If you’re a member of the American Admirals Club or United Club, then it’s worth being aware of new restrictions that kick in for visits as of today. These were announced late last year, so we had about a year of notice…
New Same Day Ticket Requirements
As of today (November 1, 2019):
- American Admirals Club members can only access Admirals Clubs when traveling same day on American Airlines or a partner airline
- United Club members can only access United Clubs when traveling same day on United Airlines or a Star Alliance partner airline
United Club London Heathrow
Previously there was no requirement to actually fly with the airline with which you were a member, meaning that you could visit the American Admirals Club when flying United, etc.
In this case both American and United are following Delta’s lead, as usual. As of January 1, 2019, Delta only grants SkyClub access to members traveling with Delta or a partner airline the same day.
What Impact Will These Changes Have?
It’s odd to see how airlines are redefining the concept of a lounge membership. You’d think that if you’re the member of a club you can access it anytime, but now they’re adding a same day ticket requirement on the same airline as part of it.
Presumably they’re making this change simply because they can. American and United suggest that this will reduce crowding, though I imagine that will only marginally be the case.
I can’t imagine there are that many members accessing a club when flying another airline, especially given terminal layouts, and also given that they’re likely to be fairly loyal to an airline to begin with if they buy a membership.
American Admirals Club Toronto
As of today you’ll need to actually be flying with American or United or one of their partners in order to use the respective lounges as a club member.
This is a disappointing development, though for me doesn’t change the value proposition of my lounge membership. I have an Admirals Club membership through the $450 annual fee Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.
It offers an Admirals Club membership for the primary cardmember, plus you can add up to 10 authorized users at no cost, and they get Admirals Club access as well, with the ability to take two guests each. I’d say that’s a pretty great value still.
Will you be impacted by the new Admirals Club and United Club access restrictions?