American Airlines has been rolling out a new lounge product over the last nine months: Flagship Lounges. We haven’t covered them on HfP yet as the London one won’t open until later this year, but as some readers have recently sent us pictures from their visits we thought it was time to take a look.
They are especially relevant to HFP readers as any British Airways Executive Club Silver or Gold member can go in if flying on a oneworld airline. It is one of the weird quirks of being in oneworld that American does not allow its own mid-tier members lounge access if flying Economy or Premium Economy but is forced to allow mid-tier British Airways and other oneworld airline members in!
The Flagship Lounges are American Airlines’ new premium lounge with cocktail bars, wine tables and a large amount of seating. At major US hubs like New York JFK and Los Angeles you now have an alternative to the ageing Admirals Club lounges. London Heathrow is due to get a Flagship Lounge later this year.
Inside the lounge you can also find Flagship First Dining which is a full serviced restaurant for First Class passengers only. Even oneworld Emerald (ie a BA Gold card) won’t get you access to this bit.
Who can access the lounges?
The entry policy is more liberal than it was at the old First Class lounges which Flagship Lounges are replacing:
- Passengers travelling in Business or First on oneworld flights between the US and Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City, New Zealand and South America
- Passengers travelling in First or Business class on American Airlines between New York and Los Angeles or New York and San Francisco
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members with flights between the US and Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City, New Zealand and South America
- Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (eg British Airways Executive Club Gold and Silver members) who are flying American or any other oneworld airline
If your status gets you access, you can also bring one guest. Business and First Class passengers without status cannot bring a guest.
Where can you find an AA Flagship Lounge?
So far you can find the new Flagship Lounges at:
- Chicago O’Hare – Terminal 3 (opened in September 2017)
Open daily 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Los Angeles – Terminal 4 (opened in January 2018)
Open daily 4:45 a.m. – 12:45 a.m.
- Miami – Concourse D (opened in November 2017)
Open daily 4:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
- New York JFK – Terminal 8 (opened in May 2017)
Open daily 4:15 a.m. – 1 a.m.
As well as plans for a London Heathrow lounge, Dallas / Fort Worth and Philadelphia will also open Flagship Lounges later this year.
Here are some recent pictures of the AA Flagship Lounge in Miami (thanks to Jason):
and some pictures of the AA Flagship Lounge in Los Angeles (thanks to Susan):
The first impression is very positive. Both lounges appear to be very spacious with a large amount of seating and food which is a marked improvement on the Admirals Club.
Once the London Heathrow lounge opens in Terminal 3 it will, arguably, make T3 the home of the best oneworld lounge complex in the world. You will have the brand new Qantas lounge, the excellent Cathay Pacific lounge with its dedicated First Class dining room (accessible for BA Gold card holders) and the new AA Flagship Lounge. Oh, and the substantially poorer British Airways Galleries …..
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list. Additional visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card. There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.