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American Flagship First and Flagship Business: Amenities, Routes, and Booking Options

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When you want to fly American Airlines’ most exclusive premium product, you need to look for the Flagship branding, signaling the highest service levels. While you won’t find it on every plane or route, you will on the largest, most high-profile routes, and it’s a treat to fly.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at what the Flagship First and Flagship Business offerings are, what routes you’ll find Flagship on, the amenities and lounge options, and how to book so you know what to expect before, during, and after your flight.

What’s Included in Flagship Service?

The Flagship offering includes several key elements, whether you’re flying across the country or the world.

Priority Check-In, Security, and Boarding

When you arrive at the airport, expect to be treated first for everything — you use the fastest check-in queues and security lanes (at select airports) and are among the first to board.

On flights with 3 cabins of service, Flagship First boards as Group 1 and Flagship Business boards as Group 2. For flights where there are only 2 classes of service, Flagship Business boards as Group 1.

Hot Tip: If you have TSA PreCheck, you may find those program’s security lanes are faster than the expedited priority lanes that American uses.

Flagship Lounges

American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK foyer
American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK. Image Credit: Stephen Au

If you’re flying in Flagship Business, you can enjoy Flagship Lounges in Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), and Miami (MIA), with a location opening soon in Philadelphia (PHL). New York (JFK) has what is called the Greenwich Lounge, which is essentially a Flagship Lounge concept (it is actually a rebranded Flagship Lounge space).

These lounges feature upgraded bar and food offerings and replicate the true international lounges you often find in other countries.

Where there is no Flagship Lounge, you can enjoy the basic Admirals Club, which offers limited snacks, house liquor, and seating.

Here’s what’s included in the Flagship Lounges:

  • Chef-Inspired Meals: Unlike at Admirals Clubs, you can enjoy a full buffet with breakfast, lunch, and dinner spreads. There are also action stations featuring food cooked in front of you.
  • Personalized Service: Flagship Lounges feature more servers who roam around to collect items and bring you anything you need.
  • Specialty Cocktail Bar: Each Flagship Lounge offers premium liquor and local spirits.
  • Premium Wine Table: There’s no shortage of wines in the Flagship Lounge, and there’s usually a long table of wines featuring a variety of selections.
  • Expansive Seating: Most of the seating options are similar to those in the Admirals Club, though there are almost always plenty of options.
  • Shower Suites: Great after a long flight, each Flagship Lounge offers shower suites, including towels and soap.

Flagship First Dining

American Airlines Flagship First Dining LAX cracked peppercorn petite filet close-up
Flagship First Dining at LAX features delicacies like a cracked peppercorn petite filet. Image Credit: Stephen Au

If you’re traveling in Flagship First, you can the ultimate lounge experience, Flagship First Dining. This service is available in Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), and Miami (MIA) and features a restaurant-like atmosphere with table service, premium drinks, and personalized service. In New York City (JFK), eligible customers have access to the Chelsea Lounge, a lounge shared between British Airways and American Airlines similar to Flagship First Dining at other airports.

The Los Angeles Flagship Dining location is temporarily closed, with no published date for reopening.

Flagship Lounge Locations

These are the Flagship Lounge locations and hours:

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AirportLocationHours
Chicago (ORD)Terminal 3, in the crosswalk between gates H6 and KDaily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)Terminal D, between gates D21 and D22Daily from 5 a.m. to 10:15 p.m.
Los Angeles (LAX)Terminal 4, near Gate 40Daily from 4:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Miami (MIA)Concourse D, near Gate D30Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
New York (JFK)Terminal 8, on the mezzanine after Concourse B security checkpointDaily from 4:30 a.m. to 1:15 a.m.
Philadelphia (PHL)Coming soon 

If you’re flying Flagship First from London (LHR), you can use the International First Class Lounge, which has upgraded food and beverage. The lounge is in Terminal 3, departure level, beyond passport control in Lounge Area H.

There is also the arrivals lounge in London, where you can grab a shower, eat breakfast, and connect to Wi-Fi. This is after you clear customs and immigration and enter the arrivals hall.

Lie-Flat Seats

American Airlines 777 Flagship Business Class Lie Flat Seat
American offers lie-flat seating on all its Flagship services, like this 777 Flagship Business seat. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Lie-flat seats are a hallmark of Flagship Business and Flagship First and are one of the things that set this service apart from the basic business-tier offering. All of American’s wide-body aircraft, as well as the transcontinental A321T aircraft, offer lie-flat seating in the premium cabin.

In Flagship Business on an international flight you get a 1-2-1 seating configuration, and each seat has its own inflight entertainment screen, large tray table, and storage compartments. Expect a 2-2 configuration for a transcontinental flight.

In Flagship First on an international flight you’re in a 1-2-1 configuration, though the seats are much larger than their Flagship Business counterparts. Each seat swivels to turn into an office chair with a desk. On a transcontinental flight, you’re seated in a 1-1 configuration, with each seat having a window view.

Onboard Dining

Flagship Business and Flagship First feature chef-curated meals, usually offered in multiple courses starting with an appetizer, salad, and bread, followed by an entree and a separately served dessert. If you’re in Flagship First, you get a soup course, upgraded appetizers and entrees, and a better selection of beverages.

