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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The main lounge area is replete with all manner of seating and great tarmac views.
This area is a bit longer than it looks, with the foreground consisting of comfortable chairs with power and USB plugs at each chair.
(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.
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.
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.
There were a variety of beverages and alcohols available, keeping in line with the standard Flagship Lounge offering mentioned above.
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.
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!