The American Airlines Flagship JFK lounge has reopened in the post-covid era. American Airlines’ Flagship lounge is a step above the Admirals club. There are also more restrictions on who can and cannot enter the lounge. This private JFK lounge, is meant for just those few lucky individuals flying in a premium cabin and of course the airlines most valuable customers, their own elite card carrying frequent flyers. American Airlines Flagship lounge is now open again and ready to welcome you back in style. Those flying Flagship First, can enjoy Flagship First Dining. A private lounge within the lounge.
Locations and Access
After clearing security at JFK terminal 8, take the first set of elevators. Look for the large sign that reads Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge. When you get off the elevators there is a sea of desks with agents ready to scan you into the appropriate lounge. Those who qualify will be directed to the Flagship lounge, to the left. Others with just Admiral Club membership will be sent to the right.
Flagship lounge access is limited to only those flying first or business class transpacific or transatlantic, or those heading to South America (excluding Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela). Those flying domestically, only gain access if flying on a flight marketed as “Flagship”. This include premium transcon flights between JFK and SFO, LAX, and SNA on the A321T and widebody aircrafts, along with some Hawaii services and Miami and Boston to LAX flights. Oneworld Emerald elites have access when traveling, with the exception of Alaska Airlines and AA OneWorld elites. These passengers must be flying internationally to qualify. But if you’re British Airways elite Gold card holder for example, you can use this lounge when flying AA
Currently, the JFK Flagship lounge is open daily from 4:30 a.m. – 11:15 p.m.
The Flagship Lounge
The business class lounge itself has not change much since it opened. Sriram did a great job reviewing the lounge back in 2019. Yet, since we are now living in a world of Covid, I thought it would be good to provide some updates and photos of what the lounge is like in December 2021. First, almost nothing has changed. There’s new food selections but that’s really it. Second, masks are required, but then again these are required everywhere in NYC and airports currently. And finally, the soap brand has changed in the bathrooms and showers.
Here are some fun photos from my visit in December 2019.
Flagship Lounge Meals & Alcohol
Even in the world of Covid, American Airlines airport lounge has their self serve buffet open. Serve yourself and eat anything and as much as you want.
The food was pretty good for an airline lounge. At times the buffet was nearly empty as the hungry guests filled their bellies. With several flights to Europe and South America scheduled between 6-9pm, the staff worked hard to keep up with the demand. My favorite item was the lobster bisque.
Flagship Lounge Alcohol
Upon entering the lounge, all guests are invited to start their journey off with a glass of Louis Roederer champagne. After all, depending on your TSA experience, this is necessary! The bottles retails for $54. Not bad for a US-based airline.
Beyond the entry, the lounge center piece is the wine bar. Here you can pour yourself another glass of bubbles or opt for a red or white wine. American Airlines is currently offering 3 of each red and white wines. Each bottle of wine retails for between $14-$25. I was specifically a fan of the Pinot Noir.
If wine isn’t your jam, there’s a full bar with brands of spirits. Nothing extremely top shelf, but some better than well alcohol. Next to the alcohol is also a coke freestyle machine.
My partner I mostly stuck to bubbles and wine. Here’s a fun photo we took in the lounge. He clearly was trying to steal my champagne 😀
Bathroom and Showers
It wouldn’t be a full review without complimenting the showers. As previously mentioned American has changed their soaps. Now, instead of using Co bigelow soap, they moved on to DS & Durga. I enjoyed the scents of the soap, but cannot on the overall quality.
American Airlines Flagship lounge has not changed much since it first opened. The lounge is a great oasis from a busy terminal and a huge step above American Airlines Admiral clubs. Flagship lounges are nice, but I still do believe that United Airlines have the best international business class lounges. United airlines Polaris lounge, is leaps and bounds better. If you are on a qualifying flight, stop by a flagship lounge. Enjoy the elevated dining and alcohol experience. Since AA rolled out the flagship lounge concept, very little has changed, despite the world of Covid we live in today.