AA Steak in Flagship Business
American offers an appetizer, salad, and main entree in Flagship Business, followed by a dessert. Image Credit: James Larounis

As American is the official airline partner of the James Beard Foundation, passengers can also enjoy exclusive creations from “Top Chef” alum Sarah Grueneberg, like artichoke ravioli and spinach-and-ricotta rotolo.

A wide selection of beers, wines, and spirits complements the Flagship menus. The award-winning wine program is led by Julia Coney, an award-winning wine educator and consultant.

You can review menus for your specific flight and reserve your meals starting 30 days (and up to 24 hours) before your flight. Simply log on to AA.com or the AA app; if you see the option to Reserve a meal, you may make your selections.

Amenity Kits

2021 American Flagship First amenity kit
Flagship First amenity bag, in partnership with Shinola and D.S. & Durga. Image Credit: American

If you’re traveling in Flagship Business or Flagship First, expect to receive a small amenity kit featuring basic toiletries from D.S. & Durga and a reusable Shinola bag you can take with you. If you’re flying to long-range cities such as Hong Kong and Sydney, you’re treated to a set of comfortable pajamas you can change into after takeoff, making for a very comfortable flying experience.

For long-haul flights, you’re treated to a Casper pillow and blanket, making for a cozy night of sleep on flights to far-flung destinations.

Hot Tip: Occasionally, American will have catering mishaps on flights and not stock pajamas or the appropriate amenity kits. You should be ready for your flight not to have pajamas in these cases.

Wi-Fi and Power

Wi-Fi comes with an extra charge based on the flight, but power is included in every premium cabin seat with the Flagship service product. On some aircraft, you can even plug in your devices to watch your own downloaded shows on the inflight entertainment screen.

Flagship Business Plus

American has introduced a new fare product, Flagship Business Plus, that includes 3 checked bags and access to Flagship check-in and Flagship Dining (or the Chelsea Lounge in JFK), where available. The premium over Flagship Business is approximately $400, on average. Though it doesn’t include a better onboard product, it does include some preflight amenities to enhance the experience.

What Routes Can You Find the Flagship Offering On?

There are 2 types of Flagship offerings — Flagship First and Flagship Business — and each is featured on transcontinental or international routes.

Update: American Airlines is phasing out premium transcontinental First Class and international widebody First Class over the next few years.

Here is where you can find each offering:

Transcontinental: Flagship First and Flagship Business

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Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Los Angeles (LAX)Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
Miami (MIA)
New York (JFK)Orange County (SNA)
San Francisco (SFO)

Hawaii: Flagship Business

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Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Dallas (DFW)Honolulu (HNL)
Maui (OGG)
Kona (KOA)

International: Flagship First

SCROLL FOR MORE
Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Dallas (DFW)London (LHR)
São Paulo (GRU)
Los Angeles (LAX)London (LHR)
Miami (MIA)Buenos Aires (EZE)
London (LHR)
São Paulo (GRU)
New York (JFK)London (LHR)
São Paulo (GRU)

International — Flagship Business

SCROLL FOR MORE
Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Boston (BOS)London (LHR)
Charlotte (CLT)Dublin (DUB)
Frankfurt (FRA)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Munich (MUC)
Rome (FCO)
Paris (CDG)
Chicago (ORD)Athens (ATH)
Barcelona (BCN)
Dublin (DUB)
London (LHR)
Paris (CDG)
Rome (FCO)
Dallas (DFW)Amsterdam (AMS)
Auckland (AKL) 
Buenos Aires (EZE)
Dublin (DUB)
Frankfurt (FRA)
Lima (LIM)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Munich (MUC)
Paris (CDG)
Rome (FCO)
Santiago (SCL)
São Paulo (GRU)
Seoul (ICN)
Shanghai (PVG)
Tokyo (HND and NRT)
Los Angeles (LAX)London (LHR)
Sydney (SYD)
Tokyo (HND)
Auckland (AKL)
Miami (MIA)Barcelona (BCN)
Buenos Aires (EZE)
Lima (LIM)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Managua (ACS)
Paris (CDG)
Rio de Janeiro (GIG)
Santiago (SCL)
São Paulo (GRU)
Tel Aviv (TLV) 
New York (JFK)Athens (ATH)
Barcelona (BCN)
Buenos Aires (EZE)
Delhi (DEL)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Milan (MXP)
Paris (CDG)
Rio de Janeiro (GIG)
Rome (FCO)
Santiago (SCL)
São Paulo (GRU)
Tel Aviv (TLV)
Philadelphia (PHL)Amsterdam (AMS)
Athens (ATH)
Barcelona (BCN)
Copenhagen (CPH)
Doha (DOH)
Dublin (DUB)
Lisbon (EGE)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Naples (NAP)
Nice (NCE)
Paris (CDG)
Rome (FCO)
Venice (VCE)
Zürich (ZRH)
Phoenix (PHX)London (LHR)
Raleigh (RDU)London (LHR)

Bottom Line: As a rule of thumb, if the flight is to an international destination or flies from one end of the country to the other and is on a wide-body flight, it most likely has a Flagship offering.

