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Is the American Airlines AirPass Worth It?

Elina Geller

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Whether or not the American Airlines AirPass is worth it depends. If you’re always on the hunt for the cheapest fare, then most likely no. However, if you’re a high-flying, frequent American Airlines customer, the AirPass program may be worth considering. Joining requires significant cash outlay, but this upfront payment then acts as a credit balance for travelers to draw from when purchasing future travel.

The AirPass also includes many elite status perks and guaranteed pricing, but is it worth it? Or are you better off simply spending as you go when buying American Airlines flights?

Here’s a rundown of the American Airlines AirPass program, plus who can get the most value from the upfront investment.

What is AirPass?

The American Airlines AirPass program is nothing new; American has offered iterations of the program for years. In short, the program allows members to purchase unrestricted tickets at a discount by putting down a large deposit up front. Ticket purchases are later deducted from the balance like a debit system.

This has been a useful tool for the airline to get upfront payment for future travel while providing perks and protection against last-minute fare hikes in exchange. The program is especially attractive to some corporate and business travel customers that buy expensive last-minute tickets and are prone to making frequent changes to them (often at great expense).

However, due to cheaper airfare and recently loosened ticketing rules that allow free changes on both domestic and international tickets, buying unrestricted tickets makes less sense these days than before. Still, since many corporate customers prefer maximum flexibility on their tickets, including generous routing rules and less travel restrictions, AirPass targets the last-minute business traveler.

Lifetime AirPass

In the 1980s, while the airline was struggling financially, the airline offered a lifetime AirPass (formerly known as AAirpass) for $250,000. The cost of the pass increased over time and was discontinued in the 1990s.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

american airlines lifetime travel pass

AirPass benefits

Fixed-price fares with companion privileges.

Membership is primarily built around the opportunity to purchase fixed-price fares, which eliminates concern over price fluctuation on American and several partner airlines , including Finnair, Iberia and Japan Airlines (when these flights are ticketed through American).

Even though ticket changes are allowed for most travelers these days, most changes are still subject to a difference in fare. This sometimes means a substantial price hike — especially for last-minute changes — and flyers are on the hook to make up the cost difference. With AirPass, travelers are protected against that with guaranteed pricing. Members can book the last seat on a given flight and be assured that it will still cost them the original fixed price.

AirPass members can also bring along a companion. Their tickets are priced according to the member’s rates and flexibility policies.

Instant elite status

Depending on the level of investment in the program, AirPass members are granted instant elite status.

» Learn more: Guide to American Airlines elite status

Priority services

From check-in to boarding, AirPass members can use Priority Access lanes to avoid longer lines. There is no charge to check a bag either.

Lounge access

A membership to Admirals Club lounges is part of AirPass membership, and this includes the standard guest privileges that come with being a member. Of course, if this is the most important reason you're considering AirPass, a credit card that comes with Admirals Club access like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® would make more sense.

In-flight amenities

Instant upgrades to better seats, including Main Cabin Extra or Preferred seating, are part of the program, regardless of the member’s AAdvantage status. Depending on the elite status earned, AirPass members are also eligible for complimentary premium cabin upgrades on many flights and free in-flight Wi-Fi. If seated in the main cabin, AirPass members are also treated to a free snack or meal, plus two alcoholic drinks.

Waived same-day change fees

There is no fee to make a same-day flight change, and the ability to change flights both before and on the day of travel without any fees or difference in fare (if routing remains the same, since AirPass uses flat pricing) is one of the primary benefits.

Mileage earning

Another AirPass perk is the substantial Elite Qualifying Miles bonuses travelers will earn with AAdvantage: All purchased AirPass tickets are eligible for mileage earning, and those tickets booked within seven days of departure book into the first (F), business (J), premium economy (W) and main cabin (Y) fare buckets.

If you have elite status, your mileage earnings will be even higher.

AirPass customer service

In addition to signing up online, American Airlines offers a customer service phone number to help travelers register for an account. The number is 800-433-6355.

What does AirPass cost?

Depending on the level of membership, AirPass costs between $10,000 and $30,000. There are personal and shared memberships available, with the latter allowing the initial prepayment (charged per member) to be used across multiple travelers.

Shared membership comes with an allocation of elite status for each member, but the status level varies based on the investment amount between the primary member and those with whom the AirPass is being shared.

How much do individual flights cost?

To determine the cost of your most frequent routes, there’s an online calculator that gives you the standard AirPass fares for any route you search. Flights are calculated on a one-way, cost-per-mile basis using a flat 40-cents-per-mile base times a cabin multiplier.

For example, a main cabin flight between Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago-O'Hare comes out to just under $400 based on the distance, cost per mile and cabin multiplier.

american airlines lifetime travel pass

AirPass fares offer flat pricing and the ability to change your ticket whenever you need to. Even though they won’t be the cheapest tickets, for many types of travelers, that flexibility is paramount and what makes AirPass so valuable.

Is AirPass worth it?

Let’s face it: AirPass is not for travelers who buy basic economy or the cheapest tickets. It is designed for frequent flyers who want flexibility in their travel and are willing to pay for it. Don’t consider this an option if you typically buy only the most affordable flights; AirPass won’t save you money.

AirPass fares are often priced substantially higher than most other tickets, but protect members from even higher last-minute fares if they need to change a ticket.

AirPass doesn't charge change or cancellation fees for tickets, but airlines are generally waiving those restrictions for current travel. This means one of the primary benefits of AirPass is now available to everyone, making it less advantageous.

While flight changes may be free, the difference in fare always applies. With AirPass, fixed-price ticketing makes large swings in price less of an issue.

One caveat: AirPass members who buy the cheapest “PlanAhead” fares and make a change within seven days of departure lose the ability to keep the discounts associated with this ticket type. Instead, these travelers must pay the flat AirPass main cabin fare. Still, the difference in fare is a preset price, so the predictability of what you will pay remains the same.

The bottom line

If you make lots of changes to travel plans, especially at the last minute, and need to have maximum flexibility with ticketing rules, AirPass provides value. In addition, it adds Admirals Club membership, elite status and other in-flight benefits. For corporations that don’t already have a ticketing contract with airlines for special fares, it can make a lot of sense.

