Why On Earth Did American Renovate This Admirals Club?

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The Dallas Fort Worth A Terminal Admirals Club has been renovated, and I’m not sure it’s better than it used to be. Of course I think that was the one Admirals Club in the system that needed renovations the least in my opinion.

Not everyone agrees with me, because one employee kept walking through the lounge talking aloud to himself and engaging customers marveling at how nice he believes it is.


Admirals Club Entrance

I liked the old false rock facade of American’s Dallas Fort Worth A terminal Admirals Club. Overall I found the lounge spacious and peaceful. Plus I liked some of its features.

  • The A terminal used to house international departures, so there had been a small Flagship Lounge in this club. It was the ‘secret room’ and very few people were ever in it. You turned left off the elevators and it was the room immediately on your left.

  • It also had a gym which is gone with the renovation


DFW Admirals Club A Concourse Pre-Renovation

I was last here in October when the lounge was partially open (mostly the bar area, where renovations had already been completed) and the rest closed off. They decided to speed up renovations by closing down the whole club, and as a temporary measure opened up a ‘service center’ about a gate away tucked back by Pappadeux. In some ways I liked it better — there were agents to assist you and all the bottled water you could take away.


DFW Temporary A Concourse Service Center, Since Closed

The A terminal Admirals Club is back open and this was my first time through.

It’s bright and the wood paneling upstairs reminds me more of the Chicago and Miami Flagship lounges than it does the new JFK Admirals Club. In a way it reminds me of the E Concourse Premium Lounge (former Admirals Club) in Miami.

I found the lounge to be perhaps too bright, and most of all sound carries a lot more with the refurbishment than it did in the old lounge. It was noisy throughout the bar area and lounge core.

I found that the business center, and the back corner of what used to be the Flagship lounge were relatively quiet though.

Breakfast was on, and this isn’t one of the lounges with avocado toast at this point.

The ceiling beside the kitchen in the bar area is reminiscent of the new Flagship lounge style.

Head to the other side of the lounge and you’re still not far from refreshments – in the form of a snack tower of sadness.

Internet response time for each new page call seemed slow, but speed was ok enough, I’d have hoped that an extensive lounge renovation might come with improved wifi but on this visit it seemed performance lagged what I was used to.

There are showers, and families will appreciate the small kids room.

Oddly they chose to place the Quiet Room beside the Kids Room.

The bathrooms in the former Flagship Lounge area are still private single use rooms, which is nice to have I suppose — especially since they’re large — but I would have liked for them to add a place to put a laptop bag besides balancing it on the sink or putting it on the floor.

To be clear I am fortunate to have access, which is via my Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. I find that’s the best way for me to have access because I can spend and earn elite qualifying miles with the card and because authorized users have no annual fee but can still access Admirals Clubs too.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with this lounge per se, it is large with plenty of seating. I’m just not sure how the renovation makes it better.

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. The A lounge was a beautiful lounge before. I’d call the changes to this lounge more of a standardization than a renovation. I’ll miss the gym. Generally though, AA is doing a good job with its club renovations.

    The clubs at CLT, however, are now some of the worst in the system. The B lounge may be the worst system wide. It is puzzling that AA does not have better clubs at an international gateway that is its second busiest hub. Neither club has showers.

  2. Wasn’t this the one with the amazing showers with a rainshower, normal nozzle and 6 wall jets?

    Also, I’m not sure I’d go so far as calling a single treadmill and a single stairclimber a “gym”. 🙁

  3. Hah! Visited there earlier this month when they just opened with my kids and was also curious why the kids room was right next to the quiet area… Interior designer must be childless! Anyways, i like the theme, but that day found it quite warm inside, especially in the kids room.

  4. Came here to agree that the “gym” really wasn’t a gym BUT more importantly if we’re talking about FAA rules and regulations if you are so hard core that you need to use a gym in transit you should be legally required to shower as well. Side rant, electronic sniffers are scarily good at this point and if you set one off you should be denied boarding BUT obviously what’s deemed a pleasant vs a bad smell is cultural so I don’t think there is an objective way to do it without being sued for discrimination. Unfortunately.

  5. Hmmm, @8bbs, Donald Trump thanks you for your support and intelligent analysis. If things are getting too smelly for you here, try moving to Russia comrade, if that is not where you currently reside.

  6. I could deal with no Term A club for a while, but Closing Terminal D for renovations will be a disaster!!! Centurian Lounge is already too crowded to enjoy, the spill over will be epic.

  7. Seriously Gary? Do you even try any more?

    They renovated this club so that there is at least one club in the airport up to the current Admiral’s Club design standard during the year plus duration that the D club is closed and renovated into a Flagship Lounge + Admirals Club.

    Doesn’t take much “Thought Leadership” to get to that…

  8. I thought this review a little too harsh Gary but it was probably good clickbait for the card links.
    On my first use I found the renovated DFW Terminal A club light, airy and uncrowded. The work spaces are good and will be better when/if AA properly wires the cubicles and does away with the power strips.
    I do find the standard snack offerings a bit — shall we say, tiring, if one flies a lot but I do think AA is trying harder than Delta when it comes to clubs.

  9. What a gross plug for a credit card. You’re “fortunate” enough to have access to this via a credit card. How nice to among the fortunate few.

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