American Flagship First & Flagship Business – Amenities, Routes & Booking Options

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat 4L rear view

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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 levels of service. While you won’t find it on every plane or route, you will on the largest, most high-profile routes, and it’s definitely 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, lounge options, and booking options, so you know what to expect before, during, and after your flight.

What’s Included in Flagship Service?

No matter whether you’re flying across the country or across the world, there are several key elements included in the Flagship offering.

Priority Check-In, Security, and Boarding

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

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

Hot Tip: If you have TSA PreCheck, you may find faster security lanes using that program vs. 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 at Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK), with a location opening soon in Philadelphia (PHL).

These lounges featured upgraded bars and food offerings and replicate true international lounges you’ll often find in other countries.

Where there’s no Flagship Lounge, you can enjoy the basic Admirals Club, offering limited snacks, house liquor, and seating.

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

  • Chef-Inspired Meals — Different than Admirals Clubs, you can enjoy a full buffet with breakfast, lunch, and dinner spreads. There are also action stations featuring food cooked live in front of you.
  • Personalized Service — Flagship Lounges feature more servers roaming around to collect items and also 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 wine table featuring a variety of selections.
  • Expansive Seating — Most of the seating options are similar to that of the Admirals Club, though you’ll find plenty of options.
  • Shower Suites — Great for use after a long flight, each Flagship Lounge offers a set of shower suites you can use, including the towels and necessary soaps you’ll need.

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’ll enjoy the ultimate lounge experience — Flagship First Dining. This service is available in Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK) and features a private restaurant-like atmosphere with table service, premium drinks, and personalized service.

Flagship Lounge Locations

Update: Some of the lounges featured in this article may be closed or operating under reduced opening hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are the Flagship Lounge locations and hours (pre-COVID-19):

AirportLocationNormal Hours Pre-COVID-19
Chicago (ORD)Terminal 3, in the crosswalk between gates H6 and KDaily from 5 a.m. to 10 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 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.
Miami (MIA)Concourse D, near gate D30Daily from 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
New York (JFK)Terminal 8, on the mezzanine level after Concourse B security checkpointDaily from 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Philadelphia (PHL)Coming soon

If you’re flying Flagship Business to London (LHR), you’re able to use the London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge where you can grab a shower, a full breakfast, and connect to Wi-Fi before heading into the city for work. The lounge is located to the right of the Terminal 3 Customs Hall when you exit.

Lie-Flat Seats

American Airlines 777 Flagship Business Class Lie Flat Seat
American offers lie-flat seating on all of 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 apart this service from the most basic business-class-like offering. All of American’s wide-body aircraft, as well as the transcontinental A321T aircraft, offer lie-flat seating in the premium cabin.

If you’re traveling in Flagship Business on an international flight, you’ll experience a 1-2-1 seating configuration, and each seat has its own inflight entertainment screen, large tray table, and storage compartments. For transcontinental flight, you’ll be in a 2-2 configuration.

If you’re in Flagship First on an international flight, you’ll be 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. If you’re on a transcontinental flight, you’ll be seated in a 1-1 configuration, with each seat having a window view.

Onboard Dining

American Airlines Business Class Dinner HNL DFW
American offers an appetizer, dessert, and main entree in Flagship Business. Image Credit: James Larounis

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 then a separately-served dessert. If you’re in Flagship First, you’ll have the addition of a soup course, upgraded appetizers and entrees, and a better selection of beverages.

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 pasta.

A wide selection of beers, wines, and spirits complements the Flagship menus. The award-winning wine program is led by Master Sommelier and restaurateur Bobby Stuckey.

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 and Casper Products

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 that you can change into after takeoff, making for a very comfortable flying experience.

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

Hot Tip: Occasionally, American will mis-cater flights and not stock pajamas or the appropriate amenity kits. You should be ready for your flight not to have pajamas should this occur.

Wi-Fi and Power

Wi-Fi comes with an extra charge based on the flight, but power is included at every premium cabin seat that has the Flagship service product. On some aircraft, you will even be able to plug in your accessory devices to watch shows on the inflight entertainment.

What Routes Can You Find the Flagship Offering On?

There are 2 types of Flagship offerings — Flagship First and Flagship Business — and each of those products is featured on 2 different types of routes: transcontinental and international.

Update: Due to COVID-19, American Airlines may temporarily suspend routes, frequencies, and/or aircraft flown. Please check with the airline directly for the most current information.

