In many ways, the Los Angeles American Airlines Flagship Lounge is the opposite of the Nagoya Centrair Airline Lounge. For starters, it has food. And windows.
But it’s awfully meaningless to compare two places that aren’t competing for your time. What I can say with conviction is that American Airlines’ terminal in Los Angeles (LAX) — Terminal 4 — is terrible … but again, if you’re flying AA out of there, what can you do? Buy a refundable ticket to check out the Qantas First Lounge in the international terminal, then make it back right in time for you flight?
Besides, why go through security two extra times? Stick with this AA Flagship Lounge, right by gate 40; the place is open from 04:30 – 25:00 (01:30 +1day). Check-in with one of the agents downstairs, then you will get a plastic card indicating that you can enter the Flagship Lounge; as you probably guessed, the Admirals Club is opposite the Flagship Lounge, and isn’t quite as groovy. That said, I snuck into the Admirals Club because the Coca-Cola machine wasn’t operational at the time.
Having never been in a “Flagship Lounge” for American Airlines, I had zero expectations.
I will sum those expectations up as having been almost pleasantly surprised (now if only we could solve that loud talker issue by making part of the lounge a Faraday Cage).
Come to think of it, for a flagship anything, it wasn’t a particularly big place. Perhaps the bigger DFW/ORD/MIA hubs have more seating than this one?
My flight from Japan landed 30 minutes early (i.e. around 06:00), immigration had no queues, and Terminal 4 is a short walk from the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Consequently, I made it to the lounge early enough to park myself in the far corner of the dining area, right by a place to plug in the computer and get some work done.
Reader JJ mentioned that there is an airside (post-security) connector between Terminal 4 and the international terminal. Shows how much I use LAX.
Except for the fact that the wi-fi didn’t reach that part of the lounge. What the??? Another traveler sitting in the dining area told me that he was using data, because the wi-fi wasn’t working for him either.
Wi-fi not working? That’s a paddlin’.
I’m hungry again, so let’s visit the breakfast buffet:
Out of all the lounges that I had visited on my trip, which started from the St. Louis’ Admirals Club weeks earlier, the Los Angeles American Airlines Flagship Lounge was 2nd-best. Really, there wasn’t much competition; Emirates’ contribution was way ahead of everywhere else, if only because of the food. But the LAX one had decent eats, good natural lighting in the main seating area, and mostly helpful staff. Get that wi-fi fixed, and you will go up a rank.
Have you been to the LAX AA Flagship Lounge? What is most important to you when you go into any lounge around the world?
You don’t have to go through security to go between AA terminal and QF First Class Lounge. There is a connector.
Appreciate your insight, JJ. That connector wasn’t well publicized … so you’re saying that one could just pass the time in TBIT, if lounge access weren’t available?
Doug Hezlep says
I will take a look this summer when I fly AA first class to LHR. I would not worry about the Flagship Lounge too much anyway, since they will be closed over the next year or two as American eliminates First Class on International flights. They might even be referring to domestic “F” class as Business class these days.
Appreciate your comment, Doug. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on the BA First Lounge at LHR!