American Airlines is committed to spike up their game when it comes to the travel experience of their long-haul premium passengers. Their efforts have been focused not only on the on-board experience (revamping their hard product on most of their fleet, and offering new premium bedding on their long haul flights), but also on the pre-board experience by opening new Flagship Lounges on their main hubs.
Since last year, American has opened 4 brand new Flagship Lounges in New York – JFK (May 2017), Chicago (September 2017), Miami (November 2017) and Los Angeles (January 2018), and it’s in the process of opening 3 more lounges of this kind in London, Dallas and Philadelphia.
Location and Access
The Flagship Lounge at Miami International Airport is located in Concourse D, close to gate D30 and it’s open daily from 4:30AM to 10:30PM. Their access policy is as follows:
- Business and First Class passengers on AA international flights.
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members on international flights in any class of service.
- OneWorld Emerald and Sapphire members, and AAdvantage Concierge Key members in any class of service of AA marketed/operated or OneWorld member flights.
Once you enter the lounge, there are 3 American Airlines agents helping passengers check in. On the upper level there are more customer relations agents to help passengers with other travel related issues (like in my case, helping me with my boarding pass!).
This lounge is huge! 23000 sq. ft / 2200 m² of total area gives many opportunities, and they did well with all the seating area distribution. There are spaces to work, to eat and drink, to socialize or to relax, including a quiet area with lounge seats.
The best part of it all: the lounge is large enough it doesnt’ feel crowded. The further you go from the food/beverages area, the less people you find around, which is great if you’re looking for some alone/relax time before your flight.
And there are electrical outlets everywhere!
Magazines & Newspapers
Tarmac Views from the Lounge
The Flagship Lounge offers 6 private shower suites. The suites consist of large, beautifully designed spaces, featuring CO Bigelow products. Toiletries like shaving or dental kits are provided on demand.
Beverages & Snacks Stations
There are 3 beverages & snacks stations in the lounge: one close to the buffet/dining area, one by the seating area and one by the quiet area. All of them include a Coca-Cola fountain, espresso machine and assortment of soft drinks and waters. Snacks include a candy station (the chocolate balls are delicious!), fruit and savory snacks.
The dining area is rather large featuring a cold/warm dishes buffet ranging from fresh salads to highly proteic dishes. The offerings vary during the week and the whole menu is refreshed every three months, to keep travelers interested. I found the selection to be adequate both in offerings and in quality. The lamb chops were great!
The Arepas Station
From 3 PM onwards there’s a fresh Arepas station on-site! Willing to appeal to all the Latino presence in Florida, American offers one of the most popular dishes across all Latin America.
The bar offered also a large sitting area, and a good selection of spirits, beer, wine and champagne. It also features a DIY cocktail station with mixers and garnish.
The Flagship First Dining Room
The lounge also features a “by invitation only” premium dining room and bar, open to First Class passengers on American Airlines international flights only. Thanks to Bambi and the awesome AA Customers Relations crew in the lounge, I managed to score an invitation even as I was not flying AA First Class that day, an exception they made so our readers could get an impression of what happens inside.
When you access the Flagship First Dining area, the Maitre d’ welcomes you into the space and invites you to either go to the bar or be seated for your dining experience. The bar is well stocked with premium spirits and a cocktail artist is there to mix any of their signature cocktails or whatever you feel like having. I particulary loved the lamps and their stock of Woodford Reserve.
The dining area consists of 12 tables, and according to my waitress that day, they’re never at capacity. Considering that only 3 AA flights offer First Class ex-MIA (LHR, GRU, EZE), the space is more than enough. Again,e verything is beautifully decorated.
The food and beverages offerings all looked delicious. I decided to start with empanadas with a glass of Taittinger, to follow with Carne Asada with a Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned, and ended with a flam and a glass of Gran Marnier. Everything was delicious.
At the end, when I was ready to leave, the waitress came with an adorable little plane-shaped chocolate to wish me farewell and safe travels!
Overall it was a great lounge experience. The space is so large it never feels crowded and the food and beverages offerings were excellent, not only at the Flagship First Dining room but also in the generat dining and bar area. The decoration is well done and the level of service, both from catering/wait staff and customer relations was top notch.
Finally I’d like to thank Bambi and the Customers Relations team for the tour they gave me to around the lounge and the access to the Flagship First Dining room. It was great to have all their insight comments to enrich this review!
Now I only need to go back to Miami!