American Is Temporarily Renaming Their Flagship Lounges

Filed Under: American

Earlier in the year I wrote about how American is making major changes to their Flagship Lounges. These are American’s international first class lounges, accessible by the following passengers:

  • Passengers traveling in oneworld longhaul international first class same day
  • Passengers travel in first class on American’s A321 between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco
  • American Executive Platinum members traveling on a longhaul international itinerary, regardless of the class of service
  • All non-American AAdvantage oneworld Emerald members traveling on any oneworld flight, even if it’s domestic

American-Flagship-Lounge-LAX - 16
American’s Flagship Lounge LAX

American is greatly shrinking the footprint of their international first class cabins, as their 777-200s are being reconfigured with a new business class product, at the expense of the 16 first class seats on these planes.

So, what changes is American making starting in 2017?

  • Flagship Lounge access will be expanded to all longhaul international business class customers
  • American will open Flagship Dining Facilities with a la carte dining and table service at JFK, LAX, and MIA, accessible by longhaul international first class customers (oneworld Emerald members will not get access to this)

Rendering of American’s Flagship Dining concept

If you’ve been flying American lately you’ve probably noticed that a lot of their clubs are under construction, and that’s because they’re renovating the clubs and also reallocating them in some cases, as Flagship Lounges will become bigger, meaning that parts of existing Admirals Clubs will become part of Flagship Lounges.

Anyway, American has just reached out to share that they’re temporarily renaming their Flagship Lounges.

For the time being American Flagship Lounges will be renamed International First Class Lounges. Nothing will be changing in practice — the access requirements, amenities, etc., will remain the same. However, you’ll see a change in signage, which should be at all Flagship Lounges by December 5, 2016.

Rendering of a renovated Flagship Lounge

American is making this change in preparation for the introduction of the new Flagship Lounge concept. This way when the new Flagship Lounges open people won’t confuse them with the existing International First Class Lounges.

In terms of the timing of these new lounges, we can expect the first full Flagship Lounge experience at JFK in spring 2017, followed by MIA also in spring 2017, and then LAX in summer 2017. This will include the new lounges, dining for eligible passengers, etc.

So in practice nothing is changing now, but you guys are so observant that I know I would have gotten a message shortly from someone noticing the change in signage.

  1. Looks to me like they’re following UA since they will soon have Polaris lounges for International Business Class pax.

  2. It would be better if they called them International First Class Pro Lounges. Seriously how can they make these lounge rollouts take any longer, haven’t they been talking about what they are “going to do” for about 20 months now? Maybe time to think about hiring a second contractor so they can get the remodels done before we’ve all retired.

  3. Tried to visit the flagship dinning lounge in DFW before a flight to HKG in First a couple of weeks ago. Was rejected as the lounge was at capacity. Have never been rejected from a First class lounge before. I know this lounge is temporary, but sad when they can not accommodate an international First class passenger.

  4. So will the “new” Flagship lounges be accessible to non-Emeralds? I’m assuming Sapphires will be relegated to Admirals Clubs? I guess that AA’s required to give Emeralds access to FLs, given that they’re entitled to FC lounge access by the alliance… That’s one big advantage over UA, since (I’m assuming) Polaris lounges won’t be accessible to *G. Maybe GS/1Ks, if they’re lucky.

  5. Not very happy with these changes.
    – First why even bother to give it such an exclusive name when it is basically Admirals Club+ lounge (just to adhere to the OW Emeralds rules? but this is clearly just playing with words to satisfy the OW rules)
    – why even bother to build the Flagship dining if more and more planes don’t have First class – they should use the money to improve the quality of the lounge rather than invest in something that will only be used on mayb 100 or less passengers per day – of course this is very hub dependent? I think that they should have included Emeralds flying in J class to have access to these dining areas
    – sounds like they will move some of the improvements seen in the Admirals Club now to these new lounges (based on what I see has happened on the new AA, the motto seems to be “Cut it from somewhere and move it ” – just like introducing the silly Platinum Pro level)

    Just my 2 cents on this “enhancement”.


  6. @ Mike, that’s why Flagship dining will be only available to MIA, LAX and JFK since those airports have flights with a 77W (to LHR, GRU, SYD, EZE).

    I will assume that AA ExPLT will have access to the dining option regardless of the class of service.

  7. @ Federico — Unfortunately EXPs/oneworld Emeralds won’t have access to the Flagship Dining facility. It will only be for three cabin first class customers. 🙁

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