American to open brand-new Admirals Club at New York LaGuardia, consolidate terminals

Dec 15, 2021

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The days of leaking ceilings, narrow hallways and long bathroom lines are coming to an end at New York’s LaGuardia airport.

On Thursday, Dec. 16, the last remaining “old” gates in Terminal B will no longer be operational as the airport begins the demolition process on this concourse.

That’s welcome news for American Airlines flyers, as the carrier will officially be consolidating all of its operations into the new Western Concourse in Terminal B. To date, the airline has operated some flights from the new gates and some from the old.

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To coincide with American’s transition into the new gates, the terminal operator, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, will be opening four new gates with some additional family-friendly amenities and shops on Thursday. The only major project still in progress on the new LaGuardia terminal is the elevated passenger bridge between the headhouse and Western Concourse, which is slated to open next year.

(Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

But perhaps most exciting for frequent American travelers is that the first part of the airline’s newest Admirals Club is opening as well. American shared a handful of photos with TPG, and the new space looks like a massive upgrade compared to the one it replaces.

Once the entire lounge build-out is complete in spring 2022, the new LGA Admirals Club will span more than 20,000 square feet, with room for over 350 passengers.

(Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

The new Admirals Club is conveniently located in the Western Concourse, one floor above the gate level, and it’s accessible via a pair of escalators. Though the lounge will no longer have apron views, it will be open-air and offer views of the terminal below – in a very similar layout to the United Club in the Eastern Concourse of Terminal B.

Location of the new Admirals Club (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Perhaps the only group of travelers who’ll miss the old Admirals Club is history buffs.

That’s because the old LGA lounge was also the airline’s first. It opened in 1939 as an invite-only club to select “Admirals,” which was the title given to some of American’s best customers. (Now, they’re called Concierge Keys.)

(Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

Liquor laws back in 1939 didn’t allow American to sell liquor, so the airline’s president at the time, C.R. Smith, kept a private whiskey collection at the club. That collection is still around, and it will move to the new club when it opens.

Another big difference between then and now is that lounge members were historically required to wear a jacket and tie to access the lounge.

Of course, the dress code has since been relaxed — you can come as you wish (while remaining respectful) to the new LaGuardia Admirals Club when it opens on Thursday.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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