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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 Jul 24, 2022, 8:35 am
  #871  
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Originally Posted by michael1023
great :/ so to understand lax Miami has a flagship route but nyc Miami doesn’t?
Correct.
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Old Jul 24, 2022, 8:43 am
  #872  
 
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I booked a flight from OGG to DFW in business earlier this year. At the time it was not designated as a Flagship flight.

I now see that the same flight I am booked on is designated "Flagship Business". Will I have access to the Flagship Lounge in DFW upon arrival?
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Old Jul 24, 2022, 8:51 am
  #873  
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Originally Posted by dc10forlife
I booked a flight from OGG to DFW in business earlier this year. At the time it was not designated as a Flagship flight.

I now see that the same flight I am booked on is designated "Flagship Business". Will I have access to the Flagship Lounge in DFW upon arrival?
Yes, the nonstop DFW-Hawaii flights in business include FL access regardless of whether AA calls it "Flagship Business" or not.
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Old Jul 24, 2022, 11:04 pm
  #874  
 
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Flying JFK-LAX-BOS (overnight redeye)-NRT-HAN. Upgrade to Flagship first cleared for the LAX-JFK leg. Will I have access to Flagship First Dining in JFK if I'm in J JFk-LAX but in F on the LAX-BOS leg?

Since the Flagship first dining is closed in LAX, I was thinking of going to the Qantas F lounge during my layover (never been there and ready many great reviews on it, so would be fun while on this mileage run). Im Emerald with my AS 100k status, so would be a no-brainer if it was a same day flight. But since my international connection is the next day technically, will I be allowed in? AA2453 1030pm departure, gets into BOS the next day at 7am then leave at 130pm to NRT if that matters/helps.
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Old Jul 25, 2022, 4:55 am
  #875  
 
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Originally Posted by barabbas90
Will I have access to Flagship First Dining in JFK if I'm in J JFk-LAX but in F on the LAX-BOS leg?
If accessing JFK on the same day as your LAX-BOS flight, yes; otherwise no.
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Old Jul 25, 2022, 5:13 am
  #876  
 
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Originally Posted by barabbas90
Since the Flagship first dining is closed in LAX, I was thinking of going to the Qantas F lounge during my layover (never been there and ready many great reviews on it, so would be fun while on this mileage run). Im Emerald with my AS 100k status, so would be a no-brainer if it was a same day flight. But since my international connection is the next day technically, will I be allowed in? AA2453 1030pm departure, gets into BOS the next day at 7am then leave at 130pm to NRT if that matters/helps.
Fyi, QF F lounge is still closed at LAX right now but rumor is it will open in a few weeks for the first time since the pandemic started. Food is (was?) great! But views are meh.

"Customers traveling in First or Business class on select non-stop domestic U.S. transcontinental flights (JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO, and vice-versa) are eligible for lounge access." You'll get access on the basis of flying in transcon F.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 10:52 am
  #877  
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So is there an official read yet on the new language about how having airside access is necessary to access the lounge on arrival? Flying LHR-ORD on BA in F this week and then flying UA to SBN (route not served by AA). Will have access airside at ORD since all terminals but T5 are connected. Obviously would prefer that access be granted and one could make an argument that this is allowed under the AA published rules, but not looking to go into lawyer mode over the issue.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 11:02 am
  #878  
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Originally Posted by PresRDC
So is there an official read yet on the new language about how having airside access is necessary to access the lounge on arrival? Flying LHR-ORD on BA in F this week and then flying UA to SBN (route not served by AA). Will have access airside at ORD since all terminals but T5 are connected. Obviously would prefer that access be granted and one could make an argument that this is allowed under the AA published rules, but not looking to go into lawyer mode over the issue.
Lounge access on arrival for Flagship First passengers in an AA rule, rather than a OW rule if not connecting.
Since you're flying BA and not connecting to a OW airline, you would have no lounge access based on your arriving BA F ticket at Chicago.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 11:17 am
  #879  
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Originally Posted by PresRDC
So is there an official read yet on the new language about how having airside access is necessary to access the lounge on arrival? Flying LHR-ORD on BA in F this week and then flying UA to SBN (route not served by AA). Will have access airside at ORD since all terminals but T5 are connected. Obviously would prefer that access be granted and one could make an argument that this is allowed under the AA published rules, but not looking to go into lawyer mode over the issue.
I'm guessing scenarios like this will be completely YMMV depending on the agent.

