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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 25, 2022, 4:59 pm
  #811  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Seattle
Programs: AS
Posts: 2,302
Sorry, still confused. 🙄
We are traveling AA metal MIA/LAX in First / 2 cabin flight.
Sounds like it would be J.
We are OW Sapphire.
Would we be allowed in any AA lounge at MIA?
Thanks again
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Old Jun 25, 2022, 8:39 pm
  #812  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Posts: 2,840
Originally Posted by pcoll
Sorry, still confused. 🙄
We are traveling AA metal MIA/LAX in First / 2 cabin flight.
Sounds like it would be J.
We are OW Sapphire.
Would we be allowed in any AA lounge at MIA?
Thanks again
MIA-LAX and other specific domestics only qualify if they're 3-class, so that won't do it. OW Sapphire will do it as long as the status is on an airline other than AA.
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 5:48 am
  #813  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Austin
Programs: AA EXP +2MM- LT PLT! HH Diamond
Posts: 6,094
Originally Posted by SpammersAreScum
MIA-LAX and other specific domestics only qualify if they're 3-class, so that won't do it. OW Sapphire will do it as long as the status is on an airline other than AA.
Or AS
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 10:35 am
  #814  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: MSP
Programs: AA Exec Plat MM, Marriott LT Titanium, Hertz President, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 93
Ok, now I have seen the wording on the flagship lounge access seems to have changed from the beginning of the year (I know, I'm terrible for only checking when looking to book a flight that would be impacted...) but it says you get flagship on an qualifying international itinerary (which is my whole flight), but then says you must have a same day qualifying flight (city to city segment?).

I called the Exec desk and they were unable to figure out access fully based on the following continuous itinerary with a forced overnight in JFK:

Day1 LHR-JFK - Code F
Overnight in NYC
Day2 JFK-ORD - Code J

Has anyone recently had experience with this type of situation? Pre-pandemic, this used to allow access but the wording keeps changing and I'm not a lawyer, and possibly hungover.

Just an FYI, when I was on a same day full itinerary in March, I got Flagship First dining in JFK after landing from London and also in Miami (JFK-MIA) but wasn't a "qualifying flight" because it wasn't international, so is a qualifying flight qualified based on being in the itinerary? So so confusing to me.

Last edited by RobertClouse; Jun 26, 2022 at 10:44 am
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 10:46 am
  #815  
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Posts: 12,838
Originally Posted by RobertClouse
Ok, now I have seen the wording on the flagship lounge access seems to have changed from the beginning of the year (I know, I'm terrible for only checking when looking to book a flight that would be impacted...) but it says you get flagship on an qualifying international itinerary (which is my whole flight), but then says you must have a same day qualifying flight (city to city segment?).

I called the Exec desk and they were unable to figure out access fully based on the following continuous itinerary with a forced overnight in JFK:

Day1 LHR-JFK - Code F
Overnight in NYC
Day2 JFK-ORD - Code J

Has anyone recently had experience with this type of situation? Pre-pandemic, this used to allow access but the wording keeps changing and I'm not a lawyer, and possibly hungover.
The wording on aa.com often has no bearing to how the rules are enforced in the real world. I wouldn't get caught up in that.

In theory, by the rules, your itinerary would not qualify for any lounge access on day 2 as your qualifying flight is the day before.

However, in practice I have never had a problem accessing a lounge the day before or after the qualifying flight as long as it's within 24 hrs and everything is on the same ticket. Just walk in to the FL, hand them your boarding pass and say something like "just came in from London", they will scan it and most likely wave you in with no problem.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 2:09 pm
  #816  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 549
Potentially dumb question but I just wanted to make sure- there is no way to get FL access traveling to LIM as a Platinum Pro (outside of paying $150), correct? Flight is on the A321NEO in case it matters.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 2:25 pm
  #817  
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Originally Posted by ORDflyer92
Potentially dumb question but I just wanted to make sure- there is no way to get FL access traveling to LIM as a Platinum Pro (outside of paying $150), correct? Flight is on the A321NEO in case it matters.
Correct, Peru is no longer FL eligible, but you can use the AC.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 2:30 pm
  #818  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,178
Originally Posted by SpammersAreScum
MIA-LAX and other specific domestics only qualify if they're 3-class, so that won't do it.
Incorrect -- the rules require "seats ticketed as Flagship", not necessarily 3-class. There are two-class MIA-LAX flights with Flagship Business on a 787, which would have FL access. However, the narrowbodies on this route have the premium cabin marketed as (non-Flagship) First (coded J), like normal domestic flights -- no FL access in that case.
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Old Jul 5, 2022, 8:00 pm
  #819  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: So Cal
Programs: AA Platinum, DL Silver
Posts: 2,905
Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead
Incorrect -- the rules require "seats ticketed as Flagship", not necessarily 3-class. There are two-class MIA-LAX flights with Flagship Business on a 787, which would have FL access. However, the narrowbodies on this route have the premium cabin marketed as (non-Flagship) First (coded J), like normal domestic flights -- no FL access in that case.
The LAX/MIA route is by far the most confusing AA route as far as FL access but also just what to expect as far as soft product onboard.

