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Guide to Flagship Lounge Access (in revision)

Old Feb 16, 2017, 2:34 pm
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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 4, 2021, 10:37 pm
  #226  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
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.
I agree there is no rule against multiple entries, but there have been reports here of people being told that they could only enter FFD once.
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Old Feb 8, 2021, 7:43 am
  #227  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Data Points:
Yours truly was initially denied AC access (standing in for FL/FD) at MIA on Saturday on the 77W LAX-MIA. Ticket was FF LAX-MIA x on to BOS. Was told that the AC is a "Day of Departure Lounge," and that my onward connection did not change the fact that I was an Arriving Passenger. He told me that "You must be on separate reservations then." (I showed him that I was not, ticket numbers and locators were the same.) Also, I have accessed the FL many times on arrival, but it sounds like from the above posts, this has become clamped as of recently.
He laughed when I suggested it might be a technical glitch.

He conferred with the other two agents, who confirmed that the lounge was Departure Only and that I did not have access, but they ultimately ended up making an exception and letting me in, due to my "situation." (ankle injury)

A bit later, my buddy (same first flight, also connecting through) showed up in the lounge and said he got in with no problem at all. Shortly after that, one of the agents from downstairs (not the guy that denied me) came up and apologized up and down, saying that I should have had access all along, and that this had resulted in a call with the supervisor, who confirmed that through pax have access.

Was glad to be able to complete my 'Krug Pilgramage!'
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Last edited by meechyathere; Feb 8, 2021 at 5:45 pm
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Old Feb 8, 2021, 9:08 am
  #228  
 
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AA could save themselves a lot of grief and calls if they cited some simple examples to help agents and passengers understand the rules. While there will always be outliers, 3 to 4 examples probably cover 95% of the situations that are in question. Or update the wording to be specific. ( i.e. You get FL/FFD access before and after your qualifying flight if you have an onward ticket.)
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Old Feb 8, 2021, 1:22 pm
  #229  
 
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Same exact thing happened to me 3 months ago at Admirals and in MIA also. 3 diff agents told me I cant go in to the lounge upon arriving on the 77W flight from La. They actually said something about its been more than 4 hours... That made no sense and wasnt accurate as the plane had just arrived. However, it was that 4 hour comment that triggered my concern and eventual post above in regards to time you can be in the lounge.

Even after I told them I just landed they still refused. They also sent away another guy and his Gf who were behind me. I stayed and argued (nicely) and then was let in and got the same apology it sounds like you got. Was able to run out and get the guy and his Gf and tell them they can come in also.

Pretty pathetic really that the agents are so clueless or just dont care or maybe choose to be difficult. I fly next month same flight to Mia and need to access the lounge upon arriving, hoping for a more smooth entry process.
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Old Feb 8, 2021, 2:33 pm
  #230  
 
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Originally Posted by Global321
AA could save themselves a lot of grief and calls if they cited some simple examples to help agents and passengers understand the rules. While there will always be outliers, 3 to 4 examples probably cover 95% of the situations that are in question. Or update the wording to be specific. ( i.e. You get FL/FFD access before and after your qualifying flight if you have an onward ticket.)
Yes! Or even just train the employees in what the rules are, rather than tell them to go by whatever "the computer" says, and invent excuses should it beep red. He even said more or less exactly: "If you were allowed in, the computer would say so."

Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
Same exact thing happened to me 3 months ago at Admirals and in MIA also. 3 diff agents told me I cant go in to the lounge upon arriving on the 77W flight from La. They actually said something about its been more than 4 hours... That made no sense and wasnt accurate as the plane had just arrived. However, it was that 4 hour comment that triggered my concern and eventual post above in regards to time you can be in the lounge.

Even after I told them I just landed they still refused. They also sent away another guy and his Gf who were behind me. I stayed and argued (nicely) and then was let in and got the same apology it sounds like you got. Was able to run out and get the guy and his Gf and tell them they can come in also.

Pretty pathetic really that the agents are so clueless or just dont care or maybe choose to be difficult. I fly next month same flight to Mia and need to access the lounge upon arriving, hoping for a more smooth entry process.
Wow, we had very parallel experiences then! I sense a theme emerging. Definitely read some other things on other threads too. 4 hour rule is a new one for me: It sounds similar to what I got. A random potential reason announced without even checking the BPs to see if said reason is even true.
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Old Feb 8, 2021, 4:08 pm
  #231  
 
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Programs: AA Platinum, DL Silver
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Originally Posted by meechyathere
Yes! Or even just train the employees in what the rules are, rather than tell them to go by whatever "the computer" says, and invent excuses should it beep red. He even said more or less exactly: "If you were allowed in, the computer would say so."



Wow, we had very parallel experiences then! I sense a theme emerging. Definitely read some other things on other threads too. 4 hour rule is a new one for me: It sounds similar to what I got. A random potential reason announced without even checking the BPs to see if said reason is even true.

