American Airlines Flagship Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – Detailed Review

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX windowsill section

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Known for having a huge network of flights and routes, American Airlines connects the U.S. to many destinations internationally and domestically.

The airline has a reputation for treating its most frequent flyers as nobility. Pampering of top-tier elites, its most profitable customers, has resulted in American building an exclusive experience known as Flagship.

American also has a variety of great business class products, known colloquially as Flagship Business, and is the only airline based in the U.S. that offers:

  • A first class product on international flights
  • A lie-flat first class product on transcontinental flights

To top this all off, American operates a network of Flagship Lounges all around the U.S. Visiting these lounges should absolutely be at the top of your priority list. When you couple their adjoined Flagship First Dining with the Flagship Lounge experience, you’ll find that the American Airlines Flagship Lounges are some of the best in the world.

In this guide, we’ll be reviewing the Flagship Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a well-known American Airlines hub. Let’s see what all the hype is about.

Location

American Airlines’ Flagship Lounge at LAX is located near gate 40 at Terminal 4 and is located within a larger lounge facility that similarly houses an American Airlines Admirals Club.

When you arrive at the entrance, you’ll see a set of sliding glass doors, along with a large sign indicating the “Flagship Lounge” and “Admirals Club”.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX

The Flagship Lounge at LAX is open from 4:00 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. daily.

Gaining Entry

You will get access if you meet 1 of the following requirements:

  1. You’re traveling on a qualifying international flight in business or first class
    • Flights between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Central America, Mexico City (MEX), Europe, New Zealand, and South America
    • 1 guest is allowed if flying on international first class (children over 2 count as guests)
  2. You’re traveling on a qualifying transcontinental flight in business or first class
    • 3-class non-stop flights between LAX-JFK, SFO-JFK, and LAX-BOS (on A321T aircraft only)
    • No guests allowed
  3. You’re an AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Platinum member traveling or connecting to a qualifying international flight marketed and operated by American or a Oneworld airline, regardless of cabin
    • Flights between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City (MEX), New Zealand, and South America
    • Solely North America itineraries (except for Mexico City) are ineligible for Flagship Lounge access.
    • 1 guest is allowed (children over 2 count as guests)
  4. You’re an AAdvantage ConciergeKey member traveling on any same-day flight marketed and operated by American Airlines or a Oneworld airline
    • Immediate family (spouse, domestic partner, and/or children under 18) or up to 2 guests
  5. You’re a Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire member departing on or connecting to any flight marketing and operated by American or a Oneworld airline, regardless of cabin
    • 1 guest is allowed (children over 2 count as guests)

Bottom Line: The lounge access policy is much more stringent for Flagship First Dining patrons. The Flagship First Dining is a restaurant/bar area within the Flagship Lounge that is reserved only for select passengers, which we’ll find out more about in the below sections. 

When you enter the building, you’ll be asked to present your boarding pass and personal ID. Then, you’ll be handed an invitation card granting you access to the Flagship Lounge.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX invitation card
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Invitation Card

You’ll continue through the ground floor and enter an elevator.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX elevator
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Elevator

Both the Flagship Lounge and Admirals Club are located on the second floor.

After exiting the elevator bay, you’ll see a large black glass panel denoting the Flagship Lounge.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX entrance
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Entrance

After entering the Flagship Lounge, you’ll have to check in with the Flagship Lounge front desk. Once you present your invitation card, you can finally enter the lounge.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX check-in counter upstairs
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Check-In Counter Upstairs

Design, Arrangement, and Seating

The first thing you’ll see upon entering the lounge is an electronic flight display that shows both departure and arrivals.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX electronic flight display
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Electronic Flight Display

After that, you’ll enter the first section, containing a small seating area with a large, arched window that overlooks the Terminal 4 walkway.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX First Seating Section
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX First Seating Section
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Arched Window
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Arched Window

Proceeding further into the lounge, there’s a television room/viewing area to watch sports. This area was directly to the left of the large arched window lounge.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX television room
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Television Room

Proceeding further to the left, you’ll find the main seating areas. The area consisted of numerous armchairs, tables, and dining chairs. The entire seating section is flanked by concave floor-to-ceiling windows inviting tons of natural light.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX main seating area
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Main Seating Area

The shades were completely deployed since the sun was particularly warm and bright that day.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX main seating area continued
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Main Seating Area, Continued

There was also a rich selection of literature to choose from.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX literature selection
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Literature Selection

Bottom Line: The layout and design of the American Airlines Flagship Lounge are decidedly straightforward. With lots of natural light, views of the tarmac (when the shades aren’t down), and high ceilings, the lounge feels very airy and open. Even so, the relatively generous lounge access policy makes it crowded very often. 

