American’s New Plan to Renovate All of Their Lounges

Two weeks ago I wrote about American’s new lounge design.

American, today, has finally announced it and it looks very much like their old new lounge design, which is to say it’s quite similar to the most recently-opened lounges such as in Buenos Aires and the midfield concourse at LAX and even Paris.

The Buenos Aires club is stunningly modern (though not big enough for the volume of passengers at peak times).

The idea is that eventually all of the lounges get re-done.

Renovated clubs will be instantly recognizable to customers, with entryways featuring the American Airlines logo on sleek, white glass. Once inside, customers will be greeted by representatives who are stationed at modern check-in podiums, ready to assist with travel and upgrade needs. Lounge areas will receive a contemporary style overhaul with a mix of tan and gray tones and accents of rich red, along with lighting and other elements that blend in white oak wood and stainless steel.

To improve customers’ comfort as well as productivity, the redesigned clubs will feature a variety of custom-made furniture pieces – from communal tables to high-backed chairs outfitted with power outlets and USB ports, making it easier to charge personal devices and stay connected. Restrooms will also be given a modern treatment, with new countertops and tile throughout. A club’s individual location will be played up through artwork that represents the destination.

First out of the chute are the currently-closed lounges at Phoenix and Sao Paulo (oddly, I really already found the Sao Paolo lounge to be quite good).

Then Miami, New York JFK, Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles will start renovations this year. They do not note which of the Miami, New York, or Dallas lounge(s) will get the treatment right way.

They’ve provided a rendering for Phoenix.


The brown furniture at bottom-right are called ‘privacy chairs’

And a bar area rendering.

Additionally they promise “[m]ore food enhancements .. coming this summer” although don’t yet specify what those are.

The overall renovations will take quite a long time, “with clubs in Chicago, London and other key cities entering the renovation phase in the coming years. Ultimately, the makeover will touch all of American’s lounges.” After we get through the first six airports that will be unveiled or begun this year, “key cities” will enter renovation over years and ultimately they all get retouched. I guess I don’t have to worry about mini golf being removed from Austin any time soon.

I’ll be following up to learn more details of the schedule and the food improvements. Although I do have to say that the chicken tortilla soup in the clubs is really good. I just wish they didn’t stop serving it at 7pm!

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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  1. […] American’s New Plan to Renovate All of Their Lounges by View From The Wing. Biggest problem for me is that a lot of these lounges are just absolutely packed during peak times. I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t care about having forty different types of food and a massive bar, I just wanted somewhere quiet and comfortable to work with one or two quality snack options. […]

Comments

  1. This is a terrible choice. Lounges are supposed to be oases of warmth, with leather and marble and mahogany. Not this school cafeteria chic. AA’s AC at ORD’s Eagle terminal is a great example of what NOT to do. It feels completely cold and sterile, without class. This would be a real shame.

  2. I’m not a fan of the current blocky ’80s decor in many lounges, but I can’t say this is an improvement. It will look incredibly dated in 5 or 10 years.

    Most of JFK doesn’t even need a renovation; it’s only ~12 years old.

  3. I am glad that they have ORD scheduled for “coming years”, that’s the club I use most often on connections and the “new design” looks cold and sterile. I guess I am not hip to the new trends but when I look at the new design everything looks cold, sharp and hard to me. Design elements that would complement this design include exposed concrete, knife blades, frost, vinyl sheeting.

  4. Is the new design in any way similar to the design of the LGA AC design (the one in the CTB terminal)? I think that lounge has the best decor/design of all AC lounges right now. BOS is solid as well and similar to the LGA one.

  5. How quick can we expect GRU to finish? Was hoping to see it, but doubt it very highly. Flying out May 23rd.

  6. @Gary — I’m surprised that you found the old GRU lounge “quite good.” 🙂 It was quite terrible, in my opinion, and I’m based in GRU! Although the AAngels were by far the best in the system in terms of their knowledge of the systems/rules and their willingness to help. Again, in my experience. I’m certainly looking forward to the new T3 lounge, though I wonder what the dynamic will be between it and the LATAM lounge. The latter is quite nice and large from a physical perspective, though the catering is typical GRU — unchanged from their old lounges in T2.

  7. This is great news. I was very dissapointed after the new club opened in SAN to see that no food was offered except for cookies and snack mix. No breakfast food, no bagels, no veggie tray, no cheese, no chips, no nuts, or anything worth snacking on. This is great news! Now if only they could go back to serving midgrade booze at the bar like they used to. We shall see.

  8. I don’t have a problem with the décor or furnishings of the AA lounges. I do have a problem with the lack of (complimentary) food and drink, and the quality thereof. It would seem like a better idea to first (sincerely) upgrade the offerings, and then worry about esthetics.

  9. GRU is getting a new lounge because AA’s operation moved to T3 (the new terminal which handles only international flights).

  10. The free food is what I’d like to see them improve. It helps to justify the $450 fee and makes it somewhat closer to what int’l lounges offer. The lounges are already comfortable as far as seating.

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