American Airlines Projected reopening schedule:
14 September 2021
- Flagship Lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8
16 September 2021
- Flagship Dining at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8
28 September 2021
- Flagship Lounge at Miami International Airport (MIA) Concourse D
30 September 2021
- Flagship Dining at Miami International Airport (MIA) Concourse D
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No dates have been put forward for the reopening of the lounges at Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, or Los Angeles but they are all expected to open this fall.
American Airlines (AA) will begin reopening its premium Flagship Lounges this month, the airline confirmed to TPG on Wednesday. The first location to welcome back flyers will be Miami (MIA), followed by the airline’s four other outposts later throughout Fall 2021. The move follows a nearly 18-month closure after AA first shuttered the entire premium lounge network on March 20, 2020.
In addition to its Flagship Lounges, the airline will also reopen its Flagship First Dining locations. These outposts are essentially a lounge-within-a-lounge, offering a seated restaurant-style dining experience — with Krug champagne available, before the pandemic — to those ticketed in long-haul or premium first class on AA’s three-cabin jets.
AA operates five Flagship Lounges, four of which also feature a Flagship First Dining facility. You’ll find the full directory below:
- Chicago (ORD) — reopening later this Fall, and this outpost doesn’t offer Flagship First Dining
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — reopening later this Fall
- Los Angeles (LAX) — reopening later this Fall (but Flagship First Dining will remain closed)
- Miami (MIA) — reopening in September
- New York-JFK — reopening later this Fall
The Flagship First Dining facility in Miami will open along with the larger Flagship Lounge in September, followed by the outposts in DFW and JFK later this fall. There’s no reopening timeline yet for the Flagship First Dining facility in LAX.
Pay To Access the Flagship Lounges
Before today, anyone who had OneWorld status, a First or Business Class ticket, or American Airlines’ $650 per year “Admiral Club Membership” could enter the Flagship Lounge. This meant that there was no way for an infrequent American Airlines flyer to be rewarded entry into the lounge. However, with these new one-time passes for sale, this is about to change.
Well, as reported by Zach Griff, the rumor was only partly true.
Starting from today, 14 September 2021, flyers traveling with American Airlines or another Oneworld airline can pay $150 for a one-time access pass to a single Flagship Lounge.
- Domestic and international bookings both qualify a passenger to purchase a pass
- Access to Flagship Dining is not included in the pass
- The $150 fee covers just one person (children under 2 years of age are free)
- Only adults 21 years and over can pay to access a Flagship Lounge
- The pass covers access to just one lounge on the day of travel. If you want to access a Flagship Lounge at your destination as well as at your departure airport (e.g. if you’re flying from LAX to JFK) you’ll need to purchase two passes.
For the time being, passes will be on sale at the entrance to the Flagship Lounges (the open ones!) but as this is a permanent offering, it may be possible to book online at some point in the future.
American Airlines is now selling flagship lounge access for $150 (children under the age of 2 are free). The passes will only be available for purchase in person and access will be limited (e.g they won’t sell passes if the lounge is nearing capacity). Can’t see many people actually purchasing these passes.
Many airlines are following the business model of open-lounges in addition to premium lounges in order to add exclusivity to their hard product while still adding something to enjoy for others. United Airlines, for example, has established a “United Club,” which is analogous to American Airlines’ “Admirals Club.” Passengers with confirmed business or first-class tickets are granted entry, while others can enter at a fee. However, premium lounges, such as United Airlines Polaris Lounge and American’s Flagship Lounge, have until this point been only available to premium passengers, United’s being only available to Polaris’s passengers traveling internationally. It is a given that other airlines like Delta and United will be watching American’s move to see how it plays out, and potentially assess whether to do the same.