lightmac
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(Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:47 am

Is it true that (all?) US airlines do not admit business class passengers into their lounges for domestic flights - even though food-and-drink-wise most US lounges offer far less options compared to Asian or European lounges - where as far as I know also alcoholic beverages are never for sale in lounges? Is this American thrift? So are the majority of people in American lounges status guests and that is how they get in?
 
travaz
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:10 am

I fly first on AA but not enough to have status (4 or 5 flights a year) and I cannot use the lounge unless it's a transcon. I fly out of Phoenix. I find it strange. AA policy from AA.com is posted below.

Qualifying international flights
Flights between the U.S. and:

Asia
Australia
Central America
Europe
Mexico City (MEX)
New Zealand
South America
Qualifying transcontinental flights
Non-stop flights between:

New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX)
JFK and San Francisco (SFO)
LAX and Miami (MIA)
 
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fanoftristars
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:11 am

Maybe sheer size of the domestic market and how little it takes to purchase business class/domestic first. Most allow access for transcon business/first. As for European lounges, I'd beg to differ. At least the Air France lounge and KLM crown lounge really aren't any nicer than Delta's Sky Clubs. I'd actually rate Delta Sky clubs, especially at key gateways to be a notch above their European counterparts.
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alasizon
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:12 am

In the case of AA, AA does allow access to the Admirals Club for select qualifying trans-con markets for F & J passengers. However, its a very select few number of routes. International First (except for Canada and most of Mexico) do have access to the lounge regardless of status.
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ben175
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:13 am

I was incredibly surprised when I flew DL JFK to SXM last week that even some international flights do not get lounge access for J pax. As an Australian, that's pretty much unheard of.
Last edited by ben175 on Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:19 am

lightmac wrote:
So are the majority of people in American lounges status guests and that is how they get in?


FF program elites on international* flights, paid memberships, and day passes would make up most of the club patrons. Check the individual programs for entrance criteria.
 
OSL777FLYER
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:08 am

You need to have a high status or pay. I find it ridiculous that if you are flying e.g. MSP-ATL-FRA, if you then want to use the lounge AT MSP it will cost you about $50.

European carriers I must say are much more lenient on these things.

I flew in Business FRA-BOS-ORD a 3 years ago and since my flight FRA-BOS was on a LH flight I was not allowed access to UA's lounge in BOS, since they claimed they had no deal with LH. Funnily if I fly ORD-FRA-OSL and the leg ORD-FRA is on UA, LH always allows me acces to their lounges.

I guess it's jst US carriers way of sucking more cash out of their premium passengers
 
ual777newpaint
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:10 am

fanoftristars wrote:
Maybe sheer size of the domestic market and how little it takes to purchase business class/domestic first. Most allow access for transcon business/first. As for European lounges, I'd beg to differ. At least the Air France lounge and KLM crown lounge really aren't any nicer than Delta's Sky Clubs. I'd actually rate Delta Sky clubs, especially at key gateways to be a notch above their European counterparts.


I'll agree that many Skyclubs have nicer fixtures than AF/KL lounges, but the food in most Skyclubs (except certain international terminal locations) is pitiful. Sad hors d'oeuvres on paper plates aren't exactly anything to write home about.
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hOMSaR
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:12 am

The lounges are already quite full in many cases. There’s no way they could possibly have enough room if they allowed all domestic F passengers in.
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michman
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:17 am

OSL777FLYER wrote:
You need to have a high status or pay. I find it ridiculous that if you are flying e.g. MSP-ATL-FRA, if you then want to use the lounge AT MSP it will cost you about $50.

European carriers I must say are much more lenient on these things.

I flew in Business FRA-BOS-ORD a 3 years ago and since my flight FRA-BOS was on a LH flight I was not allowed access to UA's lounge in BOS, since they claimed they had no deal with LH. Funnily if I fly ORD-FRA-OSL and the leg ORD-FRA is on UA, LH always allows me acces to their lounges.

