American Airlines Admirals Club Price Increase and Access Changes Coming in 2019

Effective as of Friday, February 1, 2019, revenue rates will increase for annual membership in the American Airlines Admirals Club by $100.00 per year for individual annual memberships and by $325.00 per year for household annual memberships; and household membership discounts will be discontinued, as an additional fee of $600.00 or 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles will apply to add a spouse — and a single initiation fee will be charged…

American Airlines Admirals Club Price Increase and Access Changes Coming in 2019

…but the good news is that if you pay for your annual Admirals Club membership with American Airlines AAdvantage miles, redemption rates will decrease with most individual accounts, as you may save as much as 20,000 AAdvantage miles — but members with household memberships will be redeeming as much as 35,000 more AAdvantage miles in 2019 when the changes become effective, as illustrated in the chart below in which increases are shown in bold dark red type and decreases are shown in bold green type.

Membership Type AAdvantage Basic Member AAdvantage Gold AAdvantage Platinum AAdvantage Platinum Pro AAdvantage Executive Platinum
Individual — new $550.00 up to $650.00 or
85,000 miles down to 65,000 miles
$525.00 up to $625.00 or
75,000 miles down to 62,500 miles
$500.00 up to $600.00 or
70,000 miles down to 60,000 miles
$475.00 up to $575.00 or
65,000 miles down to 57,500 miles
$450.00 up to $550.00 or
60,000 miles down to 55,000 miles
Individual — renew $500.00 up to $600.00 or
75,000 miles down to 60,000 miles
$475.00 up to $575.00 or
65,000 miles down to 57,500 miles
$450.00 up to $550.00 or
60,000 miles down to 55,000 miles
$425.00 up to $525.00 or
55,000 miles down to 52,500 miles
$400.00 up to $500.00 or
50,000 miles — unchanged
Household — new $925.00 up to $1,250.00 or
135,000 miles down to 125,000 miles
$850.00 up to $1,225.00 or
120,000 miles up to 122,500 miles
$775.00 up to $1,200.00 or
105,000 miles up to 120,000 miles
$725.00 up to $1,175.00 or
95,000 miles up to 117,500 miles
$675.00 up to $1,150.00 or
85,000 miles up to 115,000 miles
Household — renew $875.00 up to $1,200.00 or
125,000 miles down to 120,000 miles
$800.00 up to $1,175.00 or
100,000 miles up to 117,500 miles
$725.00 up to $1,150.00 or
95,000 miles up to 115,000 miles
$675.00 up to $1,125.00 or
85,000 miles up to 112,500 miles
$625.00 up to $1,100.00 or
75,000 miles up to 110,000 miles

The new membership rates — as shown in the chart above — are based on your AAdvantage elite level status at the time of when you purchase your membership. You can renew your membership at the current rate up to 120 days before expiration.

A one-day pass will remain at $59.00 and be available at select Admirals Club locations — except at those locations which are currently undergoing construction.

New More Restrictive Requirement for Access to Admirals Clubs

Same-day boarding passes on flights operated by American Airlines or partner airlines will be required for entry to Admirals Clubs effective as of Friday, November 1, 2019.

This policy change is similar to that of Delta Sky Clubs, of which I reported in this article on Sunday, October 21, 2018. At greater than one year, even the advance notice time period was approximately the same. The one possible difference is whether or not cardholders of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite — or any other — credit card will be affected by this policy change, as no amendments were included in the terms and conditions at the time this article was written.

Summary

I offered my reasons in this article which I wrote on Monday, October 19, 2015 as to why I personally would not pay $59.00 for a one-time visit to a Delta Sky Club — the same applies to Admirals Clubs and other airport lounges — but that is just my opinion

The last time membership rates had been changed was on Monday, July 25, 2016, when annual membership in the American Airlines Admirals Club increased by $50.00 or 5,000 AAdvantage miles per year for individual annual memberships; and by $100.00 or 10,000 AAdvantage miles per year for household annual memberships due to the millions of dollars American Airlines had spent to renovate its Admirals Club lounges around the world.

Two years, six months and seven days later, membership rates will increase again; and nine months after that, access to Admirals Clubs will become more restrictive, as no longer will members be able to use an Admirals Clubs lounge if they are at the airport and preparing to fly as passengers on different airlines which are not partners of American Airlines.

Although these policies will adversely affect many people, some will welcome the aforementioned changes, as they see them euphemistically as ways of the reduction of crowds in Admirals Clubs. This comment which was written by Donald Osborne — who is a reader of The Gate — pertaining to the more restrictive change to access to Delta Sky Clubs is one example of that mindset: “I’m good with that. A dramatic reduction in the crowds in the Sky Club is much more important to me than the one or two times a year I might visit a Delta lounge when flying another airline. Delta is smart in this policy. They know that the most loyal flyers will like it and those who fly frequently fly non-Sky Team airlines but use the lounges anyway won’t. There’s no real incentive to make them happy so I get it.”

Is American Airlines similarly smart in the aforementioned forthcoming changes to its Admirals Club policies?

Source: American Airlines.

6 thoughts on “American Airlines Admirals Club Price Increase and Access Changes Coming in 2019”

  1. Brandon says:

    Brian, if I don’t need to provide access to any friends/family, and don’t want to open a new credit card, seems that joining the Alaska Club ($450 at start, $350/year at 1st anniversary and beyond) is a solid deal compared to these new Adm. Club prices, given that it grants Adm. Club access to many of them. Is there some disadvantage to the Alaska route that I’m not seeing? Thanks.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have tried to find out the answer for you, Brandon; but as of yet, I have not found one.

      You would have to see if you would use the Admirals Clubs enough for the Alaska Club membership to be of value to you — but do not be surprised if you are turned away first when a lounge might be considered too crowded.

      Also, you never know when the alliance between the two clubs will cease.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I got an email from AA Business Extra mentioning a price increase also on redemption using Business Extra points: “Admirals Club Membership Increase: On February 1, 2019, we’ll increase our redemption price for annual Admirals Club memberships from 3,000 points to 3,300 points. If you were considering a membership, now’s the time to redeem.”

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for the information pertaining to the Business Extra program, Jonathan.

      Interestingly, I am a member — yet I never received the e-mail message.

  3. DaninMCI says:

    I assume they will make the access change to credit card holders also. It will be a real card killer for Citi if they do I suspect.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I would not be surprised about that at all if it indeed happened, DaninMCI.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *