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Old May 4, 17, 6:09 pm   #1
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No, I will not throw away a First Class ticket to London even if it is on American

With a use it or lose it First Class ticket to London left over from our Ireland trip, I couldn't just let it expire even if it was on American. I had already paid one change fee and used Systemwide Upgrades. Mrs. SFO777? Not so much. So I'm off on a 48 hour hall pass taking one for the team by flying American. But my consolation is a full day La Première experience on the return back to LAX.



The Flagship First Check-in is reserved for International and JFK First Class passengers. Friendly Flagship staffer greeted me and escorted me inside the small but comfortable check-in lounge.



Where yet another pleasant Flagship agent checked my passport and reissued my boarding pass complete with DOCS CHECKED. Comfy seating for those waiting for others and if by chance there was a queue to check in. I was the only passenger at around 5:15pm and after asking permission, only took pics of the seating area.





The Flagship greeter/porter then escorted me to the elevator. Not sure if he would have escorted me just to PreCheck or all the way to the lounge but I declined further assistance and thanked him. We shook hands and his wished me a pleasant flight. Wow, a very nice (un-American) start to the trip. Upstairs, there was absolutely no one in line at PreCheck.



The LAX Admirals Club and Flagship First Lounge is being renovated but I wanted to see progress and how AA was treating its First Class passengers during construction.





OK, definitely a work in progress.





While the elevator(s) worked, I took the stairs.



















Apparently American is planning a proper dining room with waitstaff service. Sign says "Opening in 2017", but the Flagship AAngel hinted that it was more likely to be "Not Opening until 2018".



In the interim, yikes!





OK, and American wonders why it has a garbage premium reputation. Wow.









What a sorry airline and a sorry excuse for even a temporary First Class Lounge. Get me outta here, stat. I thanked the AAngels and told them I was heading over to the Qantas Lounge. They understood.

Last edited by SFO777; May 6, 17 at 6:52 am
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Old May 4, 17, 6:10 pm   #2
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It's a short but pleasant walk via the T4/TBIT connector to the Qantas First Lounge. My Gate 41 is conveniently located along the way and arguably the closest gate to the Qantas Lounge.



My 77W at the gate.







Hardly anyone at TBIT Premium security tonight.









The Qantas LAX lounge is lovely and modern. Add in great staff and wonderful food, and it gets my vote as the Best Airline Lounge in the US.

















After dismal AA international food reports and my recent inedible transcon First Class meal, I decided to eat dinner here tonight rather than chance another terrible AA meal.





A glass of lovely Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé.





My hamachi crudo was delicious and substantial.



But the surprise of the day was the Crispy Pork Belly with kimchi, rice and spicy gochujang sauce. O-M-G. Simply spectacular.



And the Apricot, pecan and almond cake to finish. With another glass of champagne.





At around T-40, I headed out and back to T4 and Gate 41.


Last edited by SFO777; May 5, 17 at 9:25 pm
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Old May 4, 17, 6:36 pm   #3
  
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The QF lounge is indeed wonderful and makes flying out of LAX a very pleasurable experience. The only letdown is the extremely stringent lounge dragons who have denied me access multiple times but this will now become moot as I turn 21
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Old May 4, 17, 6:43 pm   #4
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Great report so far, SFO777 as always! Looks like you had a good flight with AA in F. Food looks good and glad you had a nice flight with them after your last JFK-LAX flight.

My wife and I are planning on going to London later this year - it's been a while since I've been, and she's never been. Getting excited for this trip after seeing your pics.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old May 4, 17, 6:47 pm   #5
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Excellent report so far looking forward to the rest.

That AA lounge is awful compared to the CX F lounge.
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Old May 4, 17, 7:04 pm   #6
  
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I am glad you were impressed by AA First Class catering - I had the same, great experience ex-LHR in November - not mentioning the great Philipponat Clois de Bois champagne!
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Old May 4, 17, 8:35 pm   #7
  
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So MrsSFO pooh poohed a trip to London. So noted!

