Accessing American Airlines First Class Dining While Flying On A Partner Airline

American Airlines Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining are re-opening. In fact, the New York JFK Flagship business class lounge has re-opened, and its first class dining room opens Thursday.

Miami re-opens at the end of the month. It has a first class dining room too, as does the Dallas location. So does Los Angeles, with its first class dining section expected to re-open sometime next year.

These first class dining facilities are really nice experiences. They’re exclusive, never crowded, with sit down restaurant service and private bars. The food is generally quite good, and the drink service is too.

While Flagship lounges are open to oneworld airline partner premium cabin passengers and mid-tier elites and higher, Flagship First Dining is mostly available only to American’s own first class passengers. But there are exceptions.

Flagship First Dining New York JFK

Miami First Dining Corn Chowder With Corn Fritters

Access has generally been limited to three-cabin first class passengers flying American Airlines to Asia; Australia; Europe; or South America or flying between New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco and now Orange County.

However there are other ways in,

There are also a limited number of partner airline first class passengers granted access. This is not a oneworld lounge, and partner status or class of service doesn’t automatically allow for access. Instead some partner airlines have negotiated access for their passengers.

  1. Cathay Pacific had the very first partnership where first class passengers could use the New York JFK Flagship First Dining facility. Those passengers don’t actually have to be flying Cathay from New York JFK, for instance they might fly New York JFK to Boston on American, connecting to Cathay’s Boston – Hong Kong route.

  2. British Airways has a similar arrangement for its passengers at Miami and Dallas – Fort Worth, however their agreement requires passengers actually be flying BA non-stop from those cities.

Flagship First Dining LAX

There’s been speculation that Qantas would offer Flagship First Dining to its first class passengers out of Dallas, they’re a revenue-sharing joint venture partner of American after all, but that deal didn’t happen before the pandemic and the flight isn’t in the schedule to return yet.

I’ve learned about one other partnership that seems curious. Japan Airlines has an agreement for its first class passengers to use Flagship First Dining at Dallas – Fort Worth. JAL doesn’t operate out of Dallas with a first class cabin, though. I thought perhaps their deal was like Cathay’s, allowing connecting passengers, but a spokesperson tells me that it is not. It requires direct Japan Airlines flights out of Dallas, so a passenger flying Dallas to Los Angeles on American and connecting to Japan Airlines in first would not have access.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Not all airlines lounges are equal. Ever since American allows certain credit holders access to Admiral Club, most clubs have become like Golden Corral buffet lines; short on staffing and food. I literally have to scrape broom of the soup pot and always short on seating. Phoenix, Atlanta, DFW, ORD, MIA, LAX; pretty most major hubs are repeat offenders. If my company stop reimbursing these fees, I’d dump them right away. For those who are lucky enough to travel overseas, try the Marco Polo Lounge in Hong Kong. EVA Air Evergreen Lounge in Taipei. It makes Admirals Club like a USO lounger for service members. The romance of travel is long gone in American Travel culture.

  2. I’ve done the first class AA dining thing out of JFK. It isn’t something I would bend over backwards trying to get again. Nowhere near what the lounges in Hong Kong were like for CX even when flying J and of course not at the level of their F dining. EY, SQ, ANA all have better food. Even some Polaris lounges are not far behind in terms of quality, of course the environment with the AA dining is better. Just no excuse why they couldn’t do the food better being based in NYC. It isn’t bad by any means but it isn’t matching the competition.

  3. All these are good developments but my question is, how about those who can’t afford the first class. I believe other passengers should be allowed unless they are trying to regulate the flow.

  4. I find American so awful at food and service I avoid the airline when flying premium cabins
    In the event I actually fly them I come as late as I can and dine before at a restaraunt

  5. “how about those who can’t afford the first class. I believe other passengers should be allowed unless they are trying to regulate the flow.” The point is the first class passengers don’t want to be lumped in with the masses. Avoiding the crowds and having a nice meal is the whole point. If it gets turned into a dining area with a bunch of people being loud and you can’t get service because the staff is overworked and you have to wait extra long for your food what is the point. If someone can’t fly first class well them is the breaks.

  6. What happens when you buy an AA First Class long haul (SFO-JFK-CDG) and they re-route you (SFO-MIA-CDG) and the aircraft goes from 4 Class to 3 Class (No First/only Business). Can I access the MIA Flagship lounge?

  7. Called AA EP desk. AA Rep said that YES, International (Flaghship) Business is entitled to International First lounge (@ MIA) since there’s no true First. We’ll see in late Oct!

  8. You can go to the flagship lounge in business, but not the dining.

    Spanking of flagship lounge, any idea when PHL is opening?

  9. Do BA Gold’s no longer have access? I’ve always been granted access flying American domestically, Iberia internationally and so on. Have the rules now changed?

  10. Hi Gary. Seeing reasonable availability for one passenger for JL DFW-HND nonstop in First (for the new 777-300). Is Flagship First Dining for this flight now a reality (given what was posted above in 2021)?

  11. Please post update here if you can as well.
    Also – any news on the Philadelphia Flagship Lounge?

  12. DFW Flagship First Dining opens at Noon. The JL flight departs just after 11 a.m. So the flight won’t have access.

    There’s really no update on Philadelphia Flagship, as far as I can tell there has not been any progress undertaken.

  13. JL has good Sake/Drinks but I thought the food was always very weird. Very boring airline but comfortable and better than AA. I still remember 13 hours of sweat in a hot cabin….hope they have gotten better! No good meal is worth sweating in an airplane for 13 hours!

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