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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 Aug 6, 2022, 12:50 pm
  #886  
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Originally Posted by PresRDC
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.
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.
Yea, I think the key takeaway though is that the agents evidently didn't even ask for an onward boarding pass in the cases aj411 mentioned above, seeing an incoming qualifying flight and just waving you through.

If I had to guess this was just the agents assuming that if you've made it airside to T3 to the FL/AC then you must certainly also have a departing AA flight (as 99% of people probably would).
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:11 pm
  #887  
 
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I find it interesting though that you can be on a $599 special J transcon fare and get in upon arrival with out needing any onward flight at all but you technically by the rules could be turned away arriving on a $5000 J ticket on a OW carrier or even AA themselves, say if you were continuing onward with United or Delta or whomever.

By far thought the most confusing lounge access rules of any airline.

Last edited by happiest_at_40000; Aug 6, 2022 at 6:30 pm
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:38 pm
  #888  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
I find it interesting though that you can be on a $599 special J transcon fare and get in upon arrival with out needing any onward flight at all but you technically by the rules could be turned away arriving on a $5000 J ticket on a OW carrier or even AA themselves, say if you were continuing onward with United or Delta or whomever.

By far thought he most confusing lounge access rules of any airline.
Much of the confusion stems from the fact that so many people have access. AS/AA OW sapphire and higher on intl itineraries. Non-AS/AA OW sapphire and higher on a domestic itinerary. OW J/F passengers. Flagship transcon passengers. Arrival/connecting passengers.

But I'd much rather have it this way and have multiple means of access than the requirements be as stringent as the Polaris lounges: Must be departing in a Star Alliance J/F cabin. Flying LH but connecting to a UA domestic flight? United Club for you. United 1k going to France in economy? Enjoy the complimentary stale chips and $12 gin and tonic.

While this doesn't excuse AA's inconsistent admittance practices, I think we should be relieved there are so many ways to access the Flagship Lounges.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 2:44 pm
  #889  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Yea, I think the key takeaway though is that the agents evidently didn't even ask for an onward boarding pass in the cases aj411 mentioned above, seeing an incoming qualifying flight and just waving you through.

If I had to guess this was just the agents assuming that if you've made it airside to T3 to the FL/AC then you must certainly also have a departing AA flight (as 99% of people probably would).
Exactly - you have gotten that far, and if you have a boarding pass that grants entry per the computer, most agents won’t ask for an onward BP (similar to what was mentioned earlier about separate PNRs, which has also been my experience).
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Old Aug 8, 2022, 6:12 pm
  #890  
 
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Probably a very elementary question for all of you but I am not familiar with AA or Miami. Need to get advice on best lounge....arriving about 1900 on BA from LHR in F and departing about 2230 on AA to TPA in business/first. Of course will have to clear immigration and customs and re-check bags but would like advice about where to head after that for a couple of hours. I am OWE, AS 75K, Priority Pass member but travelling companion is none of those though is on same itinerary. Advice, please? Really appreciated!
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Old Aug 8, 2022, 6:18 pm
  #891  
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Originally Posted by kileysmom
Probably a very elementary question for all of you but I am not familiar with AA or Miami. Need to get advice on best lounge....arriving about 1900 on BA from LHR in F and departing about 2230 on AA to TPA in business/first. Of course will have to clear immigration and customs and re-check bags but would like advice about where to head after that for a couple of hours. I am OWE, AS 75K, Priority Pass member but travelling companion is none of those though is on same itinerary. Advice, please? Really appreciated!
The AA Flagship Lounge near gate D30 would be your best bet. Your OWE will admit you and a guest.
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Old Aug 8, 2022, 6:57 pm
  #892  
 
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Originally Posted by kileysmom
Probably a very elementary question for all of you but I am not familiar with AA or Miami. Need to get advice on best lounge....arriving about 1900 on BA from LHR in F and departing about 2230 on AA to TPA in business/first. Of course will have to clear immigration and customs and re-check bags but would like advice about where to head after that for a couple of hours. I am OWE, AS 75K, Priority Pass member but travelling companion is none of those though is on same itinerary. Advice, please? Really appreciated!
AA FL as mentioned by first reply is best bet and you will get FFD access as well since you were in F. And you can guest someone as well. Just hope Miami agents dont screw up and say you cant access due to arriving (it happens every now and then at MIA but lately its been better).

