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American Airlines expands Flagship Lounge access to lie-flat Hawaii routes

Aug. 04, 2021
3 min read
American Airlines expands Flagship Lounge access to lie-flat Hawaii routes
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You might want to head to the airport a bit early before your next American Airlines flight to Hawaii.

That's because (qualifying) business-class passengers can now enjoy Flagship Lounge access before their flights. Over the weekend, the Fort Worth-based carrier updated its lounge access policy to include premium-cabin travelers headed to or from the Aloha State on select Flagship flights.

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This includes passengers ticketed in the business-class cabin on one of the following five routes, each of which is operated by a wide-body jet equipped with lie-flat seats in the forward cabin.

  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Honolulu (HNL)
  • DFW and Kona (KOA)
  • DFW and Maui (OGG)
  • Chicago (ORD) and HNL
  • Charlotte (CLT) and HNL

American's Flagship Lounges are the carrier's top-notch business-class-only lounges that've historically been reserved for flyers traveling in long-haul biz cabins, or on premium transcontinental routes from Miami and New York to California.

With this change, American's expanding the pool of eligible travelers to those on some of AA's longest domestic routes. While some might be concerned about lounge overcrowding, international traffic is still down significantly compared to 2019 levels, so these exclusive spaces shouldn't feel too cramped.

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American operates five Flagship Lounges, in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York-JFK, though all of them have been closed since March 20, 2020. Miami will be the first Flagship outpost to reopen next month, followed by the airline’s four other outposts later throughout the fall — perfect timing to coincide with AA's latest access policy update.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Note that premium-cabin travelers to and from Hawaii will not be eligible to use the sit-down Flagship First Dining facilities located within select Flagship Lounges.

Additionally, it's important to note that you need to be confirmed in the business-class cabin on one of the five flights listed above to be eligible for access. Top-tier elites traveling in coach or waitlisted for an upgrade will not be admitted to the Flagship Lounge.

In airports without a Flagship Lounge, AA's premium cabin flyers traveling to or from Hawaii can now use the regular Admirals Club, nearly all of which have reopened since their mid-pandemic closures.

Of the Big 3 U.S. carriers, only AA and United operate business-class-only lounges. United hasn't yet announced a reopening timeline for its Polaris Lounges, but even when they reopen, business-class tickets to or from Hawaii don't include access.

So, if you're looking for the best all-around travel experience for a Hawaii flight to or from the mainland, it could pay to stick with American Airlines.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023