access at Admirals Clubs (password is available at front desk and throughout the Club on signs), some non-alcoholic and "well" (lower price tier) alcoholic beverages, counter snacks and offered food items; free computer terminals are available for all passengers, and many Clubs have Business Centers and tethered Samsung Galaxy tablets in seating areas. Passengers accessing Admirals Clubs based on status or class of service on international travel are entitled to free drinks coupons usable for higher-tier non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and bottles of water.

Flagship Lounges (JFK, LAX, LHR and ORD) offer extended beverages and upscale snack services as well. See below for link.

NOTE: Some Lounges and Clubs are undergoing refurbishment.

Citi Prestige MasterCard holder Admirals Club access ended July 23, 2017.

American Express Platinum cardholder Admirals Club access ended 21 March 2014.

NOTE: It has been verified more airports are allowing multiple terminal access on one's day of departure. LAX has been one since mid-2014.

Admirals Club access is granted the day of flight for statusholders flyingoneworld and those flying F or J, or the following day at the first port of arrival if flying overnight and arriving by 0600.

Airports requiring Lounge users have a same day departure boarding pass include BOG, CCS, CDG, GIG, GRU, LHR, MEX, NRT, SCL, YYZ.

N.B. Qantas Lounges and Clubs require Smart Casual (sic) dress as of May 2015; those not meeting the standard may be turned away. They also require Admirals Club members be traveling on a departing AA marketed flight, otherbthan the LAX / TBIT lounge.

Please see the following resources for full details on Lounge Access Rules: (and see below)
● AA.com: Lounge Access Rules
● AA.com: American Airlines Flagship Lounge Access Rules

Beginning later in 2017: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ge-updates.jsp opens Flagship access to many more pax.
● AA.com: Reimaging our lounges
● AA.com: Admirals Club Membership Guide in a downloadable PDF format.
● oneworld.com: Lounge Access Rules and Search Tool
● Wiki: Lounges
● FT: American Airlines LOUNGE DASHBOARD

For various threads on membership, access by status, transcon service, class of service, Flagship lounge access, lounges directory with links to specific lounge threads, Club member access to partner lounges, recipripocity agreements, etc.
Admirals Club members - Qantas Club members
Link-->Guide to Admirals Club Members + Reciprocal Qantas Club Access
Note: Qantas Club access for Admirals Club members has CHANGED over time

As an Admirals Club annual, lifetime member, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive Card primary cardholder, or AirPass member with Admirals Club privileges, your Qantas Club domestic access has changed over time:
Select Qantas Clubs when departing on the same day on a Qantas operated flight or an American marketed flight operated by Qantas. NOTE: This is different than oneworld access rules and pertains only to Admirals Club members.

Also note Qantas will (at 2016) begin selling single admission starting at $49, but these at least initially will be restricted to QF Bronze or Silver members and only available during non-peak times. At this time, AA flyers are ineligible. Link to 2016 Australian Business Traveller article.[Edit may not be accurate at 04 Jan 2023]

Previously, members could access Qantas domestic lounges with an Admirals Club card without having purchased the AA codeshare. This is no longer permitted. These changes do not include one world Emerald or Sapphire members.

Eligible Admirals Club members must present the following documentation:NOTE Qantas Club Dress Code: N.B. Qantas Lounges and Clubs will require Smart Casual (sic) dress as of May 2015; those not meeting the standard may be turned away. (No open-toe shoes.) c/o hartlogan
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HELP DESK: Will I Have Lounge Access? Which, Access, Rules (2023-24)

Old Dec 16, 2023, 10:58 am
  #751  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by Antarius
OP can only guest 1 passenger in to Galleries First.

Assuming they all want to stay together, it's the Galleries Club lounge based on class of service.
OP didn't say age of child, as under 2 wouldn't count as a guest per oneworld rules.
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skunker is offline  
Old Dec 16, 2023, 11:23 am
  #752  
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Originally Posted by skunker
OP didn't say age of child, as under 2 wouldn't count as a guest per oneworld rules.
True. Fair enough. I assumed > 2.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 12:02 pm
  #753  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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OP also didnt say everyone is in J .

I have found BA to be nitpickers on guest access quotas. Whereas with admittedly few data points AA is not. I was traveling with 3 colleagues recently and prepared to get a day pass for one of them at a domestic AC. We were just waved on through. Another time traveling with my family of four and two twenty something babysitters. One of them has an additional Exec card, so we would have been ok, but not queried.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 6:44 pm
  #754  
 
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The Galleries first is pretty strict to the policy which is 1 guest. (Again without knowing child age)… The rest of family I assume is in business too, so all 3 would get the normal galleries business lounges but they are very busy (north and south especially)… Depending on where you next flight departs from you might consider the smaller T5B lounge (also business class lounge), that’s usually a better bet.
If your child is less then 2, go to galleries first as all 3 can get in then and I really enjoy that lounge…. You will be in terminal 5 for your arrival but your departure might be out of terminal 3, i think BA does have some flights from there, so in that case you can use the AA lounge there.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 7:18 pm
  #755  
 
