Now we aren’t saying AA’s existing lounges weren’t terrible, but apart from a handful, they weren’t much to write home about either. However the good news is that American Airlines has decided to up the ante with a redesign of its Admirals Club lounges across the United States. Customers will first experience the new look of the design at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) this Autumn. This first club’s opening will signal the start of a reimagined premium Admirals Club design for the largest airline in the world.
“The new Admirals Club interior design is inspired by our customers, who tell us that their favourite aspect of visiting our lounges is feeling like they’re ‘coming home,’” said Clarissa Sebastian, Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience & Onboard Products. “This design is the culmination of a partnership between American and an award-winning architectural firm well known for their designs in the hospitality space. Each element was thoughtfully developed to create an environment of calm, with natural woods and open spaces, so our customers can relax and feel their best as they prepare for their flight.”
Colour us impressed, if this level of design detail can be rolled out across the network. Chicago-based DMAC Architecture & Interiors created a unique vision for American. When customers step inside, they will be welcomed by signature brand elements and references from local landscapes and landmarks that tell the story of each city and create a sense of place. Wellness will uniquely shine through selective design elements that set a tone of calm and familiarity. Sustainability is also built into the new design in intentional ways, such as branded elements made of renewable American walnut in every lounge.
“Our focus in working with American is to create a meaningful environment for guests to experience the airline’s inspirational brand and airport lounge in a fresh, new way,” comments Dwayne MacEwen, Founder and Principal of DMAC Architecture & Interiors. “Lounges will include a collection of thoughtfully designed memorable spaces, with opportunities for guests to engage, retreat and rejuvenate. The new design of the Admirals Club lounges offers a bespoke hospitality experience in which every detail is curated for guests to feel cared for at each touch point during their visit.”
Admirals Club lounges currently in the works include Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and Denver International Airport (DEN), which will also feature the reimagined new design.
While much has been done to elevate and bring design touches to the ground experience, we hope this signals a desire to enhance the inflight product to a similar level, as American Airlines is the last of the major three to renovate their international fleet, and the current products are very ‘off the shelf’ in look and feel. When compared to United’s Polaris or Delta’s Delta One, American has some catching up to do, and perhaps this is the start of a much wider passenger experience project to elevate the carrier even further.