Review: American Airlines Flagship Lounge At Los Angeles (LAX)

a room with chairs and a round table

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American Airlines has been paying a bit more attention to its lounges in recent years and its the Flagship lounges which have probably seen the biggest changes.

Not all that long ago the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at LAX was open only to First Class passengers (international and transcon only) and top-tier oneworld elites but not any more.

Who Can Access The American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge?

a black and white flyer
If you have access to the LAX Flagship lounge you’ll be given one of these cards when you check-in at the lounge doors.
  • ConciergeKey status holders traveling on any flight marketed and operated by American or a oneworld airline (regardless of cabin) + 2 guests
  • First Class passengers booked on qualifying international flights* + 1 guest
  • First & Business Class passengers booked on American Airlines transcon flights to New York JFK (no guests allowed)
  • Business Class passengers booked on qualifying international flights* (no guests allowed)
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum status holders departing on or connecting to a qualifying international flight* marketed and operated by American or a oneworld airline (regardless of cabin) + 1 guest.
  • Non-American Airlines oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status holders departing on or connecting to any flight marketed and operated by American or a oneworld airline (regardless of cabin) + 1 guest

*Qualifying international flights include flights to the following locations: Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, Mexico City, New Zealand & South America.

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge – General

In order to accommodate the extra passengers who now have access the LAX Flagship lounge was completely remodelled a little over 18 months ago and it swapped places with the Admirals Club.

The entrance to the Flagship Lounge is still opposite Gate 40 in LAX Terminal 4, you still check-in on the ground floor and the lounge is still one level up from the gate areas….but everything else has changed.

The entrance to the Flagship lounge is on the left as you exit the elevators or as you walk up the stairs to the level above the gate area (where an entrance to the old Admirals club used to be):

a glass doors in a room
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

Your invitation to the lounge will be checked at the door and, once inside, you’ll find staffed customer service desks on the left and the beginning of the lounge directly ahead of you.

a room with chairs and a round table
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

Next to the first area you walk into is a seating area with TV screens up on the walls….

people sitting in a waiting room
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

…and a few tables and chairs up against the windows overlooking the apron between T4 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal:

a row of tables and chairs in a room
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
an airplane parked at an airport
American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

American says that the LAX Flagship lounge is around 12,000 square feet in area and the main bulk of the lounge is taken up by one large space which encompasses the main seating area, the food service are and the dining area.

As you walk in to the main part of the lounge you’ll see a non-alcoholic beverage station on your left….

a counter with different items on it
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a coffee machine on a counter
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

…and the seating area to the right:

people sitting in a lounge area with luggage
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

This area was pretty busy when I visited so it was tricky to get any good pictures but these should give you a reasonable idea of what kind of seating you can expect:

a group of chairs in a room
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a pair of brown chairs with a lamp on top of each other
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

There are power outlets between most of the seats but, as they’re not of the universal variety, international visitors will probably need an adapter to charge their larger devices.

The USB ports between the seats….

a close up of a power outlet
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

…and the ones found on the base of some of the table lamps….

a round metal object with two switches
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

…are useful for charging smaller devices.

Past this first main seating area the lounge opens up to more armchair seating, a food & drink service area, another drinks station (with bench seating) and dining-style seating:

a group of people sitting in a lounge
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a group of people sitting at tables in a room
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a buffet with food on the counter
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a group of people sitting at tables in a room
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a table and chairs in a room
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge – Food

The biggest change I noticed with the LAX Flagship lounge (when comparing it to its older version) was the quantity and quality of the food.

Here’s what was on offer during my evening visit.

Cold Dishes & Salads

  • Sweet Chili Turkey & Green Papaya Salad
  • Israeli Cous Cous Salad (cous cous with roasted vegetables & harissa dressing)
a buffet table full of food
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
  • Soba Noodle Salad
  • Honey Ginger Pok Tenderloin Salad
  • Shrimp & Crab Salad
a group of small bowls of food
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
  • Assorted Rolls/Mini-Sandwiches
  • Locally Sourced Meats & Cheeses
a table with different food items on it
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

Hot Dishes

  • Tomato Basil Bisque
  • Vegetable Minestrone
  • Citrus Herb Roasted Chicken
a group of metal pans with food in them
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
  • Miso Salmon
  • Beef Tenderloin
  • Tofu Tikka Masala
  • Cha Siu Bao (Cantonese BBQ Pork Bun)
a group of pans with food in them
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
  • Stir Fried Vegetables
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Roasted Potatoes

Desserts

The desserts weren’t individually labelled and I forgot to take pictures of most so you’ll just have to take my word for the fact that they were ok.

a plate of cookies and pastries
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge – Beverages

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

The lounge offers a number of coffee machines….

a coffee machine and other items on a counter
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

…soda machines….

a machine with a screen and many cups on a counter
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

…water, flavored water and juices….

a group of water dispensers with fruit in them
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

…and other non-alcoholic beverages in chiller cabinets:

a refrigerator full of beverages
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

If you enjoy tea there’s an ample selection of that too:

a shelf with packets of tea
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

Alcoholic Beverages

Up until earlier in the year the LAX Flagship Lounge actually served Bollinger Champagne but that excess has been spotted and the offering now is “Delamotte”

a group of bottles of champagne
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a bottle of champagne on a counter
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

If Champagne isn’t your thing then the lounge also offers a selection of red and white wines….

a group of wine bottles in a metal container
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

….an impressive array of spirits (although none of them are high-end)….

a group of bottles of alcohol
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

….and a chiller cabinet with various beers and ales:

a refrigerated fridge in a restaurant
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

There’s also a “pour your own craft cocktail” area:

a sign on a table a group of bottles of alcohol on a black tray

Last but not least, if you don’t want to eat a meal but like snacks with your drinks the lounge has you covered too:

a group of glass jars with different types of objects
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a group of glass jars with food in them
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

American Airlines LAX Flagship Lounge – Showers

No good lounge is complete without a set of showers and the ones at the LAX Flagship lounge are pretty good….

a bathroom with a glass shower door
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a bathroom sink with a mirror
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

….and, although they don’t offer individual toiletries (which I wish they did), the toiletries on offer are a step up from what was once offered:

a group of bottles of shampoo on a wall
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

Disables guests are also catered for with a fully accessible shower room.

a bathroom with a sink and a toilet
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a bathroom with a toilet and a shower
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a shower with a handrail and a shower head
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge
a white seat in a bathroom
American Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) Flagship Lounge

Thoughts

Wow. The refurbished American Airlines Flagship Lounge at LAX is an incredible step up from what American used to offer here – it’s actually quite impressive.

Considering the range passengers who are allowed to use it the LAX Flagship lounge should be compared to Business Class and not First Class lounges elsewhere…and on that basis it’s a winner.

As far as Business Class lounges go this is definitely one of the best ones in the US and it easily beats out a lot of the Business Class lounges you’ll find elsewhere in the world too.

The staff have been incredibly friendly on all my visits over the past few months and the food options have generally been pretty good too.

Given the choice of the LAX Flagship lounge or the oneworld Business Class lounge over at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (a choice a lot of flyers will have) I’d definitely choose the Flagship lounge – it’s a lot brighter, its staffed better and the overall food and drink offering is probably better too.

I don’t often get to type this but here goes….

Well done American Airlines, you’ve done a very good job with the LAX Flagship Lounge.