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No SFO departure lounge for premium transcon (Club closes early)

No SFO departure lounge for premium transcon (Club closes early)

Old Nov 23, 20, 2:31 am
  #1  
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No SFO departure lounge for premium transcon (Club closes early)

(1) 3-class Flagship F on SFO-JFK is nominally the most premium domestic flight in existence.
(2) The only SFO-JFK departs about 9:30 pm.
(3) The SFO AC closes at 3:30 pm.

Conclusion: At SFO, AA tells its most premium domestic passengers to queue and pay for fast food and wait at the gate like everyone else.

Many things are unusual during Covid and this is hardly the worst thing to happen, but it does seem noteworthy, given most ACs have reopened somewhat. Evidently, premium transcons are not the priority one would have thought.

Any sign that AA is embarrassed or even acknowledges the issue? Should we make lemonade out of it with T-shirts that say "I boarded Flagship F with zero lounge access"?
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Old Nov 23, 20, 4:42 am
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AA could also address this by having the JFK departure earlier in the day, before the AC closes.

Still not sure why they choose to run their one and only SFO-JFK flight as a red-eye.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 4:48 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by econ View Post
AA could also address this by having the JFK departure earlier in the day, before the AC closes.
That strikes me as a tail-wagging-the-dog solution. I know we all think that were smarter than AA management, but Im pretty confident that they had a good reason for scheduling the flight when they did, and scheduling it to coincide with the lounge being open likely wasnt one of their considerations.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 9:40 am
  #4  
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I presume that the premium flight operates at 21:30 because the red eye gives on a full day's work in SFO and even a cocktail meeting (if such a thing still exists), while not killing a work day traveling. Moving the flight time likely preferred by HVC's to meet a lounge schedule seems a bit backward, particularly because the crowd that can pay for F/J are also not likely overly-bothered by having to buy a cup of coffee among the common people. While none of us have access to marketing data, I have to presume that because SFO is not an AA hub, most passengers arrive at SFO in time to make their flight and not hang around for a well drink.

Yes, it would be nice if the AC were open for the 21:30 departure, but I can't really see expecting any carrier to bring in another shift solely to service one flight.

In 2024, when the industry hopefully recovers, this ought to be on the punch list.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 10:06 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by econ View Post
AA could also address this by having the JFK departure earlier in the day, before the AC closes.

Still not sure why they choose to run their one and only SFO-JFK flight as a red-eye.
I guess it depends on why the flight operates in the first place.
Maybe the flight has the schedule for
1. Aircraft availability
2. Ability to work longer days in both cities
3. Earlier flight connections out of JFK without overly long delays

Is there another lounge at SFO they might be able to contract with to handle First Class passengers for that flight?

Last edited by mvoight; Nov 23, 20 at 10:16 am
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Old Nov 23, 20, 10:23 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I presume that the premium flight operates at 21:30 because the red eye gives on a full day's work in SFO and even a cocktail meeting (if such a thing still exists), while not killing a work day traveling. Moving the flight time likely preferred by HVC's to meet a lounge schedule seems a bit backward, particularly because the crowd that can pay for F/J are also not likely overly-bothered by having to buy a cup of coffee among the common people. While none of us have access to marketing data, I have to presume that because SFO is not an AA hub, most passengers arrive at SFO in time to make their flight and not hang around for a well drink.

Yes, it would be nice if the AC were open for the 21:30 departure, but I can't really see expecting any carrier to bring in another shift solely to service one flight.

In 2024, when the industry hopefully recovers, this ought to be on the punch list.
OP has a point though. As the most expensive coveted F route domestically AA could make exceptions even in Covid times to either keep the lounge open or provide passes to other clubs (One World or otherwise) that are already open at this time. These flyers aren't Ma and Pa Kettle flying their yearly flight to MCO on BE after all.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 10:29 am
  #7  
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I suspect that AA thought of this. But, the other three OW lounges, BA, JL & CX are entirely closed.

The better question is: how many people will choose to fly steerage or another carrier because they don't have lounge access? If it's negligible, that's the answer.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 11:16 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
]These flyers aren't Ma and Pa Kettle flying their yearly flight to MCO on BE after all.
Yes, that is true-- but the question that AA has undoubtedly examined is, who is paying for J or F on this route nowadays and at what fare, and does that call for keeping the AC open for just these passengers?

My impression from flying LAX-JFK recently is that there is a fair amount of paid J on the route nowadays, but I'm seeing a lot of leisure travelers in the cabin and it's pretty easy to snag a one-way J fare for around $600 now. I've even seen UA price as low as $489 one way in J LAX-EWR. The demographic flying these days is certainly very different from 9 months ago.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
(1) 3-class Flagship F on SFO-JFK is nominally the most premium domestic flight in existence.
(2) The only SFO-JFK departs about 9:30 pm.
(3) The SFO AC closes at 3:30 pm.

Conclusion: At SFO, AA tells its most premium domestic passengers to queue and pay for fast food and wait at the gate like everyone else.

Many things are unusual during Covid and this is hardly the worst thing to happen, but it does seem noteworthy, given most ACs have reopened somewhat. Evidently, premium transcons are not the priority one would have thought.

Any sign that AA is embarrassed or even acknowledges the issue? Should we make lemonade out of it with T-shirts that say "I boarded Flagship F with zero lounge access"?
This should help - http://www.netjets.com
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Old Nov 23, 20, 12:22 pm
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OP --

I suggest a quick note to AA customer service about the lack of lounge access at SFO for the transcon flight (be courteous and concise). Then, if lounge access is absolutely necessary, you may need to switch to UA or another carrier with lounge access at SFO. Honestly, SFO is simply a spoke (albeit a larger one) for AA.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by 757FO View Post
This should help - http://www.netjets.com
Centurion Lounge access might be cheaper
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Old Nov 23, 20, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Centurion Lounge access might be cheaper
I was about to write- good point, security lines tend to be pretty short these days so it's less of a pain to clear twice. But the truth is, it's likely San Mateo County will be in the purple zone soon and then it'll be a somewhat moot point, where even if the AC were open later, it'd be grab and go only like at LAX, so basically just a quiet place to sit-- and frankly, the new T1 at SFO is pretty nice in the gate areas anyway.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 1:41 pm
  #13  
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Admittedly it's a pretty bad look for premium customers at the moment. Not offering premium food/drink chits for J/F customers in the regular ACs is also a pretty bad look given they should have FL access.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 2:04 pm
  #14  
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AA is in a triage situation. I suspect they've concluded their core customers who are currently paying for J/F on SFO-JFK are not going to switch to DL or UA just to access a lounge, and the cash it would cost to keep the AC open until 9:30 would be better spent elsewhere.

They should probably be worried though about UA poaching business with its Hi-J Polarized 763 on SFO-JFK.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 2:52 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
AA is in a triage situation. I suspect they've concluded their core customers who are currently paying for J/F on SFO-JFK are not going to switch to DL or UA just to access a lounge, and the cash it would cost to keep the AC open until 9:30 would be better spent elsewhere.

They should probably be worried though about UA poaching business with its Hi-J Polarized 763 on SFO-JFK.
They probably are. JFK-SFO has never been as strong as JFK-LAX for AA, especially as demand weakens in JFK. I could see them leaving most of the JFK-SFO flying to jetBlue once the partnership gets going... they won't get the revenue for it besides the codeshare commission, but they can at least be relevant to NY frequent flyers who fly other places as well.
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