Food and Drink

The Flagship Lounge at LAX is replete with dining options. With so many choices to pick from, the lounge has one of the most well-rounded food and beverage offerings out there.

Principally, there are 4 food and beverage choices. These are the:

  • Self-serve food/buffet area
  • Grilled cheese bar
  • Self-serve cocktail bar
  • Premium wine table

Self-Serve Food Area

The self-serve food area comprises the majority of the dining options in the Flagship Lounge. Situated adjacent to the main seating area, the self-serve food/buffet area is within arm’s reach of travelers.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX full self-serve food area
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Full Self-Serve Food Area

First up, there were several cold food options, ranging from quinoa cauliflower tabbouleh to little gem Caesar salad to even a burrata and heirloom tomato mix.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX cold food selection
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Cold Food Selection
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX quinoa cauliflower tabbouleh
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Quinoa Cauliflower Tabbouleh

The marinated heirloom tomato burrata was excellent, boasting a cool refreshing taste from the tomatoes and intense savory flavors from the Italian burrata.

Further down the counter, there were a variety of cold cuts and accompanying cheese choices.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX cheese and charcutterie
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Cheese and Charcuterie

Along with the charcuterie and cheeses, you could also see an organized display of cookies and Petit Fours.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX cookies and mini-pastries
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Cookies and Petit Fours

The main courses were placed after the desserts, appetizers, and salads. The variety of hot food choices impressed me. On the bottom left was roasted sumac chicken.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX roasted sumac chicken
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Roasted Sumac Chicken

Following that was the cilantro pesto Mahi Mahi fish tacos, which were tropical and bright.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX cilantro pesto Mahi Mahi fish tacos
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Cilantro Pesto Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

Also, the Mexican street corn looked delicious, too.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Mexican street corn
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Mexican Street Corn

For carbs, you could choose between Santa Fe rice, roasted potatoes, and harissa-spiced chickpeas.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Santa Fe rice
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Santa Fe Rice
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX roasted potatoes
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Roasted Potatoes
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX harissa spiced chickpeas
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Harissa-Spiced Chickpeas

In addition, the Flagship Lounge offers individual containers of condiments, such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup or Dickinson’s Dijon Mustard.

There was 1 Franke espresso machine, capable of making cappuccinos, hot tea, hot chocolate, mochas, and much more.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Franke espresso machine
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Franke Espresso Machine

There’s also a coffee dispenser filled with La Colombe coffee, a popular specialty coffee brand.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX La Colombe coffee dispenser
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX La Colombe Coffee Dispenser

If coffee is too strong, TEALEAVES Tea is also on offer here. TEALEAVES is a fantastic company offering the highest quality artisanal teas, most known for being offered in luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Tealeaves tea
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX TEALEAVES Tea

American Airlines also offers iced tea and fruit-infused waters.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX iced tea and fruit infused water
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Iced Tea and Fruit Infused Water

There’s a large Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, as well. The machine offers Coca-Cola products, including Vitaminwater, Dr. Pepper, and Minute Maid.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX soft drink machine
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Freestyle Machine
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX soft drink machine display
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Freestyle Machine Display

For bottled/canned options that you can take on the go, choose from a huge variety of products. The soft drinks are separated from alcoholic beverages, which is an appreciated gesture.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX refrigerated soft drinks
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Refrigerated Soft Drinks
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX refrigerated alcoholic drinks
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Refrigerated Alcoholic Drinks

Dispersed throughout the lounge space were fig bars, along with various other snacks, candies, and chocolates.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX fig bars
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Fig Bars
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX candy and snacks
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Candy and Snacks

Bottom Line: The self-serve selection is varied and tasty. With the number of choices for food and drink, you’ll have a lot to like from the self-serve food area of the Flagship Lounge at LAX. 