AirPass is not for everyone, but for a select few who do the cost-benefit analysis, it might be worth trying for the price predictability and flexibility of its fares. For the vast majority of value-conscious road warriors among us, however, AirPass is not the best fit.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

2x-5x Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

75,000 Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card

on Citibank's application

1x Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.

100,000 For a limited time, earn 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $10,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

75,000 Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

american airlines lifetime travel pass

The rise and demise of the AAirpass, American Airlines’ $250k lifetime ticket

In the 1980s, american airlines sold an unlimited lifetime ticket, called the aairpass. they had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into..

Zachary Crockett

Published: April 07, 2018

Updated: March 21, 2024

Three decades ago, 28 lucky bastards managed to snag the greatest travel deal in history, courtesy of American Airlines. It was dubbed the “unlimited AAirpass.

The rise and demise of the AAirpass, American Airlines’ $250k lifetime ticket

For a one-time fee of $250k ($560k in 2018 dollars), this pass gave a buyer unlimited first-class travel for life. A companion pass could be purchased for an additional $150k, allowing the pass holder to bring along anyone for the ride.

Mark Cuban, an early AAirpasser, tells us it was “one of the best purchases [he’s] ever made.”

But the unlimited AAirpass had a fatal flaw: it was such a good deal that it ended up costing American Airlines millions of dollars per year — and the company set out to revoke the contracts of its top customers by any means necessary.

It was 1981, and American Airlines was in deep sh*t…

American had been hit hard by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 . They’d posted a $76m loss in 1980, and were grappling with new competition, reduced ticket prices, and a changing industry that threatened to sink them into irrelevancy.

The airline’s newly-elected president, Robert Crandall, was on a mission to “cut American down to the bone” and lead a massive expansion from the ground up.

american airlines lifetime travel pass

American needed cash, but interest rates were at a record-high. So, they came up with a different plan: they’d raise capital from their own customer base by selling its wealthiest customers the “ultimate travel perk” — an unlimited first-class ticket for life. The cost: $250k.

“The idea was that firms would buy this for their top performers,” Crandall tells us over the phone. “But as usual, the public is way smarter than any corporation. People immediately figured out we’d made a mistake pricing-wise.”

By 1994, American had discontinued the unlimited AAirpass — but not before 28 people got the deal of a lifetime.

Life with unlimited travel

Steve Rothstein, then an investment banker in Chicago, was already one of American Airlines’ top fliers when he was approached to buy the AAirpass in the early ‘80s.

“American Airlines contacted me and said that, based on the amount I traveled, the AAirpass would be a great purchase,” Rothstein tells us. “It was like a bond: instead of paying me dividends in cash, they were paying dividends in air travel. They needed cash, and they could pay me in miles.”

Steve Rothstein AAirpass

For a total of $383k, Rothstein purchased both the AAirpass and companion pass — and over the next 25 years, he proceeded to book more than 10k flights.

He took hundreds of trips to NYC, LA, and SF. He went to London — sometimes a dozen times per month. He flew up to Ontario just for a sandwich. On occasion, he’d offer his companion pass to a complete stranger at the airport.

“The contract was truly unlimited,” he says. “So why not use it as intended?”

american airlines lifetime travel pass

Over in Texas, a direct marketing catalog consultant by the name of Jacques Vroom also decided to shell out the $400k for an AAirpass and companion pass.

“I had never bought anything for $400k in my life,” he tells us. “But I took out a loan for 12% for 5 years and did it, because I thought it would give me a competitive advantage for life.”

Over the next 2 decades, Vroom flew an average of 2m miles per year.

He used his pass to catch all of his son’s football games on the East Coast. He popped over to France or London just to have lunch with a friend. When his daughter had a middle school project on South American culture, he took her to Buenos Aires to see a rodeo and flew back the next day.

Like Rothstein, Vroom trusted the sanctity of the contract he’d signed with American Airlines: “They used the word ‘unlimited,’ and ‘lifetime,’” he says. “And then, the motherf*ckers took it all away.”

Yeahhh, about that promise…

Decades later, in 2007, American once again found itself in financial straits.

The company’s “revenue integrity team” found that AAirpass users cost the company big bucks — and they homed in on the program’s two most prolific users: Steve Rothstein and Jacques Vroom.

American calculated that Rothstein and Vroom were each costing the airline $1m per year in taxes, fees, and lost ticket sales.

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It didn’t take long for the airline to find reasons to revoke the duo’s passes.

According to documents unearthed by Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Bensinger , Rothstein had made 3k reservations in a span of 4 years and canceled 2.5k of them; Vroom booked flights for strangers and allegedly accepted payment for tickets on certain occasions.

Neither of these practices was barred in the original contract. Nonetheless, American Airlines categorized them as “fraudulent activity,” and formed an elaborate  operation  to “take down” Rothstein and Vroom.

In July of 2008, Vroom was cornered by agents at London’s Heathrow airport; several months later, Rothstein was stopped while boarding a flight at Chicago O’Hare. Both men were stripped of their passes and told they’d never fly on the airline again.

Rothstein and Vroom both filed lawsuits against American Airlines for the wrongful termination of their contracts — but were outmatched by the airline’s “bazillion lawyers.” Then, in 2011, American filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, catapulting them into an indefinite legal limbo.

The corporation versus the measly millionaire

Neither Rothstein nor Vroom has recovered his AAirpass. A third customer also had his pass revoked; the other 25, including Mark Cuban’s, are still valid.

Now a substitute teacher in Dallas, Vroom has a theory. “American was hurting, and went after the most vulnerable AAirpass holders to free up cash — people they knew couldn’t fight back,” he says.

American Airlines declined to comment on this theory, or the program in general.

american airlines lifetime travel pass

For Rothstein is a bit more conclusive about the whole thing: “I wish I’d never bought the thing,” he says.

On the walls of his New York office sits a 1998 letter from Robert Crandall, the ex-President of American Airlines: “You can count on us… to honor the deal far into the future.”

Today, Crandall has a different outlook on the situation: “I assume they were cheaters,” he tells us. “If they were cheaters, they deserved it.”

The desperation of the airline industry

Looking back, the AAirpass saga was a fledgling in the airline industry’s race to the bottom.

