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Guide: Flagship First Dining at JFK / J F Kennedy Int値.

Guide: Flagship First Dining at JFK / J F Kennedy Int値.

Old May 31, 17, 4:45 pm
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Wow, AA hits a home run with JFK Flagship First Dinin

I was so happy that I had the chance to visit as I was debating between taking the trip this week or last week, so I 'narrowly' made it

When you arrive at the FL entrance, the receptionist would verify your BP and see if you are eligible. If so, you will be issued a rather simplistic piece of cardboard saying that you're invited, which is then collected at the dining room entrance.

The host at the entrance of the dining room was pleasant and assured me that this would be a great experience and I would be well taken care of. I saw some pax offered to have their bags taken aside but the host did not offer this to me tho.

About the dining room:

Almost exactly as you see in the renderings and previews. It is a compact space with a triangular bar area as you enter, with a dining room to the right. There are 7 solo tables, 4 round tables for pairs and 4 booth seats for pairs (with outlets). At the bar area there were 5 more lounge tables (4 for 2, 1 for 4) and 5 more seats at the bar (with outlets) which makes the total seating capacity around 40.




Dining experience:

The host verified I was 21 (!) and offered a choice of sparkling/still water while the lead server Scott came by, exchanged some conversations with me and handed out the menus for my perusal. I asked for a glass of champagne to which he apologized for the Taittinger not stocked and brought me Bollinger from the main FL area later:



Feeling a little adventurous, I started with the basil infused compressed watermelon with whipped feta and smoked onion crumble, which was delicately presented although the taste was a little 'off'.


Another server took care of very proactive refills of drinks and soon offered a choice of bread displayed on a hand-held basket. The presentation for even butter was delicate:


Next up I got the smoked mozzarella cheese stuffed arancini, roasted tomato sauce which was again beautifully presented and this time flavored with a great balance and served piping hot:


The salmon dish that the CK lady next to me looked spectacular too but I couldn't resist a craving for the flagship burger - hand formed single sirloin burger, red onion-bacon marmalade, arugula, beef steak tomatoes which the taste and presentation were both top-notch (the fries as well). The burger tasted like shake shack but more fresh, less greasy and better organized:


Dessert seems not to be offered by default but Scott asked if I would like to check out the menu. Would I even say no! I asked if there were any popular picks which he recommended the sundae, but as I could have this on the plane, I asked for the chocolate trio with dark chocolate brioche bread pudding, milk chocolate smoked sea salt tart and white chocolate strawberry soup. The portion was rather petite but that was perfect as I was somewhat stuffed already The taste was again a tremendous step above anything one could get onboard:



The dining room was at 70-80% capacity all the time but I thought the service was well paced, and it was quiet with an enjoyable atmosphere. Given its exclusivity, it's not surprising that I found the dining room here at JFK FL to be more comfortable than some other OW F dining facilities I've been to, such as the QF F @ LAX and The Pier F @ HKG. Obviously I was trying to 'maximize' the experience along with my 321 TCON flight, but for those that travel for business, or need to maximize sleep/work inflight, this is a wonderful substitution and better alternative. I just wish there were more outlets but that's a minor issue in the grand scheme of things!

Last edited by JDiver; Mar 22, 18 at 3:16 pm Reason: Restore original post title
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Old May 31, 17, 6:35 pm
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Wow looks great! Thanks for sharing....basically dine here and skip the AA in-flight "meals".
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Old May 31, 17, 9:53 pm
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Thanks for sharing your experience, G-CVIC! The arancini caught my attention on the menu in your photo. So did the short ribs....

Now you have to return for breakfast, with another report. Stay hungry.
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Old May 31, 17, 11:14 pm
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So how many daily Int'l F seats/flights are there from JFK? 8 to LHR, 8 to GRU? 4x 6 to HKG/YVR on CX. Anything else?

Seems like the FD will be mostly transcon pax then, no? (~16x 10?) I guess FD really helps differentiate AA's F vs the competition's J.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 2:41 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
So how many daily Int'l F seats/flights are there from JFK? 8 to LHR, 8 to GRU? 4x 6 to HKG/YVR on CX. Anything else?
CX doesn't count - you need to be travelling AA F to access First Dining.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
CX doesn't count - you need to be travelling AA F to access First Dining.
Not according to actual experiences as described by Moomba in post 268 on this thread from the CX forum: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/catha...anuary-18.html

Also, post 272 on the subsequent page of that thread from G-CIVC who posted the pictures above in this thread.

It appears CX F qualifies, which makes sense IMO.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
So how many daily Int'l F seats/flights are there from JFK? 8 to LHR, 8 to GRU? 4x 6 to HKG/YVR on CX. Anything else?

Seems like the FD will be mostly transcon pax then, no? (~16x 10?) I guess FD really helps differentiate AA's F vs the competition's J.
It's not just F flights from JFK; if you're connecting to a flight in F departing from any other airport, you gain access. For example, a pax has access based on JFK-MIA connecting to a flight in F MIA-SCL (until the 772 is reconfigured).
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Old Jun 1, 17, 7:22 am
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Originally Posted by aaupgrade View Post
Not according to actual experiences as described by Moomba in post 268 on this thread from the CX forum: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/catha...anuary-18.html

Also, post 272 on the subsequent page of that thread from G-CIVC who posted the pictures above in this thread.

It appears CX F qualifies, which makes sense IMO.
Ah I hadn't seen the posts in that thread.

Might access for CX F be by virtue of a specific agreement between AA and CX then?