I guess it's jst US carriers way of sucking more cash out of their premium passengers


You are clearly unfamiliar with DL lounge access rules. If you are flying MSP-ATL-FRA in business (Delta One), you will have lounge access in both MSP and ATL. With a same-day international flight (excluding the Caribbean) in the premium cabin, you have access to any Sky Club in the system, not just the one at the international departure point.
 
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fanoftristars
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:25 am

ual777newpaint wrote:
fanoftristars wrote:
Maybe sheer size of the domestic market and how little it takes to purchase business class/domestic first. Most allow access for transcon business/first. As for European lounges, I'd beg to differ. At least the Air France lounge and KLM crown lounge really aren't any nicer than Delta's Sky Clubs. I'd actually rate Delta Sky clubs, especially at key gateways to be a notch above their European counterparts.


I'll agree that many Skyclubs have nicer fixtures than AF/KL lounges, but the food in most Skyclubs (except certain international terminal locations) is pitiful. Sad hors d'oeuvres on paper plates aren't exactly anything to write home about.


The same could be said about the sad breakfast offerings at the AF Lounge at CDG T2E the week before last... simply pathetic, dry rolls, soggy powdered eggs, room temperature slices of ham... most items gone and not replaced. Delta has really stepped up their game with food. Lunch at the SFO SkyClub last Friday was better than I have ever seen at any AF/KLM club at their gateway airports. I'd hardly call sliced chicken breast with variety of salads, soups, fresh warm rolls, hummus, veggies, desserts, etc served on glass plates pitiful hors d'oeuvers. And I'm not even going to get started on the quality of the shower facilities compared to JFK, ATL, DTW, etc.
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spacecadet
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:52 am

hOMSaR wrote:
The lounges are already quite full in many cases. There’s no way they could possibly have enough room if they allowed all domestic F passengers in.


Then they should build more lounges. Many overseas airlines have multiple lounges at major airports, yet most US airlines only have one at major US airports.

It's not really rocket science. This is just an example of how the race to the bottom at US airlines is now affecting the higher service classes as well.

What this is really about is stuff like deals with AMEX or Priority Pass. Or just charging people extra for lounge access. It's not about crowd control. It's about making even more money by providing worse service.

(btw, I am both a Priority Pass and AMEX Platinum cardholder, which gives me lounge access at basically any airport, whatever class I'm flying. If I'm flying coach and get lounge access while someone flying business on that same airline can't, what does that tell you?)
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LAXintl
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:24 am

The entire business model is different.

These lounges are first and foremost membership clubs. Pay the annual membership fee and you can use them on any fare and any route. The lounges are meant to be a revenue generating offering, basically an ancillary choice for customers.

Only as a secondary offering are lounges opened to premium flyers on select routes, namely a few high profile transcons and most international routes.
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LAX772LR
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:15 am

OSL777FLYER wrote:
You need to have a high status or pay. I find it ridiculous that if you are flying e.g. MSP-ATL-FRA, if you then want to use the lounge AT MSP it will cost you about $50.

I find it ridiculous that you're making that up. Unless you're referencing some other airline than DL, and then LH from ATL or something.

Because any DL J pax on MSP-ATL-FRA can use the lounges in all three airports without paying anything.
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fanoftristars
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:39 am

spacecadet wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
The lounges are already quite full in many cases. There’s no way they could possibly have enough room if they allowed all domestic F passengers in.


Then they should build more lounges. Many overseas airlines have multiple lounges at major airports, yet most US airlines only have one at major US airports.

It's not really rocket science. This is just an example of how the race to the bottom at US airlines is now affecting the higher service classes as well.

What this is really about is stuff like deals with AMEX or Priority Pass. Or just charging people extra for lounge access. It's not about crowd control. It's about making even more money by providing worse service.

(btw, I am both a Priority Pass and AMEX Platinum cardholder, which gives me lounge access at basically any airport, whatever class I'm flying. If I'm flying coach and get lounge access while someone flying business on that same airline can't, what does that tell you?)