When the pass debuted in the ‘80s, we were entering a decade of decadence. Brands were competing for customers with amenities, luxuries, cushy promotions — hell, even hot meals.

Now, we’re in the era of begging for peanuts and a few inches of legroom. Flying is just another commodity, stripped to the bare bones by a market struggling to reduce overhead.

And in that market, there’s no room for men who fly to Paris just for lunch.

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American Airlines’ $250K Lifetime First Class Travel Pass Was A Jetsetter’s Dream

American Airlines’ $250K Lifetime First Class Travel Pass Was A Jetsetter’s Dream

Garry Lu

If you ever needed definitive proof that the glory days of air travel are well and truly behind us, look no further than American Airlines’ AAirpass program — which has recently been enjoying a renewed sense of attention thanks to billionaire Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban.

Launched in 1981 as a means of raising capital while interest rates were sky high, for the relatively reasonable one-time price of $250,000, pass holders were granted unlimited first-class travel on any of the prolific carrier’s flights worldwide while still earning frequent flyer miles; with companion passes available for just another $150,000.

RELATED: The Greatest Frequent Flyer Scam Of The 21st Century

“As usual, the public is way smarter than any corporation,” former American Airlines president Robert Crandall told The Hustle.

While the AAirpass did attract an elite class of clientele exactly as intended — ranging from businessmen like the aforementioned Mark Cuban, and computing don Michael Dell; to baseball great Willie Mays, and America’s Cup winner Dennis Conner — what American Airlines hadn’t anticipated was the millions they’d lose from motivated consumers in the ensuing years.

One pass holder booked 16 round trips to London in just 25 days, racking up an estimated total of $125,000. Another boarded 373 flights in a single year, amounting to approximately 1.46 million miles or $2.4 million.

American Airlines' $250,000 AAirpass Was A Jetsetter's Dream

  • 1,000 flights to New York City
  • 500 flights to San Francisco
  • 500 flights to Los Angeles
  • 500 flights to London
  • 120 flights to Tokyo
  • 80 flights to Paris
  • 80 flights to Sydney
  • 50 flights to Hong Kong
  • and roughly 7,000 flights to the rest of the world

He’d even catch a flight from Chicago, where the financier was based, to Ontario just to smash a sandwich at his favourite restaurant .

Rothstein, alongside marketing exec Jacques E. Vroom incurred estimated annual costs of over $1 million.

american airlines lifetime travel pass

In 2008, Steven Rothstein checked in at Chicago O’Hare International Airport with a mate when American Airlines hand-delivered a letter to inform him that his AAirpass had been terminated due to “fraudulent behaviour.”

Apparently, the boardroom suits weren’t exactly cool about his history of approaching passengers at the gate and offering them his companion seat in exchange for cash; nor his habit of using the companion pass to purchase adjacent seats under a fake name for a bit of privacy or extra carry-on luggage (the man not-so-subtly used the alias “Bag Rothstein” for such occasions).

Rothstein would sue over the membership termination (you can read about the fascinating saga penned by his daughter via The Guardian ); as would Vroom when his unlimited flight privileges were similarly revoked. Both were unsuccessful in their campaign to reinstate what they deemed to be a broken contract in the face of the airlines’ “bazillion lawyers.”

RELATED: The American Express Black Card Exists Because Of… Jerry Seinfeld?

“They used the word ‘unlimited’ and ‘lifetime’ and then, the motherf***ers took it all away,” said Jacques E. Vroom Jr.

To cauterize the financial wound, the cost of an American Airlines AAirpass was gradually increased. The $250,000 price tag was bumped up to $600,000 in 1990 and $1.01 million in 1993 before it was officially axed the following year.

That was with the exception of a one-time offer featured in the 2004 Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue: $3 million for the AAirpass, and $2 million for a companion pass. Nobody ponied up.

In total, American Airlines sold 66 AAirpasses with unlimited travel conditions.

NOTE: ALL $$$ = USD (not adjusted for inflation)

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After 41 years, American quietly scraps AirPass program

Zach Griff

While most travelers purchase airline tickets directly from the carrier or through a third-party booking site , some American Airlines flyers have historically used a special program to make flight bookings.

This program, dubbed AirPass , offered individuals and small businesses the ability to pre-purchase travel with American at fixed rates. The program was designed to help frequent travelers manage travel costs — especially travelers who often made last-minute bookings and changes to their plans.

In fact, AirPass was a great way to pick up a ton of perks for flying with American, without actually stepping foot on a plane. Depending on how much money you deposited (membership typically required at least $10,000 in funding), you could enjoy benefits such as instant upgrades, preferred and Main Cabin Extra seating, Admirals Club access and even AAdvantage status . Deposits of $50,000 or more earned you invite-only Concierge Key status .

American even recently improved the AirPass program with several new perks, including the ability to book AirPass flights on select partners and a complimentary annual Wi-Fi subscription beginning in 2021.

american airlines lifetime travel pass

Now, after 41 years, American is scrapping the program for good. In a statement shared with TPG, a carrier spokesperson said:

Beginning November 30, the AirPass program will no longer accepting any new or renewal contracts or any additional fund deposits. All customers with current contracts will be able to use their remaining funds or request a refund between now and the end of their contract period. American will continue to honor its commitments to Lifetime AirPass members.

Existing AirPass customers can either use their remaining funds or request a refund, which will be processed within three weeks. No new memberships are available for purchase, and the airline's dedicated website has been updated to reflect the cut.

American posted a detailed FAQ page for affected travelers.

It wasn't clear why American decided to make the cut. Perhaps the program wasn't getting as much business as American hoped, or the airline found that it no longer made sense to maintain the offerings due to the increased demand and high fares we've seen in recent months.

