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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 Jun 14, 2019, 10:14 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK
Thanks guys!
As on aa.com and the Wikipost,

Qualifying international flights are those between the U.S. and Europe, Asia, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico City (MEX) 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).
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Old Jul 8, 2019, 4:46 pm
  #62  
 
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I’m flying QR next year in J class out of ORD on an AA award . Can I clear security at T5 then head back to T3 to use the Flagship lounge then back to T5 to board the flight ? T5 needs a massive overhaul as it’s probably got the worst lounges I’ve seen. AF/KLM and Swiss lounges are small and always at capacity . For such a huge international hub the lounges are downright sad
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Old Jul 8, 2019, 5:33 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by AlexanderK
I’m flying QR next year in J class out of ORD on an AA award . Can I clear security at T5 then head back to T3 to use the Flagship lounge then back to T5 to board the flight ? T5 needs a massive overhaul as it’s probably got the worst lounges I’ve seen. AF/KLM and Swiss lounges are small and always at capacity . For such a huge international hub the lounges are downright sad
Once you go through security at T5 and are airside there is no way back to T3 without just exiting and going downstairs and taking the landside bus back to T3 (the airside bus only runs T3 to T5, not the other way). So it makes no sense to clear security at T5 in this case. The only way to do it would be to check in with QR at T5, then go downstairs and take the bus back to T3 and clear security there. Then take the airside (or landside) bus back to T5 before your flight.

Personally, if I was originating in ORD, I would never go through the hassle of the busses back and forth and potentially more than one trip through security just to use the ORD Flagship Lounge. Agree the lounges in T5 suck, but it's not worth getting to ORD 2 hrs earlier just to allow time for the T5 to T3 to T5 shuffle.
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Last edited by JJeffrey; Jul 8, 2019 at 7:41 pm
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Old Jul 8, 2019, 7:37 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Once you go through security at T5 and are airside there is no way back to T3 without just exiting and going downstairs and taking the landside bus back to T3 (the airside bus only runs T3 to T5, not the other way). So it makes no sense to clear security at T5 in this case. The only way to do it would be to check in with QR at T5, then go downstairs and take the bus back to T3 and clear security there. Then take the airside (or landside) bus back to T5 before your flight.
As of June 14, the airside bus runs in both directions between the domestic terminals and T5. Take a look at the ORD T1, T2, T3 to T5 busing being looked at for connecting pax thread starting with this post.
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Old Jul 8, 2019, 8:36 pm
  #65  
 
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Thanks guys! Still seems like it might not be worth it with the airside bus. I did really enjoy the FL lounge in T3 when I used it last year for my trip to BCN
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Old Jul 8, 2019, 8:53 pm
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK
Thanks guys!
And Mexico city as well (just not other destinations in Mexico).
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Old Jul 8, 2019, 9:24 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA884
As of June 14, the airside bus runs in both directions between the domestic terminals and T5. Take a look at the ORD T1, T2, T3 to T5 busing being looked at for connecting pax thread starting with this post.
But you need a boarding pass for a flight from the destination terminal to use it.
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Old Jul 9, 2019, 5:57 am
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by MADPhil
But you need a boarding pass for a flight from the destination terminal to use it.
I think OP could 1) check-in with QR, take the train to T3 and clear security there, got FL and then take the bus back airside or 2) with no checked bags check-in online and go straight to T3 security, FL and then bus. Correct?
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Old Jul 9, 2019, 6:10 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Global321
I think OP could 1) check-in with QR, take the train to T3 and clear security there, got FL and then take the bus back airside or 2) with no checked bags check-in online and go straight to T3 security, FL and then bus. Correct?
There is currently no train between T3 and T5, just busses. And OLCI won't work for QR departing the US. Technically it will let you "check in" however it will not issue you a boarding pass and instead instruct you to see an agent at the airport for your actual boarding pass.
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Old Jul 9, 2019, 8:58 am
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by Global321
I think OP could 1) check-in with QR, take the train to T3 and clear security there, got FL and then take the bus back airside or 2) with no checked bags check-in online and go straight to T3 security, FL and then bus. Correct?
Option 1 will work but as JJeffrey points out T5 to T3 is a bus at present. It is occasionally subject to delays.
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Old Jul 9, 2019, 8:15 pm
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by MADPhil
Option 1 will work but as JJeffrey points out T5 to T3 is a bus at present. It is occasionally subject to delays.
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
There is currently no train between T3 and T5, just busses. And OLCI won't work for QR departing the US. Technically it will let you "check in" however it will not issue you a boarding pass and instead instruct you to see an agent at the airport for your actual boarding pass.
There will be when OP flies!
(Y'all missed the part where OP said... "’I'm flying QR next year in J class out of ORD")

Didn't know about no bp, but taking the train without clearing security (and then the bus airside) will be relatively painless.
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Old Jul 9, 2019, 9:45 pm
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by Global321
There will be when OP flies!
(Y'all missed the part where OP said... "’I'm flying QR next year in J class out of ORD")
Oops, with luck the work won't run that far behind!

Didn't know about no bp, but taking the train without clearing security (and then the bus airside) will be relatively painless.
I've done that and it is quite painless for access to a good lounge.
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Old Jul 14, 2019, 7:23 am
  #73  
 
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I hope I picked the right thread for this question vs. the more general lounge access question post.

Wife (platinum), 2 kids (no status) and I (gold) will be travelling to S. America in Y through JFK (to and from) with long layovers in JFK both directions. Our return trip to JFK is on LATAM, if that matters. When I read the rules and the posts here, I am a bit confused on whether we would have Flagship lounge access on the return.

When I read the rules for AA platinum members on https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...hip-lounge.jsp it would appear we are not "connecting to a qualifying international flight" and therefore not eligible for access on the return (SCL-JFK-CVG). But my wife's status as OneWorld Sapphire (for her flight on LATAM) would seem to put us in the separate OneWorld category as well. The only requirement for Oneworld Sapphire is that we are "connecting to any flight marketed and operated by American or a oneworld® airline (regardless of cabin)." No connecting to international required. The rules then state, "AAdvantage®Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum customers traveling solely on North American itineraries do not qualify for Flagship Lounge access." So we qualify on the return under this section.

The advice here is for us to keep our LATAM boarding passes, which I will do. Also, there is the slight annoyance that the rules do not accommodate families and our kids qualify as "one guest" and I may have to hang out at the Admiral's club for a period of time by myself (we have a membership). Kids can then hang out at the Admiral's Club while I return with my wife so she can guest me in.

Am I coming to the right conclusions here? Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 15, 2019, 1:44 pm
  #74  
 
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Sounds right ... FL access for PLT+1 doesn't bode well for a whole family in Y, unless, as you mentioned, you split up between AC and FL during your layover.
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Old Jul 16, 2019, 9:38 am
  #75  
 
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Actually, traveling internationally with family in Y is precisely one reason I maintain my AC and Priority Pass memberships.
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