American Airlines has now shut down its premier Flagship First Dining services and Flagship Lounges across the United States. This comes amid broader lounge closures and service reductions across airports.
Flagship First Dining Closure
Starting Friday, March 20th, American shut down its Flagship First Dining service along with Flagship Lounges. These are found at key airports like Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas-Forth Worth, Los Angeles, and Miami where American has a sizeable footprint. American is shuttering these lounges in response to reduced international demand and massive cuts to the airline’s international route schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Flagship First Dining available at Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York-JFK has also been shut down. These guests, instead, will be able to visit Admirals Club lounges. Simple Flying had the pleasure of reviewing American’s Flagship First Dining at New York-JFK last year. The intimate experience and excellent views offer a remarkable amount of calm amid the bustling airport.
However, the Flagship Lounge at JFK will temporarily become an Admirals Club with grab-and-go service.
Broader lounge closures and service reductions
Amid larger government mandates, reduced service, and public health guidance, American has made the decision to close several Admirals Clubs. At locations with multiple Admirals Clubs, American is consolidating service.
International Admirals Clubs in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Sao Paulo are closed as American cuts flying to those destinations amid growing travel restrictions. In addition, hours at the London Arrivals Lounge have been reduced while the International First Class lounge at Heathrow is closed temporarily. The Narita Admirals Club was already scheduled to close at the end of March. Internationally, the only two Admirals Clubs open are Mexico City and Toronto-Pearson.
In most other Admirals Clubs, American is cutting service to include grab-and-go food. Previously, AA had cut buffets and soup at lounges to minimize the opportunity for transmission.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a downturn in travel around the world. In response, American Airlines is cutting international and domestic flights. At the same time, in compliance with multiple directives from federal and local health officials, the carrier has been forced to alter its food offerings in the lounge. Most are now to-go or grab-and-go options. In addition, several lounges are no longer serving alcohol.
While these changes will negatively impact the experience at Admirals Clubs around the world, American is able to cut costs by operating fewer of these lounges and also reducing possibilities for travelers to contract the virus during their travels.
What do you make of these Admirals Clubs and Flagship First closures? Let us know in the comments!