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American Airlines launches new service to make airport experience smoother for families

May 21, 2021
3 min read
American Airlines launches new service to make airport experience smoother for families
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Navigating the airport with kids can be, well, an experience. Keeping everyone together and your luggage organized as you check in and go through security is no small feat.

American Airlines is launching a new premium airport assistance program that could make getting your family to your next flight a little easier.

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The new service, called Five Star Essentials, is available starting Friday, May 21, 2021, for domestic departures and connections at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Miami International Airport (MIA) and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). You can add up to two adults and three children or pets for $149, and additional travelers can be added to your party for $25 each.

(Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

Five Star Essentials passengers will get an extra pair of hands to help them navigate the airport. You'll be welcomed at priority check-in and be given assistance checking in, selecting seats and getting any checked luggage squared away.

Then, you'll be escorted through the priority security lane with help keeping all carry-ons and personal items organized. Once everyone is through security, you'll be escorted to your gate.

For connecting flights at participating airports, Five Star Essentials customers would be escorted gate-to-gate and offered assistance with everything from keeping track of suitcases to monitoring the flight status.

This service is available to add to any American Airlines flight starting May 24, 2021, whether it's in economy or a premium cabin. You can book Five Star Essentials through the American Airlines website on the same landing page with information about the similarly named Five Star Service (a luxury product for travelers with premium cabin tickets that offers access to Flagship First Check-In and Admirals Club lounge access, car service coordination and more at a premium price).

Unfortunately, Five Star Essentials doesn't include Admirals Club lounge access, though you can purchase a one-day pass (or use your credit card to gain access).

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Some frequent travelers may have the airport hustle down to a science, and those travelers probably won't find a ton of value in this new service. If you regularly make it through check-in, security and to your gate with your whole family without losing any suitcases (or your sanity), spending almost $150 extra for someone to escort you likely won't be worth the cost.

But for parents and guardians anxious about flying with kids for the first time (or, perhaps, the first time since the onset of the pandemic), or if your toddler is known to lose his or her favorite stuffed animal between gates, Five Star Essentials could save a lot of time — and anxiety — at the airport.

Related: Making family travel easier with car seats and strollers

And this new service isn't just for parents. Pet owners who are flying with a furry companion for the first time could also get value out of this service.

While the service is currently only available at three airports in Dallas, Miami and Charlotte, it might roll out across more U.S. airports and include other service options in the future depending on customer feedback and interest throughout the summer.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of American Airlines)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best for American Airlines lounge access
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 4X miles
4XFor a limited time, earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases through December 31, 2022. After that, earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases.
1X1 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 miles
Earn 80,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$450

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

 includes a complimentary membership to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge. Users can also add up to 10 authorized users (for no additional cost), and they get their own access — including two traveling companions. The primary cardmember also enjoys priority check in, screening and boarding for themselves and up to eight travel companions. Other perks include a free checked bag for domestic travel, 25% off eligible inflight purchases and $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Pros

  • Offers Admirals Club lounge access.
  • Help earning up to 10,000 EQMs that go toward elite status.
  • Priority check-in, airport screening, boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to 8 travel companions.
  • 25% discount on inflight food and beverages.
  • Receive a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Statement Credit.

Cons

  • No travel protection benefits.
  • Miles redemption limited to American Airlines and its Oneworld partners.
  • 25% inflight credit doesn't include Wi-Fi.
  • Earn 80,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • For a limited time, earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases through December 31, 2022. After that, earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
Best for American Airlines lounge access
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XFor a limited time, earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases through December 31, 2022. After that, earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases.
1X1 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    80,000 miles
  • Annual Fee

    $450
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

 includes a complimentary membership to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge. Users can also add up to 10 authorized users (for no additional cost), and they get their own access — including two traveling companions. The primary cardmember also enjoys priority check in, screening and boarding for themselves and up to eight travel companions. Other perks include a free checked bag for domestic travel, 25% off eligible inflight purchases and $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Pros

  • Offers Admirals Club lounge access.
  • Help earning up to 10,000 EQMs that go toward elite status.
  • Priority check-in, airport screening, boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to 8 travel companions.
  • 25% discount on inflight food and beverages.
  • Receive a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Statement Credit.

Cons

  • No travel protection benefits.
  • Miles redemption limited to American Airlines and its Oneworld partners.
  • 25% inflight credit doesn't include Wi-Fi.
  • Earn 80,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • For a limited time, earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases through December 31, 2022. After that, earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation