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Introducing American Airlines new Flagship Lounges – what are they and where are they?

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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.

You can find full details about Flagship Lounges on the American Airlines website here.

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 …..

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (October 2023)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (43)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Down the Back says:

    Does anybody have any experience of being able to use the Flagship First Dining if travelling in First on a BA Flight (Marketed and Operated) or is it only for AA First passengers. I am specifically interested in Miami to LHR. Also was the Miami First Dining as good as the others mentioned above, DFW and ORD ?



    • Paul says:

      Flagship dining is solely for AA first class passengers (international or transcon only).
      The food and lounge is still very good!

  • Brian says:

    My understanding is that BA flights depart from Terminal 7 at JFK. Is that correct? Does that mean that it is impossible or impractical to use the AA Flagship lounge in Terminal 8? Am I stuck with BA’s own lounge? Thanks.

  • Tom says:

    off topic – but just saw a post over at Frequent Miler about using IB to book AA domestic awards. It appears that they charge on total distance rather than by individual segment. If correct it seems like something that could be added to the Avios University series…….

    • Rob says:

      Interesting. AA booked via IB is NOT refundable though unless things have changed.

    • Marcw says:

      It´s been always been like this. But non refundable or changeable.

    • Marcw says:

      It´s been always been like this – BUT it needs to be a return itinerary. But non refundable or changeable.

  • Helen says:

    We used the new Admirals Lounge at MIA 2 weeks ago on our way to Barbados & it was fantastic. The food was excellent, as many scallops as you could eat, unlimited champagne, cocktails, wine waiter, loads of different seating areas. One of the best lounges I have been in, sadly we were didn’t have a chance to use it last night on our way back to Washington as our AA flight had us sitting on the tarmac for over an hour!! Would much rather been in the lounge again!!

  • dps says:

    (Not easy or affordable when flying on most revenue tickets), but when using my “Miles” flying to/from the US or Asia/Pacific, I try to optimize the “lounge experience” by flying OneWorld (or VS!) from LHR T3, AA,(or VS) from any US hub, AY via HEL (their Premium lounge is superb),CX from/via HKG and BA only when there’s no availability (even at a higher “price”) on other OneWorld carriers.

  • A says:

    Was in the flagship lounge at JFK this lunchtime. Leagues ahead of Galleries and possibly even Flounge. Fresh tuna, salmon and a fine selection of salads and sides available.

    Tattinger in the champagne bar but I wasn’t bothered as had to work.

  • Dwadda says:

    As a BA Gold I preferred the old Flagship lounge in JFK. The new one is really busy and I am not allowed into the dining area now 🙁

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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