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Guide to Flagship Lounge Access (in revision)

Old Feb 16, 2017, 2:34 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: seawolf
NOTE: Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining closed March 20, 2020. They will begin reopening in September of 2021, as discussed in this thread (link). This thread will reboot as the Premium facilities begin reopening and as AA announces any changes including access rules.


Beginning in spring 2017, AA began introducing their completely renovated or new, larger Flagship® Lounges – completely redesigned for qualifying First and Business Class customers.

Rules for expanded access to Flagship Lounges were published June 2017.

Features
  • More room for you to spread out and relax
  • Larger buffet with premium, fresh meals
  • Premium beer, wine and spirits
  • Updated interiors with additional power and privacy options
  • More staff in each lounge for the highest level of service


As well, Flagship Lounge access policies changed.

American Airlines has expanded access to the Flagship® Lounges (but reduced access to Flagship® Dining within the Flagship® Lounges):

Expanded access

In the new Flagship® Lounges (not to be confused with Flagship® Dining), eligible customers are:
  • First and Business Class customers (on qualifying international flights or 3-class transcontinental markets*)
  • AAdvantage® Executive Platinum (including Concierge Key), Platinum Pro and Platinum members in any cabin (on qualifying international flights*)
  • oneworld® Emerald and Sapphire members in any cabin (on all qualifying flights**)

Qualifying transcontinental flights

3-class non-stop flights between:

  • New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX)
  • JFK and San Francisco (SFO)
  • JFK and Orange County (SNA)
  • LAX and Miami (MIA)
  • LAX and Boston (BOS)

Qualifying other domestic filghts

Flights with seats ticketed as Flagship® between:

  • Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and Honolulu (HNL)
  • DFW and Kona (KOA)
  • DFW and Maui (OGG)
  • Chicago (ORD) and HNL
  • Charlotte (CLT) and HNL
Guest Access

1 guest (children over 2 count as a guest)

*Qualifying international flights are those between the U.S. and Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South America (excluding Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela) only. Qualifying transcontinental flights are defined as non-stop between New York Kennedy (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO). All other international destinations are excluded from this benefit. Departing flight must be the same-day (or before 6 a.m. the following day).

**AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members traveling solely on North American itineraries (other than flights mentioned immediately above) will not qualify. North America is defined as the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

: An exception usually exists for First and Business passengers on AA Flagship (three class aircraft actually sold as three classes), such as the seasonal MIA-LAX 77W and LAX-BOS A321T.

NOTE: Flagship® First Class customers on American’s 3-class international and transcontinental flights will have exclusive, complimentary access to Flagship® First Dining. Qualifying international passengers may bring one guest; qualifying domestic passengers are not allowed any guests.

NOTE: Flagship® First Class and Flagship® Business Class passengers traveling on 3-cabin transcontinental flights between JFK and LAX/SFO are allowed entry to the Flagship Lounge both upon departure and upon arrival (e.g. A passenger traveling business class nonstop from JFK to LAX will have access to the JFK Lounge and the LAX Lounge). However, passengers on this itinerary will not be allowed to bring in a guest if they are not also in the Flagship® cabin

Link to relevant "Flagship Lounge" aa.com page

Link to 2017 and 2018 posts archived from this thread.






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Guide to Flagship Lounge Access (in revision)

Old Feb 3, 2021, 2:19 pm
  #211  
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Originally Posted by aaupgrade
Yes and no. If your LAX-JFK and JFK-BOS flights are on the same record locator/PNR then yes, not a problem. However, if these are separate tickets (two PNRs) then no, your arriving flight would not get you into FFD. I've done this on my OW AONEn flights a few times when arriving from HKG on CX first and then have a separate roundtrip ticket to DCA (didn't want to waste 2 AONEn segments on a $300 flight) and they would not let me into FFD as these flight segments were on separated record locators/PNRs. The bottom line is when they scan your JFK-BOS boarding pass then they'll see the whole itinerary that's included in that record locator/PNR so if you're traveling on a single ticket no problem IME. I hope that helps.
This is incorrect and a different issue. Having flights on separate PNR's has never mattered for AA lounge access purposes. Arriving in F from LAX-JFK, you definitely get FFD access on arrival, regardless of whether the ongoing JFK-BOS flight is on the same or a different PNR. Arriving in transcon F, you don't even need a connecting flight JFK-XXX to get access on arrival for that matter.

The issue you faced is that a while ago CX stopped FFD access on arrival at JFK all together. CX F only gets FFD access on departure.

