Details I Got Wrong About American’s New JFK Flagship Lounge

Filed Under: American

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).


Bottom line

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.

  1. yeah pretty sure I picked up a staph infection showering at the Flagship Lounge at LAX and JFK last October. Didn’t realize both of them were under construction =\

  2. Now that you know American reads your blog posts, how objective will you be?

    Is it worth antagonizing American if it puts your upgrades in jeopardy. Didn’t you write a post about conflicts of interest a few weeks ago.

  3. That’s great news. While the lounge was aesthetically beautiful, the food and size were disappointing…

  4. “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. ”

    1) could you define who are “Eligible” (int’l first and business class passengers)?

    2) are you sure Sapphire members will be allowed access? This is the first I have heard of that and I would think that Sapphire members would continue to get access to the regular Admirals Club rather than Flagship.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. What’s the purpose of the Admiral’s Club then if everyone that previously had access to the Admirals Club (OW Sapphire / Emerald and International Biz/First) now has access to the flagship lounge?

    Is Admiral’s Club essentially just there now for people with memberships?

  6. Can you get an answer about when they’ll fix the wifi? It’s been broken or half-working for months.

  7. @Dan, Currently EXPs have access to the First Class Dining room at DFW. But this dining area is not what AA seems to have in mind for the new Flagship/First Class lounges. I’ve been told The Flagship Lounge at DFW will not be finished until 2018.

  8. Will access to Flagship Dining include partner international first class passengers? Such as CX F passengers who now depart from JFK terminal 8?

  9. Howdy! Sitting in the JFK flagship lounge now, for the first time ever, watching the plane that’s about to fly me to London taxi to the the gate. 🙂

    The Pier it ain’t, but I must say, for a temporary lounge, it’s LIGHT YEARS ahead of the hellhole that is the under-construction Admiral’s Club next door.

  10. Per staff here at JFK Flagship Lounge, Flagship Dining will begin at JFK on 15 May.

  11. Will ability of Business Class travelers and Aadvantage Sapphire guests to enter the Flagship lounge also begin on 15 May?

  12. Been there Today, andere was told thats the Restaurant will open next Week. Was able to take a few Pictures before the put Paper all ihre the Doors.. .

  13. Just visited the competed Flagship Lounge and its chaos. Was here just after opening and it was great as the review above mentions. Unfortunately there are now so many people with access that you can’t even find a place to sit. Food was empty as were most of the refrigerators with drinks due to the number of people in the lounge. Empty wine and champagne bottles cluttered tables everywhere. This is a real downgrade of the previous flagship lounge where at least there was always a place to sit in peace. The new access policy has made this place a zoo–definitely not even close to BA’s First Class lounge. Clearly to be avoided if you want a quiet place to work or relax. What a shame that AA can’t seem to get things right on their lounges once again.

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