stairs and elevator at the entrance to Washington DCA airport
Source: American Airlines

American Airlines Increasing Membership and Entrance Fees for Admirals Club

Starting Sunday, July 23rd, 2023, American Airlines will be increasing the price of lounge memberships and daily entrance fees. The new prices will be raised by around 30%, but in positive news, they are also promising better food, drink, and grab-and-go options. If you are a regular American Airlines traveler, this is a good time to consider your options before the prices increase.

Price Changes

Below is a table showing the current prices, the new prices, and the percent of (increase) change that will go into effect on July 23rd.

Annual Membership$650$85031%
Annual Membership (Miles)65,00085,00031%
Day Passes$59$7934%
Day Passes (Miles)5,9007,90034%
Citi Executive Credit Card$450$59532%

As you can see on the pricing table, the rates on everything will increase by around 30%. With these price changes, the Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard offers a great deal compared to purchasing the memberships directly from American Airlines.

Food & Beverage Changes

Although the price increases are not great news, there is a silver lining. The food and beverage improvements look very promising. According to American Airlines, all domestic lounges will also offer complimentary craft beers, sparkling wine, and spirits like scotch and tequila. The complimentary liquor selection will also be extended to include cocktails like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and signature cocktails created with local flavors.

New food offerings be rolling out later this month to select locations and all lounge locations in early 2024. Some of the highlighted menu items include Cubano sliders in Miami (MIA) or crab cakes in Washington Reagan (DCA) as well as new grab-and-go snacks. American has also been teasing the grab-and-go option like Delta and United Airlines have rolled out, but nothing has been announced officially.

What to Do Now?

If you are a regular on American Airlines and are interested in a lounge membership for the Admirals Club, you should consider either getting an Annual membership from American or the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard before the new prices go into effect. If you fly American on a non-regular basis, I recommend you consider purchasing one or more day passes while they are still priced at $59 (5,900 miles).

Day Passes are offered by American and United for those wanting to visit a lounge without having to purchase a full membership or upper-class seats. American Airlines day passes are good for one year from the purchase date and are valid for 24 hours once you activate them. This 24-hour validity is very nice since you can use the pass at multiple airport lounges within 24 hours. Currently, United day passes are still priced at $59, and other airlines have mostly abandoned the day pass offering. One other important rule when using day passes is that they don't allow you access to the American Airlines Flagship lounges.

Closing Thoughts

I recommend that  you make any purchases before the date of the increase (July 23rd). I am going to grab a day pass to use in the next year. I am not sure if other airlines will be following along with a price increase, but I will keep my eye on any related news.