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.
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.
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.
Straight ahead is a modern visually appealing sitting area.
To the left is the main lounge area and seating.
To the right are the restrooms, showers, a relaxation room and Flagship First Dining.
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.
Continuing back to the main lounge area, on the left is a counter with refreshments (coffee, tea, water and a soda machine).
To the right some more seating with beautiful views of the tarmac.
Continuing forward takes you to the main area of the lounge includes areas for dinning, relaxing, a large buffet and self serve bar.
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.
We preferred the communal table on this visit as it also happened to be the same spot as the self-serve bar.
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.
I didn’t even mention the Sicilian cannoli’s or fresh baked S’mores.
There are additional jars of self-serve snacks as well
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.
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.
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.