American Airlines DFW Flagship Lounge REVIEW

I awoke at the beginning of the year like many of you: excited about the big-ticket things coming in 2019.  For some, it was watching the Avengers take on Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.  For others, it was seeing Robb Stark take on Joffrey in Game of Thrones (…I admittedly haven’t kept up with GoT #teamRobb #neverforget).  For me, though, and for many DFW-based frequent flyers, 2019 was about one thing: the opening of the new American Airlines Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport’s Terminal D.

The new Flagship Lounge is here.  And it is fantastic OMG THEY HAVE CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON AND JAPANESE TOILETS YALL.

Where is the new Flagship Lounge?

The entry for the new lounge will be at the Airline Clubs facility next to gate D21 at DFW Airport’s Terminal D.  Note: the Admirals Club entrance will remain at D24.  If you’d like to see my reviews from the other Flagship Lounges I’ll link them here:

LAX Flagship Lounge Review
LAX Flagship First Dining Review
JFK Flagship Lounge Review
JFK Flagship First Dining Review
ORD Flagship Lounge Review

Who Can Enter the new Flagship Lounge?

  • First and Business Class passengers on qualifying international itineraries (domestic First Class will not get you in, unless you’re connecting onward that day to a qualifying international flight)
  • American Airlines Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum status holders on qualifying international itineraries, regardless cabin of travel
  • Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members on international itineraries (so if you’re BA Gold, for example, and are flying in the USA, you’re technically on an international flight, compared to the home country of the program you hold status with)
  • ConciergeKey status holders

Can you skip all the information and get to more pictures already?

Yes.  American was kind enough to invite me to a media preview of the new lounge so I could get some “cleaner” pictures of the facilities before it officially opens.  We were welcomed to the lounge by Janelle Anderson, VP of Global Marketing for American Airlines, who emphasized American’s investment into premium customer experiences, from the new Bang & Olufsen headphones to Casper bedding and, finally, incredible spaces like the new DFW Flagship Lounge.

After her remarks she invited us to explore and enjoy.  I was running around like a crazy person with my cameras and tripods but I’m very proud of these images and hope you enjoy them!

The Flagship Lounge Entryway and Overall Layout

When you walk into the new Flagship Lounge there’s quite a few words that will immediately come to mind, but the first among them will be LONG.  The lounge stretches over a football field long down its main corridor with enormous windows providing incredible views of lovely American widebodies at the gate and the runways and field behind.

Seating areas are abundant alongside the windows, with numerous power outlets in each area (many with wireless charging capabilities as well, a nice touch).

As you walk down the corridor with the tarmac views on your left, to your right you’ll see an incredible open dining area adorned with some incredible artwork and decoration by local artist Deborah Hartigan Viestenz.

As you continue down the main path there’s a lovely little elevated bar table next to some flight status display screens on the right, after which are the restrooms.

As you continue your walk down the corridor you’ll find some incredible looking windows.

Inside of those windows you’ll find the epic Flagship First Dining room, but we’ll get to that later.  Past Flagship First Dining you’ll find another drink station with a Coke Infinity machine, coffeespresso machine (probably not the technical term for it), and some fruit and water.

Past the refreshment station is a fairly expansive seating area (it would be easy to go to the lounge and miss it, so make sure you explore the whole space!)

In the background above you’ll see the TV room.  I was going to go and take a picture of it but the TV was playing some 24-hour news station, which I can’t stand to listen to, so I kept taking pictures of other stuff instead.

This was standing over by the TV room.  There’s a little nook in the background designated as a quiet room.  I went in to take a look and it was, indeed, quiet, with lounge chairs available for anyone who needed to grab a quick nap.

At the very end of the lounge were more lounge attendant stations.  Having satisfactorily walked the entire length of the Flagship Lounge I turned back to make my way to a spectacular little oasis: Flagship First Dining.

Flagship First Dining

The Flagship First Dining Room is a very exclusive area within the Flagship Lounge.  You can access it if you’re flying in First Class on a qualifying international itinerary (basically if you’re flying in the front of an American 777-300ER or are connecting to First on a trans-continental A321), and that’s pretty much it.  (No official word on whether First Class passengers from British Airways and Qantas will be able to use Flagship First Dining, but discussions are said to be ongoing).  Concierge Key members receive Flagship First Dining invitations as well.

You access through the door above and, during normal operations, would hand your invitation to a host/hostess, who would escort you to a table.  When you first walk in you can stop by the exclusive bar, one of my favorite places in the entire lounge from a design standpoint.

As you make your way to the dining room, you owe it to yourself to stop and admire the amazing artwork!

The Flagship First Dining Room seats up to 47, which should be plenty for the relatively small amount of traffic it will get.

Flagship First Dining is tableside service and has some incredible food/beverage options.  First, the specially designed cocktails, exclusive to Flagship First Dining.

You can see the cocktails below, along with a very welcomed champagne option for the frequent flyers out there.

I tasted the cocktails (THAT is how dedicated I am to my readers) and they were delicious.  The Getaway and Flagship Lemonade were my favorites but all were tasty.

And now for the Flagship First Dining food.

The food at other Flagship First Dining rooms around the country is superb and my expectations were high this time around.  And man did American deliver.

The food looked incredible and I’m not sure there’s a better burger in the world (I’m serious) than American’s Flagship Burger.

If you know you’ll have access to Flagship First Dining, come with an appetite, you will not leave disappointed.  Especially with dessert.  They’ll give you a dessert menu but just say “pecan pie” and your life will no longer be the same.

The Restrooms

Ok, confession: I still feel awkward as all heck taking pictures in restrooms for the blog, but I did it anyway for my beloved readers.

The restrooms were nice on the inside, resplendent with nice skincare products and lotions.

