Our way-too-short trip to Japan was coming to an end, and it was time to fly home. Though an 11-hour flight in coach isn’t something that’s particularly worth looking forward to, my wife and I would at least be able to relax before the flight in the Admirals Club at Narita.
One of the perks of the Citi Prestige credit card, at least until next July, is Admirals Club access for yourself plus 2 guests when flying American, and after a rather long half day walking around Tokyo, a spot to stretch our legs and grab a bite to eat was definitely welcome.
The Admirals Club entrance is located on the 3rd floor of Terminal 2, just past passport control and in the general vicinity of Gate 71. The lounge itself is actually located on the 2nd floor, however. Whatever you do, do NOT make the same mistake I did, and try to find it by heading down to the 2nd floor past the duty free shops. You’ll walk around in circles down on the 2nd floor without ever actually finding the lounge. To find the lounge, once you complete passport control, you’ll see an overhead gantry like this:
Turn towards Gates 71-75, and you’ll then see a sign like this:
Once you see this sign, head downstairs and you’ll be taken straight to the lounge. Note that contrary to the suggestions on American’s website, the Admirals Club is not particularly close to AA’s departure gates. In our case, our flight to DFW was departing from Gate 88, which was at the farthest end of the terminal. The walk took a little over 10 minutes at a leisurely walking pace.
Upon checking in, the lounge is set up as more or less one large rectangular layout. Head left from the entrance, and at one end you’ll find the food and drink station. There is an unmanned circular bar with a handful of seats.
Beer, wine, and liquor are self-service, and there is a decent selection available. I mixed a couple of Jack and Cokes to start getting me good and tired for the looooong flight back home.
We were there at roughly 4:30 in the afternoon, and the food selection consisted of soup, some wraps, and a plate of sushi and sashimi. There were also the typical salty snacks – trail mix, pretzels, etc. I tried a couple of the wraps, which while better than nothing, were decidedly mediocre. They were dry, and not particularly flavorful. My wife tried the sushi rolls, and she said they were pretty good. Just be aware that the selection is limited, and tends to run out quickly.
From the food/drink area, there are two corridors you can head down to find seating. The first one to the right leads to a TV room of sorts. I say “of sorts”, because the TV is at the far end of the room. Really, it’s more like a dining room, with small tables/booths for couples on the right side, and larger tables for groups on the left. Be aware that this area can get a bit crowded and noisy due to the proximity to the food and beverages.
Meanwhile, immediately to the left of the serving area is more of a “quiet area” for solo travelers and perhaps couples.
The left-hand corridor from the serving area first leads through a handful of dining booths, then as you go back past the front desk, you pass by some interesting artwork, and a small collection of Japanese porcelain.
Once you pass the check-in area, you’ll find the main seating area. The decor is pretty standard issue Admirals Club, with black chairs and wood accents. In fact, the whole setup looks quite similar to the refurbished Admirals Clubs at DFW. Power outlets seemed to be plentiful, with a set available for each pair of two chairs. The ability to fully charge both my phone and computer proved to be critical for us, as our non-refurbished 777-200 had no in-seat power at all, not even the old DC-style plugs.
If you’re in the mood for something more relaxing, there is a small collection of red lounge chairs, and a few more “relaxation” type chairs in a separate room. These have separate back and leg pieces which can combine to form a place to lie down. The latter seats again look a lot like what’s been installed in the Terminal D club at DFW. If you have a long layover, these wouldn’t be bad for taking a quick nap, assuming you can nab one.
The main seating area also features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows along one side, which let in plenty of natural light during daylight hours, and also doubles as an opportunity for planespotting. If you’re an avgeek, you’ll want to grab one of the wooden chairs along the windows, which have the added bonus of having power outlets at each chair. It was getting dark by the time we made it to the lounge, so photo ops weren’t terribly feasible, but you’ll undoubtedly be able to see some nice aircraft out on the apron during the day, given the proximity to the gate area.
If you need to get some work done, there are two sets of workstations available. The first are a handful of desktops set up along one wall, though these are standing room only.
There is also a decent-sized cubicle area, where you can either connect your own laptop or use one of theirs. This area was fairly well set-off from the main seating areas, thus I’d imagine it would be a good place to set up shop if you need some quiet. A common printer is also available if you need one.
The Narita Admirals Club is probably one of the nicer clubs in the system, very similar to the renovated one at DFW Terminal D. It’s a good place for planespotting, and even on a Sunday afternoon after Thanksgiving, the lounge wasn’t overcrowded, aside from the seating area closest to the food setup. On the other hand, the biggest issue in my opinion with Admirals Clubs remains on display here – subpar food and beverage offerings. In fairness, the complimentary beverages available were decent, certainly far better than the house swill at U.S. clubs. The food, however, was mediocre overall, though the sushi and sashimi was a nice touch.
Thanks for reading my trip report series about Japan. I hope you enjoyed the ride, and stay tuned for my next series, which will be rolled out real soon!
Note: This post is part of my trip report series about our trip to Japan in November, 2015. Click here for the introductory post and trip report index.