This is not true, especially for Delta. Nine lounges at ATL. Two very large lounges at JFK. Four lounges at DTW. Two at MSP. Two at SEA, etc etc.
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mercure1
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:34 am

LAXintl wrote:
The entire business model is different.

These lounges are first and foremost membership clubs. Pay the annual membership fee and you can use them on any fare and any route. The lounges are meant to be a revenue generating offering, basically an ancillary choice for customers.

Only as a secondary offering are lounges opened to premium flyers on select routes, namely a few high profile transcons and most international routes.


Very valid points. The entire concept of lounges is different in the US.

As I recall they have always been membership clubs atleast since deregulation days.
 
Georgetown
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:56 pm

spacecadet wrote:

Then they should build more lounges. Many overseas airlines have multiple lounges at major airports, yet most US airlines only have one at major US airports.


This simply isn't true at all. In fact, the opposite is true. For example United's hubs:

SFO: 4 lounges + arrivals lounge
EWR: 3 lounges
ORD: 5 lounges
IAH: 5 lounges
IAD: 4 lounges
DEN: 2 lounges

Similar for other airlines.

Source: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... ?Mobile=1&
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Polot
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:28 pm

spacecadet wrote:
Then they should build more lounges. Many overseas airlines have multiple lounges at major airports, yet most US airlines only have one at major US airports.

It's not really rocket science. This is just an example of how the race to the bottom at US airlines is now affecting the higher service classes as well.

You are severely underestimating the size of the US3's domestic fleets (and therefore amount of domestic F pax). LH has ~264 planes total. AA, for example, has 300 737-800s alone. Now on top of that add the MD-80s, A319s, A320s, A321s, 757s, and all the large RJs with F.

There isn't enough space in any terminal to build all the clubs necessary to handle that volume.
 
 
GoSharks
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:46 am

spacecadet wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
The lounges are already quite full in many cases. There’s no way they could possibly have enough room if they allowed all domestic F passengers in.


Then they should build more lounges. Many overseas airlines have multiple lounges at major airports, yet most US airlines only have one at major US airports.

It's not really rocket science. This is just an example of how the race to the bottom at US airlines is now affecting the higher service classes as well.)

Huh? Where did you get the impression that "most US airlines only have one at major US airports." This could not be more wrong.
 
ExLibris76
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:26 pm

ben175 wrote:
I was incredibly surprised when I flew DL JFK to SXM last week that even some international flights do not get lounge access for J pax. As an Australian, that's pretty much unheard of.


I know.....surprising isn't it? As a frequent foreign visitor to Australia without QF or VA status, I got so used to being granted lounge access which came along with my domestic business class tickets. But whenever I go to the US and fly the major carriers - always in business class, or 'First Class' as the Americans call it - lounge access is rare thing! I much prefer domestic travel in Oz.
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vhtje
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:54 pm

Ah but on the other hand... as an Elite member of a foreign Frequent Flyer scheme (in my case, BA Executive Club) not only am I welcomed into AA's lounges, gratis, I am usually festooned with multiple drink vouchers - again, gratis - by the lounge dragon.

Having said that, the AA Admiral's Clubs are not great, with limited food and drink choices and usually a lot of competition for space. Conversely, where they have them, the AA Flagship First lounges are terrific - I especially loved the old one in ORD (I have not been to the new one there yet), mostly because of the incredibly helpful and friendly staff. I also adore the Old Fashioned station at the Flagship lounge in JFK.