View from the Wing

Mark Cuban’s Lifetime American Airlines Travel Pass [Roundup]

by Gary Leff on August 23, 2022

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Mark Cuban famously bought an American Airlines lifetime AAirpass after selling his first company, MicroSolutions, for $6 million in 1990. After selling Broadcast.com in 1999 he bought a $40 million Gulfstream V (the single largest online purchase at the time). So I wonder if he is confused here talking about using his American Airlines flight pass to fly to Moscow, since American didn’t start Chicago – Moscow service until 2008 if I recall correctly.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Wealthy Pot (@wealthypot)

Woot! (or ‘woof…’)

PILOT SAVES THE DAY! 🐶My flight #2266 was re-routed and delayed on @AmericanAir and this KIND & AWESOME pilot gives Arie a VIP potty break while we were parked on the tarmac! Then flew us safely home! THANK YOU!🥰woof!🐾 #thankyou #AmericanAirlines #adventuresofarie #beagle pic.twitter.com/ET73P8wS0J — Fanchon StingerTV (@FanchonStinger) August 21, 2022

United brings back its LA – San Diego flights.

Good catch by ⁦ @airmarietta ⁩ and ⁦ @AilevonPacific ⁩. This cut received more than its share of coverage a couple of months ago. Now, apparently, it’s back? pic.twitter.com/OXvFRLOGhT — Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) August 22, 2022

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

[…] 1981 and 1993, are unaffected by this change. Those who purchased a lifetime AAirpass – like Mark Cuban and Michael Dell – get to keep them. (Pass like Steve Rothstein’s don’t get […]

@ Gary — What does Mr. Cuban mean that he “bought 125,000 miles”??

@Gene it’s a slip of the tongue mixed with embellishment of the facts because they don’t really matter the goal is to tell a nice story in front of an audience.

Cuban bought an air pass and had fun traveling with it. End of story.

When you’re on a stage like that the goal is to tell a thematically nice story not to agonize over the details. Moscow may have just been a hypothetical example of a far off destination the air pass put within reach.

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Gary Leff

Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

Does American Airlines still sell lifetime passes?

Does American Airlines Still Sell Lifetime Passes?

What are the changes to American Airlines lifetime passes?

How much does an american airlines lifetime pass cost, what are the benefits of purchasing an american airlines lifetime pass, can i transfer my american airlines lifetime pass to someone else, what are the eligibility requirements for purchasing an american airlines lifetime pass, are there any restrictions on where i can use my american airlines lifetime pass, how does the american airlines lifetime pass compare to other airline loyalty programs, what should i consider before purchasing an american airlines lifetime pass, how do i apply for an american airlines lifetime pass, what is the process for renewing an american airlines lifetime pass, can i use my american airlines lifetime pass for international travel, what are other options for premium travel with american airlines, is it worth investing in an american airlines lifetime pass, american airlines lifetime passes: what you need to know.

Yes, American Airlines still sells lifetime passes, but with some caveats. While the airline previously offered unlimited first-class travel for a one-time fee, they have since made changes to the program. Here’s what you need to know about American Airlines lifetime passes.

American Airlines has made several changes to their lifetime pass program, including limitations on where and when pass holders can use their memberships. Additionally, the cost and terms of the passes have been adjusted to better align with the current travel landscape. Despite these changes, the lifetime pass program still offers significant benefits to those willing to invest in the pass.

The cost of an American Airlines lifetime pass varies depending on several factors, including the age and travel history of the individual purchasing the pass. The cost can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it’s important to carefully consider whether the investment makes sense for your travel needs.

Purchasing a lifetime pass from American Airlines comes with several benefits, including access to first-class and business-class travel, priority boarding, and other perks that make traveling more comfortable and convenient. Additionally, pass holders receive access to exclusive lounges and other amenities that enhance the overall travel experience.

American Airlines lifetime passes are non-transferable, meaning that they cannot be sold, gifted, or otherwise transferred to another individual. This restriction is in place to ensure that lifetime pass holders are the ones benefiting from the valuable perks and benefits associated with the program.

In order to qualify for an American Airlines lifetime pass, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements, including a minimum age and documented travel history with the airline. Meeting these requirements is essential for being considered for the lifetime pass program.

While American Airlines lifetime passes offer significant travel benefits, there are some restrictions on where pass holders can use their memberships. These restrictions may vary depending on factors such as route availability and flight capacity, so it’s important to understand the limitations before investing in a lifetime pass.

Compared to other airline loyalty programs, the American Airlines lifetime pass offers unique benefits and perks that are not available through traditional frequent flyer programs. Pass holders enjoy exclusive access to first-class and business-class travel, priority boarding, and other premium amenities that make the lifetime pass a valuable investment for frequent travelers.

Before committing to the purchase of an American Airlines lifetime pass, it’s important to carefully consider factors such as your travel frequency, preferred destinations, and overall travel budget. Additionally, weighing the long-term benefits of the lifetime pass against the initial cost is essential for making an informed decision.

The application process for an American Airlines lifetime pass involves submitting an inquiry to the airline, which will then be reviewed by their membership team. If your application is approved, you will be provided with detailed information on the cost, terms, and benefits of the lifetime pass, as well as next steps for completing the purchase.

American Airlines lifetime passes do not require renewal, as they are valid for the lifetime of the pass holder. Once purchased, the pass remains in effect without the need for annual fees or renewal processes, making it a long-term investment in premium travel benefits.

American Airlines lifetime passes can be used for both domestic and international travel, allowing pass holders to enjoy premium benefits and perks regardless of their destination. However, certain restrictions and limitations may apply to international routes, so it’s important to review the terms of the lifetime pass before planning international travel.

In addition to the lifetime pass program, American Airlines offers several other options for premium travel, including their Admirals Club membership and AAdvantage elite status. These alternative programs provide valuable benefits and perks for frequent travelers who may not be interested in the lifetime pass investment.

The decision to invest in an American Airlines lifetime pass depends on your individual travel needs, preferences, and budget. While the lifetime pass offers significant benefits and privileges, it’s important to carefully evaluate whether the investment aligns with your long-term travel plans and goals.

As you can see, American Airlines still offers lifetime passes with a few adjustments to the program. Whether the investment is worth it depends on your travel habits and budget. Be sure to consider all the options available to you for premium travel with American Airlines before making a decision.

