American Airlines Offering Flagship First Dining Buy Up To Some Passengers For $150

American Airlines Concierge Key and Executive Platinum customers entering the Dallas Fort-Worth Flagship lounge have an option to buy access to the more exclusive Flagship First Dining room when traveling long haul international or on eligible transcon flights for $150 per person. This is a test scheduled to last three months.

American Airlines Has Several International First Class Dining Rooms

American’s business class lounges are Flagship lounges. These are open at New York JFK, Miami, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles and Dallas Fort-Worth. There’s another one slated to open in Philadelphia, and theoretically they’re supposed to open one at London Heathrow as well.

These are open to international business class and first class passengers on American and its oneworld partners, and to oneworld sapphire elite frequent flyers (American’s own Platinum members and above have to be flying internationally for access).

Inside the Flagship lounges in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Dallas Fort-Worth are Flagship First Dining rooms open to international first class passengers and to three-cabin first class passengers flying between New York JFK and San Francisco or Los Angeles.

These rooms are also accessible for customers purchasing Five Star Select service for $650 for the first passenger and $150 each additional passenger, and for the past two years Concierge Key customers have two invites to use during the year.


Flagship First Dining New York JFK


Flagship First Dining LAX

These Rooms Aren’t Full, And Are Ripe For Monetization

When I first visited the Flagship First Dining facility at New York JFK it was nearly empty for the long layover I had there. When I visited Miami and found the same thing I wondered whether keeping these rooms open made much sense at all.

American doesn’t offer many flights with international first class. They’re testing new business class seats but I don’t expect a true refresh of internatioanl first class. It’s not clear how long the product will continue on as many flights as it’s offered today even.

Airport space is precious and expensive, and lounges crowded. They need to either make better use of the facilities, earning additional revenue from them, or they’d likely consider alternate uses of the space.

Five Star Select is one way they’re monetizing the rooms now. They’ve also been an occasional perk for Concierge Key customers.

Top Elites Can Buy Up To Flagship First Dining At Dallas Fort-Worth For 3 Months

JonNYC told us to expect a test. Reader @DavidOcamb has already seen this test in the wild.

An American Airlines spokesperson confirms to me,

We are testing an option to expand access to a broader audience of customers who are eligible for Flagship Lounge access but not Flagship First Dining. ConciergeKey and Executive Platinum customers traveling on American on long-haul international and eligible transcontinental flights will have the option to purchase access to the DFW Flagship First Dining facility for $150 per person. We will determine future plans upon completion of the test, which will last approximately 3 months.

Though food and service can be inconsistent the price could be worth it, depending on how much Krug you drink.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. I think American Airlines is getting more ridiculous as time progresses I believe some of the ridiculous changes , including this one, will only drI’ve more customers away from them. Why would I want to spend $150 for food. I would be crazy and on top of that I would be getting food on my business class flight.

  2. I doubt theyre doing this to make a killing or anything but just a handful of people everyday and staff wages are taken care of. Its a good idea to test.

    To those complaining about the price, obviously you arent the target market.

  3. @Texasoilfields, Good point, and you are certainly right, but it would seem to me the target market of people who want to go to the airport that much earlier to pay $150 per person for a meal in a lounge, given that they are about to board an international flight which has pretty decent meals in their class of service, is rather thin.

  4. No chance AA still flies 4 cabin F in 10 years when all the 77Ws have gone in for heavy checks. They’ll refurb their J with doors (which frankly would be better than the state of F today) and dumb down/convert Flagship dining into J preflight dining a la AC Signature or UA Polaris (and similar to what they have in FL JFK right now).

    With all the recently atrocious reviews and an F hard product marginally better than today’s J, seems like an easy level to pull to better monetize the plane

  5. Although I could probably drink $150 worth of Krug, I would have to be in much better surroundings than an AA lounge. I was in the DFW First Dining some months ago. The menu was at about the Applebee’s level and they have a bartender who kept my Krug well supplied. I would value that experience at about $40-$50 for a 3-4 hour layover. Switching to United would give at least an equivalent experience in the Polaris lounge. For FREE! Sorry, already paying enough for the so called ‘extension of the flight’ benefit when paying for Business and First.

  6. Agree with others that no way I would pay $150 to go to Flagship Dining (or anything remotely close to that). My experience is the Flagship lounges have decent food to snack on and you are getting on a long haul flight in a premium cabin so food shouldn’t be an issue.

    Not sure how many would take advantage of this if offered but bet it is well under 10%

  7. @DaveS Everything you say is true, and i believe thats the beauty of it. What they absolutely dont want to do is upset the folks who actually pay for the lounge (i.e. the people who qualify without paying) by flooding it. But a handful of people a day and the moneymakers will never notice, and theyve covered their staff for the day. I actually wish other lounges would follow this model of starting off with a slow trickle rather than opening the floodgates (ahem Centurion Lounge). I would also venture that a smaller pricepoint, particularly anything double digits, would result in a noticeable bump that would not go unnoticed by the regulars. Worth a punt anyway.

  8. I’ve been twice, JFK and LAX, very unimpressed. I wouldn’t pay anything – the service was good (the place was empty) but the food mediocre and the environment was close to seedy.

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