American Airlines will reopen Flagship Lounges starting in September

Jun 9, 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.

American Airlines is getting one step closer to restoring pre-pandemic levels of service.

The airline will begin reopening its premium Flagship Lounges in September, the airline confirmed to TPG on Wednesday. The first location to welcome back flyers will be Miami (MIA), followed by the airline’s four other outposts later throughout Fall 2021. The move follows a nearly 18-month closure after AA first shuttered the entire premium lounge network on March 20, 2020.

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

The carrier also teased some exciting updates to its Flagship Lounge access policy, with an announcement slated for “later this summer.”

In addition to its Flagship Lounges, the airline will also reopen its Flagship First Dining locations. These outposts are essentially a lounge-within-a-lounge, offering a seated restaurant-style dining experience — with Krug champagne available, before the pandemic — to those ticketed in long-haul or premium transcon first class on AA’s three-cabin jets.

Flagship Dining facility in LAX (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

AA operates five Flagship Lounges, four of which also feature a Flagship First Dining facility. You’ll find the full directory below:

  • Chicago (ORD) — reopening later this Fall, and this outpost doesn’t offer Flagship First Dining
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — reopening later this Fall
  • Los Angeles (LAX) — reopening later this Fall (but Flagship First Dining will remain closed)
  • Miami (MIA) — reopening in September
  • New York-JFK — reopening later this Fall

The Flagship First Dining facility in Miami will open along with the larger Flagship Lounge in September, followed by the outposts in DFW and JFK later this fall. There’s no reopening timeline yet for the Flagship First Dining facility in LAX.

Flagship Dining facility in LAX (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

For now, accessing the Flagship Lounge requires either a first- or business-class ticket for long-haul travel on AA or its Oneworld partners, or on a qualifying premium transcon ticket from JFK to either Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) or between Miami and LAX.

Select American and Alaska Airlines elite members can also access the Flagship Lounge depending on their itinerary and status level. AA’s invite-only Concierge Key members are invited to use the Flagship Lounge anytime they’re flying with American.

While there were no details available, American hinted to TPG that it will offer more ways to access the Flagship Lounge.

Reopening the Flagship Lounge network is the latest sign that travel is coming back. The carrier first cited “significantly reduced international demand and reduced international flying” as the reason to close these premium outposts back in March 2020.

AA’s Flagship Lounge at LAX (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

As the pace of vaccinations ramps up nationwide and more countries reopen to vaccinated travelers, American appears to expect an increase in its long-haul international operations, despite focusing primarily on short-haul international for the busy summer season.

Of the U.S. airlines, only American and United offer an elevated lounge experience for their premium-cabin passengers. United’s Polaris Lounge network remains shuttered, with a reopening still up in the air. Delta is rumored to open its first-ever Delta One lounge in LAX in the coming years.

In addition to the Flagship Lounge network, American is continuing to reopen its entire domestic Admirals Club network by August 2021, except for the Honolulu (HNL) outpost which will reopen at a later date.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

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 after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • 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.
  • 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
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
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.