US Airlines don’t give complimentary lounge access to their elite members traveling domestically (or usually within North America + Caribbean) or even when someone has purchased a first/business class tickets for these markets (there are some exceptions).
The state of the mens restroom at American Airlines Miami Admirals Club on December 21, 2013.
You would imagine that the airlines would use the money that they get from paid lounge memberships and from credit card companies that often pay for lounge access on affiliated cards to upkeep the lounges and to have decent complimentary food & beverage options.
The trend in the past few years have been to further downgrade the complimentary booze to undrinkable garbage and the complimentary food options are usually limited to prepackaged junk.
Some airlines had introduced updated clubs, but there are still lounges that are in dire need of refurbishment and proper upkeep.
The US airlines cannot introduce complimentary lounge access for all of their elites or some of the clubs would need to be the size of the terminal due to number of flying elites.
They should, however, have proper complimentary adult beverage and snack food options rather than offering “premium” (read acceptable) choices for cash.