As Premium Travel Comes Back American Airlines Plots Flagship Lounge Reopening

Premium travel is starting to come back, and American Airlines is getting ready to cater to its customers booking in cabins at the front of the plane. Starting from mid-September, the airline will reopen its Flagship Lounge offerings at two of the carrier’s hubs.

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American Airlines is gearing up to cater to its most premium customers. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American Airlines plans a reopening of flagship lounges

Starting this September, American Airlines will reopen two of its Flagship lounges. New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) will see a reopening on September 14th. Following this, Miami International Airport (MIA)’s Concourse D lounge will reopen on September 28th.

Clarissa Sebastian, Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products, stated the following on the reopening:

“The Flagship Lounge and Flagship Dining experience brings a whole new level of luxury to our customers’ journey, and we are thrilled to showcase our new offerings. With revamped menus designed in collaboration with awe-inspiring chefs and even more ways to access the lounge, we can’t wait to open the doors and serve our customers this fall.”

Flagship First Dining will resume at both locations in the days after the reopening. In JFK, the exclusive dining option will open from September 16th, while Miami’s reopening will be on September 30th. American Airlines shut down Flagship First Dining in March 2020, at the onset of the crisis.

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Flagship First Dining is American’s exclusive dining program for customers booked in the Flagship First cabin. Photo: American Airlines

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) will see Flagship lounges reopen later this fall, with no official dates provided.

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Accessing the lounges

Most of American’s customers will not have access to the Flagship Lounges, and even fewer customers will have access to the Flagship First Dining. To access the lounge without booking in a premium cabin, customers have to be a top-tier elite flying on an international itinerary, a ConciergeKey member, or a oneworld Emerald or Sapphire member. Otherwise, passengers have to book in an international Flagship First or Flagship Business cabin.

Select transcontinental and domestic passengers can also access the lounge if they booked a branded Flagship cabin. The list of those routes are:

  • New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX)
  • JFK – San Francisco (SFO)
  • JFK – Orange County (SNA)
  • LAX – Miami (MIA)
  • LAX – Boston (BOS)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Honolulu (HNL)
  • DFW – Kona (KOA)
  • DFW – Maui (OGG)
  • Chicago (ORD) – HNL
  • Charlotte (CLT) – HNL

The Hawaii flights are new to the list, which is a huge plus for customers.

As Premium Travel Comes Back American Airlines Plots Flagship Lounge Reopening
Passengers flying in Flagship First on an Airbus A321T will get a reverse herringbone seat. Photo: American Airlines

To access the Flagship First Dining facility, customers need to fly in the Flagship First cabin on transcontinental and international routes. Flagship Business passengers cannot access the facility, and flights must be operated by three-class configured aircraft to access the facility (including the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A321T).

What to expect

Flagship Lounges are American’s premier lounge product. They are far superior to the Admirals Clubs, most of which are reopened and serving customers. The real treat for passengers will be the menu offerings. This is especially true for those who can enjoy the Flagship First Dining facility.

American is working with local chefs in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. In New York, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja will bring her Indonesian and Italian heritage and flavors from Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia to the lounges. In New York City, she is well-known for her restaurant, Shuka, and the brand new Shukette, which has a focus on Eastern Mediterranean recipes.

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The dining experience is American’s most exclusive lounge offering. Photo: American Airlines

Meanwhile, Miami customers will benefit from American’s partnership with Chef Timon Balloo. MIA customers may recognize him from his acclaimed restaurant SUGARCANE and building out other food brands in the Miami area. He will bring dishes that are inspired by Miami’s local flavors and ingredients to the lounge.

With premium customers coming back, American Airlines is finally reopening its Flagship lounges to cater to its top-tier travelers and provide them an experience that other airlines do not offer, including competitor Delta Air Lines at JFK.

Are you glad to see American reopen its Flagship Lounges? Let us know in the comments!

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