By the wording of the new-ish rules it definitely makes it seem like you should get access on arrival, however IMO this wasn't AA's intent as I have no idea why they would want to voluntarily provide more access over and above what's required by oneworld rules.

If I had to guess this is just another poorly executed website update by an aa.com marketing intern, trying to clarify possibly that some AA flights get access on arrival but not realizing that their sloppy "arrivals" language opens up access to a bunch of other scenarios that they didn't intend. But who knows.

I don't think we've had any real data points to say one way or another, so if you have the time at ORD give it a shot and report back what happens.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 11:19 am
  #880  
 
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Originally Posted by PresRDC
So is there an official read yet on the new language about how having airside access is necessary to access the lounge on arrival? Flying LHR-ORD on BA in F this week and then flying UA to SBN (route not served by AA). Will have access airside at ORD since all terminals but T5 are connected. Obviously would prefer that access be granted and one could make an argument that this is allowed under the AA published rules, but not looking to go into lawyer mode over the issue.
I can't call it "official" but I have used the ORD flagship lounge multiple times when connecting back to the US on separate PNR. Inbound in J on both BA and QR (Cathay as well but that has been a few years). Showed my boarding pass for the incoming flight. Never had an agent bat an eye or ask for any info on my onward flight.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 12:36 pm
  #881  
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Thanks. My expectation is no access. If I’m pleasantly surprised, cool.

Not my plan, but I’ll note that one could circumvent the rule by buying a ticket on an AA operated flight, obtain access, and then cancel the ticket. With no cancellation penalty, it becomes money in the bank.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 12:37 pm
  #882  
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Originally Posted by aj411
I can't call it "official" but I have used the ORD flagship lounge multiple times when connecting back to the US on separate PNR. Inbound in J on both BA and QR (Cathay as well but that has been a few years). Showed my boarding pass for the incoming flight. Never had an agent bat an eye or ask for any info on my onward flight.
Was your connecting flight on AA or another OW carrier? If so, it is pretty well established that you’ll get access, even if on separate PNRs.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 12:39 pm
  #883  
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Originally Posted by aj411
I can't call it "official" but I have used the ORD flagship lounge multiple times when connecting back to the US on separate PNR. Inbound in J on both BA and QR (Cathay as well but that has been a few years). Showed my boarding pass for the incoming flight. Never had an agent bat an eye or ask for any info on my onward flight.
You're connecting to AA though, right? You're correctly getting access then.

Onward on a non-OW carrier is a different situation, and likely to be a YMMV thing.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 12:40 pm
  #884  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
I'm guessing scenarios like this will be completely YMMV depending on the agent.

By the wording of the new-ish rules it definitely makes it seem like you should get access on arrival, however IMO this wasn't AA's intent as I have no idea why they would want to voluntarily provide more access over and above what's required by oneworld rules.

If I had to guess this is just another poorly executed website update by an aa.com marketing intern, trying to clarify possibly that some AA flights get access on arrival but not realizing that their sloppy "arrivals" language opens up access to a bunch of other scenarios that they didn't intend. But who knows.

I don't think we've had any real data points to say one way or another, so if you have the time at ORD give it a shot and report back what happens.
Yeah, I don’t see why this would be AA’s intent. No upside to them. And UA doesn’t even allow access to the Polaris Lounge if you’re connecting from another Star Alliance flight in J or F. So the competition doesn’t do it. And no doubt Delta will be even more restrictive with its planned Delta One lounges.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 12:46 pm
  #885  
 
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Originally Posted by Antarius
You're connecting to AA though, right? You're correctly getting access then.

Onward on a non-OW carrier is a different situation, and likely to be a YMMV thing.
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I suppose for the AA connections, their system might show that I have a separate PNR with AA (?) but it certainly wouldn't show any flights with a different airline.
All they have ever wanted to see is the boarding pass for my incoming qualifying flight. If they had access to all of my PNR, they wouldnt even need that
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