Review: American Airlines Admirals Club LGA

First Class Giraffe posing next to a lovely poinsettia in the LaGuardia Admirals Club
First Class Giraffe posing next to a lovely poinsettia in the LaGuardia Admirals Club

Read more from this trip – Christmas in Argentina:

Introduction

Lounge Visit Details:

  • Date visited: December 25, 2019
  • Where: LGA, – LaGuardia Airport, Terminal B
  • Class: Business Class Lounge

It had been several years since I last visited the LaGuardia Admirals Club and I was excited to see how the club had evolved. There are a few reasons behind my absence:

  1. Lapsed membership: I used to have Admirals Club membership through my Citi Prestige card before they eliminated the benefit on July 23, 2017.
  2. Location: I typically try to avoid LaGuardia like the plague due to the ongoing construction. There’s no subway / airtrain to LaGuardia and traffic to the airport can be a nightmare. What’s worse is leaving from LaGuardia. You either have to take a bus to the taxi queue or head to the rideshare parking garage, which is a zoo. Giraffes hate zoos!

The lounge is located in Concourse D, near gates 1 and 2, after security and can be easily located by following the signs. It’s open daily from 4:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Admirals Club Entrance
Admirals Club Entrance

Access

American Airlines Admirals Club lounges have some of the most complicated access rules. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

CategoryPrimary passengerGuests
Admirals Club MembersIncludes annual and lifetime members, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM MasterCard® primary cardholders, ConciergeKeySM members and AirPassSM members with Admirals Club privilegesImmediate family (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18) or up to 2 guests. Guests must be accompanied by the eligible member and present boarding pass for same-day travel on American or a partner airline.
First or Business Class passengersPassengers on a qualifying international¹ or transcontinental² flight (JFK-LAX, JFK-SFO) marketed and operated by American or a Oneworld airlineFirst Class passengers: 1 guest (children over 2 count as a guest), Business Class passengers: none
AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum membersMembers regardless of cabin on a qualifying international¹ itinerary1 guest (children over 2 count as a guest)
Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire membersMembers departing on or connecting to any flight marketed and operated by American or Oneworld airline regardless of cabin1 guest (children over 2 count as a guest)
Admirals Club® One-Day Pass customersAvailable at select locations for $59. Excludes airports with clubs currently under construction: Philadelphia (PHL)Up to 3 children under 18. Children must be accompanied by adult day-pass holder and present boarding pass for same-day travel on American or a partner airline
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive Card authorized usersValid Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive credit card requiredImmediate family (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18) or up to 2 guests. Guests must be accompanied by the eligible authorized user and present boarding pass for same-day travel on American or a partner airline
MilitaryIncludes U.S. military personnel traveling in uniform traveling on a same-day flight operated by AmericanImmediate family (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18) or up to 2 guests

1Qualifying international flights include flights from the U.S. to Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City (MEX), New Zealand or South America
²Qualifying transcontinental flights include 3-class nonstop flights between: New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX), JFK and San Francisco (SFO), LAX and Boston (BOS) – traveling on A321T aircraft only, LAX and Miami (MIA) – traveling on Boeing 777-300 aircraft only

Seating

There’s tons of seating in the LaGuardia Admirals Club. I was visiting on Christmas Day so the club was quite empty as you’ll see from the pictures. While there’s lots of seating there’s a lack of power ports so if you need to charge your devices you’ll have to look around a bit.

Main seating area
Main seating area

In the center of the lounge you’ll find four high back red leather chairs with a circular white marble coffee table. There were holiday decorations including red poinsettias scattered throughout the lounge.

Center seating area
Center seating area

As you walk back towards the dining area there’s a long bench seating area with several small side tables.

Bench seating
Bench seating

Towards the back of the lounge is a large dining area. It was completely devoid of people during my visit. A holiday wreath added some warmth to the room. If you can’t tell already giraffes really like holiday decorations.

Dining area
Dining area

Opposite the dining area is a bank of phone rooms. I see these being particularly useful when traveling for business. There’s power ports in the phone rooms so if you need to take a conference call and get some work done try to grab one of these.

Phone rooms
Phone rooms

There are several computer terminals facing the tarmac. Most travelers bring their laptop or tablet so I don’t see these getting a lot of use, but if you need to print something out these terminals are connected to a printer.

Computer terminals
Computer terminals

To the right of the computer terminals is a mini seating area for 5-people. If you’re traveling with a group this should be your go-to spot. It has access to power ports and nice views of the tarmac.

Group seating area
Group seating area

On a clear day you can even see Manhattan in the background. Giraffes like seats with views of the tarmac, but LOVE seats with views of Manhattan and the tarmac.

View from group seating area
View from group seating area

One of the benefits of having an Admirals Club membership is access to dedicated customer service representatives to help with rebooking in the case of irregular operations like cancelations and delays. These representatives normally staff a desk in the center of the Admirals Club, but perhaps they get Christmas off? Notice the red bows on the lights.

AA customer service area
AA customer service area

Food and Beverage

There’s a staffed bar at the LGA Admirals Club. House beer, wine and cocktails are complementary. Premium beverages can be purchased at an additional cost. Passengers traveling on qualifying international itineraries are entitled to 2 free premium beverages. American used to give out drink tickets, but now the drink coupons are tracked via your boarding pass. Don’t forget to bring cash to tip the friendly bartenders if you’re entitled to free drinks.

Staffed bar
Staffed bar

Around the corner from the bar is a food and beverage station. The lounge has a Franke FoamMaster coffee machine, but the coffee isn’t very good. You’re better off visiting the Starbucks in the terminal before coming to the lounge.

Coffee machine
Coffee machine

To the right of the coffee is unsweetened iced tea, fruit water and regular ice water.

Tea and water station
Tea and water station

If you’re looking for healthy snack options they have apples, bananas and oranges.

Fresh fruit
Fresh fruit

Salty snack options include buffalo stampede snack mix and honey mustard onion snack mix. The sweet snack option is limited to triple treat snack mix.

Snack mixes
Snack mixes

In addition to the standard assorted cookies they have brownie bites and gluten-free marshmallow treats.

Sweet treats
Sweet treats

If you’re looking for something more substantial to eat you can visit the make your own mac and cheese bar. They also had minestrone soup during my visit.

Mac & cheese station
Mac & cheese station

A variety of toppings are available for the mac and cheese including tomatoes, corn chips, green peppers and corn salsa. If you don’t want to tuck into a caloric cheesy meal before your flight then direct your attention to the green salad and balsamic vinaigrette. Despite not being particularly appealing to me the mac and cheese bar was extremely popular.

Mac & cheese toppings
Mac & cheese toppings

A variety of salad and sandwiches are available for purchase in the dining area. I didn’t purchase anything so can’t comment on the quality of the for purchase food offerings, but they looked pretty decent.

Food for purchase
Food for purchase

If you’re seated away from the primary dining areas they have smaller beverage stations, but options are limited to coffee, tea and water.

Beverage staton
Beverage staton

Overall Verdict

First Class Giraffe Approved

This rating is based on what the lounge is: a domestic business class lounge. It doesn’t compare to AA’s Flagship lounges or Cathay Pacific lounges, but they’re on a different level. The LaGuardia Admirals club is a great place to escape what otherwise is a disgusting terminal. It has plenty of seating, great views of the tarmac and a solid paid beverage selection. The food selection is lacking so grab something to eat before you head to the airport. Hopefully when they open a new Admirals Club at LaGuardia they’ll add more power ports and expand their healthy food offerings.

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