IMHO Mike, you would be better off to check this out this way.
American lounges often charge more for services (like the club lounges) and apply certain conditions under their FF programs - like :-
In an American lounge, there is no free food. In QF and BA lounges, there is.
If you want to receive or send a fax, you have to pay to do so (and it is expensive). QF and BA lounges are free.
There are no free drinks for AA members (but if you are another OW lounge member, you get coupons, so you can get free drinks. This kind of discriminates against AA Admiral's Club program members). QF and BA lounges have free alcohol + soft drinks.
The American lounges (N.B. American as an adjective, not necessarily the airline) try and stiff the passengers out of more $, IMHO. You might be better off joining, say SQ's FF program and using the 'reciprocal rights' clause in the respective alliance's club lounge program. It might well be better value for money.
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