First Look At American’s New Flagship Dining DFW

On Tuesday I wrote about the new Flagship Lounge coming to DFW Airport, which was scheduled to open on November 3, 2015. While Dallas is American’s biggest hub, it hasn’t had a Flagship Lounge (American’s equivalent of an international first class lounge) for over a decade.

American had a Flagship Lounge in the old “A” Concourse, but when the “D” Concourse opened about a decade ago (the concourse from which American’s international flights operate), American never bothered building a new Flagship Lounge there.

While American isn’t introducing a full Flagship Lounge at DFW, they are opening what they’re calling Flagship Dining, which is a special dining area inside the “D” Concourse Admirals Club.

Hans Mast passed through Dallas this morning, and was kind enough to share some pictures of the setup, as it has apparently already had a soft opening.

Apparently at the entrance to the Admirals Club he was given an invitation to the Flagship Dining facility.

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As a reminder, this facility is available to the following passengers:

I think calling it a Flagship Dining facility is pretty accurate, given that it’s just a room with about a dozen tables.

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The buffet spread seems similar to what American offers in other Flagship Lounges, minus hot food. Best I can tell, the only hot food available is oatmeal, which is a bit odd. And the whole thing does seem to have a bit of a “catered conference room” vibe.

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The selection seems to consist of parfaits, muffins, scones, croissants, cold cuts, whole fruit, oatmeal, smoothies, etc.

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Then on the other wall is a selection of drinks, including water, smoothies, juice, soft drinks, beer, wine, and champagne (Taittinger is on offer, from the looks of it).

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Then if you want a mixed drink, the servers are apparently happy to get it for you from the Admirals Club bar.

Hans mentioned that the Flagship Dining area was apparently staffed with three servers, which does seem like a lot for just a dozen tables. But this is also a soft opening, so that could be temporary as they get into the rhythm of things.

Bottom line

Ultimately something is better than nothing, and I realize American has limited space with which to work for the time being. So kudos to them for their creativity. That being said:

  • A dozen (or so) tables doesn’t seem like that many for all Executive Platinum members traveling on longhaul international flights, plus first class passengers. This lounge very much seems to be designed with the intent of eating there and then going back into the Admirals Club to lounge. In that sense it reminds me of the pre-flight dining facility British Airways has in their JFK lounge.
  • The food spread looks a bit underwhelming, with limited hot options. But that might just be a function of the soft opening.
  • The American Express Centurion Lounge is just a few minutes away, so if you have access, that still seems like the all around better option.

Still, kudos to American for this new facility, as it’s definitely a nice addition. I can’t wait to check it out the next time I pass through Dallas. And thanks to Hans for sharing some pictures!

What do you make of American’s new Flagship Dining facility at DFW Airport?

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. The catering looks identical to the Flagship Lounge at O’Hare next to gate K19 (where JAL flights depart.) Pretty shabby for the biggest hub of the world’s biggest airline, and not a patch on BA’s pre-flight dining at JFK.

  2. This doesn’t even match the standard in the basic flagship lounges at JFK, LAX, ORD.

    Hope it’s not a test of a watered down premium experience.

  3. Shockingly baddddddddddd
    An embarrassment that tarnishes the brand and any hope that premium passengers would pick American over other options

  4. Wow! Diet Dr. Pepper opulently presented in a bowl of ice. This whole setup looks more like a white-trash wedding you wouldn’t RSVP to.

    JRL

  5. There’s an Amex Centurion lounge at DFW, so why did American even bother? Better to just give them a pass to the Amex lounge which from the looks of this place is about 1,000x better.

  6. What do I think?

    I think your other post in which you *assumed* they were opening a Flagship LOUNGE was totally unfounded and wrong speculation (correct me if I’m wrong) and reflects poorly on the quality of your blog. That’s what I think. They branded it differently for a reason. Why did you have to embellish?

  7. The Tatti isn’t chilled? THAT’S the biggest problem with this FD concept right there. I’ve got my priorities… 😉

  8. They should re-do the whole airport as a Flagship Lounge and then set aside a tiny shack out by the freeway where they can direct the small fraction of DFW pax that aren’t EXP.

