Lounge Review: American Airlines Admirals Club at D30 – Miami International Airport (MIA)

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Disclaimer: This review is of a visit to the lounge pre-pandemic. That’s why nobody is wearing masks. On my most recent trip, I visited the lounge again and the staff and guests were wearing masks and other safety protocols were in place like social distancing.

Thanks to my new Admirals Club Membership, I have now access to even more lounges. Before I used Priority Pass and my American Express Platinum Card to get into different lounges. As a loyal and frequent flyer with American, I often ended up at airports with no alternative lounge other than an Admirals Club. Also, the Admirals Club lounges are more conveniently located to my usual departure gates with American and therefore I can spend more time in the lounge.

Miami International Airport is an American Airlines hub and they have two Admirals Club inside the North Terminal which are conveniently located to cover all the American gates. This is a review of the Admirals Club at Gate D30 which is the same location for American Airlines Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining.

Location

Depending on where you get through security, you can just walk to Gate D30. Follow the overhead signs towards the Admirals Club / Flagship Lounge. Be aware, that there is another Admirals Club at D15. Probably the most convenient way is to use the Skytrain inside the airport and get off at Station 3 which serves gate D26 – D39. From there it’s just a short walk to the Admirals Club. The entrance is opposite of Gate D30.

Hours of Operation

Both Admirals Clubs in Miami are open daily from 4:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. This covers most of the flights leaving Miami. There are some late-night flights, during which the lounge will be closed.

There are some alternatives, but you have to walk a bit from Gate D30. Some of them are Oneworld member lounges as well and all of them below can be accessed with Priority Pass.

Access

  • First and Business Class passengers traveling to Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City (MEX), New Zealand, South America (First Class Passengers are allowed one guest) marketed and operated by American Airlines or a oneworld® airline.
  • AAdvantage® Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Platinum elites traveling to Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City (MEX), New Zealand, South America (one guest permitted) marketed and operated by American Airlines or a oneworld® airline (regardless of cabin).
  • ConciergeKey members departing on or connecting to any flight marketed and operated by American Airlines or a oneworld® airline (regardless of cabin). Immediate family (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18) or up to 2 guests.
  • oneworld® Emerald and Sapphire elites departing on or connecting to any flight marketed and operated by American Airlines or a oneworld® airline (regardless of cabin). One guest permitted.
  • Admirals Club Membership: Requires same day departing or arriving flight marketed or operated by American Airlines, marketed and operated by any oneworld® partner carrier, or marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines. A membership can be bought with money or miles and discounts are available depending on your Frequent Flier Status with American Airlines. Check the Admirals Club website.
  • Admirals Club Day Pass: A day pass can be purchased directly on-site.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive Card Holders
  • Military: U.S. military personnel traveling in uniform traveling on a same-day flight operated by American.

More information on the Admirals Club website.

Admirals Club at D30 Miami International Airport

After walking through the doors you enter the check-in area of the lounge. Multiple check-in desks are usually manned here for a speedy check-in. If you are eligible you will get a little card which you would show upstairs to get access to the Flagship Lounge. However, this review focuses mainly on the Admirals Club side of the lounge area. Once successfully checked in, which usually just requires a boarding pass and I.D., you have two options to get to the lounge. Use one of the elevators or walk up the beautiful spiral staircase.

Up on top, you see the customer service desks. I am so thankful that they are there, as during my visit this time, my flight was canceled. The lines at the gate were long and I waiting times on the hotline were long as well. After my flight got canceled, I walked back to the Admirals Club and talked to the agents there. The agent was super helpful in getting me accommodated on another flight to take me to my destination.

Just past the customer service desks, there are two hallways with a nice open seating area in the middle.

Seating near the lounge entrance

Going down the left you will pass the only conference room in this lounge followed by another small hallway leading to the showers and restrooms. At the very end, you end up at the business center. There you find multiple open workstations to set up your own devices and two workstations ready to use. A printer and paper shredder is located at the end of the business center. The business center curves around an opening, overlooking the terminal area below with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. If you continue down to your left, you find a few daybeds to relax.

Walking down the other hallway from customer service desks brings you past some flight information monitors, a magazine stand, and a kid’s playroom. After that, the lounge opens up to a big seating area to your right, which has these see-through wooden separators panels. These give the lounge a little bit more private atmosphere while still giving the impression of a wide-open space. The large floor-to-ceiling windows here give you a good view of the apron and runways of the airport.


Apron View from the Lounge

There are multiple seating areas along the windows and some are completely separated from the main seating area to give you a more private area to rest.

A separate seating area

Directly across from the main seating area is the bar. The bar area comes with plenty of dining tables and high-top seating. The bar is at the back of the dining area and either side of the bar area houses the buffet. On the left buffet area, you find most of the food selection while the right one holds drink options like soda dispenser, water, coffee machine and more. One of the highlights in the bar area is the guacamole bar, where a lounge attendant would make guacamole on request right in front of you.

I really love that American serves now Mac&Cheese with a big pallet of toppings to add to your Mac&Cheese. Who doesn’t love Mac&Cheese? 😉

Besides the many complimentary items either at the bar or food buffet, there are premium drinks and food for purchase, if you are interested. Just talk to one of the lounge attendants and they are happy to take your order and bring the food right out to your table.

As you walk down there are more seating options on either side of the lounge followed by another small buffet area. From there the lounge matches up with the curved area with the glass windows into the terminal. These small hallways in the back need a minute to figure out, which one to take and where it leads you, but there are signs everywhere to point you in the right direction.

What about power outlets? You will be happy to hear, that almost every seat, chair, and lounger has a power outlet nearby. Only in the dining area, you won’t find any power outlets located conveniently to your table or chair. This is good, as it keeps the people moving and opens up the dining area for other guests.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I seem to have issues getting the WiFi to work at Admirals Clubs. Their WiFi is provided by AT&T and I have no issues connecting to the network but the sign-in page will never load. After I finally get to enter the password, the network seems to be terribly slow. I had the same experience at the DFW Admirals Club and here, within one week. Maybe it’s just a temporary issue….let’s hope.

The bathroom, which is located near the shower suites, was surprisingly clean and well maintained.

Men’s Bathroom

Shower Suites

Both of the Admirals Clubs at Miami offer shower suites. I couldn’t resist trying one out. The suites are locked, even when vacant, and you need to get your key from one of the agents at the customer service desks. I got lucky, I walked up and shower suite #4 was ready to go. I got handed the key and asked if I would need a toothbrush as well. This is a pro-active service by making such offers to the guest. As I didn’t know you can get a toothbrush there.

These suites are very comfortable. They are huge compared to other showers suites I have been to. Inside you find, besides the shower, a vanity, toilet and a bench to sit down. My shower suite was very clean and it was a simple design with mostly tiles everywhere. You get asked to limit your use of the shower suite to 30 minutes or less, which is understandable to give other passengers the possibility to shower as well.

Conclusion

Lately, I hear many people complaining about American Airlines’ new lounge design. To be honest, I do like it. It’s nice and clean and it’s simple. Other styles are in and out of trend and then people complain again. I don’t go to a lounge because of the design. All I expect from a lounge is cleanness, great amenities, and service. If you want art, go to an art museum. Overall my stay here was great, even tho the lounge was kinda crowded. I settled down in the business area, away from the main seating. Back there it was pretty quiet and not a lot of foot traffic was coming through.

If you are looking for a lounge with better food options, you can check out the American Express Centurion Lounge or use your Priority Pass (only if not issued by American Express) to eat at the Corona Beach House.

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