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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 May 12, 2022, 11:19 pm
  #751  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
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Originally Posted by bradfrancini
Curious if I'll be denied access to the Flagship lounge with this itinerary as an Emerald:

Depart LAX 1155pm Arrive ORD 601am
Depart ORD 830am Arrive LHR 1010pm

The website seems to indicate the connecting flight must be same day or 6am the following day. But if I were denied it would seem to violate the spirit of access.
You should be able to access to the FL at both LAX and ORD. I had the similar situation and didn’t have any problem. They didn’t care about the 6am thing.
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Old May 13, 2022, 12:01 am
  #752  
 
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Originally Posted by bradfrancini
Curious if I'll be denied access to the Flagship lounge with this itinerary as an Emerald:

Depart LAX 1155pm Arrive ORD 601am
Depart ORD 830am Arrive LHR 1010pm

The website seems to indicate the connecting flight must be same day or 6am the following day. But if I were denied it would seem to violate the spirit of access.
Your departing red eye is considered the next day for the purposes of the same day rule. It lands the next morning/day so basically the 830am flight is the same day so there is no 6am rule that even comes into play.
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Old May 16, 2022, 3:45 pm
  #753  
 
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AA plat flying non J on LAX-LHR-FRA.

Will I have access to AA Flagship/Oneworld Lounge at LAX and BA lounges in LHR?

Much appreciated.
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Old May 16, 2022, 3:47 pm
  #754  
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Originally Posted by sof_lance
AA plat flying non J on LAX-LHR-FRA.

Will I have access to AA Flagship/Oneworld Lounge at LAX and BA lounges in LHR?

Much appreciated.
Yep.
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Old May 17, 2022, 10:07 am
  #755  
brp
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Originally Posted by Popinjay
My MIA-LAX in 777 flagship first in early august has just changed to an a321 neo. When I look on the AA website there is still a 777-300 scheduled to fly but with no business or first available to book - difficult to believe it is fully booked already in those cabins this far out. Is flagship first or business likely to reappear in the next few weeks? Do I have any other options - the website does have an option via JFK which presumably has flagship first on the jfk-lax leg.
Related to this, I booked SJC-LAX-MIA and back for next weekend. I booked this a while back, and both LAX-MIA (77W) and MIA-LAX (772) were Flagship at the time. Fast forward to recently and LAX-MIA is still 77W, but LAX-MIA now has no 77X Flagship options on our return date.

Since this was sold at Flagship, is there an argument for Flagship lounge access in MIA and LAX even though it is no longer Flagship? I asked at the DFW FL this past weekend and the agent indicated that it may be coded as such in the BP and it may not. If not, any recourse?

Really an academic argument for us, specifically, since we have BA Silver (Sapphire) status and get FL access on all domestic flights. But this is more a curiosity question as to how they handle this when one purchases Flagship and the change is made by AA.

Cheers.
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Old May 17, 2022, 2:47 pm
  #756  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 373
Should tickets/BPs reflect "Flagship" status?

I'll be flying with AA in October, DUB-CLT-LGA and then ORD-LHR-DUB. My itinerary is in fare class I (Business), with the LHR-DUB operated by BA in J. Nowhere does it say on my ticket/receipt/confirmation email that the ticket is Flagship ®, it just says Business (First for CLT-LGA). Will I have access to the AdmiralsClub in CLT and the Flagship lounge in ORD based on this ticket?

I am also BA Silver/oneworld sapphire, so I believe I'd get in anyway, even if I were traveling in Y, but I'm curious to know if your ticket/BP needs to show Flagship ® in order to give you access to the Flagship Lounge if you don't have status...

Thank you!

Last edited by flyertalker0013223; May 17, 2022 at 3:10 pm
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Old May 17, 2022, 4:18 pm
  #757  
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Originally Posted by tosaerba24
I'll be flying with AA in October, DUB-CLT-LGA and then ORD-LHR-DUB. My itinerary is in fare class I (Business), with the LHR-DUB operated by BA in J. Nowhere does it say on my ticket/receipt/confirmation email that the ticket is Flagship ®, it just says Business (First for CLT-LGA). Will I have access to the AdmiralsClub in CLT and the Flagship lounge in ORD based on this ticket?

I am also BA Silver/oneworld sapphire, so I believe I'd get in anyway, even if I were traveling in Y, but I'm curious to know if your ticket/BP needs to show Flagship ® in order to give you access to the Flagship Lounge if you don't have status...
No, any longhaul business class on AA is considered "Flagship" and good for FL access regardless of whether the boarding pass or email receipt or anything else says "Flagship" or not.

So in your case no problem to access the AC at CLT (no FL there) and the FL ar ORD on your return. As you mentioned you'd have access anyways as a oneworld Sapphire.

