Review: American Airlines Flagship Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)

by TwoHeartsTraveling

The American Airlines Flagship Lounges are among the best business class lounges in North America, and are in many ways similar to the United Polaris Lounges. Unfortunately there are only a total of five Flagship Lounges open throughout the country right now, with two more opening “soon” in London Heathrow (LHR) and Philadelphia (PHL). We always love a good lounge, and the Flagship Lounge at LAX didn’t disappoint.

Location & Hours LAX Flagship Lounge

Terminal 4, Gate 40. Same entrance as the Admirals Club Lounge
Open daily 4:00am – 12:45am

Access for American Airlines Flagship Lounges

The requirements are a little complicated, so I’ll try to simplify as best as possible. Access is allowed if you qualify under one of the following three methods

1. Qualifying first or business class flights on American or Oneworld partner
        a.   Qualifying international flights are between the US and Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City, New                     Zealand, South America
         b.  Qualifying transcontinental flights are between LAX-JFK, LAX-BOX (only on A321T aircraft), SFO-JFK
2. Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status flying on American or Oneworld partner*
3. ConciergeKey flying on American or Oneworld partner

* its important to note that if your Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status is from American Airlines, you will not be allowed access if traveling on solely North American itineraries

Guest access is allowed for:

1. One guest for qualifying first class international flight
2. One guest for Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire
3. Two guests or immediately family for ConciergeKey

Here are American’s requirements for Flagship Lounge access and locations.

Flagship Lounge Check In

There is only one entrance for both the Flagship Lounge and Admirals Club Lounge. There were agents waiting to check our boarding pass and passports. They then gave us an invitation for access to the Flagship Lounge and told us to go up one level for the actual lounges.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Sign

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Sign

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Invitation

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Invitation

On this level is another desk with agents to check your invitation. To the right is the Admirals Club, and the Flagship Lounge is to the left.

Entrance to American's Flagship Lounge at LAX

Entrance to American’s Flagship Lounge at LAX

Lounge Layout Los Angeles Flagship Lounge

Directly inside the entrance to the Flagship Lounge is a customer service desk, where agents can assist with any travel needs. We didn’t use the agents at this location, but they were very helpful at the Flagship Lounge in MIA when we had a flight issue. There are also screens showing flight departures.

American's Flagship Lounge LAX

American’s Flagship Lounge LAX

Straight ahead is a modern visually appealing sitting area.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Seating

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Seating

To the left is the main lounge area and seating.

AA Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Seating

AA Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Seating

To the right are the restrooms, showers, a relaxation room and Flagship First Dining.

AA Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Seating

AA Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Seating

Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Hallway to Showers and Flagship First Dining

Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Hallway to Showers and Flagship First Dining

Flagship First Dining Los Angeles

Flagship First Dining Los Angeles

The relaxation room didn’t have any dividers or even a door, so it wasn’t very private. I guess it helped that it was all the way on the other side from the main lounge area, so it was never very busy and there wasn’t much noise.

AA LAX Flagship Lounge Relaxation Room

AA LAX Flagship Lounge Relaxation Room

Continuing back to the main lounge area, on the left is a counter with refreshments (coffee, tea, water and a soda machine).

AA's Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Refreshments

AA’s Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Refreshments

American's Flagship Lounge LAX Soda Machine

American’s Flagship Lounge LAX Soda Machine

To the right some more seating with beautiful views of the tarmac.

Flagship Lounge LAX Seating

Flagship Lounge LAX Seating

AA's Flagship Lounge Los Angeles More Seating

AA’s Flagship Lounge Los Angeles More Seating

Continuing forward takes you to the main area of the lounge includes areas for dinning, relaxing, a large buffet and self serve bar.

American's Main Flagship Lounge Area LAX

American’s Main Flagship Lounge Area LAX

Flagship Lounge LAX Dining Room

Flagship Lounge LAX Dining Room

There are many choices of seating from lounge chairs, dining tables, and a communal table. The room also has floor to ceiling windows that have amazing views of the tarmac.

Flagship Lounge Los Angeles More Seats

Flagship Lounge Los Angeles More Seats

Flagship Lounge LAX More Seats

Flagship Lounge LAX More Seats

AA Flagship Lounge Views of Tarmac

AA Flagship Lounge Views of Tarmac

We preferred the communal table on this visit as it also happened to be the same spot as the self-serve bar.

AA Flagship Champagne

AA Flagship Champagne

Flagship Wine

Flagship Wine

Food & Beverage AA Flagship Lounge LAX

The buffet area has two large islands, and one long counter against the wall. The food was absolutely fantastic. Honestly it was some of the best food we’ve had in a business class lounge to date. It was the type of quality that you would expect from a nice restaurant. Not Three Michelin Star, but somewhere you’re paying $30+ for a dish.

The food had great presentation and was extremely fresh. We devoured the summer coat cheese and strawberry salad, the fresh scallops and grilled asparagus. Not to mention the mini beef sliders and fried chicken were tasty as well.

Flagship Lounge Salad

Flagship Lounge Salad

Flagship Lounge Meats and Cheese

Flagship Lounge Meats and Cheese

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Burgers

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Burgers

I didn’t even mention the Sicilian cannoli’s or fresh baked S’mores.

Flagship Cannoli’s

American Airlines Flagship Lounge S'mores

American Airlines Flagship Lounge S’mores

Flagship Cannoli's

Flagship Cannoli’s

There are additional jars of self-serve snacks as well

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Snacks

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Snacks

AA Flagship Lounge LAX Snacks

AA Flagship Lounge LAX Snacks

There was a great selection of spirits, wine and champagne. The champagne used to be Bollinger ($60/bottle), but was recently changed to Delamotte ($50/bottle). There was even a make your own drink station which we thought was pretty cool.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Beer

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Los Angeles Beer

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Spirits

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Spirits

AA Flagship Champagne

AA Flagship Champagne

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Make Your Own Drink Station

American Airlines Flagship Lounge Make Your Own Drink Station

Restrooms & Showers

The restrooms and showers were back toward the entrance of the lounge by the Flagship First Dining. Both were modern and well maintained, I didn’t see any issues. The amenities were by CO Bigelow, which is also what’s offered as the amenities on American’s flights.

American's Flagship Lounge Restrooms

American’s Flagship Lounge Restrooms

American's Flagship Lounge Hallway to Showers

American’s Flagship Lounge Hallway to Showers

American's Flagship Lounge Showers

American’s Flagship Lounge Showers

American's Flagship Lounge Soap

American’s Flagship Lounge Soap

Overall Impression

I think we can safely say American has made at least one positive change since the massive devaluations over the past 7+ years. The Flagship Lounges are simply on another level than most domestic lounges in the US. It had some of the best food we’ve had in a business class lounge. If you have access, use it. You won’t be disappointed.

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