American Selling Flagship Lounge Access For $150

American Selling Flagship Lounge Access For $150

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For the first time ever, American Airlines will be selling access to its most exclusive lounges…

Buy American Flagship Lounge access

American will soon reopen its Flagship Lounges, which are the carrier’s premium international lounges. As these lounges reopen, there will be a new way to access them — specifically, you’ll be able to buy a day pass. Here’s how Flagship Lounge day passes will work:

  • A Flagship Lounge day pass will cost $150
  • You must be flying American Airlines or a oneworld partner to buy a day pass
  • You can purchase a pass directly at the Flagship Lounge, and not in advance
  • You can bring children under two years old with you for free, but otherwise everyone needs to buy their own pass
  • This is a “permanent” feature (as permanent as anything in the airline industry is), so it’s not just a limited time promotion while demand is down

For context, Flagship Lounges are American’s lounges for premium international passengers, and they’re located in Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK).

Generally speaking, long haul first and business class passengers, and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members on long haul flights, can access these lounges (that’s an oversimplification, but those are the main types of passengers who are eligible).

Flagship Lounges are a significant step up over Admirals Clubs, which are American’s membership lounges (and as a point of comparison, a day pass to an Admirals Club costs $59). Flagship Lounges have a much more extensive food and drink selection than Admirals Clubs.

American will sell Flagship Lounge access for $150

My take on American selling Flagship Lounge access

Personally I’m surprised it took American so long to start selling access to Flagship Lounges, and this arrangement seems fair:

  • The pricing is high enough so that only a very limited number of people will take advantage of this, and it shouldn’t impact the guest experience or crowding levels in a meaningful way
  • At the same time, I suppose it’s a nice option for people to have, especially if you have a really long layover, or are traveling for a special occasion

The pricing is no doubt steep, since it’s not like Flagship Lounges are that exceptional by international standards. At the same time, I suppose the pricing isn’t that far off when you consider that American charges $59 for an Admirals Club day pass. That being said, I’d be absolutely shocked if more than a few people a day (at most) took advantage of this opportunity.

If American actually wanted to generate more revenue from the sale of Flagship Lounge access, I think the airline should sell a lounge “upgrade” pass. In other words, if you have Admirals Club access already, how about charging a lower amount to instead be able to use the Flagship Lounge? That could be as simple as subtracting the cost of an Admirals Club day pass from the cost of a Flagship Lounge day pass.

Flagship Lounges have a good food & drink selection

Bottom line

As Flagship Lounges reopen, passengers will be able to buy access for $150 per person if they’re not otherwise eligible. That’s a steep price, and I can’t imagine many people will take advantage of this. As a result, I also don’t think it will impact the experience for those who otherwise have access.

What do you make of American selling Flagship Lounge access? What do you think of the pricing?

(Tip of the hat to Zach Griff)

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  1. AY

    I have admirals club membership. There should be an option to upgrade

  2. kenindfw

    I can totally see the extra value for this opportunity. We experienced the Flagship Lounge at JFK flying to BCN in 2017, when we decided to go the airport early. We used miles in Business and were granted access to the lounge. Lovely lounge, comfortable amenities, showers and good food/drink options. We spent a good 4 hours so we could relax, take showers before the evening flight and mentally prepare for our vacation. If flying...

    I can totally see the extra value for this opportunity. We experienced the Flagship Lounge at JFK flying to BCN in 2017, when we decided to go the airport early. We used miles in Business and were granted access to the lounge. Lovely lounge, comfortable amenities, showers and good food/drink options. We spent a good 4 hours so we could relax, take showers before the evening flight and mentally prepare for our vacation. If flying in main cabin or main cabin plus out of JFK or DFW I would totally take advantage of this option for vacation.

  3. Nick

    I flew in Flagship First on the MIA-LAX route a couple months ago, and the Flagship lounges were closed. Okay fine, fair enough. What really got me though was that AA didn't even offer any food/drink vouchers for F pax in the Admiral's Club. (In contrast, UA has closed its Polaris lounges but offers a full open bar to int'l J pax in the United Club.) Seems pretty consistent with American's policy to nickel and dime all their passengers in a race to the bottom.