Honestly AA has done a poor job of marketing the whole "Flagship" concept to the point of making things more confusing than they need be, especially if you're new to AA. Sometimes flights are clearly listed as Flagship and other times they're not, sometimes the rules are written as if it needs to be Flagship and other times they're not, etc.
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Old May 17, 2022, 4:25 pm
  #758  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Honestly AA has done a poor job of marketing the whole "Flagship" concept to the point of making things more confusing than they need be, especially if you're new to AA. Sometimes flights are clearly listed as Flagship and other times they're not, sometimes the rules are written as if it needs to be Flagship and other times they're not, etc.
It's almost as bad as United was with their First, Business First and Global First nonsense.

I don't understand why they don't just say flat bed = Flagship. Yes, there will be a handful of extra people who make it in to the FL on the random domestic widebody, but it's so much simpler than this mess. It's basically the same as the current rules, since shallow south America and Central America don't qualify anymore.
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Old May 17, 2022, 7:58 pm
  #759  
 
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Originally Posted by Antarius
It's almost as bad as United was with their First, Business First and Global First nonsense.

I don't understand why they don't just say flat bed = Flagship. Yes, there will be a handful of extra people who make it in to the FL on the random domestic widebody, but it's so much simpler than this mess. It's basically the same as the current rules, since shallow south America and Central America don't qualify anymore.
AA do something that makes sense and simplifies things...........hahahaha
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Old May 18, 2022, 5:45 pm
  #760  
 
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Originally Posted by Antarius
It's almost as bad as United was with their First, Business First and Global First nonsense.

I don't understand why they don't just say flat bed = Flagship. Yes, there will be a handful of extra people who make it in to the FL on the random domestic widebody, but it's so much simpler than this mess. It's basically the same as the current rules, since shallow south America and Central America don't qualify anymore.
Once you knew the difference it wasn't very confusing at all:

First: US domestic, no lounge
Business: North, Central and select South America shorthaul flights, UC access on departures, connections and on arrival.
BusinessFirst: J class on Longhaul flights, same lounge policy as business
GlobalFirst: Their real, 3 cabin F. Access to the GlobalFirst Lounge on terms as above.

Luckily UA caught their senses with the Polaris launch and it's much clearer now, but even still the UA lounge access threads have the same questions from (understandably so) confused people.
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Old May 20, 2022, 6:11 am
  #761  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
AA do something that makes sense and simplifies things...........hahahaha
They did this recently by rolling out the "Loyalty" points program. Were you unaware of this?
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Old May 22, 2022, 1:27 pm
  #762  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
No, any longhaul business class on AA is considered "Flagship" and good for FL access regardless of whether the boarding pass or email receipt or anything else says "Flagship" or not.

So in your case no problem to access the AC at CLT (no FL there) and the FL ar ORD on your return. As you mentioned you'd have access anyways as a oneworld Sapphire.

Honestly AA has done a poor job of marketing the whole "Flagship" concept to the point of making things more confusing than they need be, especially if you're new to AA. Sometimes flights are clearly listed as Flagship and other times they're not, sometimes the rules are written as if it needs to be Flagship and other times they're not, etc.
Does the same rule apply to the domestic transcons?

E.g. I'm seeing an itinerary XXX-LAX-BOS that is NOT advertised as "Flagship" but has the lie-flats... does that get me into the FL lounge since it's Business on a designated LAX-BOS flight despite not being marketed as Flagship anywhere on the purchase page?
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Old May 22, 2022, 2:15 pm
  #763  
 
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Originally Posted by Smiley90
Does the same rule apply to the domestic transcons?

E.g. I'm seeing an itinerary XXX-LAX-BOS that is NOT advertised as "Flagship" but has the lie-flats... does that get me into the FL lounge since it's Business on a designated LAX-BOS flight despite not being marketed as Flagship anywhere on the purchase page?
Perhaps it is due to the connecting flight (or a B6 codeshare), but LAX-BOS is flagship and grants access to the FL (have used the LAX FL several times this year). It is also listed on the access page. Another way to check is to look at booking LAX-BOS; it will show up as a flagship route.
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Old May 22, 2022, 2:38 pm
  #764  
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Originally Posted by ryanbriar
Perhaps it is due to the connecting flight (or a B6 codeshare), but LAX-BOS is flagship and grants access to the FL (have used the LAX FL several times this year). It is also listed on the access page. Another way to check is to look at booking LAX-BOS; it will show up as a flagship route.
Cool cool, I thought maybe the connecting flight somehow illogically removed FL if it's not explicitly listed in the booking. Thanks. (The connecting flight is also AA, so who knows why it's not listed as such)
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Old May 22, 2022, 2:45 pm
  #765  
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I'm traveling on separate tickets BOS-LAX on AA doesn't look like I'll be getting upgrade to business but connecting to Qantas LAX-SYD later that evening as OW Emerald (AS 75K). If I can't check in online due to covid procedure, will print out of Qantas reservation be sufficient to gain access or do I have to wait for check in counter to open and get boarding pass?
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