Here’s Everything You Need to Know About American’s New Flagship Dining Room in Dallas

Back in May I wrote that American was planning a limited Flagship lounge in Dallas. American wasn’t talking — but I got the airport to confirm it in June.

American’s Flagship Lounges are their first class lounges. They are in:

They feature substantial food, open bar, and restricted access.

american airlines flagship lounge dfw

american airlines flagship lounge dfw

The special Flagship area in Dallas has been completed, and has its soft opening tomorrow.

  • This is a Flagship Dining Area inside the Admirals Club in Terminal D.
  • Official opening day is November 3, but they begin slowly inviting customers in Thursday October 29 while they ramp up.

Flagship Dining will be available to anyone that would otherwise have access to a Flagship Lounge:

  • Passengers traveling to or from: Europe, Asia, Central and South America and Mexico City and
  • Who are either in 3-cabin first class or have American Executive Platinum status regardless of class of service

oneworld Emerald members of other airlines have access even when flying American Airlines domestic

When you check in at the terminal D Admirals Club, eligible passengers will be given a paper invitation to Flagship Dining.

Down the hall to the left inside the lounge there’s a room with frosted windows where there will be a staff member outside the door to check your invitation and boarding pass and welcome you in.

The room includes café tables (generally set up for 2 people) tops and comfortable chairs. There’s a buffet and a drink station. Customers can eat in the room or take food out into the larger club.

Food Service in the Flagship Dining Room

Here are the meal service hours:

  • Breakfast: 8:30-11am
  • Lunch: 11am-2pm
  • Tea: 2-4pm
  • Dinner: 4-9:30pm

There are no gaps in meal times from 8:30am to 9:30pm. (And of course passengers have access to existing Admirals Club offerings throughout the day.)

There will be place settings at the tables and staff will clear tables and offer drinks. The buffet is spread across two walls, and the back wall features wine, champagne, beer, and other beverages. Liquor is available from the Admirals Club bar. (As now, international premium cabin customers and oneworld elites receive drink chits when entering the lounge. A server can get drinks for customers from the Admirals Club bar and bring them back to Flagship Dining, passengers will need to provide the server with a drink chit.)

There’s a rotating food menu and will include things like crudité and hummus, fresh berries, sandwiches, salads, and soups. These are different flavor soups than those served in the Admirals Club (which I much like) but from the same provider.

Food items will include appetizers along the lines of those I shared in June (though not these specific items).

“North America” Macaroni and Cheese

“Asia” Sesame Soba Noodles with Chicken Satay

“Europe” Ricotta whipped with lemon and extra virgin olive oil, ciabatta crostini

“South America” Peruvian Causa Yellow Potato West Coast Dungeness Crab Aji Amirillo Basil Cilantro Oil

Mac and cheese will come in multiple varieties — truffled mac and cheese, for instance and sweet pea and ham mac and cheese. They will be presented on small plates (they were fried in the presentation above but won’t be in the lounges).

American Hasn’t Had International First Class Ground Service in Dallas in a Decade

Dallas used to have a first class lounge in the A terminal. It’s still there inside the Admirals Club, a separate room, that seemingly no one ever uses. It’s where I always go in the A terminal — you take the elevator up into the club and instead of walking straight ahead past the desk of agents, you turn around 180 degrees and the room is behind you, it has its own bathrooms and it’s quiet.

Once the D terminal opened as the international terminal in 2005, there was no more need for a first class lounge in A. And American opened its Admirals Club in D but without a Flagship Lounge.

American Has Mostly Moved Away from an International First Class Strategy

In recent times American has been moving away from international first class. Once its Boeing 777-200s are done getting reconfigured with new business class seats they won’t have a first class any longer. And the only planes left with international first class will be Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which from Dallas currently operate to London (one flight), Sao Paulo, and Hong Kong. (American’s A321T transcon Los Angeles and San Francisco – New York JFK have a first class, but those don’t visit Dallas.)

So with fewer first class seats, it made sense that Los Angeles, New York, and London Heathrow kept first class lounges. Chicago’s lounge is a bit of an anachronism, though it hosts Japan Airlines first class passengers. And the idea of a Dallas first class lounge is surprising.

The D terminal is home to the Dallas American Express Centurion lounge, so there’s some competitive pressure. (And this may relieve a bit of the congestion in the Centurion lounge, since every American Executive Platinum and oneworld emerald member flying international will have access, and some will choose to use the new Flagship Dining Room that might otherwise have used the Centurion lounge.)

There has been talk in the past that this Flagship Dining Room is temporary, that American could build a separate Flagship Lounge in the future in Dallas. But airport leases and available spaces can be tricky, and here they had space available in which to upgrade service without as significant a capital expenditure.

I do like that this investment signals a commitment to premium service on the part of American. They’ve worked hard to demonstrate product investment. They’ve fought an uphill battle, given management’s reputation coming from US Airways and the initial deep cuts in meal service imposed in September 2014 (that they’ve since walked back from). Definitely filed under good to see and for oneworld passengers flying through Dallas good to know about.

