Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a part of American Airlines most exclusive fliers? Or what it would be like to traveling in true luxury? If so, American Airline’s most premium passengers (those traveling in true international first class or transcontinental JFK-LAX first class) are invited to use the Flagship check in lounges at JFK, LAX, and ORD. Check in here is not within the normal airport lobby, but instead is in a secluded area reserved only for a small group of passengers.
Recently, I was able to use the LAX Flagship check in when flying LAX-JFK on a business class ticket that was upgraded to First Class with a System Wide Upgrade. The check in area is under a sign that reads “premium passengers” on the roadway and is roped off with red partition rope and finished off with an Academy Awards red door tucked behind a sign that reads “American Flagship”. A bellman stands at the door and greets passengers who have identified themselves as first class passengers. The same bellmen helps load hotel style trolley with passenger’s luggage and then escorts them inside to the check in the desk.
The check in area is smaller and a more intimate room that has modern and hip “1980s” feel to it. It almost reminds me of something from an Austin Powers movie…out of place in modern time, but totally rad when introduced and still struggling to be new age and stylish. Regardless, the experience is nice and beats any check in desk inside the main airport lobby. Although I must say the two check in desks almost reminds me of something from the Star Trek Bridge!
At the time that I entered the Flagship lounge, only one check in desk was in operation, but I was the only person in the room except for a couple sitting in some chairs waiting on more of their party to arrive. Check in was quick and very professional; the agent thanked me for flying American and wished me a pleasant journey.
Once check in was completed, the same bellhop escorted me out the backdoor of the flagship check in, up an elevator, and to TSA Precheck as I had “Precheck” printed on my boarding pass. The entire process took only a few minutes and was a very unique experience. The only downside or upside depending on how you look at it was the elevator lights were out and only one light was on, the emergency light. This light didn’t even stay on, but instead flashed like a strobe light, turning the elevator in the 1980s disco without the music. The bellhop and I had a good laugh about the situation before he wished me a good flight and returned to his post back outside.
Overall, the flagship check in was a neat experience and beats normal check in. Is it anything lavish or over the top? Was I greeted with a cocktail, or offered a massage while waiting? No, but it was still well worth experiencing once!