American Airlines Is about to Re-Open Its Flagship Lounges

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American Airlines will start with the re-opening of its Flagship Lounges in September. All of American’s Flagship Lounges have been closed since early last year when the pandemic began its foothold in the United States.

Since then some of their Admirals Clubs have re-opened to enhance the customer experience during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Not all of the Admirals Clubs are back open yet.

In some cases, where the Admirals Clubs and the Flagship Lounges share the same entrance, American Airlines used the Flagship Lounge space to extend the footprint of the Admirals Club. This allowed for a greater potential for social distancing. One of these locations is the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge at LAX in Terminal 4.

However, in Miami where the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge also share the same entrance, only the Admirals Club is open.

Flagship Lounge JFK

Flagship Lounge Locations

Flagship Lounge Entry Requirements

There are quite a few ways to enter Flagship Lounges. Basically, if you fly in First or Business Class on an international flight which is defined as flights between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America (excluding Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela).

There are also option to access the flagship lounges on certain transcontinental and domestic routes.


Flights with seats ticketed as Flagship®:

  • New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX)
  • JFK and San Francisco (SFO)
  • JFK and Orange County (SNA)
  • LAX and Miami (MIA)
  • LAX and Boston (BOS)


Flights with seats ticketed as Flagship®:

  • Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) and Honolulu (HNL)
  • DFW and Kona (KOA)
  • DFW and Maui (OGG)
  • Chicago (ORD) and HNL
  • Charlotte (CLT) and HNL

AAdvantage and MileagePlan members with certain statuses have access as well as guests having Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status and flying on a Oneworld operated flight.

A full list with access restrictions can be found on the American Airlines website.

Projected reopening schedule

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8
    • Flagship Lounge: Sept. 14
    • Flagship First Dining: Sept. 16
  • Miami International Airport (MIA) Concourse D
    • Flagship Lounge: Sept. 28
    • Flagship First Dining: Sept. 30

Later this fall, locations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Terminal 4, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Terminal D and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Terminal 3 will reopen.


Dining and Flagship Dining

With the reopening of the Flagship lounges American is bringing celebrated chefs to the Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining. Each location will serve offererings designed exclusively for the home of the acclaimed local chef.  This program is in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, an organization with a mission to celebrate, support and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity and sustainability.

Meet the Chefs

DFW, Chef Tiffany Derry: The Top Chef fan favorite and chef and owner of the new Dallas hotspot, Roots Southern Table, will bring American customers a high-end twist to her family’s classic southern recipes. In addition to being a celebrated chef and television host, Chef Tiffany has been a sustainability spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation and has worked with the Dallas school district’s lunch program.

MIA, Chef Timon Balloo: Local ingredients and bold flavors fuel the spirit of dishes created by Miami Chef Timon Balloo. Chef Timon has been called “Chef of the Year” by Eater for his work at Miami’s SUGARCANE and is now building out his own brand with concepts like Mrs. Balloo, an Asian cuisine-inspired food truck, delivery-only Balloo Wallah and Balloo, for which he was nominated Best Chef: South by the James Beard Foundation in 2020.

JFK, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja’s Indonesian and Italian heritage have always been a source of inspiration. Drawing on the rustic, vibrant flavors found throughout Italy, Morocco and Tunisia, her menus at New York City’s Shuka and the brand new Shukette combine Eastern Mediterranean recipes with her own bold signature.

ORD, Chef Sarah Grueneberg: Chef Sarah Grueneberg is the award-winning chef and owner of Chicago’s Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio. She has won several awards, including the 2017 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Grueneberg created soulful Italian dishes for American flights in 2019 and will now showcase her talents at our Flagship Lounge located in her hometown at ORD.

The chef creating menu items for LAX will be named soon.

First Dining

This is the ultimate dining experience at a lounge but also the most exclusive one. You need to be flying in First Class on either a qualifying international flight between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Europe or South America. It’s also available on certain 3-class non-stop transcontinental routes.

More information about First Dining on the American website.

Flagship First Dining

New Amenities

American will add Dyson Supersonic hair dryers in the shower suites as well as hand soap and lotions from D.S. & Durga in the restrooms. This is in addition to the regular amenities. I am sure the lounges will hold up to the highest hygiene standards and offer hand sanitizers throughout the lounges.

The Flagship Experience

The Flagship Lounges are only part of the flagship experience. American Airlines built a whole ecosystem for their most loyal and of course wealthy customers. It already starts at the check-in. At their major hubs and markets, American offers the Flagship Check-In service. After your check-in, you can head to the flagship lounges and relax before your next flight. After that enjoy a wonderful in-flight experience in American’s Flagship First and Business Cabins.

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