One of the great perks we experienced flying first class from Los Angeles to New York on American Airlines was the exclusive Flagship First Check-In. This is AA’s exclusive check-in facility for premium passengers. It allows for a streamlined and much faster check-in process, as well as “expedited security access” through the security line.
Flying out of LAX is the least favorite part of our travels. The airport is always crowded, extremely busy and takes quite a while to get through. This flagship first check in made it extremely pleasant and streamlined.
Entrance and Process
The Flagship Check In is at the end of terminal 4 (close to terminal 5). It’s just past the “American priority” sign, and you will see a large red door labeled Flagship First Check-In.
The check-in area is very nice with a calming atmosphere. You could almost forget that you were in LAX. There were two computers which would allow up to two parties to check-in at once. At this time however no one else was checking in. The employees were very nice and extremely helpful. They were able to assist us out of a slight predicament I’ll get to later.
Expedited Security Access
Our favorite part was the “expedited security access”. AA doesn’t explain this online and the experience likely varies depending on the airport. At LAX this meant having an AA employee escort us through a secret back elevator to the security checkpoint, going to the TSA pre-check line, skipping everyone in the TSA pre-check line, and then being escorted to the actual front of the x-ray machine.
We were so excited we forgot to take the two large bottles of liquid out of our carry on and check it in. Nothing is more humiliating than getting escorted to the front of the line, only to get flagged by security. Fortunately, Brandon was able to have his checked bag recalled and our two bottles were checked in our luggage within about 15 minutes of our mishap at the security check.
Access to Flagship First Check In
- Qualifying international AA first class
- US to Asia, Australia, Europe, or South America
- Qualifying transcontinental AA first class
- Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK),
- San Francisco (SFO) – New York (JFK)
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum when traveling on qualifying international AA flight regardless of cabin
- US to Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City, New Zealand, or South America
- ConciergeKey and Oneworld Emerald when traveling on any AA operated flight regardless of cabin
- Five Star Service customers get access when Five Star Service is purchased
Location & Hours
Terminal 4, Use exclusive curbside entrance
Open 4 a.m.- 1 a.m.
Other airports that have AA Flagship First Check-In include Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK) and London Heathrow (LHR). Their hours of operation vary.
It really makes the airport experience unique and pleasant if you get the opportunity to experience flagship first class check in. Just don’t be embarrassed like us getting stopped in security for unchecked items. Despite our little mishap, the entire process was beyond what we expected and we really enjoyed it.