The Admirals Lounge, at the end of CLT’s C terminal is HUGE! Upon entering, I checked in with my Citi Prestige Card (provides complimentary Admirals Club access when flying American) and a copy of my boarding pass. My complimentary first class upgrade hadn’t cleared yet, but my review of Google Flights suggested that my odds of an upgrade were pretty good. I asked the agent if my upgrade had cleared and he responded with an unfortunate, “you’re number three on the list.” When I explained that I thought at least 8 of the 16 first class seats were still available, he double checked and confirmed that “I’d be fine.” Good enough for me.
Since I haven’t been to this lounge before, I quickly toured the facility. This CLT Admirals Club had four large rooms, each with its own distinctive feel and atmosphere. The seats were moderately comfortable, although they’re significantly more comfortable than you’ll find at the individual gates. Some chairs had attached trays, but it seemed like a fairly small number. Electrical outlets were plentiful and the wifi password was prominently displayed throughout the lounge.
Water, coffee, and a cool-looking espresso machine provided complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. The bar provided complimentary house beers (bud and bud light), house wines (red and white), and rail drinks. If you want to ‘upgrade’ to Blue Moon or a premium beverage, you’ll have to pay $7. Given my recent article on microbrews in the sky, I was a little disappointed by the premium beer offerings. I asked the bartender for the ‘house champagne,’ but they didn’t have any.
The food was substantial enough for a small meal. I had the kale with roasted-Italian sausage soup, pita chips with a mildly spicy hummus, and samples of the oatmeal-raisin cookies and fudge brownies. I’m not a kale guy but the soup exceeded my expectations (it was a little salty though). Except for the oatmeal raisin cookies (which I thought were chocolate chip, my bad), everything exceeded my expectations.
I was surprised that the lounge wasn’t more crowded given it was the Friday before Christmas and American flights out of CLT were fairly full. I would venture to guess that 20% of the chairs in the lounge were occupied, so plenty of room to sit.
Overall, my experience was great. Given that American mainly flies 50 seat, single-cabin aircraft nonstop between DC and DTW, I’ll likely need to book flights with layovers in the future. If this is the case, I have no issues with booking the layover in CLT. I’ll review the ORD Admirals Club after I check it out on Sunday but it has tough competition to beat.