AND OMG THEY HAVE JAPANESE TOILETS WITH LITTLE WASHLET THINGIES

I don’t want to get into too much detail about a toilet (there’s enough potty humor on this blog HAHA GET IT) but I thought that was an incredibly nice touch which guests will love.

The showers were one hallway down.  There were plenty of shower suites and they were incredibly nice.

The Flagship Lounge Dining Area

The Flagship Lounge has a buffet-style variety of hot and cold foods for its guests.

The assortment of lounge guests started sampling the food options and I heard very positive feedback.

There was a serve-your-own booze and Make Your Own Cocktail area with pre-made cocktail mixes from Austin Cocktails.

The dining area also had one of my favorite areas in the lounge, the wine and champagne bar, inset in a seating area close to the buffets.

The Details of the Flagship Lounge

The seating areas were varied and functional but there were so many nice touches of artwork and accents in the lounge, I just had to dedicate a section of this review to them.

As the afternoon was turning into evening some incredible sunlight came into the lounge, so I put down my cocktail and grabbed my camera(s) once again.

I ended back up at the front of the lounge and captured my favorite picture from the day, which was the first picture from this article.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect afternoon enjoying this amazing new space.

Final thoughts on the new Flagship Lounge

Bravo American.  This lounge is a winner.  I’m not sure there’s a better lounge on US soil.  They made great use of the space they had, with each seating area seeming different than the one before, and logically organized things to keep the noise focused in one area and a serene feeling in others.  The access policy of the new Flagship lounges is incredibly liberal, so I have no doubt this lounge will get crowded but I think it has the seating for it.  The food options are on par with the big rival lounge at DFW (whose name rhymes with Pamex Blenturion) with much better views and more expansive seating capacity.

My favorite part of the DFW Flagship Lounge was how different and unique it felt compared to the other Flagship Lounges I’ve reviewed (Chicago, New York JFK, and LAX).  It felt uniquely Dallas, in other words.

Simply put: all eyes were on American and they had to get the DFW Flagship Lounge right.  They did.

 

Which picture is your favorite?  When are you going to visit the new lounge?  Tell me in the comments below!

9 Comments

  1. You mention that ConciergeKey members ‘have been rumored’ to receive invitations. It’s not a rumor. In 2018 and 2019 CK members have gotten two Flagship First Dining access chits.

    The best thing to me about the opening of this lounge is that it should help relieve crowding in the Centurion lounge, too!

    I’m curious to better understand how this lounge felt uniquely Dallas, since it looks so similar to all the other Flagship lounges?

    And why you say this is the best lounge in the U.S. — in other words, how this is better than the Flagship Lounges with Dining at JFK, Miami, and LAX?

    Best,
    Gary

    Reply
    • Thanks Gary, clarified the CK invites in the post.

      The artwork made it feel different to me. While LAX and ORD, especially, felt like copy/pastes from the JFK Flagship Lounge, this one felt markedly different in layout and style, even though a lot of the furniture was the same.

      The reason I think it’s the best in the network is it has the best of all of the previous lounges with the addition of great tarmac views and even the little things like the chocolate-dipped bacon (which I forgot to get a picture of) and the Japanese toilets. There’s not a huge gulf between the various Flagship lounges but DFW is the best IMO (disclosure: haven’t been to MIA yet)

      Reply
      • Have to say that AA created a spectacular venue and its difficult to articulate how exquisite and luxurious it feels. Honored to be the Artist for the Lounge, as well as the honor to have a diptych, “American Terrain,” a 11′ long series depicting the vast world American Airlines can take you to. Should there be questions about the art or interest in contacting me for a commission, please reach out:

        -Deborah Hartigan Viestenz
        -DHV ARTWORKS, LLC
        -dhvartworks@gmail.com
        add

        Thank you-biggest and sincerest S/O to all the wonderful AA folks for bringing me into the beautiful project !!

        Reply
  2. They either gave you wrong information or they have a different access rule for the DFW Flagship Lounge, but Non-AA OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald get access even on domestic flights. I am BA Gold and never had a problem getting into ORD, LAX or JFK Flagship Lounge even when flying on a $49 basic Eco ticket.

    Reply
    • I clarified in my post. A “domestic” US flight is technically an international flight for a BA Gold, which is what I meant, but I clarified in the post, thank you!

      Reply
      • There’s no international-domestic distinction in oneworld access rules. Rather, there’s an exclusion so that American AAdvantage elite (sapphire/emerald) members traveling on wholly domestic itineraries do not receive lounge access because the airline sells access to its members.

        This is similar to what United does with Star Alliance, although their exclusion is limited to United elites at United’s own clubs (so United Golds and higher do have access to non-United Star Alliance lounges in the United Status when flying domestically).

        Reply
  3. I must say the art looks cheesy to me, and the cheap-looking ceiling tiles undermine the overall impression of quality. Then again, the real art work is the airfield views. Second to none on a clear day.

    A bit of a surprise with the Japanese toilets, although maybe not entirely given how many Japanese passengers regularly use the lounge in my experience.

    The food in the Flagship Dining area, and elsewhere, does look amazing. And I never thought I’d see Krug (even if it is NV) served in a US airline lounge…!

    Looking forward to checking it out myself next week. Thanks for the preview Andy!

    Reply
  4. Great review, thanks!

    Any idea what occupied this space before?

    Reply
  5. Thanks, Andy for the shout out on the art! Such a treat to be included in the project. Kudos to AA for doing someone a little different-I think it paid off. Happy to talk art with anyone looking for some fun, sophisticated artwork by a professional….ME; Deborah Hartigan Viestenz/DHVARTWORKS, LLC. http://WWW.DHVARTWORKS.COM.

    Reply

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