American’s second-largest hub is losing its biggest Admirals Club for at least 6 months

Jan 12, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

You might want to think twice about connecting in Charlotte over the coming months, especially if you’re a premium American Airlines flyer.

The carrier, which operates a hub at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, shuttered the doors to its largest Admirals Club at the airport on Saturday, Jan. 8. The lounge will be temporarily closed for four to six months, during which time the airline is working on some building-mandated updates, a carrier spokesperson confirmed to TPG.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

This includes completing fire safety improvements necessary to meet the latest National Fire Protection Association requirements.

While much of the work will be behind the scenes, some passenger-facing improvements are coming to the Terminal C lounge, including upgraded fixtures, furnishings and finishes.

That said, American confirmed to TPG that it’s not overhauling or redesigning the lounge. The Terminal C club, which American inherited during its merger with US Airways, will continue to feature the old US Airways Club design concept.

While the Terminal C lounge is closed, there’ll be just one Admirals Club open for American Airlines passengers. The lounge, located between gates 3 and 5 in Terminal B, is significantly smaller than the Terminal C outpost, and likely won’t be large enough to handle the demand during peak departure banks.

To mitigate overcrowding, American already opened a temporary Guest Service Center on the mezzanine level of the airport atrium between Terminals B and C for Admirals Club-eligible travelers.

The space is staffed by customer service agents, who are on hand to help with ticketing and travel assistance. Plus, there’s a selection of grab-and-go snack offerings, bottled water and coffee available.

Additionally, American is suspending the sale of lounge day passes in Charlotte for the duration of the planned closure of the Terminal C club.

During a Tuesday morning visit on Jan. 11, TPG’s Executive Editor Scott Mayerowitz noted that the Guest Service Center wasn’t too busy. There were six customer service podiums installed in the makeshift conference room, but only half of them were staffed at 8 a.m. local time.

There were some high-top tables available (without chairs) for flyers who wanted to linger in the space munching on some of the takeaway snacks, which included Rold Gold pretzels, Chobani yogurts, sandwiches, canned Coke-branded sodas and more.

Meanwhile, the Terminal B Admirals Club had a line of passengers waiting their turn to enter.

A look at the airline’s February 2022 schedule shows that American’s busiest departure bank in Charlotte is between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. local time. The airline has on average nearly 75 flights with over 8,500 seats departing during that bank, according to Cirium timetable data.

Assuming that 10% of those passengers had access to the Admirals Club, that would mean 850 flyers would be looking for space in the club — just for the single hour-long departure bank.

While American didn’t share the capacity of the Terminal B Admirals Club, it likely can’t fit more than 200 passengers (at most) — leaving many of AA’s most loyal flyers without a space to relax before the flight.

Those flyers who also hold The Platinum Card® from American Express can visit the Centurion Lounge in CLT, located after security at the intersection of concourses D and E. At 13,000 square feet, the Amex outpost has space for more than 250 passengers.

However, the lounge has been subject to frequent overcrowding during busy time periods, even well before American’s Terminal C club was shuttered. Flyers headed to the Centurion Lounge should check the live capacity indicators to see if there’s space inside before making the trek over there.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points after spending $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/31/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.99% - 26.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.