Grilled Cheese Bar

One factor that distinguishes the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at LAX from the other lounge is the fact that they have a made-to-order grilled cheese bar. This area is always staffed, ensuring the freshest grilled cheese sandwiches are made.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX made-to-order grilled cheese bar
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Made-To-Order Grilled Cheese Bar

The grilled cheese sandwiches were simple, yet so satisfying and delicious.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX grilled cheese sandwiches
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Bottom Line: Perhaps one of the more unique amenities in an airport lounge, the grilled cheese bar is a welcome addition to the Flagship Lounge footprint, offering freshly-made cheesy delights wedged in between 2 slices of crunchy, crispy toast. Best of all, the grilled cheese bar is always staffed, making grilled cheese sandwiches fresh and hot. 

Self-Serve Cocktail Bar

Though the American Airlines Flagship Lounge doesn’t have a staffed cocktail bar, you can still make DIY alcoholic drinks at the self-serve cocktail bar.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY cocktail bar
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY Cocktail Bar

The alcohol of choice is Austin Cocktails, which makes bottled, craft cocktails using natural ingredients.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY cocktail bar alcohol
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY Cocktail Bar Alcohol

You can also garnish your DIY cocktail with sweet cherries, mint, olives, and citrus wedges.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY cocktail bar garnish
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY Cocktail Bar Garnish
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY cocktail bar citrus
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY Cocktail Bar Citrus

American Airlines also provides some instructions on how to build your own craft cocktail.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY cocktail bar instructions
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX DIY Cocktail Bar Instructions

If pre-made cocktails don’t appeal to you, there’s also an excellent selection of liquor.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX self-serve alcohol 1
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Self-Serve Alcohol 1
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX self-serve alcohol 2
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Self-Serve Alcohol 2
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX self-serve alcohol 3
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Self-Serve Alcohol 3

Bottom Line: The self-serve cocktail bar is impressive. In addition to providing easy, ready-made cocktails from Austin Cocktails, they have a deep library of signature spirits. 

Premium Wine Table

The very last section in the food and beverage portion of the Flagship Lounge (not counting Flagship First Dining) is the premium wine table. This is an unstaffed area of the lounge that houses various wine choices, along with some juice.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX staffed bar
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Premium Wine Table

Amenities

Let’s move onto the amenities offered in this lounge. Overall, 3 main facilities can be considered separate from the main lounge seating area.

Quiet Room and Daybeds

There is a quiet room located away from the main seating area and just next to the Flagship First Dining area. You’ll immediately notice that the quiet room is secluded from areas of large foot traffic, enabling customers to enjoy peace and quiet.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX quiet room view
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Quiet Room View

There are around 10 armchairs arranged in the space, each with associated power outlets and USB ports.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX armchairs and outlets
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Armchairs and Outlets

Interestingly, a few of the tables have Qi charging ports, which is extremely cool. Qi charging allows for wireless charging via inductive coupling, which is fantastic.

The entire quiet room overlooks the tarmac, specifically gate 40.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX runway view from quiet room
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Tarmac View From Quiet Room

Lastly, travelers can find a set of 6 daybeds to catch a nap before their flights. This space is a valuable accompaniment to the lounge overall, as it enables travelers in an otherwise crowded lounge to enjoy peace, quiet, and rest.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX daybeds
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Daybeds

Shower Suites

There are a total of 8 shower suites at the Flagship Lounge in LAX. Each of these is a true shower suite, as opposed to a shower stall where you share a common space with other people.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX shower suites hallway
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suites Hallway

To access a shower suite, you will need to request a key from the front desk.

Upon entering the shower suite, you’ll notice an immaculately decorated space.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suite
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suite

The shower suite is massive, adorned with an interlocking glass mosaic tile backsplash showcasing Tiffany Blue finishes. The overall vibe of the shower suite is something out of a luxury hotel.