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Originally Posted by hbaeuerle
I have Executive Platinum status on AA and will be flying business on BA from PHL to LHR to MUC next week. I assume i can access the American Airlines International First Class Lounge in Terminal 3? is it worth it or is there a better BA first class lounge I can access with my family (Spouse and child)?
thank you in advance.
Originally Posted by FenwayTim
. You will be in terminal 5 for your arrival but your departure might be out of terminal 3, i think BA does have some flights from there, so in that case you can use the AA lounge there.
Heathrow Which Terminal Website: https://www.heathrow.com/at-the-airp...which-terminal

BA's MUC flights are out of T5
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 7:35 pm
  #756  
 
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Originally Posted by FenwayTim
The Galleries first is pretty strict to the policy which is 1 guest. (Again without knowing child age)… The rest of family I assume is in business too, so all 3 would get the normal galleries business lounges but they are very busy (north and south especially)… Depending on where you next flight departs from you might consider the smaller T5B lounge (also business class lounge), that’s usually a better bet.
If your child is less then 2, go to galleries first as all 3 can get in then and I really enjoy that lounge…. You will be in terminal 5 for your arrival but your departure might be out of terminal 3, i think BA does have some flights from there, so in that case you can use the AA lounge there.
Where is this smaller lounge? Both North and South were packed to the rafters when I flew thru there over a week ago. I would have welcomed an alternative.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 8:10 pm
  #757  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Chelsea Lounge Access — Arrival AA F but depart on separate PNR

Greetings,

Could not find a precise answer to this question online or missed it:

In January, I will be traveling LHR-JFK in Flagship First. I will be connecting on a separate reservation/PNR that evening to DCA. Will I have access to the Chelsea Lounge?

Thank you.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 8:27 pm
  #758  
 
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Originally Posted by AJNEDC
Where is this smaller lounge? Both North and South were packed to the rafters when I flew thru there over a week ago. I would have welcomed an alternative.
its in the B gate area, mainly for the flights departing Terminal 5 B and C gates…. Last time i did it, it was about a 9 or 10 minute walk back to A if I recall correctly…. Usually much quieter but the drawback is the views of the runways and planes isn’t as good as the main ones in A..
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 8:37 pm
  #759  
 
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Originally Posted by FenwayTim
its in the B gate area, mainly for the flights departing Terminal 5 B and C gates…. Last time i did it, it was about a 9 or 10 minute walk back to A if I recall correctly…. Usually much quieter but the drawback is the views of the runways and planes isn’t as good as the main ones in A..
I would have given up runway views for a place to sit in a bit of a calmer oasis than existed in the North and South Galleries Lounges.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 8:52 pm
  #760  
 
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If you need to walk back to the A concourse think twice about visiting the B lounge. Between the train out and the walk back it is easily >30 minutes all in for transit time.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 9:19 pm
  #761  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
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Originally Posted by senatestaffer
Greetings,

Could not find a precise answer to this question online or missed it:

In January, I will be traveling LHR-JFK in Flagship First. I will be connecting on a separate reservation/PNR that evening to DCA. Will I have access to the Chelsea Lounge?

Thank you.
Yes you will have access. The separate Pnr won’t matter. You just need to get airside as arrival access is allowed w AA’s rules and obviously you will be airside with your onward flight.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 1:05 am
  #762  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Originally Posted by hbaeuerle
I have Executive Platinum status on AA and will be flying business on BA from PHL to LHR to MUC next week. I assume i can access the American Airlines International First Class Lounge in Terminal 3? is it worth it or is there a better BA first class lounge I can access with my family (Spouse and child)?
thank you in advance.
For your way back, the AA lounge at T3 should have a lower priority for your visit; same applies to the BA lounge. Cathay or (to a lesser extent, but YMMV) Qantas should be where you will go.

(Similar to above I assume all of you are in Business)

More information here:

Best T3 OneWorld Lounge

There's also an Amex Plat lounge which is not too bad but windowless and often quite full; I believe you are (if you have a Plat) a US cardholder so certain restrictions apply on guesting.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 2:46 am
  #763  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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If all three travelers are on the same PNR, OP's wife and child should inherit status and lounge access privileges.
Clark Casual is offline  
Old Dec 17, 2023, 3:17 am
  #764  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Originally Posted by Clark Casual
If all three travelers are on the same PNR, OP's wife and child should inherit status and lounge access privileges.
Unfortunately not, OP can only guest 1 pax. Even bringing in an additional child on the same PNR will require a lots of goodwill of lounge staff.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 8:05 am
  #765  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Just want to put my two cents as I just went through Heathrow twice this month.

As soon as I got off the plane I went direct to immigration, zero wait, and was in the BA arrivals lounge six minutes after getting out of my seat. I have status and was flying long-haul J.

The lounge had perhaps ten passengers. No wait for the showers, the spa was empty. No lineup for food.

Ninety minutes before my flight I went upstairs through FastTrack, took less than then minutes. Decided to visit the two lounges I had access to and it was a zoo, lineups for food, crowds everywhere and very little seating. Not a place I want to spend four hours.

Safe travels!
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