  9. On a serious note, since this was a soft opening and they have been advertising hot food, I would think that on or near the “official” opening date of 03 Nov they’ll add that element in. It’s a step – a small step – in the right direction, but until there’s a full FL open in DFW, it’s still a bit of an embarrassment for AA.

  10. I was in the DFW Flagship lounge at 10am to 10:10am, then back after the AmEx lounge from 11am – 12:15pm. Took pictures as well, but these capture it.

    The food is basically what is sold in the AC club plus a little more. No hot dishes other than the soup. Friendly staff, they serve drinks at your table, you get the food.
    Exactly 10 tables for 2, 2 feet in diameter. New paint, carpet and pictures. But no new construction. Food brought in from regular AC food for purchase kitchen. Very friendly staff.

  11. The pictures are breakfast. I was there for both breakfast and lunch. Lunch is better. Sandwiches are good. And very good salad selection like AmEx. 2 soups.

    I actually like the AA FL lunch offering better than the AmEx. More salads, 2 soups, plus nice sandwiches, plus lots of other stuff. Kind of tired of the AmEx hot food offerings.

  12. Randy wins today’s Best Post of the Day prize. No humor, unfortunately, but factual, helpful and snark free — all desirable qualities not always seen here.

    I’ll never make EXP, though, and so I’ll probably never get to see for myself.

    And for anyone wondering,and putting all the hype aside, the DFW Centurion lounge can really get to be a something of a zoo later in the day. It’s not, in other words, necessarily such a great alternative. Food aside, you’re way better off at the Terminal D Admirals Club, truly.

  13. Randy, I did a similar dance. Got to the Flagship at 8:41a this morning, left at 8:59a to head to Centurion and was at Centurion until 1020a when I ran to B Concourse for my 1050a flight. You didn’t happen to be back in the Le Meridien section, were you? I was sitting at a table in the Le Meridien section, immediately inside and to the right. I was chatting with Franz (the Global Barista for Le Meridien) most of the time.

  14. Ari, I think you failed in some reading comprehension. Ben clearly said in the other post:
    “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.”

  15. I was at the Admirals yesterday, for AA 997 DFW-EZE, cigarette in hand only to be surprised by these monstrosity. The only smoking lounge left in DFW is the one on Admirals A23, and who knows how long it will last. We’re pariahs…

    On another note, AA 996 EZE-DFW flight crew told me that as of next month the DFW-EZE and EZE-DFW routes are resorting back to the 772s (no more Dreamliner). Anyone care to confirm?

  16. This new flagship dinning is absolutely appalling & pathetic!

    AA just announced that they made a record profit if $1.9 billion in the latest quarter and this is how DP and his penny pinching cronies, treat their best top tier premium travelers?

    AA’s board of directors unfortunately who were leveraged from all of AA’s unions, had to vote out most of the old AA management when discussing emerging from bankruptcy. This in favor of DP and many of his management team who ran low end West Airlines and even worse US Airways!

    I’ve been flying with AA since the mid 1970’s and It seemed as though the old AA management approach towards their top tier travelers, was much better than anyone has in management at the present AA. This after participating in countless survey’s, focus groups etc, to help AA become great?

    DP and his buddies only know how to run low end airlines and have absolutely no idea of how to enhance the overall travel experience for the better, for it’s top tier premier members at all.

    Very disappointing indeed.

    IMHO

  17. Just checked it out. It’s lame. Went afterwards to Centurion. No comparison and an embarrassment for American. Do the people who make these choices never travel internationally? Clueless

  18. What’s appalling is that there is no Emerald F lounge in DFW, the largest hub of OW.

    This is a modest toward improving it.

    Given how vast the AC in Concourse D is, I fail to understand why a true Flagship lounge cannot be carved out of the AC.

    Anyway I just finished up lunch. I appreciated having all the Shiner I wanted to drink, and still kept my premium drink coupons for later.

    It wasn’t loud or crowded. A nice respite.

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