FFD is Flagship First Dining so you will have an isolated area behind sliding doors where you have a full a la carte menu & higher end liquor. Def. worth checking it out (and comparing to Concorde Room on your way out).
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Old Aug 8, 2022, 7:16 pm
  #893  
 
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Thank you very much! Flagship and FFD it is! I'm a CCR fan and have spent many lovely hours there....planning to get to LHR about 5 hours before flt to MIA particularly to have a CCR meal and some time at the bar...my friend is not an TATL person so will get some good times on this trip! Again, thanks!
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Old Aug 8, 2022, 9:47 pm
  #894  
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Originally Posted by kileysmom
Thank you very much! Flagship and FFD it is! I'm a CCR fan and have spent many lovely hours there....planning to get to LHR about 5 hours before flt to MIA particularly to have a CCR meal and some time at the bar...my friend is not an TATL person so will get some good times on this trip! Again, thanks!
Sounds lovely - enjoy it all!
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 7:19 pm
  #895  
 
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Hi everyone,

Apologies if this has been answered before, and I see a similar question has been asked in the most recent forum pages but my scenario is a slightly different. I'm flying LHR-LAX-FAT next month in BA J connecting onto AS F. Both flights are on the same PNR, and I don't hold status on any airline. Would I have access to the Flagship lounge at LAX on the basis of my traveling same-day in J on a oneworld partner? It seems that this could be up to the individual agent at the lounge, depending on the interpretation of the rules and whether they care that I am using it "on arrival"?

Any advice or answer would be much appreciated. Cheers.
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 7:41 pm
  #896  
 
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Originally Posted by bd777
Hi everyone,

Apologies if this has been answered before, and I see a similar question has been asked in the most recent forum pages but my scenario is a slightly different. I'm flying LHR-LAX-FAT next month in BA J connecting onto AS F. Both flights are on the same PNR, and I don't hold status on any airline. Would I have access to the Flagship lounge at LAX on the basis of my traveling same-day in J on a oneworld partner? It seems that this could be up to the individual agent at the lounge, depending on the interpretation of the rules and whether they care that I am using it "on arrival"?

Any advice or answer would be much appreciated. Cheers.
You 100% have access up on arrival but every now and then you will get an agent who is clueless. LA seems to have got these new post covid employees up to speed but even if 1 person denied you just ask for a supervisor. Arriving same day allows access of course and you need an onward flight which you have.

Last edited by happiest_at_40000; Aug 9, 2022 at 7:50 pm
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 7:45 pm
  #897  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
You 100% have access up on arrival but every now and then you will get an agent who is clueless. LA seems to have got these new post covid employees up to speed but even if 1 person denied you just ask for a supervisor. Arriving same day allows access of course you need an onward flight which you have.

Actually as I am typing this I just saw your onward is AS. I dont ever fly them so now I am wondering since they arent technically part of OW if that could cause you a problem.. Although if you show the BP for the arriving flight you are going to be fine but someone else will surely post if the onward flight being in AS matters or not.
AS is a full OW member. So the OP should have access to the FL during his/her transit in LAX.
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 7:51 pm
  #898  
 
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Originally Posted by atcanobbio
AS is a full OW member. So the OP should have access to the FL during his/her transit in LAX.
Wow I was having a bad moment sorry. I forgot they joined OW during Covid times. I edited my post.
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 8:50 pm
  #899  
 
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Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000
Wow I was having a bad moment sorry. I forgot they joined OW during Covid times. I edited my post.
Thank you both for the help. FWIW, some of the folks handling AA's Twitter were adamant that the ticket did not qualify for FL access.
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 9:28 pm
  #900  
 
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Originally Posted by bd777
Thank you both for the help. FWIW, some of the folks handling AA's Twitter were adamant that the ticket did not qualify for FL access.
. Out of curiosity, what was their rationale?

As noted above, you should be good to go and should have the FL access page handy (and the OW lounge finder) in the very off chance you get pushback.
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