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American Tries To Take Back Unlimited Airfare

When American Airlines began offering lifetime passes for unlimited, first class travel, it didn't anticipate just how much the program would cost them down the line. The price tag for the golden tickets started at $250,000 back in the 1980s, but airline investigators say that one ticket-holder was costing the company a million dollars. Audie Cornish speaks with Los Angeles Times business reporter Ken Bensinger about the lifetime offer American Airlines is now trying to take back.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

american airlines lifetime travel pass

Mark Cuban Says He Gave His $125K Lifetime Pass Of American Airlines To A Friend: "I Have A Plane"

M ark Cuban is an incredibly successful businessman and he sold his first company, MicroSolutions, for $6 million all the way back in 1990. Of that amount, he netted $2 million and his first big purchase with it was a lifetime pass of American Airlines.

"I traveled so much I knew the American Airlines phone number," Cuban said on the Full Send Podcast . "... I called and I said, 'Do you guys sell lifetime passes?' And they're like, 'Yeah, let us connect you to the air pass department.' And I'm like, 'Thank you very much.' They connected me, they sent me the paperwork and I spent $125K of my $2 million and I got a lifetime pass on American Airlines for me and anybody else to go anywhere we want, First Class for the rest of our lives."

When asked if he still had it, Cuban revealed he had given it away.

"I gave it to a friend," Cuban stated. "My friend has it now because I have a plane."

(starts at 49:57 mark):

That was quite a flex from Cuban at the end there, about just giving away that pass because he has his own plane. He, in fact, owns multiple luxurious private jets now. The first one he purchased was the Gulfstream G550, which cost him $40 million in 1999.

Then after buying the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, Cuban spent $36 million on a Boeing 757-200 to transport his team. The 65-year-old also owned a Boeing 767-200, but it appears that one has now been scrapped. 

Mark Cuban Is In The Process Of Another Big Sale

When Cuban sold MicroSolutions for $6 million, I wonder if he imagined he'd ever make a sale one day that would make that amount seem like some spare change. Well, he is in the process of doing that now, with Cuban selling his majority stake in the Mavericks for a valuation in the range of $3.5 billion  to the Adelson family.

He purchased the team for $285 million in 2000 and that is quite the return on investment. While he is selling his majority stake, Cuban will keep some shares in the team and is retaining full control of basketball operations. That's quite the deal that he managed to get there.

While Cuban has received his fair share of criticism for the way he has run the Mavericks, the franchise's fortunes really changed once he took over. Under his leadership, they became a perennial contender in the 2000s, after being mired in mediocrity in the 1990s. The Mavericks also made their only two NBA Finals appearances under Cuban, winning it all in 2011.

Mark Cuban's Net Worth

As per Forbes , Cuban now has a net worth of $6.2 billion. For a man who came from a working-class family, that is quite an achievement. Unlike so many billionaires, Cuban was not born into wealth and can take full credit for getting to where he is today.

Shrewd sales like MicroSolutions and then later Broadcast.com, which was acquired by Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999, have helped him amass the incredible wealth he has today. Cuban found himself at No. 211 on the Forbes 400 for 2023 and at No. 591 on their Billionaire ranking for 2023.

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Mark Cuban Says He Gave His $125K Lifetime Pass Of American Airlines To A Friend: "I Have A Plane"

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Man Bought Ticket For Lifetime Air Travel But Had It Cancelled After 10,000 Flights

Man Bought Ticket For Lifetime Air Travel But Had It Cancelled After 10,000 Flights

He definitely got his money's worth out of the investment.

A man who bought an unlimited first class ticket for American Airlines back in 1987 had it taken off him after the airline accused him of fraud.

That wasn't before he'd flown with them 10,000 times though, racking up more than 10 million air miles in the process.

Steve Rothstein decided to use his powers for good, by making sure that people got home safely when they were stranded as well as flying a priest to Rome for an audience with the Pope, and even allowing a friend to visit the Louvre.

Other times, he used his ticket to benefit his family, but sometimes he just wanted to get to a baseball game, or have a particular sandwich.

Nowadays, there would be serious concerns about his carbon footprint - and he'd have to live 100 lifetimes to work that off, you'd imagine - but back in 1987 it wasn't something the average person was aware of.

Back then, Rothstein forked over the princely sum of $250,000 for his AAirpass, as well as a companion seat that cost $150,000.

Steve Rothstein.

In the end, he got around $21,000,000 worth of flying out of American Airlines, before they eventually cancelled his ticket because of supposedly fraudulent activity.

True, sometimes Steve would put made-up names like 'Bag Rothstein' on his ticket if he didn't know who he was travelling with, but he claims that AA have violated their contract.

In truth, American Airlines is currently trying to review the AAirpass program to get rid of a few of the 66 high-level contracts that are costing them millions every year.

Well, except for maybe last year, but that was different.

For his part, in 2012, Steve told The New York Post : "[I] became a hero at the airline."

He added: "I could just show up and get a seat.

"I could go someplace and I wouldn't even have to think about it.

"Just make the reservation and go."

Rothstein went just about everywhere with his ticket.

That's exactly what he did. In July 2004 he travelled 18 times to various destinations around the world. He took an entire business junket to Caracas in Venezuela, and sent his daughter to a posh boarding school in Switzerland.

He'd even head to Rhode Island just to have a certain sandwich - a baloney and Swiss cheese melt - from a favourite shop.

However, that wasn't all he did.

He gave away all 14 million air miles that he accrued over the years, paying for a woman to get a flight back to New York because her children didn't have a sitter, and helping a friend get back to his native Bosnia.

He did those things because he 'felt those random acts of kindness were exactly the sorts of things that we're meant to do as people'.

But that's what eventually saw him caught out.

On that Bosnia excursion, he was told his pass had been terminated because of fraudulent activity.

Rothstein explained: "I feel betrayed.

"They took away my hobby and my life. They essentially destroyed my persona."

"Our country is almost captive to big companies who have incredible power to do whatever they want to do.

"It's hard to fight them."

He concluded: "They signed a contract, and a contract's a contract."

2020 was a tough year for air travel anyway.

As far as we know, to this day, he hasn't managed to get his 'life' back. However, while it may be scant consolation, he definitely got his money's worth from it.

Needless to say, American Airlines no longer offers such a product.

Topics:  Interesting , US News , travel , Weird

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekend he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]

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american airlines lifetime travel pass

Simple Flying

American airlines' aairpass: the unlimited flight pass that didn't work.

American Airlines came up with the idea at a time when it was badly in need of extra revenue.

