The Airspace Lounge at San Diego airport is operated in collaboration between Airspace, an independent airport lounge operator with a burgeoning domestic US network, and American Airlines. The club functions like an Admirals Club – it honors American’s admission rules and also serves as a oneworld lounge, with enhanced amenities for British Airways and JAL passengers. In addition, the Airspace Lounge is open to all passenger regardless of airline or class of service for a fee. Finally, American Express Platinum cardholders benefit from complimentary admission.
The layout of the reception area reflects this complex identity: three separate desks cater to oneworld, pay-in, and American Express customers.
The Airspace Lounge is located by gate 23 and is mostly convenient to Air Canada, Allegiant, American, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Volaris and WestJet passengers, though it’s accessible to all Terminal 2 users.
Airspace Lounge SAN design
The lounge possesses a strong Airspace DNA, as it follows the design language of the three other Airspace Lounges: the space is simple and serene with dominant white tones, clean lines, and modern furniture. But it’s the abundant sunlight that makes the décor click: the club features floor to ceiling windows along two walls and offers glorious views of the tarmac. The design meshes well with the luminous environment with light hardwood floors and a mirror strip that subtly plays with the ambient light. Orchids add a classy touch to the ensemble.
The sleek furniture is arranged in a layout that offers a comfortable amount of privacy, with power outlets at every seat and side tables throughout. Patrons who want to take in the view while working benefit from tabletop seating along the windows.
At the back of the seating area, a bookcase acts as a divider carving out a small, more secluded quirky living room like area with four seats. The space is somewhat eclectic in a charming and naïve way, with painting-like picture frames and wooden furniture that seems to come right out of IKEA’s entry-level collection.
The bar acts as the focal point of the design, with the tarmac view as the backdrop. The naturally social space is flanked by a small dining area with tables for two – incidentally, the only area where power outlets are less handy. Work conveniences are never far, though, with an adjacent high table that’s convenient for laptop users.
Airspace Lounge SAN amenities
The dining logistics at the Airspace Lounge are somewhat unique, and reflect the complex identify of the club.
Everyone benefits from the standard Admirals Club offerings: house wines and well drinks are complimentary, as is the meager snack selection by the entrance. All other food and beverage options come at a cost, though patrons who enter through any means except Admirals Clubs credentials receive a $10 credit (for each member of their party) to offset the purchase price – and with all items priced under $10, the coupon is essentially valid for free choice. The credit is issued on reloadable cards which are officially valid on the day of admission, but in practice can be reused.
Finally, passengers traveling on British Airways and JAL benefit from an expanded complimentary selection, including noodles for Japan bound travelers.
The menu is somewhat elaborate, with items such as breakfast smoothies, an antipasto platter, marinated veggies and hand-made macarons. All dishes are plated to order, or, at the passenger’s request, packed to go – a smart and convenient option for patrons who have limited time and would rather dine in the air. While the presentation and service deserve praise, the menu falls short of meeting lunch or dinner expectations. The Airspace Lounge doesn’t have a kitchen, so most items are elaborate snacks, and portions are on the small side.
Overall, the Airspace approach is somewhat of a mixed bag. Selling food helps support higher service levels, while the free allowance gives all patrons a chance to enjoy a quality snack. The process also discourages waste and abuse. But prices are fairly high, whereas a few gates away the Delta Sky Club offers unlimited complimentary salads, soups and sweets. We’d be more supportive of the paid approach if Airspace offered a more substantial lunch and dinner selection.
Business amenities include a fax/printer near the back of the lounge, as well as two shared laptop computers. In a typical trait of modern lounges, there is no standalone dedicated business center; instead laptop users benefit from plenty of adequate spaces with power outlets. Newspapers and magazines are also available, including British and Japanese press catering to British Airways and JAL passengers.
A unique feature at San Diego airport, the Airspace Lounge offers a single shower suite, which is equipped with a rain shower, toilet, and sink, and tastefully decorated with an orchid. Towels are provided, in addition to a classy touch: a full size airline-style amenity kit with toiletries.
Airspace Lounge SAN bottom line
Overall, the Airspace Lounge is in many regards the best club at San Diego airport. The luminous and pristine space boasts grand views, the menu features a rather elaborate set of food choices, and the Airspace Lounge is the only club with a shower.
Yet, passenger experience may vary widely – British Airways and JAL passengers enjoy a full complimentary menu, American Express and paid-in guests may feel limited when they realize that their “free” $10 credit doesn’t go far, and American Airlines club members have to pay for food. The lounge may also be busy at peak times.
If you’re both an Admirals Club member and an American Express Platinum card holder, be sure to use your American Express card to access the lounge, in order to receive the $10 food and beverage credit.
Ultimately, the collaboration between American Airlines and Airspace is a success – with a fresh design and personal service, the Airspace Lounge easily beats the average Admirals Club.
See the latest menu at airspace.com.
Guests receive a $10 voucher valid for food and drink purchases. House alcoholic drinks are complimentary.
You may have access to Airspace Lounge as a premium customer of one of the following airlines, or as an elite member of their frequent flyer program. Check the Access rules tab for more details.
Access for eligible customers traveling on any oneworld member airline.
American Airlines (AA) British Airways (BA) Cathay Dragon (KA) Cathay Pacific (CX) Finnair (AY) Iberia (IB) Japan Airlines (JL) LATAM Airlines Brasil (JJ) LATAM Airlines Chile (LA) Malaysia Airlines (MH) Qantas (QF) Qatar Airways (QR) Royal Jordanian (RJ) S7 Airlines (S7) SriLankan (UL)
The Airspace SAN lounge is operated by Airspace as a pay-in lounge, in partnership with American Airlines. All Admirals Club access rules apply; in addition, American Express Platinum and Centurion card enjoy complimentary access, and all passengers may purchase access for a one time fee.
The following passengers have access:
- American Airlines Admirals Club members (including Citi® AAdvantage® Executive Card card members) (+2 guests or immediate family)
- Citi® Prestige primary card holders departing on an American or US Airways flight within 12 hours.
- American Airlines First Class passengers departing on a same-day international fight (+1 guest)
- American Airlines Business Class passengers departing on a same-day international fight (no guests)
- First class passengers departing on a same-day flight operated by a oneworld airline (+1 guest)
- Business class passengers departing on a same-day flight operated by a oneworld airline (no guests)
- oneworld Emerald members (+1 guest)
- oneworld Sapphire members (+1 guest)
- American Express Platinum and Centurion card holders (+4 guests)
- All passengers departing from Terminal 2, for a sliding fee ($25+) based on demand
When departing on American Airlines
- 4.0Based on 204 ReviewsGlecy L.2019-08-26 06:32:28If i can give a zero i would. Its just suboptimal to my expectation and as compared to all other lounges i have been to. They have a little area for food...Jason B.2019-07-08 11:22:25I would suggest this barely counts as a lounge, on the level with United , Admirals Clubs or Centurion lounges. Food selection included is bare minimums and...Karen C.2019-04-07 16:51:06Great space, clean, nice natural light with the floor to ceiling windows and view of the tarmac. You can get in with one world, British airways, and...Scott G.2018-07-23 13:16:43Crowded and stuffy both times I've been in here with very limited complimentary food/drink options. The second time no seats were available so we had to...Tiffany S.2018-04-28 13:25:53Best surprise ever! I am an Amex Platinum card holder but since there isn't a Centurion Lounge here and no results turned up when I searched for lounges...Haley B.2018-04-12 06:42:07Ok. So let me start off by saying this review is not based on customer service. We'll start with the atmosphere, as soon as I walk in I was not impressed....