All I know is grab a widebody and its always good (well when MIA doesnt screw up catering)
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 11:58 am
  #820  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: SEA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold
Posts: 562
Was granted access last week to the LAX FL even though I'm not sure I should have been.
-Was flying in economy, LAX to SJO (front desk person wasn't sure if Costa Rica counted or not, had to make several phone calls and converse with other agents before ultimately saying that it didn't qualify as a long-haul destination)
-Both me and companion are MVP75K through Alaska (front desk person called the Alaska Lounge in Terminal 6 to verify our status)

After getting off phone with Alaska Lounge and confirming our status, she gave us the black cards and let us in. Whole process took about 10 minutes.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 12:07 pm
  #821  
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Originally Posted by mpeterson78
Was granted access last week to the LAX FL even though I'm not sure I should have been.
-Was flying in economy, LAX to SJO (front desk person wasn't sure if Costa Rica counted or not, had to make several phone calls and converse with other agents before ultimately saying that it didn't qualify as a long-haul destination)
-Both me and companion are MVP75K through Alaska (front desk person called the Alaska Lounge in Terminal 6 to verify our status)

After getting off phone with Alaska Lounge and confirming our status, she gave us the black cards and let us in. Whole process took about 10 minutes.
LOL, so the agents confirmed your destination wasn't eligible for FL access but then let you in anyways, sounds about right.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 12:53 pm
  #822  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: SEA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold
Posts: 562
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
LOL, so the agents confirmed your destination wasn't eligible for FL access but then let you in anyways, sounds about right.
Yeah, she seemed to be wrapping up the convo by concluding that CR wasn't eligible, but then on a whim I asked if we are eligible just based on our OWS status, and that seemed to trigger a lightbulb for her. I couldn't figure out why she wanted to pursue this approach by calling the Alaska Lounge, but I let her roll with it to see where it goes and was surprised when after confirming that we are both OWS, she happily handed us over the black cards. Can't imagine this is a repeatable entry path for other people and with other agents.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 12:59 pm
  #823  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Programs: AA
Posts: 366
Originally Posted by mpeterson78
Yeah, she seemed to be wrapping up the convo by concluding that CR wasn't eligible, but then on a whim I asked if we are eligible just based on our OWS status, and that seemed to trigger a lightbulb for her. I couldn't figure out why she wanted to pursue this approach by calling the Alaska Lounge, but I let her roll with it to see where it goes and was surprised when after confirming that we are both OWS, she happily handed us over the black cards. Can't imagine this is a repeatable entry path for other people and with other agents.
Non-AA and non-AS OWS is eligible for the FL on any flight. AAgent probably thought it was just non-AA.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 1:07 pm
  #824  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,172
Flying PHL-DFW-HNL late this month, with a return of OGG-DFW-PHL. Flights to and from Hawaii are in Flagship Business, while the DFW-PHL flights are domestic first class. It is clear flying outbound to Hawaii will qualify for FL during our layover, but will the return layover qualify with a flight arriving from Hawaii?
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 1:17 pm
  #825  
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Originally Posted by MASTERNC
Flying PHL-DFW-HNL late this month, with a return of OGG-DFW-PHL. Flights to and from Hawaii are in Flagship Business, while the DFW-PHL flights are domestic first class. It is clear flying outbound to Hawaii will qualify for FL during our layover, but will the return layover qualify with a flight arriving from Hawaii?
Yep.
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