Tuesday, April 28, 2015

American Airlines Admiral's Club + Flagship Lounge, LAX

The American Airlines Admiral's Club in Terminal 4 is broken into two sections.  The first is the regular Admiral's Club, accessible to anyone who has Admiral's Club access.  The second is the Flagship Lounge, only for those flying international First Class, or who are OneWorld Emerald.  The Flagship Lounge is adjacent, but behind a second set of doors, from the regular space.  To access this area, you are given a special card when you enter the main lounge, so you can get in and out of it at will.

Since I had plenty of time to kill in LAX, and low expectations of the Admiral's Club, I spent most of my time in the Qantas Business and First Class lounges in the international terminal, and only walked over to Terminal 4 when I needed to.  What follows is mostly a photo tour, since I didn't dine much there (not that they really have much to offer).

Admiral's Club

I started with the basic Admiral's Club.  It was pretty much like any other Admiral's Club, with very limited offerings, but was large, and the seating areas varied.
Spa Water.
You are greeted with spa water options, which were refreshing.
General Seating.
Several types of seating are available, in a bright, light filled space.
Bar and Dining.
Adjacent to the first seating section is a bar where you can purchase premium drinks (I believe there are some basic red and white wine and beer available complimentary), along with for-purchase cafe style items.  I'm not sure why anyone would eat in here rather than purchasing food at the slightly better establishments in the main terminal though.

Adjacent to the bar is an area designed for eating, with tables and chairs.
Snacks and Corner Seating.
Around the corner is a snack station, with the same trio of snacks that show up in most Admiral's Clubs: two types of snack mix and pretzels.  Since I've reviewed the snacks before, I'll leave you to read all about my thoughts on those in my previous review of the club in SFO and my review of the club in Boston.
Quite Zone.
Around the other side isa "Cell-free zone", a quite, calm environment.  It felt like a library!
Snack Station.
The main snack station has the same snack mixes as usual, plus two types of cookies, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip.  They are large, soft style cookies, nice enough.  If they were kept under a heat lamp, they'd be actually really quite good!

As I mentioned in my review of the same cookies in Boston, I think they are Otis Spunkmeyer brand.

Apples and oranges round out the food options.  This is really not where you come to get any substantial snacks!
Drink Station.
The drink station has pre-brewed coffee (decaf or regular), plus a Nescafe machine to make espresso drinks. I really appreciate that they have togo cups, so I was able to grab a cup of coffee on my way out the door.  The coffee was unmemorable.

Flagship Lounge

Next, I moved into the Flagship Lounge.  This was my first time inside a Flagship Lounge, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  It is certainly nicer than the regular Admiral's Club, with some real food options and self-serve liquor, but, still not a very premium lounge.
Comfortable Seat.
Like the regular area, I appreciated how light filled it was, with views of the planes coming and going.  The chairs were crazy comfortable.  I don't recall any seating more comfortable than this in any airport anywhere, including premium international lounges.  Major points for the chairs, and, for having power outlets around.  And free wifi, no password needed.
Dining Area.
Adjacent to the food station is a dining area, which I didn't use.
Soft Drinks, Juices, Water.
There is a selection of bottled soft drinks, juices, and both still and sparkling water.  This was notable only because the regular Admiral's Club didn't have basic things like sparkling water, apparently a premium item.
Buffet: Salad, cheese, sandwiches, desserts.
And ... the food options.

While much better than the regular Admiral's Club (recall: snack mix, cookies, fruit), there wasn't much to write home about here.

Mixed greens and dressing, dry pasta salad, and a tomato and cucumber salad.  Some kind of pre-made sandwiches.  Slices of basic cheese.  Fruit salad.  Brownies.

Of course, I had to try SOMETHING, so I went for a caramel and nut topped brownie.  It was dry and flavorless, not rich at all.  The cookies from the other side were better.
And some basic snacks.

Stacy's Pita chips and Miss Vickie's potato chips, neither of which are awesome.  Crackers to go with the cheese.  A few types of granola bars.  Pepperidge farm cookies.  I actually think the cookies from the regular lounge were better!
Soup ... Empty Hot Food.
For hot options, there was soup.  And a serving dish that was supposed to have hot food, but never did in the hour I was there.  Maybe it has something at dinner time?
Wine, Etc.
Self-serve wines, and basic liquor.
Decently Stocked Bar.
The bar was actually decently stocked, for a domestic lounge.
Of course, cold beer for those who prefer it.
And tea, an assortment of Twinnings, with basically every choice of sweetener you could want, including honey.


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