Yesterday I wrote a review of American’s new Flagship Lounge at JFK. More accurately, the lounge is being marketed as the “International First Class Lounge” at the moment, until later this spring, when it formally opens as the Flagship Lounge. This is part of American’s massive lounge overahaul program.
The most significant change being made is that Flagship Lounges will be open to eligible international first and business class passengers, as well as oneworld Emerald and oneworld Sapphire members. Previously these lounges were just open to international first class and oneworld Emerald member, so obviously they’re greatly increasing the number of people who have access to this lounge.
Following my review, American reached out to clarify a few things, which I wasn’t aware of. Now that I understand these things, I’m a lot more excited about the new Flagship Lounge.
The new Flagship Lounge will be bigger when it opens
I noted in my review how the new Flagship Lounge is already bigger than it used to be, but I wasn’t sure it was big enough to cover the increased demand. Well, as it turns out, the lounge we see now isn’t the full extent of the new Flagship Lounge.
The new Flagship Lounge JFK is still under construction, and the current lounge is just occupying a portion of the new space; the entire lounge will open later this spring. That would explain the long hallways in the lounge with temporary-looking walls, which I guess will eventually become part of the full lounge; I was under the impression that was part of the new Admirals Club.
So that’s great news — the lounge we see now is only a part of the new lounge.
The new food & beverage offerings haven’t been rolled out yet
I noted how the food and drink selection looked remarkably similar to what was found in the old Flagship Lounge. This would already represent a massive improvement for business class and oneworld Sapphire members, given that previously they had access to cubed cheese and raw veggies in the Admirals Club.
I’ve been informed that the upgraded food and beverage offerings will roll out with the opening of the new Flagship Lounge later this spring. So the food we see now is in fact just the food we used to see in the Flagship Lounge, and the new concept will roll out later this spring.
On top of that, keep in mind that American will roll out Flagship Dining, a sit-down dining experience for international first class passengers, as well as those traveling in A321 transcon first class to Los Angeles or San Francisco (oneworld Emerald members will not have access to this).
I’m happy American clarified these things, since just about everyone I know who has visited the new lounge was under the impression that this was already the final product. So even though the JFK lounge is the first to roll out the updated design, there’s more to come. The lounge will be bigger than it is right now, with an updated food & beverage selection.