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Bangkok Run: Flagship Lounge at DFW, JL vs. AA, and a few other notes

Bangkok Run: Flagship Lounge at DFW, JL vs. AA, and a few other notes

Old Sep 18, 19, 12:27 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: HSV (formerly AUS)
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Bangkok Run: Flagship Lounge at DFW, JL vs. AA, and a few other notes

OK, I just did one of my semi-annual Bangkok runs: HSV-DFW-NRT-BKK and back.

It started with a wheelchair ride from high up Terminal B to the Terminal D Admirals Club, where I was told that I had Flagship Lounge access, so the wheelchair guy schlepped me a few gates farther down. Momentary confusion on the entrance, something about paperwork and AAdvantage number and whatnot, but it only took a few minutes to get me in.

I was on the JL flight to Tokyo (codeshare), so they handed me off to the JL agent inside the lounge. I inquired, and she put me in for the Premium Economy upgrade. A few minutes later, she came back and told me that she'd put me down for wheelchair assistance all through the flight.

The Flagship Lounge is nice, considerably nicer than the Terminal D Admirals Club that I remember.

I had a surprise at NRT. If you are arriving from the US and connecting internationally at NRT, you are not required to do security re-screen. Going the other way, you must re-screen.

JL did their usual outstanding job on the various legs I flew with them. I won't talk about AA on the transPac return trip, beyond saying that I think I may well have flown my LAST transPac hop on AA metal. Given a choice between JL PE or Y, and AA PE, MCE, or Y, and a (nowadays very low probability) posssible J upgrade, I'll take the JL metal and soft product.

I was in PE on a JL 789 (DFW-NRT) and Y on a JL 788 (NRT-BKK). Surprisingly comfortable seats, especially considering that JL supposedly designs for smaller people.

I was in PE on the AA 772 (NRT-DFW). I am a person of size, and that seat was HORRIBLY CRAMPED, as bad as Discount Dougie's 16"-17" Y/MCE seats on the 773. The tray table was NOT designed for me, and the A/V control was on the side, right where it was IMPOSSIBLE to avoid brushing against it and turning on the reading light. We wound up moving me aft one row for the meal, to two adjacent unoccupied MCE seats: I sat in one and used the tray table from the other.)

On return to DFW, I again went to the Terminal D Admirals Club, where I found out that, because I was arriving from an international hop and connecting to a domestic flight, I again had Flagship Lounge access. Nice touch again. This time, no difficulty at all on admission.
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Last edited by zarkov505; Sep 19, 19 at 11:54 am Reason: typo
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Old Sep 18, 19, 6:51 pm
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Thank you for this. I didn't know that a Plat traveling in Y internationally gets Flagship Lounge access. That's pretty generous. And that's useful info about the rescreening (or lack of) at NRT.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 11:20 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Unless this is something new, NRT still screens flights on INTL to INTL flights transfers coming from the US. Occasionally, and many airports in Asia do this, they will select a handful of fights on a certain day (random) and some of flights will receive no screening, most normal screening, and some EXTRA screening. This has been my experience.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 1:59 am
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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I did this same itinerary last week on Jl though in Business. I was also surprised to get off the plane from Dfw at Nrt and my Bangkok flight was only 2 gates away. No additional security screening. The JL Agent in the Flagship Lounge is very helpful and goes over you entire reservation with you making sure everything is ok.

Only problem with going on to Bangkok from Nrt is there is no PE on the Nrt-Bkk leg. I do this trip about 4 times a year. Prefer Cathay as they have PE all the way. Sometimes JL has a fare you can’t beat. I stopped doing the AA flights to NRT and HKG a couple of years ago. As soon as they get their act together again, I’ll come back. Hoping return from Bkk next month goes as smooth as flight over.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 4:01 am
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I flew through NRT the week before last on my way to HAN. I was also surprised to not have to rescreen, as I connect here several times a year and all the times in the past Iíve had to rescreen. I wonder if it has something to do with the construction going on in the terminal at NRT, or if it is a permanent thing? Iím flying back out of NRT tomorrow, but coming from KUL so Iím expecting a rescreen.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:40 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Penguinmoon View Post
Unless this is something new, NRT still screens flights on INTL to INTL flights transfers coming from the US. Occasionally, and many airports in Asia do this, they will select a handful of fights on a certain day (random) and some of flights will receive no screening, most normal screening, and some EXTRA screening. This has been my experience.
All I can tell you is what happened to me, just about three weeks ago, when I arrived at NRT bound for BKK.

I stepped out of the airplane and my wheelchair was waiting for me. I talked with the wheelchair support person, and said the plan was security rescreen and then Sakura Lounge. The wheelchair person skipped the rescreen. took me directly to the lounge, and got me settled in.

I initially thought a mistake had been made, and checked with the lounge front desk. That was when I learned about the change in procedure.

I was quite surprised.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:47 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by paullgo View Post
I did this same itinerary last week on Jl though in Business. I was also surprised to get off the plane from Dfw at Nrt and my Bangkok flight was only 2 gates away. No additional security screening. The JL Agent in the Flagship Lounge is very helpful and goes over you entire reservation with you making sure everything is ok.

Only problem with going on to Bangkok from Nrt is there is no PE on the Nrt-Bkk leg. I do this trip about 4 times a year. Prefer Cathay as they have PE all the way. Sometimes JL has a fare you canít beat. I stopped doing the AA flights to NRT and HKG a couple of years ago. As soon as they get their act together again, Iíll come back. Hoping return from Bkk next month goes as smooth as flight over.
First, I would not recommend holding your breath waiting for AA to get their act together. There are reasons why I booked the outbound transPac hop on JL metal, and plan to continue doing so. Moreoever, in the future, I am going to look hard at booking both transPac hops on JL metal. Yes, J on AA is nice, but Y on JL is actually not that bad, all things considered.

Second, if anything, the BKK-NRT return hop will probably go even more smoothly than the outbound, if my previous experience with JL on that leg is anything to go by. JL takes VERY good care of their passengers.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Thank you for this. I didn't know that a Plat traveling in Y internationally gets Flagship Lounge access. That's pretty generous. And that's useful info about the rescreening (or lack of) at NRT.
I was surprised, too. It may also require an Admirals Club membership, I don't know.

All I know is that the AAngel at the Admirals Club sent me down the road to the Flagship Lounge, both ways, and the Flagship Lounge had no problem with it.

I am NOT complaining!
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by zarkov505 View Post
I was surprised, too. It may also require an Admirals Club membership, I don't know.

All I know is that the AAngel at the Admirals Club sent me down the road to the Flagship Lounge, both ways, and the Flagship Lounge had no problem with it.

I am NOT complaining!
AA PLT's (and above) in addition to oneworld Sapphires (and above) have had access to Flagship Lounges on qualifying itineraries since the new FL's were remodeled and re-introduced back in 2017. So this has been around for 2.5 years now.

Guide to Flagship Lounge Access (expanded 2017)
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