After my British Airways flight from London to Chicago O’Hare, I stopped for a few moments at the American Airlines Admirals Club in Terminal 3, Concourse H/K. While the club was serviceable and ticked off many boxes that an airline lounge should, I felt it had no character.
American Airlines Admirals Club Chicago (ORD) Review – Terminal 3, Concourse H/K
Let’s first focus on the subjective, then I’ll focus on the objective. There’s just something about the current generation of AA lounges that rubs me the wrong way. It’s not the staff or the food selection, but the decor. It’s a very modern decor indeed, but it feels like a flipped home – the sort of banal style that will not age well (and I would say the same about United Clubs). I look at the walls and the colors and the furniture and think it feels tacky. Am I alone in that feeling? On the other hand, AA’s beautiful new lounge at Washington National (DCA) strikes me as the total opposite, a more timeless beauty that will age well and that actually shows a lot of thought.
Just thinking out loud…
Access + Hours + Location
The lounge is located in Terminal 3 of ORD Airport, just past security in the crosswalk between gates H6 and K6. It is open daily from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm. Take the elevator up to the third floor.
Access is reserved for:
- Admirals Club members
- Qualifying first and business class passengers, including those traveling same-day on American or another oneworld member to:
- Central America
- Middle East
- New Zealand
- South America
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Platinum members traveling internationally in any cabin of service
- oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members from other oneworld carriers (on any oneworld itinerary in any cabin of service)
- Admirals Club day pass holders
- Citi / AAdvantage Executive Card authorized users
- Active-duty military traveling in uniform with military ID
International first class and oneworld elite customers are allowed one guest (a child over two counts as a guest). Admirals Club members or members of the military may bring in their “immediate family” (spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18) or two guests.
Upstairs, I found a large and airy lounge, which was moderately crowded. I had no trouble finding a seat and the lounge seemed to empty out a bit during my stay (during the 6:00 pm hour).
Thankfully, there seemed to be electrical outlets within reach of wherever you find a seat. The internet also worked well.
If you are tired, there are also a quartet of easy chairs that you can use for resting in a specially-designated quiet area of the lounge.
Food + Drink
Unlike Delta SkyClubs and United Clubs, American Airlines offers a complimentary selection of food and drink items, but also sells food. The menu was posted in the buffet area:
Additionally, there was free food available, including build-your-own BBQ sliders, soups, salads, raw vegetables with hummus or ranch dip, cheese cubes, cookies, brownies, whole fruit (apples and oranges), and candy.
Non-alcoholic beverages included coffee from La Colombe, a nice selection of tea from TEALEAVES, and a Coke Freestyle machine. I made myself a cappuccino using an automatic espresso machine.
The bar area included beer, wine, and a limited selection of liquor for free, plus other drinks for purchase.
Restrooms + Showers
Shower facilities and large restrooms were available. There was a wait for the showers, so I have not included any pictures of the shower suites.
I appreciate that Admirals Clubs still offer copy machines and wireless printing. While I find printing increasingly irrelevant in our digital world, sometimes it comes in very handy.
My personal distaste for the design elements of this lounge aside, this is a serviceable Admirals Clubs. You can easily find plugs, fast internet, and enough food to make a meal out of it. While the general state of domestic US lounges may be somewhat depressing, I have to remember that compared to a decade ago these lounges have actually come a long way.