But yes I think the business model for the lounges in the USA is quite different to the rest of the world.
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zrs70
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:12 pm

We need to compare apples to apples, and we need to have clarity

1) US domestic first offers a better hard product than European domestic business. The seats are larger with greater pitch.
2) As stated upthread, if US carriers allowed all F pax nationwide to have club access, the clubs would be overcrowded
3) Food service in US clubs had a universal downturn 10 years ago. But things are much better now, with hot food offerings in even th smallest of stations
4) You can’t join most foreign airline clubs
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zkeoj
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:53 am

Hi All

interesting discussion, and I was looking for an answer, which hopefully some of you will know: I have a paid F ticket LAX-CUN-LAX on DL, and can't find anywhere whether or not this allows lounge access. There are forums, discussions (on and off a.net), but the Mexico thing is ambiguous at best. Some say it does qualify, because it is international, others say in Mexico only MEX qualifies, and yet others it is North Amercia and thus counts as "doemstic" and thus doesn't qualify (with the exception of NYC - West Coast)... I looked at DL's website and couldn't find any definite answer either.

So, DL fans and experts - does LAX-CUN in paid F qualify?

Any "solid" answer would be much appreciated!
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asqx
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:40 am

It depends on if the flight is marketed as Delta One or just First Class/Business class.

According to Delta's Website:

"Delta One or SkyTeam Premium Cabin Passenger
Customers traveling in Delta One on an international Delta flight or a domestic Delta flight connecting to/from a same-day international Delta flight* in Delta One or travel in international First/Business Class on a SkyTeam-operated flight. (In order to qualify for Club access, the customer must be confirmed in the premium (first or business class) cabin for the international segment of their itinerary.)

*International Travel includes: Customers traveling to/from Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, Africa, Canada and Mexico (excludes travel to/from the Caribbean, Guam, Palau and Saipan)."

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US ... terms.html
 
zkeoj
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:15 pm

asqx wrote:
It depends on if the flight is marketed as Delta One or just First Class/Business class.

According to Delta's Website:

"Delta One or SkyTeam Premium Cabin Passenger
Customers traveling in Delta One on an international Delta flight or a domestic Delta flight connecting to/from a same-day international Delta flight* in Delta One or travel in international First/Business Class on a SkyTeam-operated flight. (In order to qualify for Club access, the customer must be confirmed in the premium (first or business class) cabin for the international segment of their itinerary.)

*International Travel includes: Customers traveling to/from Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, Africa, Canada and Mexico (excludes travel to/from the Caribbean, Guam, Palau and Saipan)."

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US ... terms.html



Many thanks for that. It is a "First" ticket, but does DL have ANY Delta One flights to Mexico at all? If not, why is Mexico on the "international travel" list in terms of lounge access?
 
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asqx
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:52 pm

I did a test booking LAX-CUN in mid January and it showed as Delta One. What did it show at time of booking? Or what does it show when you view your reservation online? You may have to call Delta reservations to get a definitive answer for your specific flights.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:11 am

That's because our country does not like us. We get the screw job when we go to the airport, we get the screw job when we go to the hospital/doctors office, we get the screw job when we go to the post office, we get the screw job when we go to vote, we get the screw job when working, and we get the screw job going to the store. Most European countries and their companies actually like the people giving them business so you get rewarded for it.
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vfw614
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:23 pm

Why should the US3 waste money on generous lounge access? Nobody does it and with the limited competition among legacy carriers in the US, there is no point in starting it. Plus, as far as I understand, a high percentage of first class passengers are upgrades anyway, so even a bigger waste of money to let them into the lounges.
 
travaz
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Re: (Why) do US airlines not admit their Business Class passengers into their business lounges?

Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:29 pm

As some one who only purchases F tickets when I fly domestically, the only reason I do is for the larger seat and priority boarding. My first US domestic flight was in 1971 on a National Airlines DC-8, I have been flying domestically and international since then. Lets face it Airline travel today is a race to the bottom. First Class is nothing but a larger seat and a free glass of wine, no more no less. In my opinion it will become less. I have mid tier status on AA and it gets me nothing. On a domestic 737/A320 flight there is between 12 and 16 seats. There are probably 25 passengers trying to get an upgrade. It is only natural that they want you to by a day pass to use the lounge. I see the day where Airline branded lounges disappear and there will be a privately run lounge that anyone can enter for a fee.

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