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Guide to Flagship Lounge Access (in revision)

Old Feb 16, 2017, 2:34 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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 Nov 2, 2022, 7:38 pm
  #991  
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Originally Posted by houstr8male
How does this apply to MIA-LAX flights? My understanding is you do not get FL access if in business on a narrow body, A321 or B73M, for example. However you do get FL access if in J on a B772, B788/B789, or F/J on a B77W. This has always been confusing and I thought the "flagship" ticketing on this route actually meant something.
Yea, the transcons are the one area where "Flagship" means something with regards to lounge access, however the same problems exist of how inconsistent AA is in this marketing. Rather than saying lounge access relies on the flight being "Flagship" it should just list the equipment types, i.e. business class on XYZ routes on the 321T or 777/787 come with FL access.
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Old Nov 2, 2022, 8:07 pm
  #992  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Yea, the transcons are the one area where "Flagship" means something with regards to lounge access, however the same problems exist of how inconsistent AA is in this marketing. Rather than saying lounge access relies on the flight being "Flagship" it should just list the equipment types, i.e. business class on XYZ routes on the 321T or 777/787 come with FL access.
The latter. make all layflats flagship and grant access.

Sure, you'll get a handful of extra flights becoming eligible, but the widebody+ 321T capacity is fixed, so it isn't going to affect the numbers materially.

This would simplify it for everyone.
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Old Nov 2, 2022, 8:41 pm
  #993  
 
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Originally Posted by SeattleDavid
You don't show the full details but my guess is that one of these flights has a mainline connection for DFW-STL and the other has a non-mainline connection.

In my experience the "Flagship' flag only shows up when it fits the whole itinerary.
Unsure of what you mean by mainline / non-mainline connection? They are both on AA metal. No regionals involved.
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Old Nov 2, 2022, 11:07 pm
  #994  
 
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As evidenced by this thread, AA's marketing/lounge access rules are a mess. If people here on FT are confused, I can only imagine the confusion of John Q. Public. I feel for the lounge AAngels who have to enforce these rules.
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Old Nov 3, 2022, 7:37 am
  #995  
 
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And my example where the one flt was labeled on the WEB site as Flagship... today that label is no longer there. Go figure.
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Old Nov 12, 2022, 5:00 pm
  #996  
 
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Want to confirm reward tickets booked with points can access Flagship lounge?

Flying to and from Tokyo in Business class (booked via AA points), I can access the flagship lounge in ORD and LAX? Thanks.
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Old Nov 12, 2022, 5:52 pm
  #997  
 
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Originally Posted by Camaro5
Want to confirm reward tickets booked with points can access Flagship lounge?

Flying to and from Tokyo in Business class (booked via AA points), I can access the flagship lounge in ORD and LAX? Thanks.
Yes, of couse. Business Class entitles you to access, regardless of how you "purchased" it. Same day travel. Of course, on the return you must have access to the terminal (continuing flight) to access any lounge after clearing customs and immigration.
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Old Nov 13, 2022, 4:52 pm
  #998  
 
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Thank you! Yes, on return flight, I will land in LAX, but still continuing to DC afterward.
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Old Nov 16, 2022, 8:35 pm
  #999  
 
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ORD Flagship lounge access for Royal Jordanian Business class

Hi!
I have a question regarding access to the AA Flagship Lounge at ORD T3:
We have an Alaska Airlines flight to ORD followed by (RJ) Royal Jordanian's business class to AMM. As we may arrive at ORD T3 where the Flagship Lounge is located, I wonder if we can access the lounge given that our next flight is on Oneworld business class.

Since we may not have the boarding pass when we arrive at T3,
* would we be able to access the lounge showing our flight ticket?
* would we be able to check-in for RJ and then return to T3 (despite that RJ departs from T5)?

I will try to see if we can check-in online for a digital boarding pass.

Thank you!
P.S. this is my first time posting on flyertalk so please feel free to correct me if anything is unclear.
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Old Nov 16, 2022, 9:23 pm
  #1000  
 
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Originally Posted by ptchiu
Hi!
I have a question regarding access to the AA Flagship Lounge at ORD T3:
We have an Alaska Airlines flight to ORD followed by (RJ) Royal Jordanian's business class to AMM. As we may arrive at ORD T3 where the Flagship Lounge is located, I wonder if we can access the lounge given that our next flight is on Oneworld business class.

Since we may not have the boarding pass when we arrive at T3,
* would we be able to access the lounge showing our flight ticket?
* would we be able to check-in for RJ and then return to T3 (despite that RJ departs from T5)?

I will try to see if we can check-in online for a digital boarding pass.

Thank you!
P.S. this is my first time posting on flyertalk so please feel free to correct me if anything is unclear.
Welcome to FT, I hope that you find it useful and learn enough to contribute as time goes by.
I don't know the answer to your first question but you can certainly enter T3 and the lounge once you have a boarding pass. You will have to take the train from T5 to T3 and pass through security, then reverse the process to get air side at T5.
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Old Nov 17, 2022, 6:55 am
  #1001  
 
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I'm a bit confused by the references to Admirals Club lounge and the Flagship lounge. Is the Flagship lounge inside of the Admirals Club lounge or is it a completely separate one? I'll be flying HNL - DFW which I believe gives me access to the Flagship lounge (minus restaurant access)
Thanks

Last edited by pkerr; Nov 18, 2022 at 1:00 pm
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Old Nov 17, 2022, 7:12 am
  #1002  
 
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Originally Posted by pkerr
I'm a bit confused by the references to Admirals Club lounge and the Flagship lounge. Is the Flagship lounge inside of the Admirals Club lounge or is it a completely separate one? I'll be flying HNL - DFW which I believe give me access to the Flagship lounge (minus restaurant access)
Thanks
At DFW, they are separate physical spaces with separate entrances, just follow the signs.

BTW, you don't mention what cabin you are flying in, but you do need to be in business from HNL to access the FL via this method (status does not get you in)

Regards
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Old Nov 17, 2022, 8:01 am
  #1003  
 
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Originally Posted by scubadu
At DFW, they are separate physical spaces with separate entrances, just follow the signs.

BTW, you don't mention what cabin you are flying in, but you do need to be in business from HNL to access the FL via this method (status does not get you in)

Regards
Thanks.. I am in J.
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Old Nov 19, 2022, 6:55 am
  #1004  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Layover access

I am travelling on a AA issued ticket in J, coming in to JFK on QR Metal at 10:20pm and then have a connecting flight to DCA on AA the next morning at 7:45am (same ticket). Will I have access on the flagship lounge? I know the lounge closes 12:30-4am, but will I have access before close and after open?
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Old Nov 19, 2022, 7:03 am
  #1005  
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Originally Posted by spiderFly
I am travelling on a AA issued ticket in J, coming in to JFK on QR Metal at 10:20pm and then have a connecting flight to DCA on AA the next morning at 7:45am (same ticket). Will I have access on the flagship lounge? I know the lounge closes 12:30-4am, but will I have access before close and after open?
Yes, you would have access since it's on the same itinerary. You would need to keep your DOH-JFK boarding pass and present that at the Flagship Lounge while entering.

Also, as a kind note, TSA might not let you reclear security the day before after arriving from your DOH flight but it would depend on the officer. I remember clearing security at 10:30pm for a flight 8:30am the next day. Also, TSA at Terminal 8 would close after the last flight and not open until somewhere between 3:00-4:00am unless things have changed so head directly towards security after you completed customs formalities at JFK.

If you have checked baggage, AA would also refuse them the previous night so you might need to hang landside until the AA desks open in the morning.
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