American Airlines to Renovate Airport Lounges

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

American Airlines said Monday it plans major renovations of its airport lounges.

American calls the makeover the “most extensive refresh in history,” starting with clubs in Phoenix and Sao Paulo, and extending this year to Miami, Kennedy International Airport in New York, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles. It said lounges in Chicago, London and other key cities will be renovated “in the coming years.”

Airport lounges can be an oasis of serenity away from the crowds and noise at the boarding gates, with free snacks, beverages, wi-fi and work stations. They are mostly memberships clubs, tending to be the domain of elite-status fliers, those with premium-cabin tickets or with the right airline-branded credit card. A new regular individual membership at American costs $500 or 80,000 miles, or $50 for a one-day pass.

“In the future, when our customers see an Admirals Club sign anywhere in the world, they’ll know they’ll find a reliable, modern space where they can charge their devices, grab a bite to eat, get caught up on work or unplug from the world around them,” says Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president of global marketing. “Our goal is to create spaces that are more in line with how people live and spend their time today.”

Renovated clubs will have entryways featuring the American Airlines logo “on sleek, white glass” and modern check-in podiums, the carrier said. Lounge areas will get “a contemporary style overhaul with a mix of tan and gray tones and accents of rich red, along with lighting and other elements that blend in white oak wood and stainless steel,” it said.

Redesigned clubs will feature a variety of custom-made furniture pieces — from communal tables to high-back chairs outfitted with power outlets and USB ports, the airline said. Restrooms also will be renovated.

American said it is also upgrading food and refreshments offered in the clubs. Earlier this year, Admirals Club lounges began offering what it says is “an enhanced and healthy selection” of refreshments, including Greek yogurt, oatmeal, soups and sweet and savory snacks. It says more food enhancements are coming this summer, but didn’t provide details.