American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge REVIEW

American Airlines has dramatically reimagined their Flagship lounge network.  I’ve previously reviewed the JFK and Chicago lounges and I’m very comfortable saying that they are world class lounges.  American recently opened their new Flagship Lounge at LAX so I made my way over and had a look.

Location

The new flagship lounge is in the same place as the Admiral’s Club in Terminal 4.  If you’re flying out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal you can walk to Terminal 4 inside of security now (but I’m not sure why you would want to with the amazing Qantas lounge closer to you).

Once you get inside the club you’ll either be directed to the Admiral’s Club side or the Flagship lounge, which is to the left.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

How do I get in?

(taken from my JFK Flagship Lounge review)

To get into the Flagship lounge you need to have a qualifying itinerary.  I’ll try to summarize this the best I can.  If you’re traveling on an international or 3-class transcontinental American flight with a First Class ticket, you get in (international flight passengers can bring a guest as well).  If you’re traveling on an international or 3-class transcontinental American flight in Business you get in but no guest.  If you’re traveling on a non-American Oneworld flight in First you get in and can bring a guest.  If you’re traveling on a non-American Oneworld flight in Business you get in but no guest.  If you’re a ConciergeKey member, you get access.  If you’re American Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Platinum and are traveling on an international itinerary you get in and can bring a guest.  If you’re Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire through a non-American carrier you get access plus one guest.

Phew.

The Lounge

Ok, I’m going to include this little disclaimer: this was an active lounge and I always try to respect the privacy of the guests, so some of the pictures weren’t up to my normal standard.  That said, the Flagship Lounge isn’t quite as big as most would want, especially with the new access rules above (primarily that Oneworld Sapphire members now have access), but at the same time I feel like American really maximized the space that they had available.

When you first walk in you’re greeted with a really cool spaceship-looking seating area.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

To the right is the rest of the lounge and to the left there’s a small TV area, the business center, and the hallway to the Flagship First Dining area (which I’ll cover in another post).

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

The main lounge area is replete with all manner of seating and great tarmac views.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

This area is a bit longer than it looks, with the foreground consisting of comfortable chairs with power and USB plugs at each chair.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

(Yes those are US plugs, not universal outlets)

As you make your way toward the buffet area you’re greeted with a long champagne and wine bar, typical of American’s flagship lounges.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

The Food and Beverage

There are enough Flagship lounges out now that there’s somewhat of a “standard offering” including the long champagne/wine bar, usually a make your own cocktail menu of some sort, and a buffet with a variety of foods.  The LAX lounge follows this theme very well.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

The buffet items looked very high quality, a step above the typical cold offerings in an Admiral’s Club.  I didn’t have time to taste all of them but American know what they’re doing here.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

There were a variety of beverages and alcohols available, keeping in line with the standard Flagship Lounge offering mentioned above.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

The Make Your Own area came with some ideas of cocktails you could make for yourself.

There was a Coke Infinity machine as well as a few espresso/cappuccino machines.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge Review

So what did I think?

I think American is rolling out new high quality lounges faster than anyone else in the world right now (matched maybe only by American Express with their Centurion Lounges).  These flagship lounges aren’t quite as over the top as some of the legendary lounges in the world but they are consistently head and shoulders above their domestic competition.

The LAX Flagship Lounge is another solid Flagship Lounge by American Airlines.  They maximized the space well (although it will be crowded at times) and did a great job differentiating it from the Admiral’s Club.  As more and more international flights are leaving from Terminal 4 instead of Tom Bradley (at Gate 41, for example) American flyers now have a reason to stay at Terminal 4.

Up next: one of the best meals I’ve ever had at Flagship First Dining!

 

Have you been to the new LAX Flagship Lounge?  What did you think?  Tell me in the comments below!

5 Comments

  1. I just earned OWE. I plan to spend time between the Qantas F lounge and this Flagship Lounge to compare the two. Pretty sure the QF lounge will win hands down (flying domestic AA so no first dining) – super excited though

    FWIW, how far away is the Flagship Lounge ~ QF F?

    Reply
    • It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the Qantas lounge to the Flagship, let me know what you think!

      Reply
  2. Andy, considering that your normal travel patterns will garner you the choice between the QF lounge and Flagship, do you see yourself avoiding the walk, or continuing using QF?

    Reply
    • I actually don’t fly through LAX very often but for me it will be a factor of how much time I have and how crowded the AA lounge is. If I have Flagship First Dining access, then it’s not a question at all, hands-down AA. While the salt and pepper squid is incredible and the rest of the lounge is nice I don’t quite feel the QF lounge is deserving of the hushed tones about which it is whispered as being the end-all be-all of US lounges.

      Reply
  3. Have not been to the LAX Flagship yet, but going to China later this month and will see what it is all about. Have been to the brand new one in Chicago and the food and drink is the best I have seen from AA in a long time. One major problem that I had there was that the food has to go somewhere and found the new bathroom and only THREE stalls and they were full and a small line. Went to the Admirals Club and the Three there were also full. Since both clubs can take in over 400 passengers and of course with the good food and drink, what goes in does come out. Why would you have such a poor design for the number of bathrooms such that I had to go to the gate area and find an available bathroom 7 gates away. I would also think that the women have the same problem. Indicated the problem to AA, of course they had no comment.

    Reply

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