  4. KBT

    I get this offering and think they have priced it correctly. I have no doubt the AA accounts did a cost/profit/breakage analysis of it. Personally, I would likely pay for it depending on the day of week I was traveling. If traveling on a weekend for sure…midweek, unlikely. I would find it more appealing if they charged $250 and included the Flagship private dining option (which was a wonderful experience @ DFW). I would definitely...

    I get this offering and think they have priced it correctly. I have no doubt the AA accounts did a cost/profit/breakage analysis of it. Personally, I would likely pay for it depending on the day of week I was traveling. If traveling on a weekend for sure…midweek, unlikely. I would find it more appealing if they charged $250 and included the Flagship private dining option (which was a wonderful experience @ DFW). I would definitely take advantage of private dining and probably fly more on weekends. Compare the AA offer to the pricing of Emirates FC lounge access which is $300 or discounted if you’re flying business class to $150. A big downside to me from this offering is that once you purchase and experience the AA Flagship lounge access (a premium offering) you then have to get on the plane where a domestic FC experience is anything but premium. To me, AA (and other US domestic carriers) need to bridge the gap between a premium lounge experience and a first class domestic flight experience. For that, I would pay a premium well beyond the $150 access price point.

  5. Brenda

    It’s very sad that AA will be offering these $150.00 day passes for the Flagship Lounges.
    I spent between $7,000.00 and $12,000.00 per ticket round ticket to Europe and the Orient a few times a year, and now I have to share the exclusive lounge that I look forward to on my travels with AA, with people that probably fly once a year and spent less than $200.00 on a ticket to NYC!!!! Very...

    It’s very sad that AA will be offering these $150.00 day passes for the Flagship Lounges.
    I spent between $7,000.00 and $12,000.00 per ticket round ticket to Europe and the Orient a few times a year, and now I have to share the exclusive lounge that I look forward to on my travels with AA, with people that probably fly once a year and spent less than $200.00 on a ticket to NYC!!!! Very sad, I will truly consider changing my future travels to other airlines in the future. So much for peace and quiet before a long flight.
    Big mistake American Airlines Flagship Lounges!!!!

    1. Eskimo

      Are you married to Endre and have a son named Maxwell Berry?

      I'm sure other people in the lounge or premium cabin doesn't want to share it with a snob either.

      If you are not a hypocrite liar who will truly consider changing future travels to other airlines in the future. Might I suggest an airline that fits a snob like you. Frontier is catered to people with parents that are worth at least $2M....

      Are you married to Endre and have a son named Maxwell Berry?

      I'm sure other people in the lounge or premium cabin doesn't want to share it with a snob either.

      If you are not a hypocrite liar who will truly consider changing future travels to other airlines in the future. Might I suggest an airline that fits a snob like you. Frontier is catered to people with parents that are worth at least $2M. Duct Tape included.

      That being said, if someone here knows when will @Brenda be visiting the Flagship lounge, I'm happy to buy your whole family in to join @Brenda if you have either a miss behaved child, a loud baby, or an ESA.

      Peace!!!

  6. Susie

    What’s the better option for the Amex $250 credit? Mileage Multiplier or two Flagship club passes?

  7. Jordan

    I think like most things, there is a value for some, and not for others.

    For someone like @Scudder, yes, it makes sense for sure. Although if the admiral lounge has showers, then paying $59 is a much better value.

    For others tempted to part with $59 - 150 ... purchasing a priority pass might make more sense overall, depending upon airport and future travel.

    A great post on here is needed, regarding paid...

    I think like most things, there is a value for some, and not for others.

    For someone like @Scudder, yes, it makes sense for sure. Although if the admiral lounge has showers, then paying $59 is a much better value.

    For others tempted to part with $59 - 150 ... purchasing a priority pass might make more sense overall, depending upon airport and future travel.