Do you know the story of the American Airlines Airpass? Until it ceased accepting new applications in November 2022, this was an all-inclusive membership program that offered elite status, flight discounts, and other perks, for an annual fee. However, back in the early 1980s, American Airlines unveiled a special unlimited version of its AAirpass, whose name was stylized with two As back then.

How did the scheme come about?

The decision for an unlimited AAirpass came about after the Fort Worth, Texas-headquartered US legacy airline posted a $76 million annual loss in 1980. This was due to the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, which had the effect of bringing about new competition and reduced ticket prices. In today's money, such a loss would equate to approximately $284 million, representing a considerable dent in the accounts.

With this in mind, and in an attempt to quickly raise some badly needed funds, American Airlines dreamt up its AAirpass offering. The 'big three' carrier sold this unlimited first class product as either a five-year or lifetime pass. While this would hardly appeal to the average passenger, the airline was counting on there being sufficient demand from rich frequent flyers to make it a worthwhile investment.

Love aviation history ? Discover more of our stories here!

However, the decision to offer this type of unlimited AAirpass ultimately went down as one of the worst marketing disasters in human history. There were various factors at play, so, with the benefit of hindsight, let's take a look back at the story of the AAirpass, and see why it failed. We'll start by examining the prices and conditions.

What did the unlimited AAirpass offer its owners?

While the price of the five-year unlimited AAirpass has been hard to come by, it has been well-documented that the lifetime version was a one-time purchase of $250,000 in 1981. Today, that's equivalent to more than $933,000, underlining the elite nature of the pass and the exclusivity and rarity of its holders.

By completing this one-time purchase, travelers were entitled to unlimited first-class travel onboard American Airlines flights for life. Moreover, a companion pass could be purchased for an additional $150,000 ($560,000 in today's money), allowing the pass holder to bring a friend, a relative, a colleague, or even a total stranger along for the flight. As such, AAirpass holders were useful people to know!

Record Summer Coming For American Airlines At DFW In 2024

According to The Hustle , billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban said it was " one of the best purchases [he's] ever made. " Of course, Cuban is no stranger to spending money on aviation, given his penchant for private jets . Texas Monthly reports that over the program's life, the airline sold 65 just examples of the unlimited version of the AAirpass. Other notable customers included Michael Dell and Willie Mays.

Speaking with The Hustle, American's President at the time, Robert Crandall, commented on the pass, saying that " t he idea was that firms would buy this for their top performers. But, as usual, the public is way smarter than any corporation. People immediately figured out we'd made a mistake pricing-wise." Crandall's sentiments are reflected by notable individuals who made full use of the pass.

Why the unlimited AAirpass was terrific (for flyers)

The three examples below are among the most notable in the history of the unlimited AAirpass in terms of making the best possible use of the ticket. The first concerns investment banker Steven Rothstein, who purchased the AAirpass in 1987, flying over 10,000 flights in 25 years. Living in Chicago, Rothstein was known to fly to London to have lunch with a friend, among other incredible itineraries.

Rothstein's incredible unlimited AAirpass story was documented by his daughter Caroline via Narratively back in the summer of 2019. Among other things, she explained to the publication that "Steven got on a plane like most people get on a bus. The thought of him going to LA from Chicago for the day, or Tokyo from Chicago overnight, or London overnight, for one night (...) was not unheard of."

Second on the list of well-traveled holders of the unlimited AAirpass is Jacques Vroom, a former mail-order catalog consultant living in Dallas. Vroom used the pass to attend his son's college football games in Maine, and crew members even knew him by name. AAirpass flights accumulated frequent flyer miles, and he would give them away, often to people living with AIDS so they could visit family.

"There was one flight attendant, Pierre, who knew exactly what I wanted," Vroom told the Los Angeles Times in 2012. " He'd bring me three salmon appetizers, no dessert and a glass of champagne, right after takeoff. I didn't even have to ask."

Also from Chicago, the third notable holder of the US airline industry's 'golden ticket' was Mike Joyce, who bought his unlimited AAirpass in 1994 after winning a $4.25 million settlement from a car accident. The Los Angeles Times reports that within 25 days in 2012, Joyce flew round-trip to London 16 times. The flights in total would have generally sold for more than $125,000 at the time.

Why it was a blunder (for American Airlines)

If it hasn't become abundantly clear from the examples above, American Airlines ultimately ended up losing vast sums of money from its unlimited AAirpass program, primarily due to the habits of a few 'super travelers.' On a more general level, the following aspects also played a key role in the AAirpass being a loss-maker:

  • Passholders could make last-minute cancelations without consequence.
  • Bookings by pass holders took up seats that other travelers would have paid for.
  • The airline still had to pay for per-passenger taxes and fees imposed by airports and other countries.

In fact, Bridget Cade, an American Airlines employee tasked with abuse and fraud investigation, calculated that 'super travelers' such as Joyce, Rothstein, and Vroom were costing the airline more than $1 million a year. With this in mind, the US legacy carrier decided that enough was enough, and made alterations to the scheme.

Subsequent policy changes

Realizing the blunder, in 1990, American Airlines opted to raise the price of an unlimited AAirpass (with a companion) to $600,000 (worth just over $1.4 million in today's money). Not wanting to cancel the program outright, they further increased the cost to $1.01 million in 1993 (equivalent to $2.15 million in 2023).

Finally, another year down the line, American Airlines eventually stopped selling its infamous unlimited passes altogether back in 1994. That being said, the company did revive it as a one-time sale in the pages of the 2004 Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog for $3 million ($4.9 million today), but there were no takers.

The airline also took action by terminating passes due to what it says equated to fraud. This included Vroom, who had received money from several of his companion flyers. His lawyer said that no offense was committed as Vroom's contract didn't prohibit the practice at the time. Separately, in 2011, a judge ruled that Rothstein had violated his contract by booking empty seats under false names.

In the end, it's quite shocking that American Airlines' unlimited AAirpass program continued to exist for as long as it did, namely for 13 years until 1994. However, having only ever sold 65 examples of the pass, it's clear that the program (and indeed its termination) represented a financial failure for the one world carrier.

