Dallas is American’s biggest hub, and anecdotally also seems to have the most top tier elite members (international upgrades out of Dallas are extremely difficult).
So it might surprise some to learn that American doesn’t have a Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport. The explanation is actually quite simple and innocent. American used to have a Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport, back when international flights operated out of the “A” Concourse.
The “D” Concourse opened about a decade ago, which became American’s international terminal. And they simply didn’t bother opening a new Flagship Lounge there.
“D” Concourse at DFW Airport
If you go to the “A” Concourse you can still see the location of the former Flagship Lounge, which many of us refer to as the “secret” Admirals Club, given that it’s consistently empty.
Former Flagship Lounge Dallas
Former Flagship Lounge Dallas
Now from a cost control perspective it is of course sort of convenient that American never opened a new Flagship Lounge. It’s also not surprising given the financial situation they were in at the time.
Keep in mind that oneworld has the most generous policy when it comes to international lounge access for elite members, as oneworld Emerald members receive access to international first class lounges. This includes lounges like the Cathay Pacific Pier in Hong Kong, the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge in Tokyo, and the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney, just to name a few.
Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney, which can be accessed by oneworld Emerald members
Given how many Executive Platinum members American has, you can bet that any Flagship Lounge in Dallas would be quite crowded.
Anyway, for a while now we’ve been hearing that American plans to open a Flagship Lounge in Dallas, and it looks like that’s finally coming to fruition.
American will be opening a Flagship Lounge inside the “D” Concourse Admirals Club at DFW Airport on November 3, 2015. Via American’s DFW lounge webpage:
Flagship Dining coming soon to DFW
Commencing November 3, select international passengers can enjoy exclusive access to Flagship® Dining, our premium dining experience inside our Terminal D Admirals Club® location at DFW.
Invited guests include passengers on eligible international itineraries (traveling to/from Europe, Asia, Central and South America and Mexico City) who are either:
What’s interesting is that American is marketing this as Flagship Dining rather than as a Flagship Lounge. The DFW Airport Flagship Dining facility will be located inside the “D” Concourse Admirals Club, in the former smoking room (which isn’t very large).
My guess is that the lounge is being marketed as such because it’s actually quite small, and perhaps American is encouraging premium guests to visit the Flagship Dining area when they want to eat, and then linger in the rest of the lounge otherwise.
What remains to be seen is whether this lounge will have a similar buffet setup to the other Flagship Lounges, like the ones in Chicago and New York, or whether it’ll actually feature a sit down dining experience with menus. I’d assume it’s the former, though the emphasis on it being a Flagship Dining facility is interesting.
Flagship Lounge New York buffet spread
The addition of a Flagship Lounge in Dallas is great news, and I can’t wait to see it open next week. Anything is better than nothing, but given the space constraints and presumably huge demand for the lounge (due to the number of Executive Platinum members traveling internationally out of Dallas), I’m curious to see whether it’s actually a pleasant space to spend any amount of time.
Keep in mind that the Amex Centurion Lounge Dallas is just a few steps from the Admirals Club, and offers a hot buffet as well as a spa with complimentary treatments (though it can often take a couple of hours before you can get availability for a treatment). So for those who have access to the Centurion Lounge, I’m not sure the Flagship Lounge will seem all that impressive as a relative matter.
Is anyone passing through Dallas soon, and planning on checking out the new Flagship Dining inside the Admirals Club? What are your expectations of the lounge?