The Trick to the LAX Terminal 4 Admirals Club

American Airlines in Los Angeles has Admirals Clubs in terminal 4, terminal 5 (the former Delta Skyclub), and the remote terminal for American Eagle flights (“Eagles Nest”).

The terminal 4 lounge complex has only just re-opened. It features an Admirals Club, a Flagship Lounge (business class lounge), and Flagship First Dining across from gate 40. The Admirals Club gets really crowded if you don’t know what you’re doing.

At the desk you show your credentials, and if you are eligible for Flagship lounge or Flagship Dining access you receive an invitation. Otherwise you just proceed upstairs to the club.

Once upstairs there are agents to assist with travel needs, otherwise turn right into the Admirals Club.

American basically flipped where the old Flagship lounge and Admirals club were, although the Admirals Club takes up slightly more space than Flagship used to, curving around in back.

On the one hand that means a much smaller Admirals Club. On the other that’s alright because Admirals Club is now really just for paying club members (and day passes), while Flagship is where everyone else goes — business class and first class passengers, oneworld partner airline elites, and American’s own mid-tier elites and above flying internationally in coach.

You don’t need as much space for the Admirals Club and I suggest the continued distinction between the two lounges is really just a way to ensure American doesn’t spend money for club members to have hot food. Nonetheless the Admirals Club was crowded when I arrived around 10:20 a.m.

It’s a nice lounge with plenty of light and views of the tarmac. There’s a kids room that’s closed off, and the family inside couldn’t be heard in the rest of the lounge.

There’s a buffet area for light Admirals Club snacks and a bar.

Here’s the trick. Fortunately there’s a semi-secret room in the Admirals Club, you just continue on past the bar and make a right and as crowded as the main lounge is almost no one is back in the final two sections of the lounge. There’s also a closed ‘VIP’ room back there as well.

Here’s the media room:

And beyond that there’s another separate seating area.

The only person back there, as busy as the rest of the lounge was, was a passenger sleeping.

There’s a separate refreshment station.

And there’s a conference room labeled ‘VIP room’.

Later in the day the back two sections of seating did fill up a little bit more, but they never got as crowded as the front of the lounge. Most people didn’t seem to realize those sections existed.

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. @WilliamC – having a long haul first or business class ticket (including central america, mexico city) does mean automatic entry to the flagship lounge

  2. @Gary Leff – I know that. But, your article does not make that distinction. You wrote:

    “while Flagship is where everyone else goes — business class and first class passengers, oneworld partner airline elites, and American’s own mid-tier elites and above flying internationally in coach”

    Your verbiage gives the impression that business and first class passengers get access. They don’t, unless flying on a QUALIFYING international or transcontinental flight.

    On the other hand, Oneworld partner elites get access to the lounge regardless of the distance or destination of the onward flight.

    It’s an important distinction.

  3. question

    arriving on a CX business class ticket ( and onward on economy) do they still allow access to the lounge ?

  4. @Stan D: I thought the same thing. As a dad myself, I would also be suspicious of men taking pictures of little kids.

  5. Because of child pornography many parents do not permit their children to be photographed by strangers. My daughter is very firm on this and her children now past toddler age are well trained. I guess as a general rule we should all not take pictures of children without their parents permission.

  6. Very busy lounges can bring out the worst in some. Particularly those who plop their carry-on stuff in an adjacent or opposite chair while passengers pace around looking for a vacant space. Even worse are the liars (usually women) who claim the seat is taken by some absent person. Frequently, having found another seat in view of the offending person, I have observed that the seat with luggage remains otherwise vacant the whole time its owner is in the lounge.
    C’mon people, it’s not all about you, it really isn’t, others deserve a seat as much as you do.

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