In an August 6th press release, American Airlines is reintroducing complimentary hot food items and signature food-for-sale favorites at select Admirals Club lounges across the country. The month-long rollout is part of the airline’s phased reopening strategy for Admirals Club lounges and ongoing response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Starting Aug. 12, complimentary favorites include scrambled eggs or oatmeal in the morning and soup or macaroni and cheese will be served in the afternoon. Timing and menus will vary by location. Gloved and masked team members will prepare these items behind protective acrylic screens at a safe social distance and serve the hot menu items in disposable containers to reduce touchpoints between Admirals Club guests and team members.
Starting Aug. 19, signature food-for-sale menu items will be available all-day and accessed using QR codes. Many of the menu items will reflect the region guests are visiting and vary by location. Admirals Club guests can enjoy a slice of deep-dish pizza while laying over at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) or a sliced brisket sandwich before catching a flight from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). All menus will feature vegetarian and gluten-free options.
American Airlines 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.
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.
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. “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.
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%.
For American the lounge openings 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.
As of Aug. 6th, 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