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Recently, I passed through New York JFK on my way to Europe so as I had a little time to kill and as I needed somewhere comfortable to do some work, I dropped by the American Airlines Flagship Lounge in Terminal 8 to see what it was like now that a lot of the Covid restrictions have been lifted.
I’m not going to provide a lot of commentary with the pictures you’ll find below so if something is unclear or if you have a question, please use the comments section at the end of this post.
- Based on the cabin of travel – Get access if you’re traveling in First or Business on a qualifying same-day international, transcontinental or other domestic flight marketed and operated by American Airlines or a oneworld airline.
- Based on elite status – Get access if you’re departing on or connecting to a qualifying same-day international flight marketed and operated by American Airlines or a oneworld airline (regardless of cabin) if you hold one of the following elite statuses:
- American Airlines Executive Platinum
- American Airlines Platinum Pro
- American Airlines Platinum
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold
- oneworld Emerald
- oneworld Sapphire
- ConciergeKey – All flyers with ConciergeKey status get access when traveling on any same-day flight marketed and operated by American Airlines or a oneworld airline (regardless of cabin).
- Pay to enter – At times when the Flagship Lounges aren’t busy, travelers can buy a one-time access pass for $150 or 15,000 AAdvantage miles per person.
Click here to view the full access rules including details of eligible flights and guesting rules.
The American Airlines JFK Flagship Lounge is located on the mezzanine level of Terminal 8 after Concourse B security. It can be accessed via elevator and is open daily between 04:30 and 23:15.
The Admirals Club is located on the same level as the Flagship Lounge and the two lounges share a check-in area so you have to turn left (when facing the agents) to enter the Flagship Lounge.
The JFK Flagship Lounge is big and it’s not short of seating options. Different areas of the lounge offer different seating options (from stools to armchairs to booths to recliners) so there should be a seating option to suit just about everyone who visits.
The quiet room
A nice feature of the JFK Flagship Lounge is the Quiet Room that you’ll find on the left as you first walk into the main area of the lounge.
During quieter times of day, this room is surplus to requirements as the lounge is usually very empty and very peaceful. During busier times, however, it can be a haven, and I’ve retreated to the sanctuary of this space on more than one occasion to get away from some of the more thoughtless passengers in the lounge.
The main dining area in the JFK Flagship Lounge is on the right side of the main seating area and offers a buffet menu.
At the time of my visit, this is what the menu looked like (click/tap to enlarge):
And this is what that menu looks like when set out as a buffet:
Along a wall to one side of the buffet is where most of the lounge’s drinks are to be found (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).
Towards the center of the lounge is where you’ll find some of the more ‘dining friendly’ seating options (although you can eat wherever you like)…
…and this is also where you’ll find the wines and champagne.
On this visit, the lounge was serving two different champagnes…
…but I got the impression (from a staff member) that the Bernard Lonclas bottles were the remnants of a long-forgotten case while the Louis Roederer was the lounge’s primary champagne (at the time).
I should point out that the JFK Flagship Lounge is also home to a Flagship Dining area but as this can only be accessed by a very small number of people (travelers flying on American Airlines in Flagship First on qualifying international or transcontinental flights), I’m not going to dedicate much time to it – see this American Airlines page if you’d like more details.
This is what the Flagship Dining area looks like (the entrance is next to the main dining area):
And this is what it looks like inside:
A quick last point
The American Airlines Flagship Lounge at JFK is (mostly) well equipped with power outlets so it shouldn’t be particularly difficult for guests to find somewhere to charge a device even when the facility is busy.
What’s worth keeping in mind, however, is that while the USB outlets will be useable by everyone, visitors from outside the US will probably need an adapter to charge larger devices as all the main power outlets are designed for US devices only.
The American Airlines Flagship Lounge at JFK is fully open (it’s been open for a few months) and it’s a very nice place to get a bite to eat, to get some work done, or to relax. The best time to visit appears to be between 12:00 and 16:00 as all my recent visits have been between those times and I don’t recall sharing the space with more than a handful of other guests on any of my trips – it was blissful. That’s makes it one of the few domestic airline lounges that I actually look forward to visiting and why I don’t mind connecting in JFK when flying with American Airlines.
What do you think of the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at JFK?