Construction on the Final U.S. American Airlines Flagship Lounge Philadelphia About to Begin

The American Airlines Flagship Lounge Philadelphia project is about to get underway.

American Airlines has opened Flagship lounges at New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare, Miami, Los Angeles, and Dallas Fort-Worth.

Flagship lounges are open to oneworld international business (and first) class passengers, to American’s Platinum elites and higher flying internationally, and to oneworld partner airline mid-tier elites — even when they’re just flying American domestically.

american airlines flagship lounge lax
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX

All of American’s Flagship lounges except O’Hare have a first class dining facility included. Chicago was supposed to have one in the original design, but that was removed. American now longer offers international first class from Chicago, and soon will no longer offer any flights to Asia from the city either.

american airlines flagship dining jfk bar seating
American Airlines New York JFK Flagship First Dining Bar Seating Area

There are still Flagship lounges planned for Philadelphia and London Heathrow. There’s no Flagship lounge planned for American’s hubs at Charlotte, Phoenix, or Washington National.

After much delay, the airline’s Philadelphia Flagship lounge project kicks off Monday. The A-West Admirals Club closes September 30 to start construction on the Flagship lounge, and it’s expected to open in 2020.

american airlines flagship lounge philadelphia announcement

United of course has its new business class lounges – Polaris lounges – open in several cities (Newark, Chicago O’Hare, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles) and with several still to come (Washington Dulles, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Tokyo Narita). These lounges are more exclusive than American’s – no elites who aren’t flying business class – and also generally nicer. However United has nothing to match American’s Flagship First Dining.

Delta, meanwhile, has nicer general clubs (SkyClubs in many cities are better than United Clubs and American’s Admirals Clubs) but has no dedicated business class lounge to match.

The American Airlines Flagship lounge Philadelphia will be a nice add to the airport, especially as American ramps up flying from there to Europe. Charlotte hub customers are likely to be jealous. They won’t get a similar product because much of the Europe flying from there is summer seasonal.

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. Anything is nicer than the Admirals clubs in PHL. While the rooms have all been redone and look nice, the “free selection” of spirits and beer is awful it’s not worth the price of admission, and if you do order a premium cocktail in A East specifically enjoy the guy fresh out of bar tending school trying to figure out how to make it.

  2. The Centurian lounge is an overcrowded disappointment, especially with the food. It will be nice to have a new AA lounge to use. Now I find my way to Chickie and Petes. The question, where will AA customers go during the renovation?

  3. You are right, Gary. Charlotte gets the back of AA’s hand again. CLT has only two ridiculously crowded Admirals clubs, and neither has a shower. No big loss for anti-shower people like DCS, but showers should be available at all international gateways at a minimum. Technically, LHR has an “international first class lounge,” i. e. a former Flagship Lounge in process of conversion to the new Flagship Lounge service and decor. Amex is opening a Centurion Lounge at CLT next year. When it opens, the CLT Centurion Lounge will probably establish new records for being crowded.

  4. This solves my problem. Now I’ll skip the micro lav on the 737 and hold it till I get to the Flagship lounge.

  5. Minor correction: OneWorld mid- and top-tier elites have access to Flagships when flying any class on any OW carrier, not just mid-tier as written. And yes, at least at JFK, CX F customers have access to First Dining.

  6. Further clarification: non-AA OW mid and top tier elites (Sapphire and Emerald) in any class on any OW partner flight. At JFK, LAX, DFW and ORD only AA, CX, BA and QF operate international F and so their F customers can use Flagship First dining, though at JFK BA operates from a different terminal and has its own F dining, while at LAX, BA, CX and QF F customers have the OW F lounge in the Bradley terminal from which they fly.

  7. @DavidB – this is not correct. being in first class on a oneworld airline does not, in and of itself, grant flagship first dining privileges.

    When flagship first dining opened in Miami, for instance, British Airways passengers did not have access. Each airline with first class negotiates separately with American to provide access to Flagship First Dining.

    The first one to do so was Cathay Pacific at New York JFK. Then British Airways did in Miami. Then this was put in place upon opening at DFW.

  8. been to the Flagship Business Class lounge in DFS in August. We were not impressed that they offer a better experience / services then the regular admirals club. We were there for breakfast and did not see a difference then when we were in the Narita Admirals club.

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