Miami’s “Secret” American Airlines Club With Premium Liquor and a Nice Buffet

Miami used to have an American Airlines “Flagship Lounge” — an international first class lounge also open to American’s 100,000 mile flyers traveling internationally and also their oneworld partner top tier elite members. That one closed for renovations, never to re-open.

The nice thing about Flagship Lounges, other than tending to be quieter and less busy than Admiral’s Clubs, is that they offer self-serve liquor and usually a decent buffet.

I’ve been very fortunate to be a British Airways Gold member, granting me access to the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles Flagship lounges whenever I pass through on American even just flying domestically.

I became a British Airways Gold when BA acquired british midland. I was a long time bmi Gold, even though I never flew that airline — they were an easy Star Alliance Gold (they did status matches, it took only 38,000 qualifying miles to re-up the status, and once you had ddone so for the year paid first class tickets earned 625% flown miles — coupled with a cash and points award chart it was a fantastic program may she rest in peace). I will be saddened when my Gold card expires early next year.

But did you know that Admirals Club members and oneworld mid-tier elites with other airlines have access to a lounge offering a similar buffet and liquor spread in Miami?

It’s the old Americals Club on the “E” concourse. Nearly all of American’s flights out of Miami depart from D these days, so the Admirals Club closed in E. There are still some American flights out of E, and some oneworld partner flights (British Airways, Iberia, Air Berlin), though much fo the concourse is shuttered.

The lounge has reopened, operating effectively as a shared oneworld lounge though officially it’s designated the “premium lounge.”

The interior is still pretty much as it was when it was an Admirals Club, but the catering is closer to a first class lounge.

The lounge is just past the security checkpoint for the E concourse. It’s easy to miss, there’s an elevator that you take up to the 5th floor, and it’s only open in the afternoon and evenings (thus primarily for transatlantic departures).

Lounge access is for:

  • First, business class, and mid and top-tier oneworld elite members although the agent I checked in with told me that an American Airlines elite member flying domestically would not have access.
  • American Airlines full fare business and first class passengers flying on non-stop transcontinental flights.
  • American Airlines Admirals Club members with flights departing from the E concourse. Note that these members are not permitted to invite a guest.

There are nice views of airport operations.

I was flying Miami – Washington National out of the E concourse, something I haven’t done in a few years, so I popped up to the premium lounge and was impressed by the food spread for a domestic offering.


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I enjoyed this lounge in April for my Spring Fling to London on BA in 1st I agree it is very nice and not crowded when I was there. Nice showers, too

  2. Sure you were impressed by the food spread full of abuse of animals. This is also exactly how you look. A grave yard of dead animals!

    Wake up to see the animal holocaust. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka. –Isaac Bashevis Singer

  3. there are lost of problems with this lounge I would not go. It does not open till 4pm and closes early. Its far from many gates. Its really not worth the trip.

  4. Sadly, AA showed no love to this AA EXP. In fact, was interrogated what I was doing in that terminal when my flight was departing out of D. Maybe one day, AA will consider Central America and Caribbean as “international” so we may have access!

  5. We had the pleasure of visiting this lounge in transit during our SFO transcon to MIA then on to STT (and on the return). Having a 2-3 hour layover in each direction made it worth our while to hike over to E.

    We flew AA on domestic 1st class award tix. I confirmed with AA via email before travel that our award tix were eligible for lounge entry, as they were transcons booked as full Z fares. It helped that I brought copies of the email & web page aa.com/premiumlounge as the agents on both visits initially argued that we were not qualified to enter.

    The staff inside the lounge were extremely nice & polite. They recongnized us on our return & greeted us with hugs. It was a quiet & peaceful place to hang out during the long travel days. The food was mediocre but the booze selection was fine.

    Most importantly we used the showers during our return. After camping for 9 days @ Maho Bay, St. John, it was by far the best shower of my long life :).

    ps. the website (link above) states that the hours of operation are daily from 1:00pm to 9:00pm but the Admirals Club website claims 1:00pm to 10:30pm.

  6. I had a 5-hour layover in Miami once and appreciated having a nice lounge with real food. I think my favorite is the BA lounge in Heathrow though.

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