As U.S. carriers haul in record profits, they are reinvesting some of that money in an improved passenger experience – especially for premium customers. The latest effort along these lines is an announcement from American Airlines that it will overhaul and expand its top-of-the-line Flagship Lounges at key hubs, and make them accessible to more customers; add a new Flagship Dining experience with table service; and open new Admirals Club lounges.
American said it plans to “redefine” its Flagship Lounges – exclusive airport retreats for its first class passengers (and separate from its Admirals Clubs) – by renovating and expanding the existing facilities at New York JFK, Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare, and adding new ones at Dallas/Ft. Worth, Miami International and Philadelphia International. The work starts this spring.
Because the Flagship Lounges will be larger and in more airports, American said that starting in 2017, it will open them up to more passengers – specifically, customers booked in first class and business class on transpacific and transatlantic flights, as well as flights to “deep” South America and first/business class passengers on the airline’s transcontinental A321T flights.
Besides enlarging the Flagship Lounges, AA said it will refurnish them, add more connectivity and power outlets, and bring more hot and cold selections to their buffet food service.
Related: First look at new United Club at SFO
Speaking of food, the airline also plans to create new Flagship Dining facilities starting in 2017 at its JFK, DFW, Miami and LAX hubs. Instead of the buffet service in Flagship Lounges, these new facilities will provide full table service, seasonal menus and locally sourced ingredients. Access will be limited to first class passengers on AA’s three-class international and transcon flights.
This month, American is also beginning an overhaul of its arrivals lounge at London Heathrow; the renovation includes private showers and dressing areas, food and beverage service, and a valet pressing service.
As for American’s paid-membership Admirals Club airport lounges, it will open new ones in Orlando International and Houston Bush Intercontinental, and will continue to renovate existing locations. The first Admirals Clubs to get the new look and renovation were recently completed at Sao Paulo Guarulhos in Brazil and at Phoenix Sky Harbor. The renovation schedule includes 15 more locations over the next few years, starting with Admirals Clubs at New York JFK, Miami and Los Angeles.
The company has put up a Youtube video where you can get an idea of what the new and renovated facilities will look like.
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