    A great post on here is needed, regarding paid lounges around the world. Either through contract / PP/ Amex and others. There are always some very surprising hidden gems.

    1. kenindfw

      I have purchased day passes for the PP lounge in PVR further down in the international terminal. They have nice amenities. The pandemic has impacted them, but probably in the next year or so it'll fully open with two levels including cocktails and I believe showers are also available as well.

  8. D3kingg

    The $150 price point adds value to the product. I land in DFW at 5:55am from BOG in December. Had I seen this yesterday I would have opted for a 3hr layover instead of 1hr to experience this. Guaranteed I’ll be out like a light like a light for the whole flight on the 772 in business class. This would be nice to wake up to.

  9. Eskimo

    If you're already going to charge me a hefty premium to use this lounge, why do I still need to fly AA or Oneworld.

  10. Evan

    Any news about progress on the new Flagship Lounge at PHL? They started construction two years ago, although I'm sure it stopped for a while.

  11. Brian

    Will this include access to Flagship check-in?

    I really think they should restore access they took away for EPs on Central and South American itineraries. Wish you would press them on this.

  12. Mike C

    This looks like a good deal to me, although at present it's a moot point as I'm QF Platinum so have access from that. Since they call it a day pass it's implicitly available for any visits on one day, not just the lounge where it's purchased. That needs to be clarified. It should also allow access to Admiral's Clubs later on the same day.

  13. Jill

    AA needs money
    Not surprised at all

  14. Scudder

    I certainly see value in this. I have a 5.5 hr ORD layover after arriving in Premium Economy coming up. Knowing I could drop $100 on food and drink in the terminal, the extra $50 for space, peace, and a shower are totally worth it to me.

  15. Chris

    No thanks. You can only use at the airport you purchase it at and not a connecting airport - and you don't get to use the flagship dining facility.

  16. jfhscott

    Decidedly not worth $150.

    But it does somehow signal to those who have access that they are getting something ostensibly worth $150, which may be the point.

    1. Steve

      If you have a five+ hour layover this definitely could be worth it. Not sure about other flagship lounges but the DFW one is ten times better than the Centurion lounge across the concourse. Remember too that most people who would pay for this are most likely expensing their meals/time anyways so its not going to personally cost them the full $150.

  17. GeorgeW

    Question is, will the Amex Incidental credit trigger here? It's purchasing lounge access, so it should, right? That might not be a bad way to use the $200/$250 credit.

    1. Steve

      Thats a great question, i wont use my full $200 this year since i choose AA and recently qualified for platinum so there is nothing to spend it on especially since i cant buy the solid Zoe's sandwichs onboard anymore.

    2. Jef

      You might as well buy upgrade stickers (for companions), Admirals Club day passes, or even the mileage multipliers for booked travel rather than letting the credit expire.

      FlyerTalk thread for more options:
      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-express-membership-rewards/2002976-airline-fee-250-200-100-reimbursement-reports-aa-only-2020-21-a-2.html

    3. Anthony

      Purchasing one time Admiral Club access historically has triggered this credit, so I don't see why it wouldn't in this case either.

    4. Brodie

      It should and would be a solid use for the occasional traveler. I know I could squeeze value out of this at the bar.

Featured Comments Load all 25 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Brodie

It should and would be a solid use for the occasional traveler. I know I could squeeze value out of this at the bar.

Nick

I flew in Flagship First on the MIA-LAX route a couple months ago, and the Flagship lounges were closed. Okay fine, fair enough. What really got me though was that AA didn't even offer any food/drink vouchers for F pax in the Admiral's Club. (In contrast, UA has closed its Polaris lounges but offers a full open bar to int'l J pax in the United Club.) Seems pretty consistent with American's policy to nickel and dime all their passengers in a race to the bottom.

D3kingg

The $150 price point adds value to the product. I land in DFW at 5:55am from BOG in December. Had I seen this yesterday I would have opted for a 3hr layover instead of 1hr to experience this. Guaranteed I’ll be out like a light like a light for the whole flight on the 772 in business class. This would be nice to wake up to.

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