American Airlines Reopening Flagship Lounges!

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At the start of the pandemic, airlines closed virtually all of their lounges, both due to the lack of demand, and due to a need for updated policies. While airlines have started to reopen lounges, most premium international lounges have remained closed due to lack of demand.

Here in the United States, all American Airlines Flagship Lounges and United Airlines Polaris Lounges have remained closed, with no timeline for them reopening… until now.

American Flagship Lounge Miami reopens in September

It has been announced that American Airlines will reopen its Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining in Miami (MIA) in September 2021. American is taking a phased approach to reopening Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining, and the remaining lounges (with the exception of Flagship First Dining Los Angeles) are expected to reopen throughout the fall of 2021.

American Flagship Lounge Miami

For context, here are American’s other Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining facilities:

American Flagship Lounge Chicago

It’s not surprising to see Miami be the first Flagship Lounge to reopen, given how popular Florida has become during the pandemic. Furthermore, I would speculate that Miami is probably the market seeing the most eligible long haul international flights, given that there are fewer travel restrictions to South America than most other long haul international destinations.

American Flagship First Dining Miami

I do find it interesting that there are no concrete plans to reopen Flagship First Dining in Los Angeles. Admittedly American has largely cut Los Angeles as a transpacific hub, but the airport does have lots of A321T first class flights to New York.

American will make Flagship Lounges more accessible

Historically American Flagship Lounges have been accessible to the following passengers:

  • Concierge Key members, and non-American AAdvantage and non-Alaska Mileage Plan oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members, on any American or oneworld flight
  • Those on eligible business and first class itineraries, including long haul international markets, as well as select premium transcontinental flights
  • Those AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro, AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Mileage Plan MVP Gold, and Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K members on eligible long haul international itineraries
American Flagship Lounge Los Angeles

There’s an interesting update when it comes to Flagship Lounge access. It has been announced that later this summer, American will share plans to make Flagship Lounges accessible to even more premium customers.

This is interesting on a few levels:

  • American recently modified its lounge access policy, giving more customers Admirals Club access, and fewer customers Flagship Lounge access
  • It’s noteworthy that American is not just reopening Flagship Lounges, but also Flagship First Dining, despite the lack of international first class travel demand; this makes me think that we may see access opportunities there expanded as well
  • I wonder if American will outright expand the passengers eligible for Flagship Lounge access, or simply start selling access as some sort of an add-on
American Flagship First Dining New York

Bottom line

American Airlines will be reopening its Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining locations later this year, starting with the Miami facilities opening in September 2021. It’s great to see these lounges finally reopen, and I’m curious to see what kind of expanded access American Airlines plans to offer.

What do you make of American reopening Flagship Lounges, and how do you think American will expand access?

Conversations (20)
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  1. David

    "It has been announced that American Airlines will reopen its Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining in Miami (MIA) in September 2021."

    Passive voice without sourcing. What is your source please?

    1. Ben

      @ David -- American corporate communications let me know of this directly.

  2. Dylan

    Note that the LAX Flagship lounge has been open since mid-March, but it's just been treated as one big Admiral's Club (with showers and Flagship First Dining closed), and the food options probably a small step up from a normal Admiral's Club.

    1. Luke

      Interesting, it’s still indicated as closed both on the Oneworld and AA websites. I’m almost positive that the JFK Flagship lounge is still closed. (I was last there a few weeks ago.)

    2. flyingrohit

      I think there’s a bit of confusion. I was just there a week ago as well. The space where the flagship lounge is, is currently open, however it is without any of the usual flagship amenities like the wine table or the expansive buffet. It’s just the space that’s open but with the food that you’d find in the admiral’s club. So it’s basically an extension of the admiral’s club That’s there 20 feet away...

      I think there’s a bit of confusion. I was just there a week ago as well. The space where the flagship lounge is, is currently open, however it is without any of the usual flagship amenities like the wine table or the expansive buffet. It’s just the space that’s open but with the food that you’d find in the admiral’s club. So it’s basically an extension of the admiral’s club That’s there 20 feet away from the flagship lounge.

      Also @Dylan from my experience the food is identical to the admirals club level food there’s not really a step up to flagship level that I could notice.

  3. JimC

    Somewhat related, but anyone know of any Oneworld lounge at TBIT at LAX now that the Oneworld business/first class lounges are closed?

    Will be there in 2 weeks and just found out the Amex Centurion Lounge is closed there too.

    1. ChrisC

      check the lounge database on the One World Website

    2. Dylan

      Only the admirals club at T4 is open.

  4. upstater

    Wondering if AA will complete the Flagship Lounge begun in PHL but never completed. The shut down the large Admirals Club in A terminal 2 years ago.

  5. D3kingg

    Will the showers be re open ?

  6. Shadde

    Do you know what day in September the Flagship Lounge will open in MIA? I am transiting through MIA on 4 Sept and 13 Sept and wondering if I'll be able to access on either of those dates. Thanks!

  7. ORDnHKG

    @ Dylan - there is no small step up in Admirals club currently at LAX, they are serving the exact same food options as in DFW, ORD, or MIA

    1. Dylan

      Fair enough, it’s better than I remember the AC food from the past, but a huge step down from Flagship.

  8. Brian

    I hope they bring back access for EXPs on the central and South American countries they took away in April.

  9. Brodie

    Why wait that long? The Flagship First experience offers zero benefit outside of Flagship check-in, and that is widely reported as a PIA with access. When you hit the Admirals club you still have to pay for drinks outside of the well options. They are still charging a premium but offer nowhere near the experience as before. Tired of the covid excuse to reduce benefits.

    1. beachfan

      Other bloggers report that LAX Flagship will not be reopening this year.

  10. Anthony M Daddario

    I got so excited until I saw it was 3 months away......transcon leaving MIA to LAX next Monday/returning Saturday; but the Flagship’s open......yaaay/yawn.

  11. shoeguy

    This is great news. The Flagship Lounges and concept are quite nice.

  12. Benjamin G Guttery

    I think American should also allow any Platinum Pro or Exec Platinum member that's in PAID First ot Business on domestic routes as well. Not fair that I spend $700 plus on a less than 2 hr flight and have status and can't get a hour of quiet with wifi and a few crackers. Seems ridiculous to me.

  13. Raj Panjabi

    Hi, I am from LAX to Miami on July 5th on AA Flagship Business Class product on their 777-300ER. I was looking forward to using the Flagship lounge at LAX but now have heard that it wont be open till september 2021. For my flight will I be able to just use the regular AA Admiral Club lounge at LAX?

    Is the onboard service in the Flagship Business Class product just like International Business Class service?

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Anthony M Daddario

I got so excited until I saw it was 3 months away......transcon leaving MIA to LAX next Monday/returning Saturday; but the Flagship’s open......yaaay/yawn.

upstater

Wondering if AA will complete the Flagship Lounge begun in PHL but never completed. The shut down the large Admirals Club in A terminal 2 years ago.

Dylan

Note that the LAX Flagship lounge has been open since mid-March, but it's just been treated as one big Admiral's Club (with showers and Flagship First Dining closed), and the food options probably a small step up from a normal Admiral's Club.

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