PHL lounge

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  • AlanOrton1

    Just a very quick tip, if you happen to have a qualifying Amex card, the Centurion lounge at PHL is most likely the best lounge to head to.
    The AA lounge, while large is average in terms of F&B.
    Having just been to the BA lounge, and seen the wine on offer being Barefoot (normally about 2 for £8 at your local convenience store), I visited the Amex lounge.
    Good range of hot and cold food. Nice bar area with good wine options etc. it is busy, but lots of staff working hard.
    (It’s also right above the BA lounge).

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    Yikes! Barefoot. Literally bottom shelf wine.


    AA was to convert one of theirs to Flagship – I guess COVID has delayed that. BA lounge in PHL has been iffy for a long while (I have spent an appreciable part of my life there).
    The staff were mostly good, but the higher ups had some issues. This lounge was never big enough for the traffic and once AA passengers started using it it went to heck and I think the stopped keeping up the standards. I am amazed that GSK has not put more pressure on them to improve.


    BA has repeatedly shown how little it cares about the Philly route. There used to be two BA flights a day with at least one served by a 747. Now we have one a day with a 777 (and no club suites yet – the last on the list?). Much less capacity and over recent months crazy fares – limited competition from their partner American.

    When they experimented a few years ago and moved a number of US flights to T3 at Heathrow – yes Philly was moved. I understand the only reason it moved back was due to GSK adding a clause into their contract. If GSK shouts loud enough BA will act – implying BA does not really care about this route for everyone else. If BA does, time to show it!

    Before the new international terminal at Philly the BA business and first class lounges were tucked away downstairs at the end of Terminal 1A. Too small and limited food. With the new terminal the American lounge is huge and spacious but as ever with them limited on food and drink. BA customers may be better heading there however and you can enter if you have BA gold or silver – really useful on US domestic flights where you do not need to pay extra to be an Admirals club member. Basic food and drink but you get more peace and quiet even if they are busy. With BA only one flight a day you can sort of understand why they don’t really care about the lounge – so give up and pay to improve the American lounge which you can share!


    I have been using PHL a lot recently flying in and out on AA (with a BAEC silver card).

    The AA Admirals lounge there is indeed large but suffers from not being a Flagship lounge. I note also that the older AA lounge down in the main section of A terminal is closed.

    By comparison, the AA Flagship lounge in ORD is absolutely excellent (easily the best non-F specific lounge I have been in recently). The Flagship lounge in JFK is also very good. Indeed I recently booked a transatlantic flight JFK to LHR for Jan 2023 and chose the AA flight rather than BA on the basis of the AA flagship lounge at JFK being infinitely superior to the BA lounge (I have a 3-4 hour connection layover in JFK).

    I hope AA do an upgrade in PHL from Admirals to Flagship. My main gripe with the current lounge is that one needs a wallet full of dollar bills to tip the Barstaff and also the guacamole server etc.

    I live in hope that American carriers in general will soon start to get the idea of how a premium lounge should operate!

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    By the time you travel in January, BA will have moved to T8 with AA anyways so they will share lounges at the new JFK home of BA.

    I agree with the ORD Flagship, it’s delightful. Compare that to the First Class school canteen BA had pre-covid at ORD T5 it’s a marvelous place. I don’t think I have ever experienced a worse First Class lounge managed by an airline itself.

    About BA at PHL, I go every month now and tend to fly into JFK or EWR and take the train (not always on One World). However, we shouldn’t forget that AA also serves from PHL. I suspect there is not enough demand for 4x a day in peak season. AA has 2x B789 in the summer + the 1x BA. In the winter both airlines serve 1x each.

    Back when it was US Airways before the merger with AA, I think they served LGW from PHL.

    I have not been to the BA lounge in PHL for five years. Back then it wasn’t the most exciting place. Having said that, I wouldn’t invest too much now given the pending AA Flagship Lounge. I’ll be in Philly in about two weeks, I’ll see if anyone knows anything about when this will open. If I have time I will walk by to see progress.


    The small AA lounge in the old A terminal, where the Envoy lounge once was, is very nice at quieter times. It seems to get the more experienced staff with less attitude…



    I concur re the Flagship lounge at ORD.

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