Home to some of the world’s best-known theme parks, Orlando is a destination built for holidaymakers. But when it’s time to leave that all behind, the right Qantas Frequent Flyer card can ease the pain of your Florida departure. At Orlando International Airport, the American Airlines Admirals Club awaits.

Welcoming Qantas Club members, as well as Qantas Gold frequent flyers and above, here’s what to expect ahead of your journey home.


I arrive at Orlando Airport in plenty of time, expecting a long queue. But thanks to my Qantas Gold (oneworld Sapphire) frequent flyer status, I’m straight into the priority line. Within moments, my bags are tagged, boarding passes issued, and I’m on my way.

Security doesn’t take long – particularly for a Friday morning – and I’m swiftly through the TSA formalities. From there, a quick ride on the airside monorail whisks me to the departure gates. Signage towards the Admirals Club could be improved, but I find it near gate 55… after walking straight past it the first time.

Nestled within this more ‘retro’ terminal, the style of Orlando’s Admirals Club comes as a pleasant surprise. It’s light, bright and modern. Spanning two levels, each offers great airport views: naturally, with American Airlines jets on display.

This lounge opens from 4 am until 8 pm each day.

Lounge layout and seating

With two floors to choose from, the upper level of Orlando’s Admirals Club is geared more towards work and relaxation. There are plenty of comfy seats here, and it’s easy to nab one.

Power outlets are in good supply, but remember to pack your US travel adaptor. While USB charging ports are available near some seats, many of the outlets are US-style AC only.

Remaining on the upper level, you’ll find a quiet corner over to the right. There’s also a line of bench seating along the windows. It’s the perfect place to set up a laptop, charge any other devices and enjoy the views at the same time.

Downstairs gets much more popular. That’s because most of the food and beverage options are only available down here. With all the dining tables taken – and even the lone stool at the bar – I join a family for breakfast at a long communal table. It’s rather sweet, and feels like I’m sitting at a kitchen island in somebody’s house.

The grownups here discuss the best US credit cards for free Admirals Club access. One remarks how their US$450/year Citi Executive credit card grants them free Admirals Club membership and allows two additional guests per visit. And how every ‘authorised user’ (additional cardholder) on the account can get free Admirals Club access with two guests as well, just by flashing the card.

‘That’s how we all got in today,’ a member of the eight-strong family shares with pride. For me, my Qantas Gold card does the trick – even on a US domestic flight.

Food and beverage in the American Airlines Admirals Club, Orlando

My mid-morning visit to the Admirals Club in Orlando finds the space bustling for breakfast. A popular pick from the complimentary buffet is a toasted bagel with cream cheese.

There’s also a selection of fruit, yoghurt, breads, cereals and ‘candy’, such as Skittles. In fact, the buffet counter is such a hit that it’s impossible to find a spare few seconds to take proper photos. Travellers are hungry at the end of a warm Florida week, and I won’t stand in their way!

There’s an open bar with standard wine, beer and spirits served on the house. Cocktails and other premium options attract a charge. But it’s barely 10 am, so my focus is on the coffee instead. I’m able to make a latte via the self-serve machine. While this is never on-par with a barista brew, it’s acceptable with a touch of crema.

I knew there wouldn’t be anything substantial to eat on my upcoming flight to Dallas Fort Worth. So I took the chance to peruse the lounge’s à la carte menu instead for a more filling bite.

The Cubano catches my eye (~US$14 including tax and tip), and I’m not kept waiting long. Its generous size keeps me full for the journey ahead. It also comes with a bonus snack on the side, which I enjoy later.

Lounge amenities

With American Airlines only serving domestic destinations from Orlando, this Admirals Club doesn’t have facilities like showers. It does have on-site restrooms though, and they’re available on both levels.

Flight information screens are also available on each floor. But it’s easiest to keep tabs on your flight using American Airlines’ mobile app, where you can also grab your boarding pass. Interestingly, if you’re in need of that lounge-unlocking Citi credit card, there’s even a dedicated podium where you can apply.

As an international visitor, the amenity I’m most interested in is the Wi-Fi. The network is password-protected, with the current code easy to obtain. Once online, my tests reveal average download speeds of 37.8Mbps, and average uploads of 91.8Mbps.

In practical terms, you should be able to download a movie or two ahead of your flight without any dramas. If you’re instead backing up holiday snaps to a cloud drive, this should happen very swiftly.

Accessing the American Airlines Admirals Club in Orlando

Exactly who gets into Orlando’s Admirals Club can vary from flight to flight. That’s because status, destination, membership and your overall itinerary can sway entry between ‘yes’ and ‘computer says no’.

Here’s who makes the cut – and most importantly, when they make the cut.

  • By paid lounge membership:
    • Qantas Club (+1 guest, before American Airlines flights only).
    • Admirals Club (+2 guests, before and after American Airlines, oneworld and JetBlue flights).
    • Alaska Lounge+ (+2 guests, when departing or arriving on Alaska Airlines or American Airlines).
  • Courtesy of airline frequent flyer status:
    • Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge (+1 guest, prior to AA and other oneworld flights only, including on domestic itineraries).
    • American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum (+1 guest, when travelling on an eligible international itinerary with AA or a oneworld airline).
    • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K (+1 guest, when travelling on an eligible international itinerary with AA, Alaska Airlines or oneworld).
    • American Airlines ConciergeKey (+2 guests, regardless of domestic or international destination when travelling on AA, a oneworld airline or JetBlue).
    • Other oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members (+1 guest, including on domestic-only itineraries).
  • By cabin: Travellers with a same-day international Business Class or First Class flight on a oneworld airline, such as British Airways. On American Airlines, this access applies when travelling to selected international regions only, and on routes marketed as ‘Flagship’. See the AA website for the full breakdown.
  • US military personnel: Must be travelling in uniform on a same-day AA flight (+2 guests).
  • Using a single entry pass: If you don’t otherwise qualify for access, paid entry is available for US$59. This can be pre-paid via the American Airlines website or purchased at the door.

With a quick scan of my boarding pass at reception – on which my Qantas Gold membership is attached – I’m welcomed straight inside.

Summing up

As far as domestic lounges go in the United States, American Airlines’ Admirals Club at Orlando International Airport isn’t bad at all.

Food choices are certainly on the more basic side, unless you pay for something better. But given how easy it is for US credit card holders to gain access here, this level of service is quite standard among most US domestic airlines.

Having said that, it would still be better if food options were more readily available on the upper level of this lounge. That’d avoid the downstairs level becoming crowded while upstairs remains largely vacant.

Also reviewed: American Airlines Airbus A321neo Economy Class (Orlando – Dallas Fort Worth)

Photography by Chris Chamberlin, who accessed the Admirals Club courtesy of his Qantas Frequent Flyer status while travelling from Orlando at Point Hacks’ expense.

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American Airlines Admirals Club, Orlando was last modified: December 9th, 2022 by Chris Chamberlin