Which airline lounges in the US are currently open?
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information on lounge reopenings.
After months of essentially no travel, people are slowly beginning to return to the skies as lockdowns ease and airlines introduce safety measures. Still, the actual flying experience looks radically different, with airlines reducing and redesigning service flow to minimize passenger-crew interactions and reduce touchpoints. Even on the ground things are different, with many airline lounges remaining closed due to a combination of low demand and social distancing requirements. Today we’re going to walk through which airport lounges are open to help you prepare if you’re flying soon.
Of course, even for the lounges that are open things are not “business as usual.” Buffets and self serve bars have been replaced with prepackaged food and drink, which almost universally represents a decrease in quality and available selection. Staffing levels have also been reduced, both to meet lowered demand and to minimize passenger-staff interactions. What this means is that if you’re traveling now, you’re not going to want to get to the airport early to relax in a lounge. Still, if you’re flying on one of these airlines, you may still have access to one before your flight.
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Let’s start by taking a look at the North American airlines that account for most of the travel to, from and within the US. You’ll notice a few airlines missing from this list like Southwest and JetBlue because they don’t operate any lounges to begin with.
American Airlines offers three tiers of lounge experiences for its premium and elite passengers, ranging from the more basic and prevalent Admirals Clubs, up to Flagship lounges in major international gateways, and Flagship First dining facilities at a smaller number of key hubs. Generally speaking Flagship lounges are intended for international premium-cabin passengers (with passengers flying in three-cabin first class being invited to Flagship First dining) and upper-level elites, while Admirals Clubs are for domestic road warriors and require a membership, upper-level elite status or the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® to access.
All four of AA’s Flagship First dining facilities remain closed, as do all Flagship lounges with one exception. The Flagship lounge at New York-JFK has been converted to an Admirals Club, meaning that Flagship and Admirals Club guests may access the customer-service desk but lounge services like food and beverage, restrooms and shower facilities are temporarily discontinued.
All Admirals Clubs locations are suspending normal lounge services like food and beverage, restrooms and showers, and many of the physical spaces are closed as well. AA is keeping open customer-service desks in the following Admirals Clubs locations:
- Charlotte (CLT) – Concourse C
- Chicago (ORD) – Concourse H/K
- Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) – Terminals A,B,C,D and E
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Terminal 4
- Miami (MIA) – Gate D30
- New York (JFK) – Gate 12 (Flagship Lounge with temporary Admirals Club service)
- New York (LGA) – Concourse D
- Philadelphia (PHL) – Terminal B and C
- Phoenix (PHX) – Gate A7
- Washington (DCA) – Terminal B
The airline announced that it will reopen 11 Admirals Clubs in 10 cities on June 22, though service will be altered to meet health concerns. Complimentary beverages and bar service will return, but food choices will be limited pre-packaged snacks. Service at some locations will be limited – such as at New York airports – to comply with local health restrictions currently in place. Beyond these 11 clubs, American will reopen about another dozen others as “service centers.” Here are the locations AA is reopening:
- Charlotte (CLT) — Concourse C
- Chicago (ORD) — Concourse H/K
- Dallas (DFW) — Terminal A and Terminal C
- Los Angeles (LAX) — Terminal 4
- New York (JFK) — Terminal B (only prepackaged food and water will be available, per local restrictions)
- New York (LGA) — Concourse D (only prepackaged food and water will be available, per local restrictions)
- Miami (MIA) — Gate D30
- Philadelphia (PHL) — Terminal B/C
- Phoenix (PHX) — Gate A7
- Washington (DCA) — Terminal B
Despite offering the best business class product in the US (for now, at least), Delta only has one type of lounge. This means that you’ll find yourself in a SkyClub whether you’re traveling in international business class, have Delta elite status, or gain entry through some popular credit cards.
While Delta initially closed a majority of its SkyClub locations, and scaled back food and beverage service and closed showers in those that remained open. The following SkyClub locations have remained open throughout the pandemic offering reduced service:
- Atlanta (ATL – A17)
- Atlanta (ATL – D27)
- Atlanta (ATL – F)
- Boston (BOS – A7)
- Detroit (DTW – A38)
- La Guardia (LGA – C)
- Los Angeles (LAX – T2)
- Minneapolis – St. Paul (MSP – F/G)
- New York (JFK – T4)
- Seattle (SEA – A)
- Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Washington D.C. (DCA — B15)
The following seven locations will be reopened throughout July:
- Chicago O’Hare (ORD E concourse)
- Denver (DEN)
- Miami (MIA)
- Nashville (BNA)
- Orlando (MCO)
- Phoenix (PHX)
- San Francisco (SFO)
Further Reading: The best Delta Sky Club lounges in the US
United is still in the process of replacing its old business-class product (both in the air and on the ground) with the much more competitive Polaris experience. United has temporarily closed all of its Polaris lounges, as well as all United clubs except for the following locations:
- Chicago O’Hare location near gate B6
- Denver location near gate B44
- Houston location near gate C1
- Houston location near gate E11
- Los Angeles location near gate 71A
- Newark location near gate C74 (for customer service functions only)
- San Francisco location near gate G6
- San Francisco location near gate F11
- Washington D.C. (IAD) location near gate C17
Further Reading: The ultimate guide to United Club access
Alaska Airlines offers a rather extensive lounge network for a primarily domestic and short-haul airline. Better yet, many of these lounges are accessible with a Priority Pass select membership, and so many travelers come to rely on them even if they aren’t flying Alaska. As of now, Alaska has closed all of its lounges with the lone exception of the D-concourse lounge in Seattle (SEA), which will remain open from 6:00 am – 9:00 pm.
Further Reading: Here’s why Alaska Airlines miles are the most valuable
Air Canada has taken a slightly more extreme step than its counterparts south of the border, closing all lounges worldwide. This includes all Maple Leaf lounges, as well as its relatively new Signature Suite lounges in Toronto and Vancouver, which TPG’s Zach Griff called “the best lounge in North America.”
Amex Centurion lounges
Over the last few years American Express has been working tirelessly to expand its global collection of Centurion lounges, with new locations opening in Los Angeles and Charlotte. In addition, Amex has several lounges under development both in the US and internationally, but since March 21, 2020, all Centurion lounges worldwide have been closed.
Further Reading: A guide to Amex Centurion Lounges
While many airlines are taking the blanket approach of closing all lounges, some have chosen to keep one or two open, primarily in their home airports or key international hubs. Nearly every foreign airline lounge in the US is closed, including all locations operated by British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air, Emirates and more, but there are a handful of international lounges still operating in the US, albeit with reduced hours or reduced service offerings:
- Lufthansa’s Newark (EWR) lounges remain open
- Air France-KLM’s New York (JFK) and Chicago (ORD) lounges remain open
Premium-cabin passengers with a Priority Pass membership used to have multiple different lounges to choose from, especially at major airports like JFK or LAX. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus an overwhelming majority of airport lounges around the world are closed, and those that remain open offer a radically different experience from what customers might be used to. However, there are some small signs of hope beginning to pop up.
Additional reporting by Benji Stawski
Featured photo (Delta SkyClub at JFK T4) by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy
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