Review: American Admirals Club Miami Airport

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, American
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After checking out the Turkish Airlines Lounge Miami this morning, I figured I might as well knock out another review. In this post I wanted to review one of the Admirals Clubs in Miami, which I visit constantly, but haven’t yet written about.

American Admirals Club Miami Location

American Airlines has two Admirals Clubs in Miami — one near gate D15, and one near gate D30. The lounge near gate D15 is exclusively an Admirals Club, while the lounge near gate D30 has an Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge, and Flagship First Dining.

I’ve reviewed the Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining, so in this post I’ll just be reviewing the D30 Admirals Club

Admirals Club & Flagship Lounge Miami exterior

This is a tangent, but I have to give the designers of Miami Airport credit for designing what’s easily the most marginally useful train system at any airport. While there’s a train system between gates, when all is said and done it’s almost never faster to take the train, at least if you walk at my pace.

American Admirals Club Miami Hours

Both Admirals Clubs in Miami are open daily from 4:30AM until 10:30PM, which covers just about all possible American Airlines flights.

How To Access American Admirals Clubs

Those who receive lounge access on account of their status and ticket typically have access to Flagship Lounges, while accessing an Admirals Club generally requires a membership.

Personally I have an Admirals Club membership through the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, which I consider to be one of the best airline credit cards.

The card has a $450 annual fee, though the primary cardmember gets an Admirals Club membership, and you can add up to 10 authorized users at no additional cost, and each of them gets Admirals Club access as well. You need to be flying American same day to use the lounge.

Alternatively, here’s the standard pricing for an annual Admirals Club membership:

As you can see, having the credit card really is a better value.

American Admirals Club Miami Review

At the entrance to the lounge I presented my boarding pass and was promptly admitted. American lets you have your picture ID attached to your Admirals Club membership, which means you don’t have to present an ID every time.

Admirals Club lounge Miami entrance

While reception is on the concourse level, the lounge is one level up. When you exit the elevator the Admirals Club is to the left while the Flagship Lounge is to the right.

Admirals Club Miami Seating

While the Admirals Club isn’t huge, it’s big enough, and I’ve pretty consistently found it to be quiet, or at least not overcrowded. I suspect that’s because a lot of American’s premium passengers use the Flagship Lounge, given that Miami is such an international gateway.

Just inside the entrance to the Admirals Club is a seating area that seems to be more decorative than anything, since it’s right by the entrance (I almost never see anyone sitting there).

Admirals Club lounge Miami seating

Then the main part of the lounge is just down the hall. American has renovated their Admirals Clubs over the past few years, and while I wouldn’t say I’d like to decorate my home like an Admirals Club, I think the design is non-offensive.


Admirals Club lounge Miami seating

I like that they have plenty of outlets at every seat, and I also like the tables they have that you can move around, which are perfect if you want to sit in one of these seats and work on your laptop.


Admirals Club lounge Miami seating


American Airlines lounge seating

The main room has a lovely view of the apron.


American Airlines lounge Miami view

Across from that main sitting area is the dining area, which includes plenty of dining tables, a bar, and some high-top communal seating.


Admirals Club lounge Miami seating


Admirals Club lounge Miami seating


Admirals Club lounge Miami bar

As you go deeper into the lounge there’s even more seating.


Admirals Club lounge Miami seating

American Airlines lounge seating

Then the rest of the lounge curves, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out over the terminal.


American Airlines lounge seating

There are some daybeds, as well as a business center with some workstations.


American Airlines lounge daybeds


American Airlines lounge business center

The lounge also has a play area for kids back near the entrance.


American Airlines lounge kid play area

Admirals Club Miami Food & Drinks

The lounge has several buffets throughout, though the main selection is in the dining area, with food being to the left of the bar, and drinks being to the right of the bar.

As far as drinks go, there was one of those fancy Coca Cola machines, an espresso machine, drip coffee, juice, and water.

American Admirals Club buffet


American Admirals Club soda fountain

I have to say, I really like American’s drip coffee from La Colombe, and think it’s better than the “standard” coffee offered in Delta SkyClubs and United Clubs.


American Admirals Club coffee machine

American changed up their breakfast selection a while ago, I’d argue for the better. The problem is that there’s no variety, so it’s the same thing every time for months.

The main highlight of the breakfast buffet was a taco bar, with cheese, salsa, rice, beans, and more.


American Admirals Club breakfast spread


American Admirals Club breakfast spread

Then there was a fruit salad, a couple of types of Chobani yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, and some toast and pastries.


American Admirals Club breakfast spread


American Admirals Club breakfast spread


American Admirals Club breakfast spread

Personally I don’t mind the selection, but don’t love it either. I did hear a guy loudly complaining to one of the cleaners about how mad he was that they no longer have hardboiled eggs. Fair enough sentiment, but I think he was expressing it to the wrong person…

The Admirals Club also has a selection of complimentary house drinks, in addition to premium drinks and food for purchase. Here’s the menu (and I just realized they have La Colombo cold pressed coffee for purchase, and I might just buy it next time — my prayers have been answered).

The Admirals Club also does sometimes have made to order avocado toast in the mornings and made to order guacamole in the afternoons, though I think the schedule for that is “offer it whenever Ben isn’t there,” because I literally don’t think I’ve had it once in the Admirals Club in Miami.


American Admirals Club guacamole

Admirals Club Miami Showers & Bathrooms

The Admirals Club has fairly nice and well maintained bathrooms. In addition to that, they have shower suites, which are spacious, with a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower. Toiletries are from CO Bigelow. One area where American does really well with Admirals Clubs is with the availability of showers.

American Admirals Club shower suite


American Admirals Club shower

Admirals Club Lounge Bottom Line

The Miami D30 Admirals Club is probably the lounge I visit more than any other. Ultimately the lounge is quiet, has excellent coffee, nice shower suites, decent enough decor with nice views, and alright food.

