• Joe Breitfeller

American Airlines Prepares to Reopen Premium Flagship Lounges

American Airlines will begin reopening their Premium Flagship Lounges starting in September with new menus inspired by the chefs from the James Beard Foundation. The first location at New York-JFK will reopen on September 14, 2021.


American Airlines to Reopen Flagship Lounges this Fall - Courtesy American Airlines

On Tuesday (August 24, 2021), American Airlines announced that they will begin reopening their Premium Flagship Lounges this fall, with the first location at New York-JFK's Terminal 8 opening on September 14th and Flagship First Dining on September 16, 2021. The Flagship First Lounge at Miami International Airport’s Concourse D will reopen on September 28th, with Flagship First Dining restarting on September 30, 2021. Later this fall, locations at LAX Terminal 4, DFW Terminal D and ORD Terminal 3 will also reopen. As the lounges reopen, they will feature new regionally-inspired menus by chefs from the James Beard Foundation.


In Tuesday’s announcement, American Airlines’ Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products, Clarissa Sebastian, said,


“The Flagship Lounge and Flagship Dining experience brings a whole new level of luxury to our customers’ journey, and we are thrilled to showcase our new offerings. With revamped menus designed in collaboration with awe-inspiring chefs and even more ways to access the lounge, we can’t wait to open the doors and serve our customers this fall.”


In partnership with the James Beard Foundation, American is bringing celebrated chefs to their Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining with creative and delicious menu offerings. Each lounge location will feature an acclaimed local chef who will offer specially crafted dishes designed exclusively for their hometown lounge.


American Airlines' Featured James Beard Foundation Chefs - Courtesy American Airlines

The Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) lounge will feature dishes crafted by Chef Tiffany Derry, owner of the new Dallas hotspot, Roots Southern Table. The menu will bring a high-end twist to her family’s classic southern recipes. Chef Derry has also served as a sustainability spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation.

Miami International Airport (MIA) will feature dishes by Chef Timon Balloo, who has been called “Chef of the Year” by Eater for his work at Miami’s SUGARCANE. Chef Balloo is also building out his own brand concepts such as Mrs. Balloo, an Asian cuisine-inspired food truck, and delivery-only Balloo Wallah and Balloo.


The New York (JFK) lounge will offer dishes by Brooklyn native Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja, inspired by her Indonesian and Italian heritage. Her menus draw on the rustic, vibrant flavors of Italy, Morocco and Tunisia and are featured at New York City’s Shuka and the brand new Shukette restaurants.


Finally, the Chicago (ORD) lounge, will feature dishes by Chef Sarah Grueneberg, chef and owner of Chicago’s Monteverde Restaurant and Pastificio and 2017 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Chef Grueneberg created soulful Italian dishes for American Airlines’ flights in 2019, and will nor showcase her talents at the Chicago Flagship Lounge.


Access to the lounges is available to guests based on their elite status or if they are traveling in a premium cabin on a qualifying flight. New access will also include eligible customers traveling to Hawaii in Flagship® First and Flagship® Business. Additionally, customers flying in Flagship First on qualifying international or transcontinental flights will also have access to Flagship First Dining within the lounge. Lounge guests will soon notice D.S. & Durga hand soap and lotions featured in the restrooms, as well as Dyson Supersonic hair dryers in the Shower suites. Earlier this summer, American also introduced new premium cabin amenity kits in partnership with Detroit-based Shinola and D.S. & Durga.


Source: American Airlines