Review: American Flagship Lounge Dallas DFW Airport

Filed Under: American

As Ben mentioned, my cousin Heather and I were flying separately to meet him in Madrid. She’d never flown international first, so after great deliberation I redeemed an expiring British Airways Travel Together Ticket for first class flights Austin > London > Madrid.

As non-British Airways flights can’t be added to awards using the companion certificate, we had to organize separate tickets to Austin. For me this meant connecting in Dallas, where the new Flagship Dining lounge was having a soft opening.

Entrance to Terminal D Admirals Club

The Flagship Lounge is located inside the Terminal D Admirals Club, and provides access to the following:

Invited guests include passengers on eligible international itineraries (traveling to/from Europe, Asia, Central and South America and Mexico City) who are either:

  • Traveling in First Class on American Airlines or oneworld®marketed and operated flights, or
  • AAdvantage® Executive Platinum or oneworld® Emerald members traveling in any cabin

Given the access rules, it was a bit of a grey area as to whether or not I’d be granted access:

  • I was connecting to a same-day international first class flight on a oneworld carrier
  • But the relevant flight was on a separate itinerary
  • But oneworld is typically good about looking at your full travel day, even if they are separate records

So I figured it was maybe a 50% chance, but that I might as well try. As a back up plan, I had a couple options available to me in Dallas, between the Admiral’s Club and Centurion Lounge, thanks to one of my premium credit cards with lounge access. Shockingly, as soon as I explained that I was connecting to the BA flight out of Austin, the agent agreed I should have access and presented me with an invitation to the Flagship Lounge:

Flagship dining invitation

The Flagship Dining area is located in the old smoking lounge, just behind the elevators on the 5th floor.

Terminal D Admirals Club schematic

After turning left (and left again) down the hallway I was met by a supervisor, who was taking invitations and checking boarding passes at the entrance to the Flagship area.

Entrance to DFW Flagship dining area

The space is very very small, with fewer than a dozen tables. Here’s a panorama shot taken from the corner to give you a sense of just how big the lounge isn’t:

DFW Flagship dining area

However, the emphasis here is truly on dining. The chairs aren’t terribly comfortable (I mean, they’re just lovely for dining chairs, but probably not a good place to sit for hours), and the outlets are limited to the side walls.

DFW Flagship dining area

There was a coffee station, along with a selection of water, juice, beer, wine, and champagne. The attendants were happy to fetch mixed drinks from the main bar as well.

DFW Flagship dining area

I was there during lunch, so the selection was quite different than when Hans visited the Flagship Dining for breakfast earlier that day.

There was a tower with hummus, and crudités:

DFW Flagship dining area canapés

DFW Flagship dining area canapés

Followed by a selection of salads:

DFW Flagship dining area salads

DFW Flagship dining area salads

And a choice of two different hot soups:

DFW Flagship dining area soups

DFW Flagship dining area barley soup

Then a selection of rolls, olives, meats, and cheeses:

DFW Flagship dining area buffet

DFW Flagship dining area buffet

And a small selection of desserts, consisting of mini-cheesecakes or fresh berries:

DFW Flagship dining area dessert

The overall quality was fine. Not as good as the nearby American Express Centurion Lounge, or really even the Flagship Lounge in New York, but certainly a step up from the typical Admirals Club offerings.

However, it’s a minor miracle that I was able to grab some photos without people. During the two hours I was there the lounge had 15+ passengers and 3-5 staff members at nearly all times. Given the number of Executive Platinums in Dallas I can’t imagine this area will ever be anything other than packed, and in chatting with the Food & Beverage Manager she seemed to agree.

Apparently there are plans/aspirations to open a full Flagship Lounge in the next two years, but in the meantime they wanted to be able to offer at least something to premium passengers.

DFW Flagship dining area

So this probably fits the bill as an interim solution, and it’s always nice to have options. But I probably won’t go out of my way to visit the Flagship Dining area, personally.

Who else has been to Dallas Flagship Dining? What did you think?

  1. Based on the eligibility criteria, it seems that if you’re travelling QF to SYD that’s not a valid itinerary?

  2. @ SG — I assume that’s more of an oversight, and if you were traveling in an eligible cabin or were an EXP they’d likely let you in. That being said, the Qantas lounge is likely better.

  3. really underwhelming – space looks like a banquet hall (not a complement) and the food akin to Delta Skyclub — not exactly premium first class.

  4. I was in here for Breakfast on Tuesday. Every table was packed and 3 people working inside and one person on the door as noted. At one point we started speaking with another passenger about how awkward the set up is. I am BA Gold (ELD) and was traveling DFW-FLL. It did’t hit me until I was walking up the stairs that I didn’t have an invitation. Upstairs desk didn’t know if I could access it or not. They called downstairs and the ladies said no. I pushed them on this as I said as a BA Gold I have always had access to flagship lounges in LAX/ORD/JFK. There was a man on the desk who confirmed I am entitled to access. Apparently this was the first real day of opening according to him and he gave myself and my guest an invitation. Just a heads up that you may have to question the access policy although I will continue to use Centurion Lounge instead of this.

  5. Excuse my naiveté… but, are you saying that if I am a member of the Admiral’s Club and an AA Gold (one world Ruby) I don’t qualify to get into the Flagship Lounge in Dallas??? would appreciate a reply from anyone… deb porter

  6. The food offerings in this Flagship dining room are barely on par with those found in any ordinary Delta Sky Club. And then the Sky Clubs at ATL concourses E and F and JFK terminal 4 offer a significantly more substantial hot food spread.

  7. I may be missing something, but the spread shown seems to be largely (with the exception of the meats, cheeses and rolls on offer) made up of the same things offered outside in the Admirals, just spiffed up a bit. Given the space that is used and the furnishings, why bother (other than to happily have axed the nasty smoking lounge)?

  8. This article is what my 28 y.o. daughter would categorize as “white whine.” Yes, it is a small room. So what? The food is very good, as is the white wine, and both are unlimited. It’s quiet in here (I’m in it now) and the staff is very nice. It’s a peaceful place to spend time ‘twixt flights.

  9. This is an awkward place – I have visited multiple times and this visit it is finally quiet but it needs a different approach. The flagship lounge at ORD is much better but as others have commented that is not on a par with other first class lounges. It needs a bar, bigger tables and more comfortable chairs – the chairs are from my kids 5th grade class I think. The Amex lounge is better but are run over with people most of the time. AA need to rethink this – better to give out food vouchers against the food menu in the regular Admirals club lounge

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