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. You say: “Flagship Dining will be available to anyone that would otherwise have access to a Flagship Lounge”…… Are you certain about that? What about a non-AA One World Emerald (such as BA Gold) flying on a domestic only itinerary? Those customers get FL access at JFK, LAX, & ORD, but I don’t think they will get access here. They seem to indicate that only international itineraries will get access to this dining area. Can you confirm?

  2. Does AA run a 3 class cabin from DFW to Mexico City? Strange. The only planes I ever see on this route are 737’s. I’m booked Thursday on DFW-MEX in F and it’s the Domestic type 2 class.

  3. I generally don’t like Flagship lounges as one of the amenities they don’t have is showers as you need to leave the lounge and go to the admirals club to shower, then show your boarding pass and ID etc. to get back in. In Chicago for example, I often grab a drink and snack then head over to the admirals club. In New York I always find it a pain having a shower then trying to get around and back in. I wonder how access to showers in Dallas will be.

    While I am at it, do you think the Flagship can even compete with the Amex lounge at DFW? I think I will just stick to my Amex lounge in Dallas anyhow.

  4. @DaninMCI I wondering this myself, however, I think the only people to get in would be Explts. Was in the Flagship Lounge in London, nice place, but the food served to us was COLD, we were on AA51 got to the lounge early, ordered our food, and surprising was delivered to us in less then 3 minutes.. Well of course it was, since it was sitting out my eggs Benny was COLD COLD COLD, hubby blueberry pancakes the same COLD… Now another service AA could give in London is a buggy ride to the gate, talk about a hike!!! It took us 15 minutes to get there. I think AA miss’s the boat when it comes to flagship service on the ground, how about dedicated lane for Flagship FC, when we got to the gate, we were told to stand in line.. We boarded almost last, also why doesn’t AA use L1 on the 77W? Didn’t happen in LHR or DFW, the in-flight service was just OK

  5. @John my understanding is that they will follow the same rules they have in Flag Ship lounges. Basically into. first class customers regardless of status or OW Emeralds flying a OW carrier internationally regardless of their ticketed cabin.

  6. @Angel; non AAdvantage emeralds can access Flagship Lounges simply by flying oneworld – for example LAX-SFO or ORD-DFW or JFK-BOS.

    No need for an ‘international’ component.

  7. I’ve clarified. Yes — oneworld emeralds with airlines other than american get access to flagship lounges even when flying american domestic. i was the beneficiary of this for 21 months as a comped british airways gold after BA acquired british midland

  8. @Greg the JFK and LAX Flagship lounges definitely do have showers. The American Admirals Club in the D terminal (where Flagship Dining is) has a shower. The Flagship Lounge at O’Hare is indeed lacking of showers.

  9. Suspect this is a response to the Centurion lounge in this terminal as much as creating a pseudo Flagship lounge. But nice to finally see.

  10. Out of curiosity, why does AA care if Emerald/F passengers choose to go to the AmEx lounge instead of the AA lounge? It’s not like AA gets revenue from AA-flying passengers choosing to use AA’s lounge, and paying Admiral’s Club members don’t get F lounge access anyway.

    I would think that adding the F lounge is much more about encouraging high value customers to fly AA, not about luring passengers away from the AmEx lounge. (And the lack of an F lounge in DFW is largely because there’s little competition; with QR, EY, and EK in addition to LH, KE all serving DFW now, I guess AA’s probably feeling that the F lounge is more needed to help win/retain passengers now.)

  11. My wife and I are here now in the lounge at 6:10 pm local time, not the dining part, but I just counted only 5 people in that area currently.

  12. Nice to see the commitment, but it seems like a small step forward, not a winner. AMEX Centurion Lounge in DFW is so far ahead of most US lounges, so it’s crowded as hell. The food is better (and free) the booze is better (and premium is free), wifi is blazing fast. It’s no contest. Went to MIA Centurion for the first time tonight. Great bartender who really knew how to make a great drink, followed up, etc. on a fantastic premium manhattan. That beats any AA Lounge anywhere.

    That said, AA could up it’s game by putting a premium bar in Flagship (not just booze sitting out), providing some delivery to gate in far off situations (LHR, ORD, occasionally JFK, MIA).

    And I love the ‘secret room’ at the A Terminal Admiral’s Club. I use it all the time. It’s quiet, has it’s own lav and doesn’t get the wear and tear.

  13. “Out of curiosity, why does AA care if Emerald/F passengers choose to go to the AmEx lounge instead of the AA lounge? ”

    — I’m a OneWorld Emerald (via QANTAS). If AA don’t offer even a marginally better lounge, why wouldn’t I fly United or another airline over the same route and just use the Amex lounge? I suspect that’s why they’d do it.

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