To answer the OP's question, there's no arbitrary time limit or anything like that, and nothing in the rules against leaving and coming back. While it might raise an eyebrow coming back into FFD at say 2pm based off an 8am arrival, unless the agent just happens to be a stickler you shouldn't have a problem. When you leave, I might even just mention something to the agents along the lines of you're going for a walk around the terminal to get some fresh air and will be back in an hr. or two.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 2:41 pm
  #212  
 
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Originally Posted by aaupgrade
Yes and no. If your LAX-JFK and JFK-BOS flights are on the same record locator/PNR then yes, not a problem. However, if these are separate tickets (two PNRs) then no, your arriving flight would not get you into FFD. I've done this on my OW AONEn flights a few times when arriving from HKG on CX first and then have a separate roundtrip ticket to DCA (didn't want to waste 2 AONEn segments on a $300 flight) and they would not let me into FFD as these flight segments were on separated record locators/PNRs. The bottom line is when they scan your JFK-BOS boarding pass then they'll see the whole itinerary that's included in that record locator/PNR so if you're traveling on a single ticket no problem IME. I hope that helps.
If you weren't let in on arrival, it sounds like it was because it was arrival from the CX flight.

If you look at the FFD thread, FFD is included as an arrival benefit for F-ticketed pax on LAX-JFK. That includes arrival off the redeye. So OP would be entitled to use the LAX-JFK BP to enter FFD throughout the day of arrival.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:51 pm
  #213  
 
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Awesome thanks. I knew about the CX thing and was hoping that was what the first responder was thinking of. And of course yes FFD is granted upon arrival with out even needing an ongoing flight. Just that the BP getting my past security after TWA is the regular nothing special Jfk-Bos flight. I feel like getting into FFD once re entering the lounge wont be any issue. Just a little worried about the front desk but thats a good suggestion to let them know I am heading out for an hour or two.

The biggest thing worrying me was just if there was some rule about time in the lounge. I had never heard anything about that until a recent visit to Admirals at MIA. I was arriving on Lax-Mia 77W J and for some reason the agents at MIA admirals thought my flight had arrived much earlier and actually said something about "4 hours has past you cant get in". I had never heard of any time limit rule and thinking of that comment today when i was asking my original question about Jfk FL worried me. As it turns out we did get into MIA as we had just landed. But tbh i think that confusion was more about the whole 77W being treated as Flagship. That 4 hour comment just stayed with me and wasnt sure what was up with that.

Last edited by happiest_at_40000; Feb 3, 2021 at 5:59 pm
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:55 pm
  #214  
 
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Following up to one of the responses above to my original question, while yes I know having the same PNR's for the AA Transcon and the Jfk-Bos is not neccessary as the arriving flight to Jfk gets you in regardless of ongoing travel, I was wondering if one is going say Lax-Dfw and then Dfw to Paris in J , in order to use the FL in Lax doesnt the Lax-Dfw have to be the same PNR? If it is not the same PNR isnt your only hope getting a nice agent who will let you in if you show them the other BP and they see there is an international flight the same day. Because technically the lax-dfw flight on its own doesnt warrant FL entry at Lax so the only way to get into Lax FL is if its on the same PNR as the international J flight?
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 6:21 pm
  #215  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
Following up to one of the responses above to my original question, while yes I know having the same PNR's for the AA Transcon and the Jfk-Bos is not neccessary as the arriving flight to Jfk gets you in regardless of ongoing travel, I was wondering if one is going say Lax-Dfw and then Dfw to Paris in J , in order to use the FL in Lax doesnt the Lax-Dfw have to be the same PNR? If it is not the same PNR isnt your only hope getting a nice agent who will let you in if you show them the other BP and they see there is an international flight the same day. Because technically the lax-dfw flight on its own doesnt warrant FL entry at Lax so the only way to get into Lax FL is if its on the same PNR as the international J flight?
This shouldn't matter either, I have done similarly on two PNR's and received CHITs in the DEN/SFO lounge even though my qualifying intl flight was out of LAX/DFW or was actually an arriving inbound. I just showed them my second qualifying BP and they had no problem with that. All the rules state, at the summary level, is the need for a qualifying flight between the US and Intl gateway for both AC/FL access on the same day, doesn't specifically state from the usage city.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 6:25 pm
  #216  
 
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Originally Posted by safari ari
This shouldn't matter either, I have done similarly on two PNR's and received CHITs in the DEN/SFO lounge even though my qualifying intl flight was out of LAX/DFW or was actually an arriving inbound. I just showed them my second qualifying BP and they had no problem with that. All the rules state, at the summary level, is the need for a qualifying flight between the US and Intl gateway for both AC/FL access on the same day, doesn't specifically state from the usage city.
Yep. I've had the same a number of times, most recently in 2019 traveling MIA-JFK-CDG on separate PNRs. The agent in MIA just asked to see both boarding passes, scanned my JFK-CDG boarding pass and noted it in her computer along with my ex-MIA boarding pass, and all was fine.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 7:05 pm
  #217  
 
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When things get back to normal... if I did a FF ticket...

MIA-JFK (2 cabin first)
JFK-LAX (3 cabin first)
LAX-HKG (CX First)

Would I get FFD in MIA, JFK and LAX by virtue of the JFK-LAX first?
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 8:00 pm
  #218  
 
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For sure you would get in to FFD at Lax b/c you arrived on the AA transcon F which gets you in upon arrival. Same thing I am looking to do when I land on the red eye in my above question. Hopefully Qantas F will be back to open if/when you do this ticket so you can eat there as well as FFD at lax.

