American Airlines Goes Premium In The Fight For Austin Travelers

American Airlines has announced that will soon break ground on a massive new Admirals Club at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). A growing city for the airline, it will be moving its premium lounge offering to the new space to accommodate more travelers and offer a better on-the-ground experience at the airport. With an expansive route network, the airline is now turning its attention to upping its game on the ground in the competitive market.

American Airlines Goes Premium In The Fight For Austin Travelers
American Airlines is planning on offering a new premium ground experience in Austin. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American Airlines plans a new Admirals Club in Austin

American Airlines will break ground on a new 15,000+ square foot Admirals Club at AUS. The lounge is expected to seat over 250 customers. When it finally opens, it will be the largest premium lounge space at the airport and will serve as a reflection of American’s commitment to the city and its intention to offer a compelling ground experience for its travelers.

Clarissa Sebastian, Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products, stated the following on the announcement:

“Austin has such a unique energy, with its fascinating mix of technology and arts. American wants to create a club that reflects that eclectic style and pays homage to the lively music scene. We can’t wait for customers to experience the new space, with much more room to relax, unwind and enjoy.”

The lounge is planned to incorporate elements from the city itself. The airline advertises that the space will reflect the “urban fabric of Rainey Street, Austin Parks. local art and music.” The goal is to create a space with the “Austin vibe” and feature local music. This will be in addition to offering upgraded amenities to customers. This includes complimentary food and beverages, WiFi, digital magazines and newspapers, business centers, personal travel assistance, power outlets, and more.

American Airlines Goes Premium In The Fight For Austin Travelers
The new Admirals Club will reflect the Austin vibe. Photo: American Airlines

The airline currently has an Admirals Club in Austin. That lounge will remain operational as the airline works on constructing the new space. An opening date has not yet been announced for the new club.

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Going premium in a competitive city

Austin is a very competitive airport. Southwest has remained dominant, but over the last year, American has steadily been growing its presence at AUS. This has seen it add a host of new routes. The airline has currently added 25 new nonstop routes from Austin, with more on the way. It also offers customers flights to more destinations via its partners British Airways, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue (to the Northeast).

American is going after a larger share of both corporate and leisure travelers in the city. To continue its product differentiation and build a competitive advantage, it is looking at offering a larger and better lounge space. The airline sells memberships to Admirals Clubs and day passes. Customers connecting to a long-haul international flight or flying to London on British Airways in a premium cabin can access the lounge. Check with the airline for full eligibility details.

American Airlines Goes Premium In The Fight For Austin Travelers
American Airlines is not holding back in the fight for Austin. Photo: AUS/Austin Pro Photo

It is not uncommon for airlines to build new lounge spaces in important cities. Lounges are primarily for premium travelers who have purchased a ticket that grants them access or have a membership themselves. American Airlines also offers Admirals Club access through select AAdvantage credit cards.

The goal is to bring more premium customers into American’s portfolio at Austin by offering a large network and a better ground experience than the competition. Delta Air Lines also maintains a modernized Sky Club at the airport, and American is looking to ensure it can stay competitive and does not lose out on travelers.

Where will the lounge be?

The new lounge will be located near Gate 14. The current Admirals Club at AUS is located near Gate 22. Most of American’s departures leave from gates numbered in the 20s. It will not be a long walk and it is all in the same terminal, making it easy for customers to visit the new space before boarding their flight.