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,
- Purchased as part of a premium airport service bundle
- Purchased to those offered a buy-up option as part of a test before the pandemic (limited to Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members)
- Concierge Key members have been given a limited number of passes
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.
- 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.
- 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.