Photos: American Airlines unveils new Flagship Lounge in New York

By Chris Chamberlin, May 26 2017

American Airlines passengers flying from New York’s JFK Airport can now unwind in what is the first of many newly-refurbished Flagship Lounges for the airline.

Along with a brand new look and feel, the space also broadens its door list – now welcoming AA’s international and transcontinental business class passengers plus Qantas Gold cardholders prior to any AA or Oneworld flight – reiterating the unique ‘Flagship Lounge’ brand as being the best facility for high flyers rather than a first-class-only lounge.

(Previously, AA Flagship Lounges were only open to international and east-west first class flyers plus Oneworld Emerald cardholders like Qantas Platinum and above.)

Step through those frosted glass doors and the old, aged lounge (pictured below) has disappeared…

… in its place, a facility better-suited to the modern business traveller:

When work is on the agenda, a variety of new solo seats now provide both privacy and access to power while working on your laptop or tablet…

… or you might instead perch yourself at one of many communal benches which also offer space to work and those all-important power points while being a tad more sociable:

In need of a drink? Help yourself from the bar which always features Champagne (Taittinger NV on our last visit)…

… or mix up something more exciting at a new self-serve cocktail bar:

Although a tended bar is available in the neighbouring Admirals Club lounge with some drinks available for purchase, complimentary self-pour alcohol has long been a feature of AA’s Flagship Lounges, which avoids both paying for your drinks and the obligation to tip the bartender.

A buffet with a variety of hot and cold food is also at-hand in the Flagship Lounge, joined by a new ‘chef’s table’ concept with a rotating menu of made-to-order starters available to all lounge guests.

But passengers flying in Flagship First – AA’s first class service on international flights to Australia, Europe, Asia and South America, and from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco – also now enjoy exclusive access to Flagship First Dining.

Located within the Flagship Lounge, a dedicated wing of dining tables provide added privacy for true first class flyers…

… with waiters bringing regionally-inspired dishes to your seat, along with your selections from an upgraded list of wine, beer and spirits, or a hand-crafted cocktail – so if the thought of mixing your own drink was unappealing, relax: they’ve got it covered!

All Flagship Lounge guests can also freshen up in one of many private shower suites. These were available in the previous JFK Flagship Lounge, but have been renovated to bring a more hotel-like feel:

AA’s new Flagship Lounge in New York is the first of many new and upgraded Flagship Lounges to open throughout the United States, with further openings planned in Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami in 2017 and in Dallas/Fort Worth and Philadelphia – along with London Heathrow – in 2018.

Read: American Airlines to revamp its 'first class lounges', returning the Flagship Lounge brand

Once a lounge becomes an ‘American Airlines Flagship Lounge’, such as at JFK, the following guests are welcome to visit:

  • American Airlines business class and first class flyers on qualifying international flights (excluding to Canada and Central America except to Mexico City) and qualifying transcontinental flights (New York-Los Angeles, New York-San Francisco and Los Angeles-Miami routes only, and vice versa)
  • Business class and first class passengers travelling with any other Oneworld airline to any destination
  • Non-AA Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (including Qantas Platinum & Gold), plus American Airlines ConciergeKey members, prior to any American Airlines or Oneworld flight to any destination (including before domestic flights)
  • American Airlines Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum frequent flyers prior to qualifying international flights operated by American Airlines or another Oneworld airline (excludes journeys to Canada and Central America unless to Mexico City)
ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1372

Good news for Qantas Gold/ oneworld Sapphire passengers.

I wonder if this will mean Flagship Dining at DFW D will be similarly restricted. I'd previously got an invite with a Qantas Plat card on a two-class donestic service 

jpk77

jpk77

QF

29 Oct 2012

Total posts 19

I was in this lounge in Jan this year and it already looked exactly like this. The staff were quite excited, it had just re-opened. Is this just a name change and access rule change?

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1372

Believe it's name and access change along with opening up of the final part, which would have been under construction when you visited

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

Nice work AA. Its really good to see how the US3 have improved their products. Competition is a great thing.

Agfox

Agfox

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 99

Well, everone in the pics looks happy...;-)

gsx

gsx

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Aug 2015

Total posts 21

The First lounge is as good as it looks in the pictures, I was there 2 days ago and its certainly a 100 fold improvement on the old space.. especially like the Bloody Mary specific bar to mix your own with an instruction sheet on how too.

well done AA

TheRealBabushka

TheRealBabushka

21 Apr 2012

Total posts 3034

Does CX now use this lounge at JFK, rather than the BA lounge at terminal 7?

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1372

Both CX and QR have recently moved from T7 to T8 so will use this lounge.

With only one flight a day I wonder if QF could do the same. Would provide better connections and T8 is much nicer, and renovations on BA T7 lounge are still some time off

bsb

bsb

21 Jul 2011

Total posts 70

Was there on Sat, it's an overcrowded hot mess already. 

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