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Last week, American Airlines opened its brand new Admirals Club in Terminal 5. TPG reader Peter G was kind enough to send us some pictures from opening day, but I was able to spend a few hours in the lounge Tuesday.

In This Post

I stopped by T5 ahead of my trip on Delta’s final 747 domestic flight, giving me an opportunity to experience all three legacy carriers in one day — United from Newark to LAX, AA’s new Admirals Club and a Delta 747 redeye to Detroit. What an adventure!

Check-In

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

As of Tuesday, the old Admirals Club in Terminal 4 is closed, with all passengers being directed to the new lounge in Terminal 5. It wasn’t an issue during my early afternoon visit — there were plenty of seats available — but this lounge has only been open for a week, so I could see overcrowding becoming a concern at peak times. According to lounge staff, a renovated Terminal 4 Club is expected to open in 8-10 weeks, offering an Admirals Club, a Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining.

The new lounge is located one level up from the gates, and you’ll need to take a staircase or an elevator — both are just next to the duty free store in T5. Coming from Terminal 7, the Admirals Club was impossible to miss.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

I was flying Delta and United on the day of my lounge visit , so Admirals Club access certainly wouldn’t be expected. I just signed up for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, though, and even though I didn’t have the physical card in hand, as it was delivered after I left New York this morning, the agent was able to confirm eligibility after I read her my AAdvantage account number. She also asked to verify my ID, after which I was welcomed into the lounge.

Layout and Seating

There’s a small seating area right next to the check-in desk, but the main lounge is around the corner.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

I was pretty excited to have my wide-angle lens available when I saw the main lounge area — just check out that ceiling!

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

I also really liked the paper (metal, really) airplane display in the main room.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

There are plenty of seating options, including pairs of armchairs and a group of three chairs around small tables, like the one below.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

I found the main lounge to be a bit too noisy — perhaps due to the high ceiling — so I made myself comfortable right around the corner.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

AA has a total of eight of these semi-private workstations — they reminded me a bit of the pods in the United Polaris Lounge and Singapore’s first-class lounge in Sydney, though these are obviously much more exposed.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

There was plenty of power at almost every seat, as you’d expect, including three-pronged outlets and USB.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Then, there’s another large room on the other side of the food and beverage area.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

The far back room offers a bank of windows, but they were almost entirely obstructed by dark drapes. Sneaking my lens through one revealed some solid tarmac views.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Given that I visited during lunchtime, I wasn’t surprised to see many of the guests gathered in the large dining area just behind the buffet.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

There’s also seating at the bar, but given the traffic I imagine that’ll stay mostly empty unless the rest of the lounge is full.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Food and Beverage

Speaking of F&B, the bartender was cheerful and friendly. He never seemed stressed despite a steady stream of visitors and requests. Most of the guests were opting for the complimentary options, which include a house Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, both from California winery Guenoc, along with Miller Lite, Bud Light and well drinks. Apparently the dispenser was acting up during my visit, so draft beer wasn’t available.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Meanwhile, if you’re traveling internationally, you should receive two drink vouchers at check-in, which are good for anything at the bar. I went back to inquire about eligibility and the check-in agent just handed one over, even though I wasn’t even ticketed on an American flight. Cheers!

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Other complimentary beverage options include iced tea, flavored water and regular water…

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

…along with Coca Cola products, coffee and tea.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

As for food, everything is free — though the selection is fairly limited. Perhaps it’s for the best that this lounge doesn’t have a paid food menu on offer, though.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Various salad items are available, including tomatoes, carrots, olives and edamame, in addition to prepared quinoa and pasta salad.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

And AA didn’t forget to include the staple of airline lounges, cheese cubes — along with chips and guac, and fresh spinach with peppers and chicken.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

There’s also a trio of snack mix, and a selection of fresh fruit.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Finally, AA had two soups on hand — the oddly named Potato Cream Cheese and a white bean soup, which was almost empty.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

The plates are comically undersized — they’re barely large enough for a dinner roll, let alone a salad. I did find most of the items to be fresh, though the quinoa salad was perhaps a bit overdressed.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

There are also chocolate chip cookies and brownie bites, should you be in the market for something sweet.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

Update: There’s also made-to-order guacamole from 3-6pm, and avocado toast with prosciutto in the morning.

Amenities and Wi-Fi

I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that this lounge has showers — there are four available, two of which were open when I arrived, so I was handed a key right away.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

I was assigned shower room 1, which was decently spacious.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

I decided to take a quick shower, and found the water pressure to be great. The soap dispenser was completely empty, but there was some soap available next to the sink.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

As far as other amenities go, there’s a printer and single computer available at the back of the lounge, should you need to print international boarding passes or other docs.

LAX Admirals Club Terminal 5 Review

And, my favorite amenity of all: Wi-Fi. American’s variety was especially speedy — in fact, according to the Speedtest website, the connection is “faster than 99% of US.” Well done, AA!

Overall Impression

This new Admirals Club feels like a nice domestic airline lounge, and that’s exactly what it is. Would I have paid $59 to enter with a One-Day Pass? Nope. But now that I have the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, coming in to hang for a few hours definitely made sense.

From chatting with the lounge staff, the new Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining facility currently under construction in Terminal 4 will be the place to be. Until then, this Admirals Club in T5 is a clean, well-stocked and shower-equipped option at LAX.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you.  Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and guests with you*
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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