The wall-mounted sink has lots of counter space, along with fresh towels already placed for use.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower suite vanity
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suite Vanity

American Airlines uses C.O. Bigelow amenities for their Flagship Lounges. Directly to the side of the sink was a large hand lotion and soap.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX C.O. Bigelow Sink Toiletries
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX C.O. Bigelow Sink Toiletries

There was also a large wall-mounted magnifying mirror for use.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX magnifying mirror
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Magnifying Mirror

The hairdryer is similarly wall-mounted and compact. The bench was situated just underneath the emergency phone and next to the towel rack.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX shower suites bench and wall accessories
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suites Bench and Wall Accessories

Stepping into the shower, you’ll find an adjustable shower head, along with an intricate backsplash with light robin egg blue colors pervading throughout.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX shower suites shower head
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suites Shower Head

American Airlines’ C.O. Bigelow offerings in the Flagship Lounge shower suite consist of bulk size Lime & Coriander shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX shower suites C.O. Bigelow amenities
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suites C.O. Bigelow Amenities

Additional amenities are available upon request, which is where I got a toothbrush and comb.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX shower suites included toiletries
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Shower Suites Included Toiletries

Bottom Line: The spaciousness of the shower suites is nicer than many 5-star hotels’ offerings. With a beautifully decorated area, amenities from the oldest apothecary in America, and a total of 8 shower suites, the American Airlines Flagship Lounge has an incredibly competitive shower suite offering. You most likely won’t need to wait for a shower, seeing as how there are 8 facilities in total. 

Business Center and Wi-Fi

The business center is located just behind the television room. There are 2 desktop PCs placed on top of an L-desk.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX business center
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Business Center

At the end of the L-desk were a printer and shredder.

I took the chance to test the Wi-Fi inside the lounge. The download speed was decent, but the upload speed impressed me, especially for an airline lounge.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Wi-Fi speed
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Wi-Fi Speed

For an airline lounge that has heavy business traveler traffic, I found the business center to be disappointing. Nonetheless, I never saw anybody at the workstations, so my sentiment could be misguided.

Bottom Line: In sum, the quiet room contains 6 comfortable daybeds, several leather armchairs, and Qi charging stations. The daybeds are a great addition for those looking to avoid sleeping in an armchair. Additionally, the shower suites are plentiful and gorgeous. The business center has 2 PC desktops, a printer, and a shredder. The Wi-Fi hovers around 9 Mbps in both download and upload speeds. 

Flagship First Class

Upon until now, we’ve focused on discussing the interior of the Flagship Lounge. The Flagship Lounge has relatively generous access policies, especially compared to the Flagship First Dining policy.

However, the Flagship First Class experience includes 2 additional elements over others:

  • Flagship First Check-In
  • Flagship First Dining

Flagship First Check-In

Flagship First Check-In is a ground experience that travelers can use to access a private check-in area, get personalized assistance, and also expedited security procedures.

At LAX, this is located at Terminal 4. You will see an exclusive curbside entrance, along with airport staff that will whisk you inside.

American Airlines Flagship First Check-In LAX
American Airlines Flagship First Check-In LAX

Once you enter through the automatic glass doors, you’ll see 2 sets of check-in desks. At this point, the representative will help print out your boarding pass and take care of the check-in formalities for you.

American Airlines Flagship First LAX Check-In Counter
American Airlines Flagship First LAX Check-In Counter

There’s also a waiting area with 3 armchairs just next to the check-in counters.

American Airlines Flagship First Check-In LAX Waiting Area
American Airlines Flagship First Check-In LAX Waiting Area

After your itinerary has been confirmed and your boarding passes issued, you will take the elevator 1 level up to the third floor.

American Airlines Flagship First Check-In LAX elevator to security
American Airlines Flagship First Check-In LAX Elevator to Security
American Airlines Flagship First LAX Check-In elevator directory
American Airlines Flagship First LAX Check-In Elevator Directory

I can definitely see the value of the Flagship First Check-In experience on international flights. The reason why is because it enables travelers to avoid the check-in queues to check baggage, verify passport information, and print out boarding passes.

However, the value of Flagship First Check-In for transcontinental flights is somewhat limited, since boarding passes can be issued 100% online. Nonetheless, Flagship First Check-In is a much-appreciated novelty to the overall experience.

Flagship First Dining

Out of everything discussed so far, Flagship First Dining is the most phenomenal dining experience you can have at LAX airport. Flagship First Dining has the most restrictive access policy out there.