The AA rules for FD linked in the wiki make clear that access is for AA F pax only – in contrast to the FL rules which clearly allow other OW pax.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
So how many daily Int'l F seats/flights are there from JFK? 8 to LHR, 8 to GRU? 4x 6 to HKG/YVR on CX. Anything else?

Seems like the FD will be mostly transcon pax then, no? (~16x 10?) I guess FD really helps differentiate AA's F vs the competition's J.


Yes, transcontinental 3-Class F passengers also have Dining access. There are a LOT of JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights with 10 pax in First per flight.

I imagine that this product will be a great differentiator for the transcon pax....AA is try to keep them from switching to B6 Mint.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
I imagine that this product will be a great differentiator for the transcon pax....AA is try to keep them from switching to B6 Mint.
IMO, then AA should have invested in the inflight soft product.

On the ground AA already trounces B6 every which way so there's no need to rub salt in the wound. Investing in a very decent F&B offering onboard would have been a lot cheaper than building out a small lounge at JFK.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
Yes, transcontinental 3-Class F passengers also have Dining access. There are a LOT of JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights with 10 pax in First per flight.

I imagine that this product will be a great differentiator for the transcon pax....AA is try to keep them from switching to B6 Mint.
And don't forget F pax coming from LAX and SFO that are connecting to onward flights..
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Old Jun 1, 17, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by teemuflyer View Post
And don't forget F pax coming from LAX and SFO that are connecting to onward flights..

So....can you use Flagship Dining if you are arriving off LAX-JFK in F and have a connection in Economy down to Baltimore or DC?

(Is an onward connection even needed? I have used the Flagship at LAX after a transcon in 3-class F when terminating at LAX.)
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Old Jun 1, 17, 4:12 pm
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In post #303 one dining menu notes "ny state artesian cheeses"--I'm a cheese "snob", except for CHEEDAR, that reference is a "contradiction of words"
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Old Jun 3, 17, 6:32 pm
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I tested out the Flagship Dining at JFK today (I have a LAX/HKG 1st leg later) and it still looks exactly the same as @G-CIVC posted above (down to the menu).

Some thoughts...

1) The food is GOOD, though I only had the chicken. Bear in mind, the portions are smaller than you might be expecting (think Asian, not American).
2) The wine pairing is solid, if unspectacular. The Tattinger Brut sounded good to try but I'd eaten nothing all day and didn't want to risk it.
3) The service is sloooooow. And they seem wholly unprepared for you to not order an appetizer. I'd say it took an hour to have one main, a glass of wine, and dessert.
4) As good as the food is, the dessert needs work / is terrible. I had the chocolate trio (in the photo) and nothing about it was good except the whipped creams. The salted chocolate tart had much too much salt on it (would have been better with just the salted whipped cream it came with), the dark chocolate brioche had a smoke-flavor to it that didn't mesh at all, and the white chocolate berry "soup" was inedible. People next to me appeared to enjoy the apple tartin though, so maybe it's just that dish.
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Old Jun 8, 17, 1:18 pm
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Wow, AA hits a home run with JFK Flagship First Dining

OK, color me skeptical about pretty much anything USdbaAA has said or done since the takeover. But, I gave them props on my recent LAX-LHR flight and have to give them major props on the new JFK Flagship First Dining Room. Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope.

After dinner Monday night at the LAX QF First Class Lounge, I slept pretty much all the way from LAX to JFK and arrived at the FL just after 5:30am. I had 3 hours before my JFK-YUL Eagle flight so I decided to check out the Flagship First Dining room and have breakfast before showering.



The hostess counter is right inside the front door. And don't even try to get in without an invitation card from one of the front check-in AAngels.





Very attractive but small bar, lounge area and dining room.













Very nice Breakfast menu with lots of nice sounding options.



Excellent and attentive service with an offer of still or sparking bottled water.



I started with the Seasonal Fruit Kebabs with a nice honey and ginger lime sauce.



And then the Eggs Benedict.



Which looked and tasted great!



What a great first impression, but at 5:30am the place was dead and I was to the only customer. Let's see how they do at a more normal traffic time. And so I was back yesterday afternoon at around 3pm. Major traffic jam at main check-in but after a few minutes wait, I had my "permission slip" for First Dining.

What a mob scene in the main part of the First Class Lounge. Yikes.



But beyond in Flagship First Dining, a lovely oasis of calm. Pretty funny watching hostess Adama deny wave after wave of non-international/transcon First passengers. Talk about a tough job.







First order of business was a drink. Nothing amazing on the wine list although there were some nice offerings but way, way better than the pathetic inflight F wine list. The Specialty Cocktail list looked interesting.







Up first was the Gin Basil Lemonade. Delicious.



The All Day Dining Menu. Wow, lots of interesting looking options.









Service this afternoon was simply wonderful and perfectly paced, from my server Scott and Javier. As soon as I sat down, I was offered my choice of still or sparkling water.



The single window seats are great for plane-spotting.



For my starter, I chose the Basil infused compressed watermelon, with whipped feta and smoked onion crumble. It was fabulous.



I went with the Olive oil poached loch duart salmon with cauliflower risotto, wild mushroom ragout and spring broth.



Wow.



And with the broth. OMG, this was spectacular. And the Livia Felluga Pinot Grigio was a lovely accompaniment.



Also tried the Paring Ros of Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills but I preferred the Livia Felluga.



Next, I moved over the bar where I could re-charge my iPhone. Also, where bartender Karen convinced me to try the Spiced Tequila.



And the dessert menu...



My caramelized apple tart tatin was amazing.



What a great experience. Had to pinch myself to think that this is even remotely a part of American Airlines. A great way to dine preflight. If you have to the time, this is a must as you'll still suffer the same marginal food and horrid wines in the air.
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