Despite the fact that a number of popular local shops and restaurants have opened up inside San Diego International Airport, we always stop at the Airspace Lounge before our flights out of Terminal 2. We enjoy the quiet space, seeing familiar and friendly faces, as well as a quick snack or drink before take-off.

Admittedly, we are creatures of habit with multiple lounge memberships including American Airlines Admirals Club which provides entry to this San Diego Airport lounge. Admirals Club members will notice a handful of similarities between this club and other Admirals Clubs across the country.

What It’s Like Inside the San Diego Airspace Lounge

The Airspace Lounge replaces the airport’s old San Diego Admirals Club. I think they did a good job with design. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the planes outside and flood the space with light. TVs play local news, sports and display flight times. High ceilings and mostly white furnishings make the space feel large, which is good because it’s not terribly huge compared to other major airport lounges.

Upon walking in, to the left is a lounge area with relatively-comfortable, compact lounge chairs that opens up to the dining room and bar. I love how the liquor bottles line the back wall against the windows as decor. Rest assured there are plenty of electrical outlets.

Complimentary Amenities

The complimentary WiFi is free and fast though not great for bulk downloading photos or heavy files. There is also a small self-serve drink and snack area in addition to a small menu of dishes to order from at the bar.

Juice, coffee, tea, soft drinks and light snacks are complimentary. The light snacks vary by what time of day it is. In the morning, guests may find packs of oatmeal, mini muffins, bagels and cream cheese. There always seems to be whole fruit like apples and/or bananas in addition to that tasty snack mix in a dispenser that is always in Admirals Clubs. Toward lunch, available snacks include cookies and the same cubed cheese in Admirals Clubs paired with saltines in a pack instead of the usual pita chips. A handful of cut up veggies can be dipped in ranch dressing, too.

House wine, house cocktails and some domestic beers are complimentary. The selection of house wines changes but, as in any Admirals Club, I’ve always liked whatever was poured.

The set up of the bar area is conducive to socializing with the bartenders and even meeting a new friend or two. I’ve seen Airspace Lounge staff whip up some pretty impressive, well-garnished drinks for customers who are keen for bartender’s choice. It’s a friendly area. Premium drinks for purchase likely include these fancier cocktails in addition to nicer wines and some of San Diego’s best local craft beers.

Food and Drinks for Purchase

Food items include charcuterie plates, a breakfast sandwich, Naked smoothies, a wrap and a handful of other things. They’re preprepared and plated for quick delivery to the nearby tables. I like the granola and yogurt for breakfast. My daughter rotates between the antipasto and European continental breakfast.

I do wish the menu was a bit more diverse as frequent travelers may tire of its offerings. On the flip side, it’s nice to know exactly what to expect each time you go. Prices are pretty good considering you’re in an airport but if you’re looking for a big juicy burger or a plate of other hearty fare, this isn’t your place.

Amenities Change for Japan Airlines and British Airways

British Airways offers passengers an exclusive lounge menu with excellent food options and premium wine at the San Diego Airport.

If you are on the direct British Airways flight to London and eligible to access the lounge, there is a separate complimentary menu for you. It’s really quite nice and includes premium wine (probably beer, too, but I drank the wine). British Airways’ lounges typically provide tons and tons of complimentary food and drink so this extra perk helps to meet their worldwide standards.

Our once-daily Japan Airlines flight also has a separate menu. At the time of our most recent flight In the afternoon before the Japan Airlines flight leaves you’ll notice Japanese-speaking staff and snacks like instant noodle bowls as well as other Japanese goodies.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience both flights and their Airspace Lounge offerings. You would simply take the special men and your ticket to the ordering area at the counter. They’ll stamp your ticket to indicate you’ve received your allotment.

Recap of What’s Included at the Airspace Lounge

The Airspace Lounge is complimentary for American Admirals Club members and American Express Platinum and Centurion card holders. Travelers flying business class and those with elite status on British Airways or Japan Airlines that are flying the SAN-LHR or SAN-NRT routes, may also used the lounge. However, anyone can also simply pay the $25 fee. This is what’s included:

  • Additional $10 credit for premium menu items included with every entry
  • Unlimited, complimentary soft drinks and light snacks
  • Full bar (premium drinks are at an addition fee)
  • Complimentary use of Airspace’s shower facility
  • Semi-private conference room (Seats up to 6)
  • Complimentary printing
  • Unlimited complimentary espresso and cappucino
  • Unlimited complimentary Peet’s Coffees & Teas
  • Complimentary scanning
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Power outlets at every seat
  • Assistance with delays

San Diego Airspace Lounge Location in Terminal 2

After you pass through security in between American Airlines and Japan Airlines check-in desks at Terminal 2, turn left. You’ll see a bakery right in front of you. Head toward it and turn left. The walkway will wind to the right. The glass door to the lounge is also on the righthand side a few paces after the bend.

Staff members at the reception desks will check you in, confirm your flight status and give you an update but there usually are no boarding announcements in the lounge. I personally use the American Airlines app to check the status of my flight anyway. Flight information is displayed on the TV screens as well though you could always ask staff members for updates.

Should You Use this San Diego Airport Lounge?

Is it worth paying for entry to this San Diego Airport lounge, if you’re not an American Airlines Admirals Club member or a qualifying American Express cardholder? It depends. If you have a long layover, plan to partake in multiple cocktails that would hit the wallet otherwise, or value the comfort… the answer is yes. San Diego International Airport offers good free WiFi everywhere, so there’s no need to enter just for the WiFi. Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport is now home to many of San Diego’s famous restaurants like Phil’s BBQ, The Prado and more. If you’re a foodie looking for local flavor, you may want to head elsewhere. But, we really like it and use it 100% of the time we pass through Terminal 2.

Do you use San Diego International Airport lounges?

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  1. Thanks for sharing your experience with the Admiral’s lounge at San Diego Int. Airport. I will now know to keep my expectations low. I have been to the BA lounge at LAX and LHR (Awesome) and New Castle (Decent). Looks like the AA Admirals lounges are a couple of notches below BA’s.

    1. The BA lounges are really nice! I think the best AA lounges are in Dallas, not surprisingly. I was at the SD one again yesterday. I was hoping that the renovation was done but apparently, not yet. We’ll see how it measures up. It will add a kitchen, I’m told, otherwise the food options are slim!

  2. Does an AA business class ticket give the flyer access to the Airspace Lounge? Are there time limits in regard to the visit?

    1. Our American flights are domestic flights so holding a first or business class ticket doesn’t qualify you for lounge entrance. You need an Admirals Club membership, an American Express Platinum or Centurion card or to pay to enter.