Would of been a great time to go to London. She could of brought Prince Phillip a present and wished him all the very best after "retiring".

Another great report. Thanks.

......'But then there was Mr. Detroit Piston in 2D, yapping on the phone the entire time prior to push telling his friends that he was in First Class. He was no doubt also trying to impress the world with his sense of fashion'. lol
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Old May 4, 17, 9:40 pm   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
The Qantas LAX lounge is lovely and modern. Add in great staff and wonderful food, and it gets my vote as the Best Airline Lounge in the US.
Agreed. Tough to do better. It also has my vote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
After dismal AA international food reports and my recent inedible transcon First Class meal, I decided to eat dinner here tonight rather than chance another terrible AA meal.
The QF F lounge food is better than AA will ever put out, and that's not really a major shot at AA . Heck, it is probably better than almost any airline's current F food . It's a low single digit number if any are better for sure...
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Old May 4, 17, 11:33 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post

What a sorry airline and a sorry excuse for even a temporary First Class Lounge. Get me outta here, stat. I thanked the AAngels and told them I was heading over to the Qantas Lounge. They understood.
But you knew that before you even went in. I suppose you just wanted (1) photos for drama's sake; (2) the jealous masses who were waiting in the AC to only wish they had AA F lounge access, and (3) to hear a million tiny violins play for the lawsuit-worthy trauma you suffered by even having to look at the AA Buffay.

Yet somehow, I have a feeling that you will almost have enjoyed your flight to LHR, even if the AA Caviar Service isn't quite to your liking.
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Old May 4, 17, 11:39 pm   #10
  
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I had much the same as you in the QF lounge.
Wasn't keen on the raw fish - prefer the salt and pepper squid.
The Korean dish was ok. Meat was a little bit crunchy and not enough spiciness. The kimchi was cold or is it supposed to be like that?
The cake was nice although my mango slices were hard and I prefer them really really soft.
The champagne really does help things along though

There are a few nice items in the AA Flagship lounge but no idea how long some of them have been left out for. Handy drinks fridge and prefer the mochas from the AA machine than what QF do.
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Old May 5, 17, 12:50 am   #11
  
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Yikes at how awful that AA lounge is!
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Old May 5, 17, 1:30 am   #12
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At the beginning I thought: Hey, they improoved! But then I saw the lounge.....
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Old May 5, 17, 9:23 am   #13
  
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Couldn't resist reading ahead on the blog. As always, great photos and attention to detail! All I can say about the onboard F&B is "WOW!" It seems like you got the almost-nonexistent double-rainbow unicorn of great catering and great service.

I flew AA F from LHR-DFW earlier in the year and was similarly impressed. The FL at LHR has improved and the onboard catering seemed significantly better. I had a pork belly dish which was spectacular, and the rest of the meal was great. No LPGS, but drinkable champagne nonetheless.

The chintzy pre-arrival "meal," on the other hand, was an embarrassment (I bet you could find it with the other Great Value products in the frozen section at Walmart).

Service was good, but no offers for turndown service. Perhaps it is because it was a day flight, but I've yet to see this consistently offered (or, rather, offered at all).

As an aside, I LOL'd at the side shots of ole boy in 2D. Great TR!
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Old May 5, 17, 12:22 pm   #14
  
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Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
So MrsSFO pooh poohed a trip to London. So noted!

Would of been a great time to go to London. She could of brought Prince Phillip a present and wished him all the very best after "retiring".

Another great report. Thanks.

......'But then there was Mr. Detroit Piston in 2D, yapping on the phone the entire time prior to push telling his friends that he was in First Class. He was no doubt also trying to impress the world with his sense of fashion'. lol
Mr. Detroit Piston was talking to me on the phone. Said, "you wouldn't believe the nerd sitting next to me, He keeps taking pictures. Probably his first time ever in First Class." lol
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Old May 5, 17, 12:29 pm   #15
  
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Compared to most of the Air Canada MLL (as in, all of them in NA) that looks excellent.
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