Today saw the debut of American Airlines‘ newly-renovated Flagship Lounge and brand new Flagship First Dining at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport. The lounge is part of a wave of new lounges opening in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Heathrow, Miami and Philadelphia.
At first glance the lounge is certainly impressive, and has adopted a zonal concept, with a variety of seating options and environments to suit passengers moods. On closer inspection there are both elements of British Airways Galleries lounges and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses at play.
The move was announced last year to begin renovations to its Flagship Lounges as American Airlines also announced its plan for Flagship First Dining.
In a move to appeal to international business class passengers, Flagship Lounges will now offer access to Business Class passengers flying on qualifying international and transcontinental flights as well as the First Class passengers who originally were the only ones granted access.
The lounge renovation is certainly not just skin deep, new customer experience improvements are at the heart of the concept. The renovated and larger Flagship Lounge at JFK “allows those customers to unwind, work or refresh before their flight with quiet rooms, individual work pods and showers. Customers will enjoy a range of food options including a robust hot and cold food buffet, an a la carte dining menu and a chef’s table with a rotating menu of made-to-order entrees. They can pair their meals with premium wine and champagne or a drink from our “make your own cocktail” station.” states American Airlines.
Perhaps the biggest improvement, is the restaurant service dining. The sit-down restaurant experience will offer customers complimentary, full-service dining with locally-inspired menus. The JFK menu will feature ingredients from local purveyors including cheese from Sprout Creek Farms and grass-fed beef from Joyce Farms that will be used in American’s signature Flagship Burger, an item that will be available in all of our Flagship First Dining locations. Customers can enjoy specialty cocktails designed by renowned New York mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer and hand-selected wines from master sommelier Desmond Echavarrie.
American plans to add Flagship First dining this year at Miami and Los Angeles, and later at Dallas Fort Worth and London Heathrow.