Free Access to Admirals Clubs for Military Members

Courtesy of reader, Robert, we have this new tip.  Service Members in uniform and those with orders when in civvies, can access any American Admirals Club.

Admirals Club

I knew we could do this for US Airways back a few years ago, but hadn’t tried it on American.  You may get different answers depending on the club, but I expect this is a legacy of combining American and US Airways.  Here is the referenced language and the American website where it can be found:


If you’re on active military duty, you have complimentary access to all Admirals Club lounges when traveling the same day on an American Airlines or US Airways operated flight. When you arrive, please present your:

I would print out this page, or have the URL in case one of the matron says she doesn’t know what you are talking about.  Note that I could find no such language for United Clubs, but have had success getting in there while in uniform.  The lady actually gave me the “duh, of course you can enter” look, but I haven’t seen this actually written so your mileage may vary.

Citi Prestige

Another technique of course is to apply for the Citi Prestige card.  This also gives you Admirals Club access.  It comes with a $450 annual fee, but here is a trick.  Each year the card gives you a $250 credit on an airfare charge in addition to 50,000 Thank You points and other benefits.  If you got the card now and paid $450, you could then get $250 off a plane ticket in 2015 and another $250 off in 2016. and then cancel the card before the annual fee for the next 12 months was charged!  That puts you $50 ahead with free Admirals Club access.


  1. Good information! I have Delta and priority club access with the Amex platinum, but if I ever book an AA flight, I’ll give this a try.

  2. I’d love to see a review on all of the USO airport clubs. I’ve been to quite a few and think that some of them are just as nice if not nicer than the “for fee” clubs (considering they are free).

  3. Admirals club is now only for military in uniform. This is what is reported on their website and what I was just told as I was trying to enter while on orders in civvies. This is a change, apparently recently.

    1. For some all you need is your military I.D. I just did it and am currently sitting in the admirals club in casual clothes

  4. I was just denied in DFW after showing active duty military ID, was told I must have my uniform on!. What joke

  5. What a joke? It’s a courtesy they are doing for the military. They also have to support their paying customers! Don’t expect free handouts just because you are military. Makes us all look bad.

    1. Glen B it’s not a hand out but a privilege offered to our military and for those who have given years of their lives away from their families and loss of limbs or eyesight. I believe they should be provided the privilege such as access to a lounge as a simple demonstration of the finer things in life they continue to put theirs on the line for. As the majority of our military are 18-25, and likely don’t make as much money as you do, $450 is a large sum of money to pay for annual access. Providing access to a lounge without having to be in uniform or with orders, which unless on way to a deployment most military shouldn’t do, is a small step towards making a good program a great one. Just because the wars arent as publicized as much anymore doesn’t mean that our military shouldn’t be treated to anything but the best.

      Blessed is the sheepdog watching over the unsuspecting sheep.

    2. Only ROTC and Academy cadets/officer trainees and perhaps enlistees fresh from technical school fly in uniform. Most military units prohibit their folks to fly in uniform due to opsec reasons. At the most extreme, some military personnel (e.g., black and/or white SOF and intel) who fly commercial even required to remove anything that distinguishes their military affiliation. So, basically, with the “has to be me in uniform” required by AA to be able to enter into their lounge is telling us uniform wearers to go fuck off unless you’re a fresh meat/noob.

  6. For opsec and other obvious reasons in today’s society, it is highly recommended to travel in civilian clothing to deter surveillance, harassment, and other hostile actions.
    These security reasons are why being in uniform is not practical to travel in and it’s actually discouraged to travel in uniform since you make a target out of yourself; this is especially true in foreign countries, even friendly ones. While some active duty members choose to travel while in uniform while in the States, we are actually encouraged to maintain a low profile by wearing civilian clothing.

    1. @Schocker – You may not remember, but from ~2003-2006, we were REQUIRED to wear uniforms when traveling CONUS. The CSA thought that we needed to remind people that we were at war.

  7. No, the reason wearing a US Military uniform is forbidden in foreign countries is that it is an act of war. Yes, in a friendly country maybe not (that’s no guarantee, though – depending on where you are, it may still be a seriouis problem). – but you were the one who added unfriendly countries by stating “even” friendly ones. Electroman, Col., USAF (Ret).

    1. No fucking way that you’re a retired USAF colonel because what you posted above is the most retarded comment I’ve seen online. Please stop posing as if you were a prior servicemember. If what you stated is true, then we’re commiting “act of war” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Philippines, Honduras, Colombia, etc., to any foreign locations where we have forward-deployed troops right now. How do you think our forces get to those destinations? They mostly fly comm air and if you believe them flying in uniform is an act of war, then flying in civies is even worse since they’re hiding their US military identity which is what covert operators/spies do…and all servicemembers belong to those career foelds, right?

  8. Since I found this old post while researching upcoming travel, I figured I’d add a data point. In March 2018, I traveled both United and American on orders, and was granted free access to two separate United Clubs and American Admirals lounges (4 total). I was NOT wearing uniform on any of these trips. United asked for my LEAVE chit (one agent told me TDY orders would not work, interestingly). American just looked at my military ID and let me in. Appears to be at the discretion of the club agent, probably dependent on how busy they are at the moment. Good luck to all!

  9. Im active Military and on orders and was just denied access to B terminal admirals club. The said im not allowedduring busy hours but i could see inside and over 20 seats were open just in the portion i saw. Dallas is no longer letting us in support is wavering.

  10. 09/14/2018

    Good evening,
    Attempted to enter lounge at Dallas Forth Worth airport and was denied entry, (yes, active duty paper copy orders in hand and Military ID.) I’m not the entitled type, so I don’t really care… don’t advertise if you can’t perform.

  11. Agreed. Denied entry at Dallas Fort Worth. On orders, official military travel. Poor thing way to treat any AD service member.

  12. Must be a DFW thing. Was denied with orders. Don’t really care, but the lady had an attitude. I asked “do you still do military on” she cut me off and said no, very sharply, then said “have you tried the uso lounge?” In a bitchy way. Nice lady. She did the same thing to both of my guys trying to get in after me. Friendly lady.

  13. Still not working at DFW. Must just be antimilitary. Got same BS excuse, but different connecting flight at another airport let me in (but made me promise to sit along a wall and not take any good seats). Would love to see someone question why American airlines at DFW seems so biased against military. Or AA could end the offer. But claiming the offer works and just turning people away is ridiculous.

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