Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) has the distinction of being many travelers’ least favorite American Airlines hub. Despite its status as a “fortress hub” and being the second-largest in American’s network, the Admirals Club situation at the airport leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s dive into the latest update on the Concourse C Admirals Club and why it’s got people talking.
The Main Club: Large but Lackluster
The main Admirals Club on Concourse C is the largest in the airport. However, many seasoned travelers would agree that it’s also one of the least impressive Admirals Clubs in American Airlines’ entire network. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about.
The Baby Admirals on Concourse B
In contrast, the “baby Admirals” club on Concourse B may be smaller, but it’s significantly better, having undergone a full renovation in 2019. Many travelers prefer to trek over to Concourse B just to escape the underwhelming main club on Concourse C.
Strange Bar Closure
Now, the main club’s bar has suddenly closed for remodeling. The circumstances were indeed strange, with not much advance warning. A temporary bar has been set up using tables, and they are currently serving pre-packaged food only. Originally, it was supposed to be closed for just a week, but now there’s talk that it might be January before it reopens.
Mold Infestation Rumors
There’s been a rumor circulating on Reddit, shared by user monorail_pilot, suggesting that the bar and kitchen area of the main Admirals Club might have a terrible mold infestation. It’s been noted that the ceiling above the bar had been getting painted over every month or two. Initially, the expectation was to just replace drywall, but it now appears the issue is far more severe. While this information hasn’t been independently confirmed, the Redditor sharing it seems to be a reputable source based on their post history.
Previous Closure for Fire Code Updates
Some of you might recall that the main Admirals Club was closed for approximately six months in 2022 for fire code updates. During that time, sprinklers and what appears to be voice evacuation speaker-strobes for the airport’s fire alarm system were installed. However, apart from some restroom updates, no real remodeling was done. It seems that American Airlines missed an opportunity to improve the club while it was closed, because the City of Charlotte allegedly told them they’d have to foot the bill for fire code updates if any changes were made. This closure led to long lines at the “baby Admirals” club on Concourse B, as it was the only functional Admirals Club during this period.
Independent Lounges Shine at CLT
One unusual (and arguably backwards) aspect of CLT is that the independent lounges tend to outshine the airline-affiliated ones. Unpopular opinion alert: the Centurion Lounge at the C-D connector is one of my favorite domestic lounges – at least, that I’m in a position to use with any regularity. The layout feels more spacious than many other Centurion outposts, it generally has minimal wait times (unlike DFW where 30+ minute waits are the norm), and the quality food and beverage options exceed expectations for a domestic Centurion location. Even the airport’s Priority Pass lounge, The Club at CLT, while nothing spectacular, is better than either Admirals Club in the airport. What’s more, both independent lounges feature a shower suite, while the Admirals Clubs do not – a holdover from the US Airways era (thanks, Discount Dougie!).
Earlier this year, @xJonNYC uncovered plans for a new Admirals Club at CLT. While details are limited, the concept looks promising. However, it’s likely to be years before we see any significant changes or improvements.
In the meantime, if you’re passing through CLT, you might want to consider alternative lounge options to avoid the main Admirals Club on Concourse C.