American Airlines has a private check-in for top customers at facility at Chicago O’Hare, LAX, London Heathrow, Miami and New York JFK called Flagship First Check-in. But because this is an airline, the rules around who can use it are complicated. It’s for,
- 3-cabin and 4-cabin first class (but not business class) on long haul flights and on certain cross-country domestic routes.
- Those who buy access via American’s Five Star service
- Concierge Key members on any American Airlines flight
- oneworld partner ’emerald’-level elite members on any American Airlines flight (e.g. British Airways Gold members and above), however Alaska Airlines emerald (MVP Gold 75K and above) are excluded.
- American’s Executive Platinum members flying American Airlines long haul international
Flagship Check-in, LAX
This isn’t just confusing to customers, for instance whether checking in at Chicago O’Hare for an American Airlines flight to Los Angeles before connecting to long haul international on Qantas.
But it’s also confusing for American Airlines employees. And in particular even for the American Airlines employees charged with allowing or denying access to passengers. There are myriad reports of eligible passengers being denied access. While the airline produces a report of those who are supposed to be allowed entry, that list isn’t comprehensive, and agents frequently misinterpret the rules.
@OneMileataTime @garyleff this is the 2nd complaint about FF checkin in 2 days and one of hundreds on FlyerTalk of wrongly denied access. Please bring this to AA's attention so they can get their employees to know the rules.Or make a new system to make sure someone has access.
— Joey Chest (@joey_hammond34) October 18, 2021
I reached out to American to see whether rules had actually changed, but the website not updated, and that perhaps this is what led to confusion? But that hasn’t happened. Instead according to an American Airlines spokesperson, they’re sorry.
We work with our agents at Flagship First Check-in to ensure customers are greeted upon arrival and that customers meet the qualifications. Our agents are trained and reminded of these qualifications which customers can also access on aa.com. We want all customers who are eligible to be welcomed and are very sorry to anyone who may have experienced issues.