Such passes are now a rarity

Perhaps due to the scale of American Airlines' commercial blunder with the AAirpass program, you rarely hear of airlines offering unlimited flight passes nowadays. This is especially pertinent for tickets offered on a lifetime basis. That being said, one shorter-term equivalent in recent years could be found in Norway.

Known as the Explore Norway pass, this £450 ($570) ticket allowed holders to make unlimited flights with regional carrier Widerøe over a two-week period. As its name suggests, the intention was that passengers would use the ticket to see different parts of the country, but keen avgeeks could also use it to rack up flight cycles. You can read a review of a series of flights taken with the pass here .

More recently, American ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Frontier Airlines has also rolled out an unlimited yearly pass for its flights known as the GoWild! All-You-Can-Fly annual pass. Holders merely have to pay $0.01 plus fees and taxes when traveling with the carrier, and last month saw its price lowered to just $499 .

What do you make of the American Airlines AAirpass? Could it have worked if the airline had put more restrictions in place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Dozens of WWII Vets Flown to France to Mark D-Day's 80th Anniversary: 'Our Duty and Honor'

"For me, it's been a lifetime journey of honoring World War II veterans every year," one organizer of the trip tells PEOPLE

  • Some four dozen World War II veterans recently returned to Normandy, France, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, on a special flight courtesy of Delta
  • The veterans visited Normandy American Cemetery this week to pay tribute to the fallen
  • "We lost half of our planes and half of our pilots that day," 100-year-old Harold Terens tells PEOPLE. "It was one of the saddest days in my first 20 years of life"

Thursday marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day — the moment that turned the tide of World War II — and to commemorate, a group of American veterans is gathering in France for what organizers say is an especially poignant milestone.

Through the combined efforts of Delta Air Lines, Best Defense Foundation, Michelin North America and Boeing, approximately four dozen veterans were flown on Sunday, June 2, to Deauville, Normandy, from Atlanta to mark the anniversary of the historic Allied invasion.

It marks the third consecutive time Delta has brought American veterans to France for D-Day celebrations. At the same time, their numbers have dwindled with age and illness.

“As time passes quickly for our WWII generation, it is our duty and honor to provide this opportunity of closure and camaraderie for those who gave so much,” Donnie Edwards, president of the non-profit Best Defense Foundation , said in a statement. 

“The idea came that maybe flying directly to Normandy would be just incredible,” Virginie Durr, Delta’s enterprise sales manager, told PEOPLE ahead of the veterans’ visit. “To be honest, I thought it was such a crazy idea — it would never happen. But it came to the ears of people like our CEO [Ed Bastian] and he said, yeah, that's the right thing to do.”

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“During COVID, we were losing World War II veterans quite rapidly,” Durr adds. “Basically the people of Delta rallied around what it's about: serving our veterans.”

The successful invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, marked a decisive shift in the war. On that day, over 4,400 Allied troops died , with 2,500 of them Americans.

On Tuesday, June 4, the returning veterans paid tribute to their fallen comrades at Normandy American Cemetery , according to Delta. They also visited the Overlord Museum for a tank demonstration and attended a gala dinner hosted by Normandy's president, Hervé Morin. 

For Durr, the program is personal as she is originally from Normandy.

“My grandparents were liberated by people like [the American veterans],” she says. “So for me, it's been a lifetime journey of honoring World War II veterans every year. Now I'm in America and I grew up with this passion and love for Americans who came to liberate us.” 

Harold Terens, 100, now lives in Florida and was one of the veterans who was recently flown to France courtesy of Delta.

He still remembers the Allied invasion of Normandy. As a member of the Army Air Forces, he communicated with the pilots who went into battle that day. Terens himself would later head to Normandy 12 days later after the landings. 

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“I was painting white stripes on the planes that remained,” Terens tells PEOPLE. "We had three separate missions back and forth, and we lost half of our planes and half of our pilots that day. It was one of the saddest days in my first 20 years of life."

"Most of the pilots were my friends," he says. "The average age was 26. We were all kids.”

“Normandy was just a horror to look at,” he goes on to add. “I still have nightmares about the war.”

During their visit to France for this year’s D-Day commemoration, the veterans will be honored with parades and ceremonies before they return to the U.S. on June 12.

“The 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy will be a very special opportunity to honor WWII Veterans through various events, and also to pass the torch of remembrance to the next generation,” Morin, Normandy's president, said in a statement.

For Durr, it’s about respect for those who fought for freedom in the war. She considers it gratifying to be involved in Delta’s program for what could be some of these veterans’ last D-Day commemoration in France.

“[It’s] just a lot of humility and privilege and honor to have that opportunity again, to meet another World War II veteran,” she says. “I never take it for granted that this is the mission.”

“We need to celebrate them 80 years later,” she continues. "What a privilege that we have right now."

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Phoenix airport lounges: Every one in Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 and how to get in free

american airlines lifetime travel pass

After getting through security at the airport, you probably have some free time before your flight starts boarding.

But you dread long waits for food and coffee at the restaurants, and wonder whether you'll get to your gate in time to get a seat near a charging port.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport lounges offer a place where people can get away from the crowds, enjoy some food, and drink and charge their laptops or phones.

Every airport lounge in Phoenix offers different amenities, and each has a different set of requirements for who can get in. Some are exclusive to specific airlines, like American Airlines' Admirals Clubs, and require a certain level of status to enter. Others are open to certain credit card holders for free, or the general public for a fee.

Here's a guide to every lounge at the Phoenix airport Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.

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Phoenix airport lounges Terminal 3

Delta sky club.

Where to find it:  Near Gate F8.

Amenities:  Complimentary Wi-Fi and power outlets at nearly every seat. Staff can answer questions and assist with flight information.

Food:  Complimentary beverages as well as premium wines, regional craft beers, spirits and signature cocktails for purchase. A seasonally inspired menu includes breakfast favorites and an all-day selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, regional specialties, snacks and desserts.

How to get in:  The club is for members only. Day passes are not offered. Here's who can get in the Delta Sky Club:

  • An individual membership costs $695 a year or 69,500 miles. It provides unlimited access for the member only, though members can bring up to two guests for an additional fee per guest per visit.
  • An executive membership costs $1,495 a year or 149,500 miles. It provides unlimited access for the member and up to two guests per visit.
  • Delta One or Sky Team Premium Cabin passengers.
  • Delta Diamond Medallion members.
  • Sky Team Elite Plus (including Delta Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion members).
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card members.
  • American Express Centurion Card and Platinum Card members.