To enjoy Flagship First Dining, you must be flying on American Airlines in Flagship First on qualifying international or transcontinental flights:

  • Qualifying international flights between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America
    • 1 guest is allowed (children over 2 count as guests)
  • Qualifying transcontinental flights between LAX-JFK, SFO-JFK, and LAX-BOS (A321T aircraft only)
    • No guests are allowed

Since Flagship First Class is offered internationally only on the 777-300ER aircraft, there are incredibly few people who have access to Flagship First Dining.

If you’re one of the lucky few at LAX, you can walk through the corridor to the right of the small seating area with a half-circle window overlooking the Terminal 4 walkway.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX walkway to Flagship First Dining
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Walkway to Flagship First Dining

When walking through the corridor, you’ll see historic snapshots of American Airlines’ history, which is a tasteful move.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX wall art
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Wall Art

At the end of the hallway, you’ll find the entrance for Flagship First Dining. Before we dive into the facility itself, let’s talk about what sets Flagship First Dining apart from other lounges.

At Flagship First Dining, you will enjoy à la carte dining of the highest caliber, a beverage program that rivals the most luxurious cocktail bars, utmost privacy, and an elevated sit-down experience.

To top it all off, Flagship First Dining is all-you-can-eat, which means you can feast on endless à la carte dishes and bottomless alcohol.

American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Flagship First Dining entrance
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX Flagship First Dining Entrance

As you enter, you’ll see a large cloakroom that doubles as a closet, which is used to store jackets and luggage.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX cloakroom
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Cloakroom

Flagship First Dining is arranged like a fine-dining restaurant, filled with dining table seating and a cocktail bar.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX seating continued
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Seating
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX seating
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Seating, Continued
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX full bar
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Full Bar

The tables were incredibly private, and the Flagship First Dining area only had 2 other travelers in the facility.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX seating view
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Seating View

I chose a window seat, where I had tarmac views, complete with a beautiful sunset.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX view of tarmac
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX View of Tarmac

As I got situated, my server handed me a drink menu. Among the drinks on offer were hand-crafted cocktails, signature wines, and… Krug Champagne.

Krug Champagne is one of the most prestigious (and expensive) brands of Champagne out there. Generally, you’ll hear of top-tier airlines such as Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific offering Krug Champagne, but I was completely mind-blown to see it in an airport lounge.

An American Airlines lounge, no less!

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX drink menu close-up
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Drink Menu, Close-Up
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Krug Champagne
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Krug Champagne

I ordered a glass of Krug and a mint mojito to kick off my Flagship First Dining affair.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX tarmac view with Krug and mojito
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Tarmac View With Krug and Mojito

After ordering drinks, I studied the all-day dining menu.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX dining menu
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Dining Menu

I first ordered the truffled mac and cheese, made with whole wheat pasta, chanterelle mushrooms, truffle béchamel, kasha, and olives. So savory, so rich, and so delicious.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX truffled mac & cheese
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Truffled Mac and Cheese, Close-Up

Next, I requested the hamachi crudo, which was adorned with avocado, Asian pear, citrus pesto, and pistachio. The dish was wonderfully refreshing.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX hamachi crudo
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Hamachi Crudo

After the 2 starters, I opted to order a mainstay of the Flagship First Dining menu at LAX: the miso-glazed Chilean sea bass.

The sea bass was laid atop a bed of forbidden black rice, shiitake mushrooms, and garnished with petite tatsoi.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX miso glazed chilean sea bass close-up
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Miso-Glazed Chilean Sea Bass Close-Up

The sea bass was infused with some of the most delicious flavors I’ve ever had, and it was finished with a crisp skin.

After the Chilean sea bass, I opted for the cracked peppercorn petite filet. Featuring natural Angus Aspen Ridge beef, the dish was paired with Japanese sweet potato, a kabocha squash purée, and a Bordelaise sauce. It was finished off with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX cracked peppercorn petite filet close-up
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Cracked Peppercorn Petite Filet, Close-Up

The steak was cooked to perfection, and I relished every single bite of it. At this point, I was nearing the point of explosion for being so full. Nonetheless, I persisted with dessert.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX dessert menu
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Dessert Menu

I ordered the coconut pumpkin bread pudding, which was coupled with salted caramel and bread crumbs.

So sweet, rich, and delicious.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX coconut pumpkin bread pudding close-up
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Coconut Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Close-Up

Then, I opted for the Vietnamese coffee custard, and it was so scrumptious. The coffee flavor was bold, and the custard was topped with pomegranate seeds and whipped cream.

