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Take A Look Inside American's Renovated Admirals Club at Miami International Airport (MIA)

March 12, 2019
5 min read
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Back in 2016, American Airlines detailed plans to renovate its network of Admirals Clubs, and the first refreshed locations opened later that year. Naturally, while hubs have been a priority as well, it's a bit more challenging to renovate the largest and most popular lounges in the system.

Now, following the opening of its first Miami International Airport (MIA) Flagship Lounge in 2017, AA has completed renovating its adjacent Admirals Club as well, offering more generous access policies than the international biz lounge around the corner. On a recent trip to South Florida, I popped in for a quick look.

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Location and Access

MIA offers three Admirals Clubs, including one in Concourse E, one in Concourse D near gate D-15 and this renovated location — near D-30 — open from 4:30am until 10:30pm and a short walk from the recently expanded Centurion Lounge.

As with other US-operated airline lounges, there's a laundry list of credentials that can get you into any Admirals Club, including this refreshed location at MIA. Options include:

  • Admirals Club membership ($550+ annually, depending on status)
  • The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (and authorized users)
  • AAdvantage Platinum or above on long-haul itineraries
  • Non-AA Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status
  • Long-haul business- or first-class tickets
  • Military personnel in uniform traveling on a same-day AA flight
  • Day passes (available for $59)

And then there's another set of check-in desks upstairs, separating the Admirals Club from American's Flagship Lounge — so don't expect to sneak past.

Seating Areas

I came across the first seating space just after the second-floor check-in desk. It's a highly trafficked area, since everyone needs to walk past to get to the main lounge, but I also found it to be the least crowded.

There's a variety of seating just down the hall as well, and while the lounge did feel fairly crowded during my afternoon visit, there were a handful of open seats to choose from.

Walking even farther in, I encountered a set of 10 day beds, most of which were completely empty. This section didn't seem to be patrolled by the staff all that frequently, though, given that there were several used cups and dishes piled up.

The lounge offers a spacious family hangout as well, which was completely empty during my visit.

There's also speedy Wi-Fi throughout, but I encountered some dead spots in the hallway near the four private showers, so be sure to stay put if you're hoping to download some content before a long flight. The lounge is well connected on the electricity front, too, with amble power outlets and wireless-charging pads.

Despite there being far quieter options elsewhere in the lounge, I wasn't terribly surprised to see that most visitors seemed to congregate near the bar and buffet.

Food and Beverage

The D-30 Admirals Club offers a selection of complimentary food and beverage items, including a mix of salads, sodas and house beers.

There was a healthy supply of cheese cubes, a staple of US-based airline lounges, along with some carrot sticks, tomatoes and chilled salads.

Unfortunately I didn't make it in time to sample AA's famous avocado toast, available free of charge in the mornings.

There were a couple of hot soups available, though, along with a dispenser of candy and snacks.

Meanwhile, over at the bar, most of the beverages come along with a charge, though Bud Light, Budweiser and Miller Lite are available for free, with house wines on the way soon.

Overall Impression

While I didn't have much time to hang out before rushing to my flight, American's refreshed Admirals Club is clearly an improvement over some of the carrier's older locations.

If you're planning to visit yourself, I recommend heading straight back to the day beds — just be prepared to do some garbage-bussing before you settle in.

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.

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 - 2X miles
2X2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
1X1 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on other purchases

Intro offer

50,000 miles
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 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 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles after spending $5,000 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
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other 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

2X2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
1X1 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

    50,000 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 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles after spending $5,000 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
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other 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