Differences Between Transcontinental and International Flagship

For the most part, you find many of the same perks on transcontinental and international Flagship flights.

Here are some of the big differences:

  • International flights tend to have wide-body aircraft serving routes where Flagship Business or Flagship First is offered.
  • Domestically, except for MIA to LAX and on Hawaii routes, all Flagship offerings are on the narrow-body Airbus A321T aircraft.
  • Select long-haul routes feature pajamas for Flagship First and Business customers.
  • The amenity kits are more premium on international flights.

Hot Tip: Check out this review of a flight on a 777-200ER in Flagship Business sold as domestic first class from MIA to BOS.

How To Earn Miles To Book Flagship

There are several ways to earn enough AAdvantage miles to fly in American’s Flagship product:

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Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Business travelers who opt for Marriott as their hotel chain of choice will definitely want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. The card offers great benefits to cardholders like a complimentary hotel night once a year, complimentary Gold Elite status, and multiple point redemption options.

Pros

  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
  • 15 Elite Night Credits
  • 1 Free Night Award each cardmember anniversary (up to 35,000 points)
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • Receive a 7% discount on eligible bookings as a benefit of being both a Marriott Bonvoy® member & a Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Member when you book directly with Marriott through an eligible channel for a participating property under the Amex Business Card Rate.
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • WELCOME OFFER: Earn 3 Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in eligible purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Each Free Night Award has a redemption level up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points, for a total potential value of up to 150,000 points, at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees. Terms apply.
  • Receive a 7% discount on eligible bookings as a benefit of being both a Marriott Bonvoy® member & a Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Member when you book directly with Marriott through an eligible channel for a participating property under the Amex Business Card Rate.
  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card.
  • Terms apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.99% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Recommended Bilt Rewards Cards

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

$0

Never before has there been a credit card built specifically with renters in mind. Enter the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, designed specifically to help renters earn rewards on their rent payments with no transaction fees.

Of course, aside from rewards on rent, there are many other solid benefits that the card offers that add extra value to cardholders. In this guide, we provide a complete breakdown of everything the Bilt card has to offer to help you decide whether the card makes sense for you.

Pros

  • 3x points per $1 at restaurants including eligible delivery
  • 2x points per $1 on travel booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies
  • 1x point per $1 on rent payments, without a transaction fee, up to 100,000 points each calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Access to airline transfer partners

Cons

  • Does not offer a welcome bonus
  • Must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
  • $0 annual card fee
  • 1X points on rent payments with no fees (on up to $100,000 in rent payments every year) and non-bonus purchases
  • 2X points on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
  • 3X points on dining
  • Use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

Card Categories

How To Redeem Miles for Flagship

We recommend using 4 main loyalty programs to book Flagship First and Flagship Business. Although you can use any Oneworld airline’s points or miles, Etihad Guest, American’s AAdvantage program, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan are the best currencies.

Take, for example, a one-way flight from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) in Flagship Business. You’d spend:

  • 50,000 Etihad Guest miles
  • 32,500 AAdvantage miles (because American employs dynamic pricing, this price could change, but this is a typical low-end fare)
  • 42,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles
  • 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles

On a New York (JFK) to London (LHR) one-way flight in Flagship Business, you’d spend:

  • 70,000 Etihad Guest miles
  • 57,500 AAdvantage miles (because American employs dynamic pricing, this price could change but this is a typical low-end)
  • 42,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles
  • 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles

To fly from Dallas (DFW) to London (LHR) one-way in Flagship First, you’d spend:

  • 150,000 Etihad Guest miles
  • 110,000 AAdvantage miles (because American employs dynamic pricing, this price could change, but this is a typical low-end)
  • 90,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles
  • 82,500 Alaska Mileage Plan miles

Hot Tip: Learn more about the best ways to redeem AAdvantage miles for max value and how to upgrade to business/first class on American in our helpful guides.

Final Thoughts

American offers its headliner Flagship Business and Flagship First product on many routes and aircraft. Flagship is definitely the way to travel if you’re going overseas or coast-to-coast. Flagship is the experience you need if you’re looking for a restful or productive flight featuring lie-flat seats, premium lounges, and an upgraded onboard service.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Flagship flight on American Airlines?

A Flagship flight on American Airlines includes its lie-flat seat. It is generally offered on all international wide-body flights and premium transcontinental routes such as JFK-LAX and MIA-LAX.

Which is better: Admirals Club or Flagship?

The Flagship Lounge includes showers, premium liquor, a food buffet, and made-to-order food action stations, and is far superior to the traditional Admirals Club.

Does The Platinum Card® from American Express get you into Admirals Club?

The Amex Platinum card does not get you into the American Airlines Admirals Club — for this, you must have an Admirals Club membership or be a qualifying first class or business class passenger, elite frequent flyer, or member of the military.

Who qualifies for AA Flagship?

Customers who purchase a premium transcontinental ticket in Flagship First or Flagship Business or any long-haul international wide-body flight in Flagship First or Flagship Business are eligible for American’s Flagship services.

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About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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