In June American Airlines announced a plan to re-open most of its international business and first class lounge facilities. United has not announced its plan yet for re-opening business class Polaris lounges. And Delta does not currently have a similar product, although one may be coming to Los Angeles.
Miami’s Flagship lounge and Flagship First Dining were said to re-open in September with the other Flagship lounges were planned to re-open “throughout Fall 2021.” Flagship Dining facilities were slated to re-open too – except for the Los Angeles location. We now have a firm schedule for the first two:
- New York JFK: Flagship lounge re-opens September 14 and Flagship Dining inside that lounge September 16. When JFK Flagship re-opens, the Admirals Club on the C concourse will re-open as well (since Flagship, which expanded into the old B concourse Admirals Club, has been used as the Admirals Club).
- Miami: Flagship lounge re-opens September 28 and Flagship Dining inside that lounge September 30
Flagship lounges at LAX, Dallas – Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare will still open “later this fall.” The good news is that American now says LAX Flagship Dining is expected to re-open, though “not until 2022.”
Accessing Flagship Lounges And Flagship First Dining
Access to Flagship lounges is available to:
- Business and first class passengers flying on a oneworld airline to Asia; Australia or New Zealand; Europe; South America (excluding Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela) as well as business and first class passengers flying premium transcon routes (New York – Los Angeles and San Francisco and certain Miami and Boston – Los Angeles flights as well as New York JFK – Orange County).
- Business class passengers on long haul Hawaii flights
- American Platinum members and above and Alaska MVP Gold members and above who are flying to one of these eligible destinations on a oneworld airline.
- oneworld sapphire and emerald members in programs other than American AAdvantage and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan who are flying on any oneworld flight (including American and Alaska domestic flights)
- ConciergeKey members flying on a oneworld airline, including American and Alaska domestic
Flagship First Dining access is 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
- Historically, to oneworld partners who have paid for access (such as British Airways for their first class passengers in some locations) and to ConciergeKey members who have been given a limited number of passes, as well as to those offered a buy-in option or who purchased access through American’s Five Star premium ground service
Flagship First Dining New York JFK
Miami First Dining Corn Chowder With Corn Fritters
New Food And Amenities
American is naming celebrity chefs for its Flagship lounges.
- Dallas – Fort Worth Chef Tiffany Derry of Top Chef and Dallas restaurant Roots Southern Table as well as sustainability spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation. American promotes her work with the Dallas school district’s lunch program, which doesn’t make the food she signs off on sound better.
- Miami Chef Timon Balloo, Eater’s Chef of the Year local restaurant Sugarcane and “now building out his own brand with concepts like Mrs. Balloo, an Asian cuisine-inspired food truck, delivery-only Balloo Wallah and Balloo, for which he was nominated Best Chef: South by the James Beard Foundation in 2020.”
- New York JFK Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja from Shuka and Shukette offering Eastern Mediterranean cuisine (not to my taste, personally).
- Chicago O’Hare Chef Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, the 2017 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes.
They don’t yet have a named chef for Los Angeles. Along a certain margin celebrity chefs can matter for an airline. In general they raise my estimation of the airline’s investment in food, while lowering my estimation of the chef’s commitment to quality over other considerations.
Meanwhile Flagship lounges are replacing their bath products, moving to D.S. & Durga hand soap and lotions in restrooms They’re also going to be refreshing their D.S. & Durga amenities in Shinola bags on board.