American Airlines to update lounges and clubs, including at CLT

A rendering of American Airlines’ flagship dining service launching in 2017
A rendering of American Airlines’ flagship dining service launching in 2017 Courtesy of American Airlines

American Airlines is refurbishing its Admirals Clubs at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, an upgrade that includes updated furnishings, new lighting, improved power access and a new design.

More than 15 other clubs are scheduled for renovations over the next few years, American said Wednesday. Construction dates for the two Charlotte club updates weren’t available, though construction on others will begin this spring.

American said the project is part of a $3 billion investment in “the customer experience.” Along with club renovations, the work includes new dining services and the introduction of new luxury lounges in six airports.

The massive projects come after American reported a record profit in 2015, boosted by lower fuel costs. The “customer experience” upgrades also include bringing back free snacks in the economy section – something American hasn’t offered since 2003 – and more free entertainment options on some aircraft.

Charlotte is American’s second-busiest hub, after Dallas/Fort Worth. The airline operates more than 90 percent of daily flights at Charlotte Douglas since it merged with US Airways in 2013.

“We’re investing more than $3 billion in every aspect of the travel experience – whether that’s in our airports or in the cabins of the most modern fleet in the industry – because we want customers to choose American Airlines every time they fly,” said Andrew Nocella, American’s chief marketing officer.

American will introduce pre-flight meals with full tableside service in 2017 at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Miami International Airport. Seasonal menus at each location will feature locally sourced ingredients prepared by a local executive chef.

First-class customers on American’s three-class international and transcontinental flights will have exclusive access to the dining service, the airline said.

Also as part of the upgrades, American will introduce new, larger luxury lounges in six airports that will include modern furniture, more power outlets, freshly prepared food and an array of liquor, beer and wine.

The carrier starts renovation of the arrivals lounge at London Heathrow International Airport this month, and updates include private showers and dressing areas, dining services and valet pressing services.

All trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic, deep South America and Airbus 321T transcontinental customers booked in first class and business class will have access to lounge services beginning in 2017, American said.

American has already opened its newly refurbished Admirals Club in São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta