It’s not very often that I find myself inside a domestic airline lounge these days, but it is fun every now and then to check out the latest offerings from the major US airlines. To be perfectly honest though, I’d rather be out in the main terminal plane spotting and people watching than sitting in the lounge doing nothing.
Unfortunately, while MIA is a fantastic place for people watching, it is not so good for plane spotting due to the double-layer windows in the terminals (every gate is an international gate with a segregated walkway for incoming passengers). With nothing else to do, a visit to the Admirals Club (near gate D30) seemed like a great way to kill some time.
Spoiler alert: since a short 1 hour layover is usually enough time in Miami, this lounge offers a convenient opportunity to dip out of the main terminal and get into some relative peace and quiet between flights.
Before going in, I was kind of expecting this lounge to be on the higher-end side of things. This is, after all, American Airline’s premier US hub, so it would seem as if this would be the place that they would want to offer their best lounge experience. At least it made sense to me.
I was not disappointed. While while this Admirals Club did not even come close to comparing to other flagship lounges such as the Virgin Atlantic clubhouse at LHR (not that I was expecting it to), it was certainly on par with other nice lounges such as the Delta sky club at JFK.
Right away this place gave me a very good vibe – it was clean, bright, and most importantly…quiet (at least it was when I arrived). The decor is consistent with other Admirals Club’s that I’ve experienced at ORD at SFO, but it appears as if this one at MIA had been updated recently – everything felt new and squeaky clean.
The food selection seemed decent as well, not any better or worse than other premier lounges that I’ve been to in the US. I wasn’t looking for 10-course breakfast to begin with, so that helped, but I was more than happy with my cup of steaming hot oatmeal accompanied by a banana and a glass of orange juice to wash it all down.
And you know what? The plane spotting opportunities here in this lounge are some of the best at MIA. There are no double windows to shoot through, and the views of the gates below are high and commanding – much better than what you would see in the main terminal.
If I had one criticism of this Admirals Club, it would be the crowds. I arrived at about 7 AM and it was actually nice and quiet. Unfortunately I had to leave at about 7:40 due to the inability to concentrate with the flurry of other travelers all around.
It wasn’t the noisiest lounge I’ve ever experienced, but there was a lot of activity and the only way I could seek refuge from that was going back out to the main terminal below.
If your timing is right, this is an excellent place to kill some time before a flight. Time it incorrectly though, and you going to have a hard time feeling relaxed any more than you could compared to being out with the masses in the main terminal.