I have a lot of other lounge or restaurant options in Miami, but I still end up here most of the time:

How are you guys feeling about Admirals Clubs nowadays? If Miami is also your home airport, what’s your lounge strategy?

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Comments
  1. I believe that chart of membership costs is out of date. It’s not hundreds of dollars more at nearly every tier. For example, the new household rate for a non-elite member is now $1250, not $925. Or, best case scenario, renewing individual at ExecPlat status is now $500, not $400.

  2. The new food selections are … gross. Nationally. Rusted lettuce, lukewarm or frozen chicken, picked over toppings, and Mac and cheese that’s never made correctly. #bringbackthecheesecubesandolives

  3. Last I remember, 2015-ish, the lounge was crowded, noisy and pretty messy. Old food plates around, stuff on the floor, etc…

    I dont really remember showers either. I guess I would still prefer the Flagship lounge, if given a choice…

  4. @John Gray A cliche millennial in Dallas.

    I am an AA EXP and I have yet to spring for an Admirals Club membership. Either Centurion or no lounge for me. All the designs are so ugly, including and especially the Flagship Lounges. These “new” lounges are opening and are 10 years behind, design-wise.

  5. Last time at MIA, as we were entering the club we were practically knocked down by some AA employee escorting a super VIP. It was noteworthy that although there was strong physical contact to my wife and she was obviously using a sling, no apology was offered by the employee, even when I called for security. The VIP, a foreigner, offered his unnecessary apology when it happened.
    I do understand priority treatment especially based on class of travel BUT it should never endanger anybody else.
    By the way,family and I were in Israel, at a western Hotel and the elevator door opened with a major government persona inside. Security tried to close the door but this Government bigwig recognized us as being in the hotel for days and chose to let us in.

  6. I’m a pretty frequent guest. The bathrooms and seating are about as you described. The food, however, is generally not so great. The salads are an improvement recently, no question. The mac and cheese is, well, basically inedible. Watery and whatever they call cheese is not cheese. I would suggest American find a way, for the prices that they charge, to offer good food. It feels as though someone at America West went to the discount grocery and made cheap stuff.

    Also, go in the evening…it’s much more crowded.

    One last thing about American – the “you don’t have to show your picture” is less convenient AFTER a flight than prior to a flight. After the flight, the boarding pass no longer works for scanning into the clubs.

  7. I had a lounge membership for years but gave it up even though it’d be covered by my company. I very rarely get to the airport early enough to utilize it, either in my home airport (CLT) or current weekly destination (FLL/MIA). It was nice when I connected a decent amount, but once I realized I hadn’t been to a lounge in almost a year I didn’t bother renewing a couple years ago.

    @Ben – I’m surprised you regularly get to the airport early enough in your home airport to use the lounge. I get if you’re reviewing the lounges like today or if you’re travelling as sometimes you don’t have another place to go with your stuff but the airport, but you have control over when you get to your home airport.

  8. @Andrew – Bizarre statement. “Centurion or nothing.” Not sure if you’re going for street cred or trying to sound cool, but there just aren’t very many Centurion lounges unless you’re going to the same couple airports and that’s it. Also they’re horrendously overcrowded. They honestly are no longer better than the airlines lounges; often, they are worse.

  9. Thanks, your articles are always so timely.

    I’ll soon be flying on AA domestic from Miami to Phoenix in “first” class. Will that grant me access to the club? If not, which clubs can I access and which is the best (I also have platinum AMEX for the centurion access)? thanks

  10. Ben, thanks for the review but out of curiosity why would you ever choose to use the admirals club over the flagship lounge?

    If you have OneWorld emerald through BA or most of the other programs, you can access the flagship lounges even for domestic flights, which is a substantial benefit to getting to emerald via an international carrier rather than AA itself…

  11. I personally love what they have done with both the D15 and D30 lounges. I tend to visit the D30 more, but have a slight preference for the D15 one. Regardless, they are, as you said, quiet, relaxed, peaceful, and a good place to be. Even with the expanded Centurion I still visit the Admiral Club more often as it’s quiet and comfortable. AA has really done a great job with these lounges and it’s a pleasure to visit them. I wish the planes were as nice as these lounges 🙂

    One note of the staff – Recently we were on a delayed flight. At the normal closing time, they asked us what flight we were on. Knowing the flight was delayed until after midnight, they kept the lounge open for just a few people on different delayed flights. In all it was probably 10 or 12 people total, but for them to keep the place open with bar open is really nice. They offered at least another half hour, but was not rushed at all to close. We didn’t abuse that and thanked everyone in there upon leaving about half hour after normal closing time. I haven’t seen that kind of service in a long time.

  12. I like the new renovations as a whole. Always plenty of power outlets and good quality seating. My criticisms would be that there aren’t enough work stations in general, though some lounges are better than others, and the food situation. I like that they have tried some new things, but I think it’s best to do that in ADDITION to the classic cheese cubes, veggies, etc. The way it is now, if you don’t want a salad, you’re SOL in some cases. I also really like the new Coke machines. I always felt bad going up to a busy bar just to ask for a soda or something non-alcoholic.

  13. There actually three Admirals Clubs at MIA. There is one in Concourse E (which uses to be the “OneWorld Premium Lounge”) currently closed for a redesign.

  14. I was on an evening BA flight and there were several other long haul flights around the same time. The only way to exit the lounge was via a small elevator. Consequently a huge line developed for the elevator and tempers started to fray. The lounge staff mostly hid rather than reassure passengers that their flights would not depart without them.

  15. I love this lounge. HUGE. The AMEX lounge is super cluster “””” ed . Too many people.
    How did you get the photos, though, without people?

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