Yes I felt like it was pretty random and so wrong on 2 levels. I mean I had just landed and clearly stated that not to mention they could see my BP. The 4 hour thing though isnt even a rule in any situation. If I want to stay in FL for 8 hours I can. I mean I have never seen someone coming around checking the time you came and what time it is and warning you to leave. I do have a trip for end of the year where I am hoping to use FFD for breakfast and then also for lunch, but I now it was indicated here that some FT members have said they discourage multiple entries to the FFD part. I'm hoping to get around that.

At any rate, with you experiencing this same thing and me having 3 diff people same the same thing clearly there is no proper training at this lounge. They just dont care or are clueless. Pretty bad.
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Old Jun 6, 2021, 2:32 pm
  #232  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I've searched through this thread but I'm still not certain about something. I'll fly from RNO > LAX > JFK (in the Flagship First cabin for the transcontinental flight) on a red eye that lands at JFK the following morning. Then I'll have a connecting flight to DCA on the day my flight lands at JFK, but it'll be on another ticket/PNR (I hope to call and have an agent "link" the two PNRs, but I don't know if that's possible). Will I get access to the Flagship First lounge at JFK, but not get access to Flagship First Dining at JFK? Thank you!
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Old Jun 6, 2021, 2:53 pm
  #233  
 
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Originally Posted by smgainey
I've searched through this thread but I'm still not certain about something. I'll fly from RNO > LAX > JFK (in the Flagship First cabin for the transcontinental flight) on a red eye that lands at JFK the following morning. Then I'll have a connecting flight to DCA on the day my flight lands at JFK, but it'll be on another ticket/PNR (I hope to call and have an agent "link" the two PNRs, but I don't know if that's possible). Will I get access to the Flagship First lounge at JFK, but not get access to Flagship First Dining at JFK? Thank you!
Your access to FL Vs. FFD would not be differentiated here. Your arriving BP from the FF Transcon gets you into FL/FFD upon arrival. You can have access to both until your DCA flight. However, if you leave maybe tell the desk you are leaving and will be back. Or when you come back just obviously show the BP from the arrival. Additionally, I have heard some people say FFD is meant for 1 meal but not to leave and return but in theory you can go take a stroll of the terminal and still come back to FFD. You should be good to go for both.

However, unless I've missed something FL is closed. Just still being used as Admirals overflow. And even if its open FFD is def. not open yet.
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Old Jun 7, 2021, 6:22 am
  #234  
 
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A consideration for 2022:

At this time, I mostly fly AA domestic and always in premium cabin. If I credit to BA next year to obtain Sapphire or Emerald status, will that give me Flagship Lounge access on my 100% domestic AA itineraries? All AA itineraries?

I will easily meet the 4 required BA segments due to international travels.

Sounds like a win for access.

Also, has AA published any concrete data on the reopening of the Flagship Lounge services?
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Old Jun 7, 2021, 6:43 am
  #235  
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Originally Posted by Spanish
A consideration for 2022:

At this time, I mostly fly AA domestic and always in premium cabin. If I credit to BA next year to obtain Sapphire or Emerald status, will that give me Flagship Lounge access on my 100% domestic AA itineraries? All AA itineraries?

I will easily meet the 4 required BA segments due to international travels.

Sounds like a win for access.

Also, has AA published any concrete data on the reopening of the Flagship Lounge services?
Yes, if you have oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status in any other program besides AA, then you would get Flagship Lounge access on any AA itineraries, including 100% domestic. This is probably the biggest benefit of crediting to another oneworld program like BA for a US based flier.

And AA hasn't published anything regarding Flagship Lounges reopening, anything out there is pure speculation.
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Old Jun 7, 2021, 10:35 am
  #236  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Yes, if you have oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status in any other program besides AA, then you would get Flagship Lounge access on any AA itineraries, including 100% domestic.
Just to clarify for future reference, *besides AA and AS.
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Old Jun 8, 2021, 6:22 am
  #237  
 
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Thank you both Safari & Jeffrey for clarifications.
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Old Jun 12, 2021, 11:22 am
  #238  
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The Points Guy / TPG has posted Flagship Lounges will begin reopening in September, starting with MIA (see separate thread).

AA has also hinted Flagship Lounge access rules will have some changes as well.

link
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Last edited by JDiver; Jun 12, 2021 at 11:32 am
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Old Jun 12, 2021, 7:06 pm
  #239  
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“More ways to access the FL” doesn’t sound like good news to me. With the addition of J passengers getting FL access in the last decade I’d say they’re plenty busy as is (normally of course).
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Old Jun 12, 2021, 8:26 pm
  #240  
 
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Originally Posted by cmd320
“More ways to access the FL” doesn’t sound like good news to me. With the addition of J passengers getting FL access in the last decade I’d say they’re plenty busy as is (normally of course).
They meddled around with Latin America flights no longer qualifying for FL access for AA Elites or Premium cabin, so maybe they are reversing the decision? Purely speculation.
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