It’s taken me almost 15 years to fly another domestic airline other than Delta. Being from Michigan and flying mainly to east coast destinations, I started flying Northwest Airlines, which was acquired by Delta in 2008. When I moved overseas in 2007, Delta was already was my preferred airline as I had already racked up frequent flyer miles and they were almost a winner in the ticket price battle. With Delta’s announcement in February 2011 that SkyMiles never expire I had already accrued a few hundred thousand miles with most of my travel being long-haul international routes.
I recently booked a last-minute trip to Long Beach, CA and my options flying out my home airport of Traverse City, MI (TVC) were American, Delta, or United. This time American won the price battle and came in around $200 USD less than the competition. My total round-trip flight from TVC – SNA was $571.70 USD. Instead of flying in LAX, I found a much cheaper rate flying into John Wayne Intl. Airport (SNA), which was closer to my hotel too. I didn’t need any other reason to avoid the LAX craziness.
During my return flight, I had a 4-hour layover in Phoenix, AZ (PHX) and I thought that I would see how the American Airlines Admirals Club® (AC) airport lounge compared to the Delta Sky Club®, which I regularly visit during my travels.
|Day Pass Cost
|Global Clubs & Partner Lounges
While day pass prices for both lounges are the same, their yearly passes range with Delta’s biggest factor increasing the price being the ability to bring additional guests into the lounge and American’s price ranges based on what status you are in their AAdvantage® loyalty program.
According to the American Airlines website, they’re currently renovating many Admirals Club lounges and are launching in the spring of 2017 their new larger Flagship® Lounges for qualifying First and Business Class customers.
While the experience wasn’t negative or bad, in comparison to the competition, the AC in PHX falls behind in a few areas. Both Delta & American have the same rate for day passes and are very similar in price vs. benefits for yearly memberships. The Admirals Club in PHX between gate A19 and A21 is small and can easily get overcrowded. Their WiFi speed was also much slower than expected for such a small lounge. When compared to Delta Sky Club that offers a self-serve bar with premium alcohol selections and a larger variety of snacks, the AC in PHX can’t compete.
Would I buy another day pass if traveling through PHX on American? No. The airport offers free WiFi through Boingo Wireless and plenty of restaurants to grab a quick meal. If you’re a cocktail enthusiast and have graduated from drinking house booze, you’re going to be paying the same price at the Admirals Club as you would at an airport bar. Just passing through and considering treating yourself to a day pass to the lounge? Skip it and belly up to one of the airport bars to save some money. If you’re already an Admirals Club member traveling through PHX, make sure you head to the lounge above Gate A7 and 9 and skip the smaller one.
Did you have a different experience or something else to share about airport lounges? Leave a comment below and I promise I will respond!
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”1″ gal_title=”VIDEO REVIEW: American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge in Phoenix, AZ”]
With the holidays upon us, I wanted to put together a gift guide meant for the traveler in your life. I’ve covered items that will appeal to everyone from businessmen flying coast to coast to extreme sports addicts looking for their next thrill.
Frequent travelers appreciate the way little perks add up better than most. There is no better way to make those perks a year-round reality than by buying them a lounge membership to their airline of choice. Delta Sky Club, American Admirals Club and the United Club are the most popular and run between $450-$550 annually for a single membership. Learn a bit more about what they include here.
Direct-to-consumer brand, Away Travel, has changed the luggage game. Top notch features like unbreakable shells, interior compartments, and built-in USB chargers make their products as rugged and convenient as anything on the market. Even the most discerning of travel enthusiasts would love to have one of these!
They have a refer-a-friend program that gives each of us a $20 credit after you make your first purchase. Buy em’ here.
Noise-cancelling headphones are a no brainer for the frequent traveler. You can’t go wrong picking up the Bose QC35 or Sennheiser PXC 550. Both options are wireless, offering high-fidelity sound and a stylish look. Your only regret will be that you didn’t pick up a pair for yourself! Buy Bose or Buy Sennheiser.
There are few feelings worse than arriving at your destination only to find out your luggage is lost or delayed. LugLoc is a geo-tracking device meant to ease that discomfort. Just slip the device into your bag and track it anywhere in the world using a downloadable smartphone app. Now if we could only get airlines to be a bit better about causing this problem in the first place. Buy a LugLoc.
It may look ridiculous, but the Ostrich Pillow is amazingly comfortable. If this look isn’t for you, Ostrich has also created the Ostrich Pillow Light and Ostrich Pillow Mini, two options that look a little more “normal.” Regardless of which option you pick up, I guarantee it will help with the unavoidable sore neck we’ve all had to deal with after sleeping on a plane or train. Buy an Ostrich Pillow.
An Olloclip is the ideal gift for would-be photographers. High-quality lenses, specially designed to fit specific Apple and Samsung devices, make it easy to improve the photos you can squeeze out of your phone or tablet. Wide-angle, macro and telephoto lenses can all be easily slipped into a pocket so that travelers on the go don’t have to worry about lugging around a big DSLR. Buy an Olloclip.
Shinola brings Detroit-made leather goods to you at an affordable price. Stylish, high-quality work bags that will last a lifetime are truly the gift that keeps on giving. For men, I recommend the Zip Top Messenger. For women, the Zip Satchel. With Shinola, you really can’t go wrong! Buy a Woman’s Bag or Buy a Men’s Bag.
Travel doesn’t always have to be about style and comfort. Sometimes, it’s just about having worry-free fun. That’s where the Aqua Vault and Beach Vault come into play. The Aqua Vault locks onto any beach chair, table or railing and protects your belongings. The Beach Vault easily burrows in the sand underneath your beach towel to provide a safely hidden storage space. Buy an Aqua Vault or Beach Vault.
How do you order an Uber with a dead mobile device? You don’t, which is exactly why I turn to Mophie for my battery backup needs. Their battery cases are a great way to ensure your phone always has an extra charge and their Powerstation universal batteries are great for tablets and other USB devices. Buy a Mophie Battery Backup.
Packing tools may not be as glamorous as the Away Travel luggage I mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t incredibly useful. Zero Grid’s Packlite Compression Packing Cubes make it easy for even the most unorganized traveler to pack quickly. They’re designed to fit perfectly into standard size luggage, extremely light and come with a lifetime guarantee. Buy Compression Packing Cubes.
Even though the average consumer already has a laptop, tablet and smartphone adding a Kindle Paperwhite to the mix is 100% worth it. Lightweight, glare-free and easy on eye-strain, the Paperwhite is a dedicated eReader with a battery that lasts for weeks. Meaning you can leave it in your bag and pick back up right where you left off. Buy an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.
If the traveler in your life is like me, they want to capitalize on opportunities to document their adventures. When it comes to rugged, action-sports cameras, nothing beats a GoPro. For those who are always looking to take it to the next level, consider the DJI Mavic or Hover Camera Passport drone. The Mavic is ideal for outdoor adventures and the Passport is better for treks in the city. Both are guaranteed not to disappoint. Buy a GoPro, DJI Mavic, or Hover Camera Passport.
If there are any must-have gifts for travelers you feel I should have included on the list, don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to hear what gadgets and gizmos are getting you through your trips. Email me at John@StockiExchange.com or contact me through my website here.