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American Airlines to restore hot-food service at lounges

Aug. 06, 2020
4 min read
Admirals Club customer lounge
American Airlines to restore hot-food service at lounges
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American Airlines is bringing back hot food to Admirals Club lounges starting next week.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has reopened up to 15 of its lounges since closing them all during the spring. Since the lounges first reopened, only prepackaged snacks and full-service bars (where allowed) have been customers' only options at the lounge.

But hot food is set to return to the lounges beginning Wednesday (Aug. 12), part of what American calls a "phased reopening strategy" for the clubs. Additional food-for-sale items will be added to the line-up on Aug. 19.

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With the move, American would be the first of the so-called "Big 3" U.S. airlines to return hot-food service to its lounges. Both Delta and United are both still offering only individually packaged food selections at the lounges they've reopened.

While American's menu options will be limited, offerings planned by the airline include:

  • Complimentary breakfast beginning on Aug. 12, with options of customizable scrambled eggs or oatmeal
  • Complimentary lunch beginning on Aug. 12, with options of customizable mac and cheese and soups of four different flavors (garden vegetable; southwest corn; tomato portobello; butternut squash)
  • Food-for-sale beginning on Aug. 19; sample items such as deep dish pizza at Chicago (ORD) and sliced brisket sandwich at Dallas (DFW), with other vegetarian and gluten-free options

To adhere to CDC guidelines and to reduce touchpoints, the airline has said that gloved and masked team members will prepare the food "behind protective acrylic screens at a safe social distance." Customers can "access" food-for-sale items using QR codes.

Related: What you have to know about Alaska reopening its lounges on Aug. 1

"Our guests tell us they've been eager for their menu favorites to return, and we are excited to bring those items back [...]," said Janelle Anderson, VP of Global Marketing & Digital at American.

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The airline is not yet planning to bring back self-serve areas or shower facilities for guests. It also said that it will limit capacity at its lounge areas to 50%.

The announcement comes as some airport lounges in the U.S. – whether they are operated by a domestic or an international carrier – are beginning to reopen with drastically scaled-back service. As part of the industry's confidence-building measures, many operators are emphasizing hygiene in these lounges. Measures include the installation of plexiglass shields at service desks, increasing cleaning and disinfecting frequency and posting signs for social distancing. Still, some lounges — such as American Express's popular Centurion Lounges — remain closed indefinitely.

More: 7 ways the pandemic is changing airport lounges

For American, though, its lounge reopenings have focused on its hub airports. The return of some services — such as hot food choices — come as American and other airlines try to get a sense of what customers service might look like in the pandemic era. While closing down its Flagship Lounge and other exclusive offerings does come at a disappointment to some of the higher-fare customers, resumption of some of these services does seem promising.

Unfortunately, the carrier has not yet announced when other lounge locations will reopen. As of Thursday (Aug. 6), the list of reopened Clubs in the U.S. include:

  • Charlotte (CLT) – Concourses B and C
  • Chicago O'Hare (ORD) – Concourse H/K
  • Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) – Terminals A, B, C and D
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Terminal 4
  • Miami (MIA) – Gate D30
  • New York Kennedy (JFK) – Terminal 8 (in the Flagship Lounge)**
  • New York LaGuardia (LGA) – Concourse D**
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – Terminals B/C and F
  • Phoenix (PHX) – Gate A7
  • Washington Reagan (DCA) – Terminal B

**Only pre-packaged food and bottled water will be available, per local restrictions.

Guide: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

Featured image by Admirals Club (Photo Courtesy of American Airlines_

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023