Here is where you can find each offering:

Transcontinental

Flagship First and Flagship Business
Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Boston (BOS)Los Angeles (LAX)
Miami (MIA)Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK)Los Angeles (LAX)
San Francisco (SFO)
Santa Ana (SNA)

Hawaii

Flagship Business
Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Charlotte (CLT)Honolulu (HNL)
Chicago (ORD)Honolulu (HNL)
Dallas (DFW)Honolulu (HNL)
Maui (OGG)
Kona (KOA)

International

Flagship First
Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Dallas (DFW)Hong Kong (HKG)
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)

 

Flagship Business
Departure Airport CityArrival Airport City
Boston (BOS)London (LHR)
Charlotte (CLT)Dublin (DUB)
Frankfurt (FRA)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Munich (MUC)
Chicago (ORD)Athens (ATH)
Barcelona (BAR)
Dublin (DUB)
London (LHR)
Paris (CDG)
Rome (FCO)
Dallas (DFW)Amsterdam (AMS)
Auckland (AKL)
Beijing (PKX)
Buenos Aires (EZE)
Dublin (DUB)
Frankfurt (FRA)
Hong Kong (HKG)
Lima (LIM)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Paris (CDG)
Rome (FCO)
Santiago (SCL)
São Paulo (GRU)
Seoul (ICN)
Shanghai (PVG)
Tel Aviv (TLV)
Tokyo (HND and NRT)
Los Angeles (LAX)Auckland (AKL)
Christchurch (CHC)
London (LHR)
Sydney (SYD)
Tokyo (HND)
Miami (MIA)Buenos Aires (EZE)
Lima (LIM)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Manaus (MAO)
Milan (MXP)
Montevideo (MVD)
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)
Dublin (DUB)
Edinburgh (EDI)
Lisbon (EGE)
London (LHR)
Madrid (MAD)
Paris (CDG)
Rome (FCO)
Shannon (SNN)
Zürich (ZRH)
Phoenix (PHX)London (LHR)
Raleigh (RDU)London (LHR)
Seattle (SEA)Bangalore (BLR)
London (LHR)

Bottom Line: As a general rule of thumb (but not always the case), 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 is most likely a Flagship offering.

Differences Between Transcontinental and International Flagship

For the most part, you’ll find many of the same perks on transcontinental Flagship flights 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 SFO and 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 which was 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:

  • Get a Citi or Barclays co-branded American Airlines credit card and put your daily spending on the card.
  • Fly! You’ll earn a considerable amount of miles the more your ticket costs on American and its partners.
  • Consider purchasing miles. American occasionally runs sales when you purchase miles, allowing you to get additional bonus miles with your purchase, depending on how many miles you buy.
  • Shop online on the AAdvantage eShopping Mall where your purchases can earn AAdvantage miles.
  • Earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to American AAdvantage miles at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 AAdvantage miles bonus.

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How To Redeem Miles for Flagship

There are 4 main loyalty programs that we’d recommend using to book Flagship First and Flagship Business. Although you can use any Oneworld airline’s points or miles, Etihad Guest, American’s own 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:

  • 25,000 Etihad Guest miles
  • 32,500 AAdvantage miles (look for “U” inventory, aka MileSAAver)
  • 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:

  • 50,000 Etihad Guest miles
  • 57,500 AAdvantage miles (MileSAAver rate)
  • 42,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles
  • 57,500 Alaska Mileage Plan miles

To fly from Dallas (DFW) to Hong Kong (HKG) one-way in Flagship First you’d spend:

  • 67,500 Etihad Guest miles
  • 110,000 AAdvantage miles (MileSAAver rate)
  • 95,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles
  • 85,000 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 a number of routes and aircraft. Flagship is definitely the way to travel if you’re going overseas or coast-to-coast. Featuring lie-flat seats, premium lounges, and an upgraded onboard service, Flagship is the experience you need if you’re looking for a restful or productive flight.


For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ 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 product and is generally offered on all international wide-body flights and the premium transcontinental routes such as JFK-LAX/SFO/SNA and MIA-LAX.

Which is better: Admirals Club or Flagship?

The Flagship Lounge includes showers, premium liquor, a food buffet, and made-to-order action stations of food 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 or business passenger, elite frequent flyer, or military member.

Who qualifies for AA Flagship?

Any customer who purchases a premium transcontinental ticket in Flagship First or Flagship Business or any long-haul international wide-body flight in Flagship First or Flagship Business is eligible for American’s Flagship services.

James Larounis

About James Larounis

Jamie first got his hook on miles and points during a high school choir trip to Europe, where he flew in Lufthansa First Class (thanks to his dad’s then US Airways miles) because economy was sold out.

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