Your first leg is where I am stumped. Looking forward to some of the experts to reply and chime in as I am very curious now. The thing holding me up is FFD. B/c you should be allowed into FL based on having a same day international ticket. However CX F doesnt get you FFD so on that you wouldnt be allowed in. So then it goes to does AA transcon work the same as international which gets you into the lounge on the connection or upon arriving? Very curious on this.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 8:03 pm
  #219  
 
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Speaking of Qantas F why is it so hard to get into that lounge?

Flying AA Lax to Dfw to Hkg (Dfw to Hkg in F). Denied at Qantas b/c the outbound international flight was not leaving from the airport where the lounge was.

Flying BA in F Lhr to Lax then onto Vegas on AA so went back up in Bradley but denied at Qantas F b/c although my international F flight was "attached" to Lax, it arrived and did NOT depart from Lax

Explained to me that they only let you in if you are leaving from Lax in International F.

Seems like so many issues getting into this lounge. I am aware many are related to ppl with status on AA trying to get in when no international F flight is involved and I know thats an entirely different thing But in the 2 situations above when I was denied were they right to deny?
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 8:53 pm
  #220  
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
Speaking of Qantas F why is it so hard to get into that lounge?
.......
Seems like so many issues getting into this lounge. I am aware many are related to ppl with status on AA trying to get in when no international F flight is involved and I know thats an entirely different thing But in the 2 situations above when I was denied were they right to deny?
You should have been granted access both times.

The issue has never been about people with AA status trying to access this lounge without qualifying int'l flights, that has never been allowed.

The issue has always been qualifying pax getting wrongfully turned away for this reason or that reason. This was an issue a few years ago however I was under the impression it had largely been corrected.

In any event this is the wrong thread...

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...d-lounges.html

AUS BT: Qantas Clarifies Access Rules for LAX First Class Lounge
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 11:59 pm
  #221  
 
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I thought I was supposed to be let in. And sorry i thought i read somewhere ppl with status saying they didnt get in. I think just a ton of problems I guess with many ppl getting denied who should have been allowed in. Not sure the problem really has been fixed. My experiences were both 2019. I will head over and check out the links you pasted but after my 2 experiences I contacted Qantas and was told the agents handled it correctly both times and "this is a Qantas lounge not a OW lounge and the rules about arriving flights or a connecting flight to an international flight are OW rules not Qantas rules." She basically kept saying its a Qantas lounge and you have to be departing internationally from LAX.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 8:07 am
  #222  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
For sure you would get in to FFD at Lax b/c you arrived on the AA transcon F which gets you in upon arrival. Same thing I am looking to do when I land on the red eye in my above question. Hopefully Qantas F will be back to open if/when you do this ticket so you can eat there as well as FFD at lax.

Your first leg is where I am stumped. Looking forward to some of the experts to reply and chime in as I am very curious now. The thing holding me up is FFD. B/c you should be allowed into FL based on having a same day international ticket. However CX F doesnt get you FFD so on that you wouldnt be allowed in. So then it goes to does AA transcon work the same as international which gets you into the lounge on the connection or upon arriving? Very curious on this.
Yeah, that is where I am not sure as well. JFK/LAX makes sense and I think no problem. MIA is the real question. Not a big deal either way, but, thinking about happier times and wondering.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 2:11 pm
  #223  
 
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I looked again and I cant find anything that says that Transcon works the same as international when it comes to accessing FFD at your connecting airport how you clearly can if the qualifying flight is international. Curious to hear what others have to say. You also might get in to FFD just based on chatting it up with the agent or host and them seeing you are flying AA F transcon on the next flight. I'm stomped on the Mia end i feel like FFD Mia is a no.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 3:14 pm
  #224  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
I looked again and I cant find anything that says that Transcon works the same as international when it comes to accessing FFD at your connecting airport how you clearly can if the qualifying flight is international. Curious to hear what others have to say. You also might get in to FFD just based on chatting it up with the agent or host and them seeing you are flying AA F transcon on the next flight. I'm stomped on the Mia end i feel like FFD Mia is a no.
FWIW, in 2019 I was admitted into FFD at DFW with a BP for LAX-JFK for later on that day.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 4:03 pm
  #225  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
I looked again and I cant find anything that says that Transcon works the same as international when it comes to accessing FFD at your connecting airport how you clearly can if the qualifying flight is international. Curious to hear what others have to say. You also might get in to FFD just based on chatting it up with the agent or host and them seeing you are flying AA F transcon on the next flight. I'm stomped on the Mia end i feel like FFD Mia is a no.
I did hit up the aa twitter team.... it took some back and forth... and I am not sure they totally got it, but I will accept their answer.

"Sadly, that’s going to have to be no. The only transcontinental flight that your give you access in MIA, would be LAX to MIA traveling on Boeing 777-300 aircraft only."
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