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

Aug 4, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

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.

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 photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.