The custard itself was airy, yet full in flavor.

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Vietnamese coffee custard close-up
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Vietnamese Coffee Custard, Close-Up

Needless to say, I was stuffed by the end of the meal. At this point, I began heading out. Before that, however, I snapped a picture of the breakfast menu:

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX breakfast menu
American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX Breakfast Menu

Bottom Line: The Flagship First Dining experience alone makes flying first class (at least transcontinental) worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed the deep variety of foodstuffs, the premium alcohol (Krug), and the rich desserts. I especially enjoyed being able to escape the chaos of the crowded Flagship Lounge and unwind in a refined culinary adventure at the comfort of my table.

Final Thoughts

The American Airlines Flagship Lounge at LAX is an exclusive space for those traveling on qualifying tickets or with certain elite status tiers. With a simple layout, numerous food and beverage options, and amenities that include contemporary shower suites, daybeds, and a business center, the Flagship Lounge is competitive with other business class lounges.

However, what sets the Flagship Lounge apart and makes American Airlines lead the pack in an amazing ground experience is the development of the Flagship First Dining concept and the rollout of Flagship First Check-In.

The à la carte dining experience coupled with some of the best alcohol out there (Krug Champagne) and finished off with an ultra-private venue makes Flagship First Dining one of the most (if not the most) extraordinary dining services you can get.

The Flagship First Check-In is a useful amenity, particularly on long-haul international first class flights, but the appeal is primarily for novelty, I suspect.

Nonetheless, the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at LAX is certainly an experience to remember. Best of all, it can be accessed in its entirety even on domestic flights, assuming you fly transcontinental in Flagship First Class.


Frequently asked questions

What is the AA Flagship Lounge?

The AA Flagship Lounge is American Airlines’ most premium lounge experience. Each of these lounges offers chef-inspired meals, personalized service, a specialty cocktail bar, premium wine table, expansive seating, and shower suites.

Currently, they’re available in cities like Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York City (JFK).

Who can use AA Flagship Lounge?

Access to the AA Flagship Lounge is exclusive. You can access the lounge if you meet 1 of the 5 requirements as follows:

  1. You’re a top-tier ConciergeKey member traveling on a same-day flight from American Airlines or a Oneworld airline
  2. You’re a Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire member traveling/connecting on an AA or Oneworld airline, regardless of cabin
  3. You’re an AA Executive Platinum Platinum Pro, or Platinum member traveling/connecting on a qualifying international flight operated by AA or a Oneworld airline, regardless of cabin
    • Solely North America itineraries (Mexico City excluded) are not allowed Flagship Lounge access
  4. You’re traveling on a transcontinental flight in business/first class on a 3-cabin A321T (LAX-JFK, SFO-JFK, and select LAX-BOS flights)
  5. You’re traveling on a qualifying international flight in business/first class
    • Flights between the U.S. and Asia, Australia, Mexico City (MEX), Central America, Europe, New Zealand, and South America qualify

What does AA Flagship mean?

AA Flagship is the moniker for American Airlines’ most premium flights. It is American Airlines’ crown jewel in terms of flying experience, and it includes extra things like lounge access, an exclusive check-in experience, enhanced amenities, extra-comfortable seats, and more.

Do you get lounge access with American Airlines First Class?

Sometimes. If you’re traveling on a qualifying itinerary (eligibility is outlined in FAQ #2 and in the “Gaining Entry” section in the guide), then you can get lounge access.

What is Flagship First on American Airlines?

Flagship First is the name of American Airlines’ most premium first class experience. This is only offered internationally on the Boeing 777-300ER. This plane is flown across different routes to cities like São Paulo (GRU), London-Heathrow (LHR), Hong Kong (HKG), and more.

Domestically, Flagship First Class is offered on A321T aircraft, which are flown LAX-JFK, SFO-JFK, and LAX-BOS.

Does American Airlines have international first class?

Yes! American Airlines is the only carrier of the Big 3 (United, Delta, and American) to still offer an international first class product. This product, known as Flagship First Class, is flown on routes using the Boeing 777-300ER, their flagship aircraft.

You can find them on flights to cities like London (LHR), São Paulo (GRU), Hong Kong (HKG), and Buenos Aires (EZE).

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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