Details: Open from 4:45 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.  www.delta.com .

Escape Lounge – the Centurion Studio Partner

Where to find it:  Between the E and F gates, next to Passage by Hudson and the Phoenix Airport Museum Gallery.

Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi and charging ports at every seat. Guests have complimentary access to electronic magazines and newspapers via PressReader.

Food: The menu includes banana walnut muffins, a spinach egg bake and apple bread pudding at breakfast; spinach salads, turkey and Swiss sandwiches, and chicken marsala at lunch and dinner; and a selection of chef's choice cookies.

How to get in: Escape Lounges are open to the public for a fee and open to American Express Platinum and Delta SkyMiles Reserve credit card members for free. Access costs $40 per visit when booked online at least 24 hours in advance and $45 per visit at the door.

Details: Open 4:30 a.m.-10 p.m. escapelounges.com .

United Club

Where to find it:  Near Gate E3.

Amenities:  122 seats, complimentary Wi-Fi and power outlets. Gender-neutral restrooms are available, plus a Wellness Room for nursing parents and people seeking meditation or prayer. Staff can answer questions and assist with flight information. Service animals are allowed, but must be well-behaved.

Food:  Soft drinks and most alcoholic beverages are complimentary. Buffet-style snacks include chicken sliders, chips and salsa, elote and cactus-shaped cookies.

How to get in:  Passengers who buy a day pass or United Club membership may use the lounge as long as they also have a same-day boarding pass for United Airlines. Here's who can get in:

  • A United Club membership costs $650 per year and allows access to the airline's 45 United Clubs worldwide. Members can bring up to two adult guests, or one adult guest and dependent children under age 21, as long as the guests are also flying with United.
  • One-time passes cost $59 and can be purchased on United's mobile app.
  • United Club Infinite credit card holders.

Details: Open 5 a.m.-11:30 p.m.  www.united.com .

Phoenix airport lounges Terminal 4

American airlines admirals clubs.

Where to find them:  There are three in Terminal 4: above Gates A7 and A9, between Gates A19 and A21 and above Gates B5 and B7.

Amenities: The lounges have business centers with computers and conference-style seating areas. There are chairs along the windows where you can watch planes. Some chairs have outlets for charging your devices. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available.

Food: Complimentary buffet-style food, with drinks available in a full-service bar.

How to get in: Passengers who buy a day pass or have an Admirals Club membership can get in if they have a same-day boarding pass for a flight with American Airlines or other airlines in the Oneworld Alliance. In Phoenix, those include Alaska Airlines and British Airways. Here's who can get in:

  • Admirals Club members, including annual and lifetime members. Members can bring immediate family or up to two guests. Membership costs $850 per year.
  • Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard primary card members, ConciergeKey members and AirPass members with Admirals Club privileges.
  • First and business class passengers flying on most of American's international flights, or transcontinental and domestic flights ticketed as Flagship.
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members flying on most of American's international routes.
  • Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members.
  • Citi AAdvantage Executive cardholders. The credit card has an annual fee of $595, but includes Admirals Club membership.
  • One-day passes cost $79.
  • Military with valid ID.

Details:  The club at A7-A9 is open 6 a.m.-12:30 a.m. The club at A19-A21 is open 4 a.m.-8 p.m. The club at Concourse B is open 6 a.m.-8 p.m. www.aa.com .

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Centurion Lounge

Where to find it:  Across from Gate B21.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi; complimentary magazines and newspapers; printing, faxing and copy services; shower suite.

Food: The Centurion Lounge's menu features locally inspired cuisine designed by local chef Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco, one of The Arizona Republic's 100 essential metro Phoenix restaurants . Selections include Gallo Blanco flapjacks at breakfast and citrus-marinated pollo asado at lunch and dinner. Beverages include the Diamondback cocktail, made from Arizona Distilling Park Rye Whiskey, Laird's apple brandy and Green Chartreuse.

How to get in: These cardholders are eligible to use the Centurion Lounge:

  • American Express Platinum card.
  • American Express Business Platinum card.
  • American Express Corporate Platinum card.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve card.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card.
  • Centurion members.

Corporate Platinum and Centurion members can bring up to two guests per visit for free. All other members must pay $50 per person to bring a guest, or $30 per person to bring children from ages 2 to 17.

Details: Open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. thecenturionlounge.com .

Escape Lounge

Where to find it:  Across from Gate B22.

Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi and charging ports at every seat. Print, scan and copy services are offered. Guests have complimentary access to electronic magazines and newspapers via PressReader.

Details: Open 5 a.m.-10 p.m. escapelounges.com .

Chase Sapphire Lounge (coming soon)

Where to find it:  The Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club will be in the high-numbered D gates, across from The Crystals @ Sky Harbor food hall. The lounge remains under construction .

Amenities: Chase Sapphire Lounge amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, spaces for working and relaxing, wellness areas, nursing rooms, family rooms and access to digital newspapers and magazines.

Food: What the menu at Phoenix will include is not yet known. Generally, Chase Sapphire Lounges feature menus by local chefs, craft cocktails, a wine list and local coffee selections.

How to get in: The Chase Sapphire Lounge will be open to Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders and Priority Pass members, plus people who purchase day passes. Passengers flying with any airline will be able to use the lounge.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve, J.P. Morgan Reserve and The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card cardholders can access the lounge through their complimentary Priority Pass membership. Sapphire Reserve and J.P. Morgan Reserve cardmembers may bring up to two guests per visit for free, and additional guests for $27. Children under 2 years old are free. Ritz-Carlton cardholders may bring unlimited guests at no charge.
  • Priority Pass members who don't have any of the above credit cards can access the lounge for free once per year.

Details: Hours to be announced. account.chase.com/sapphire-airport-lounge .

Michael Salerno is an award-winning journalist who’s covered travel and tourism since 2014. His work as The Arizona Republic’s consumer travel reporter aims to help readers navigate the stresses of traveling and get the best value for their money on their vacations. He can be reached at  [email protected] . Follow him on X, formerly Twitter:  @salerno_phx .

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