American’s New “Flagship Bridge” Dining Area At JFK

In late May American debuted their new premium lounges at JFK. Specifically, American opened their newly refurbished Flagship Lounge, which is open to international first & business class passengers, oneworld Emerald & Sapphire members traveling internationally, as well as those traveling nonstop in business class to Los Angeles and San Francisco.


American’s new Flagship Lounge JFK

This lounge represents a nice improvement over the old Flagship Lounge, though I do have some concerns over crowding, given how many people now have access to the lounge.


American’s new Flagship Lounge JFK

On top of that, American introduced the new Flagship First Dining Facility, which is located inside the Flagship Lounge. This is only open to international first class customers, as well as select premium transcontinental customers. This is an a la carte dining facility with table service, and looks phenomenal. Unfortunately a very limited number of people will have access to this.


American’s new Flagship First Dining JFK

The good news is that the Flagship Lounge has just opened a new area of the lounge called the “Flagship Bridge,” which is a dining area for those who don’t have access to the Flagship First Dining section. The Flagship Bridge is open daily from 2PM until 10PM, and it’s the only area in the lounge where you can order off the menu. It’s called the Flagship Bridge because this area is in the “bridge” above the terminal. Well, either that or they just borrowed the name from Cathay Pacific. 😉

Reader Jeffrey was kind enough to share some details about his visit today, as they apparently just started serving food today.

Here are some pictures of the new facility that Jeffrey was kind enough to share:

And here’s the menu:

Jeffrey had the Flagship Burger, and said he really enjoyed it. He said that when he entered the Flagship Lounge he was given two orange keys that got him access to the Flagship Bridge, so when he went there they took the keys from him and then there was proper table service.

I believe at first American tried to offer a la carte dining in the rest of the lounge, though I can totally understand how that was probably chaotic, given how many people are in the lounge, and given how tough it probably is to keep track of people.

So having a specific area where passengers can order off the menu makes a lot of sense, in my opinion.

This is an awesome improvement, both because it adds (much needed) square footage to the lounge, and because based on everything I’ve heard, the food is actually really good.

I’m impressed with American’s finished premium lounge product at JFK.

Anyone plan on checking out the new “Flagship Bridge” at JFK soon?

Comments

  1. Is this the old mezzanine space? Which is odd because I assumed the build out there would be dedicated to the Admirals Club which is shockingly small currently.

  2. Thanks for the photographs 🙂

    I’m unsure who has access to the Flagship Bridge. Is it anybody who has access to the Flagship Lounge? Or only particular subsets? The reason why I am confused is because of the ‘orange keys’ being needed for access.

    🙂

  3. Hi – Jeffrey here (the guy who took the pics). Yup! This is the mezzanine area “bridge” that goes over the main level of the terminal. And yes, I too was surprised that the “bridge” was not made part of the admirals club seeing how small it is. But this is a big big plus for Flagship Lounge passengers and dramatically expands the square footage. As you can see from the pics, I was one of only 3 passengers in the bridge, which could comfortably seat 70-80 people. And the servers and bar tender were so so welcoming and proud of the space. It’s a great extension to the Flagship Lounge.

    Regarding access, we were told it is only open to those passengers who have Flagship Lounge access. The reason for the orange keys (cards, really, the size of a credit card) is because you have to leave the Flagship Lounge, and then re-enter at the Admirals Club entrance – but instead of turning left to go into the admirals club (where the two white podiums are in the pic), you turn right and are greeted by an AA agent who takes the keys from you and shows you to a table.

    I wish I had taken a pic of the burger! It was really good. But it wasn’t until AFTER I devoured it that they told me “today is our first day serving food – and the bridge has only been open less than two weeks”.

  4. Thanks for the pics, Jeffrey! When I visited the newly renovated Concourse B Admirals Club a couple of months ago, the agents told me this “bridge” area would, in fact, be part of the Admirals Club (which from a footprint perspective would make more sense). But great to see it as an addition to the Flagship Lounge, especially where those with access can get some real food.

  5. Thanks for giving some insight into the orange keycards, Jeffrey 🙂 I understand now 🙂 I’ll try it out when we’re in JFK next! Hopefully, this’ll keep the crowding down!

  6. Also, it looks like the food menu for the Flagship Bridge is a pared down version of the menu in the Flagship First Dining area. That seems fair to me.

  7. I agree it’s a nice enhancement. But most of the items on that menu do not need to be prepared individually and it’s almost pointless to be taking orders for them – they could just be on a buffet. It really should just be a “order your burger” menu…

  8. For some reason, I had assumed that the dinner was complimentary given the pared down menu… but I guess I shouldn’t take the assumption for granted.

  9. Simon & LAXJFK – My flight (AA 44) took a delay and returned to the gate, so more time to reply now. Yup the food was all complimentary.

    Flightwonk – Hmm. Well, the agent was pretty specific about it only being open to Flagship Lounge guests. Maybe during “off hours” (i.e., before 2pm) it will be open to Admirals Club guests? That would make sense.

  10. This was the temporary Admirals Club, and I think the Flagship lounge took the entire footprint of the old AC. So where will the new Admirals Club be?

  11. Did you know that Cathey Pacific first passengers also get access to Flagship Dinning? I fly Cathey from JFK-HKG last month and was very impressed with the ground experience Cathey offers at JFK. Actually better then there ground experience in Hong Kong (except the HK lounge is nicer) I don’t know if this is the normal or what but when I flew out of JFK last month, I took the afternoon flight. At first checkin counter, the supervisor greeted us and then an agent escorted us to the front of the TSA line (brought us to the front of the priority line, not that there was a long one that time of day). Then they escorted us to the lounge and AA gave us access to the flagship dinning. Afterwords at boarding time they escorted us to the gate. The one bad part is that the JFK T8 gates aren’t meant to handle a 773 so the lines are insane but we still got first to board before Emerald Members. We were on a payed first ticket but did not use 5 star or anything from American. I figured you might find this interesting as CX doesn’t usually offer much in ground services for First, especially outside of HKG.

  12. When I visited 2 days ago prior to my 1am HKG flight, the entire bridge was deserted. At the time, obviously not even the bar was staffed. I had a nice chat with one of the long-time serving premium agents, and she acknowledged the overcrowding problem, as now Business class as well as Sapphires have Flagship access. She mentioned to me that there is something in the works to make the entire lounge complex in the main terminal a sole flagship lounge, thereby eliminating the admirals club from the main terminal, and incorporating the space of the current admirals club into the flagship lounge. This would provide ample increase of space for the current space needs of the flagship lounge. The only negative would be, that admirals club members would have to go through the tunnel to the club in the concourse.

  13. I wanted to know this too, and I found the information on the website as to the exclusions: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/clubs/flagship-lounge.jsp

    So, in addition to those with an Admirals Club membership, the following seem to be excluded unless they have access through one of the other routes:

    * American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum customers traveling solely on North American itineraries do not qualify for Flagship Lounge access. North America is defined as the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, Mexico (except MEX), Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

    * Business class who are not flying on qualifying international or transcontinental flights. Qualifying international flights are those between the U.S. and Europe, Asia, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico City (MEX) only. Qualifying transcontinental flights are defined as non-stop between New York Kennedy (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO), and 3-class aircraft between Los Angeles (LAX) and Miami (MIA). All other international destinations are excluded from this benefit. Departing flight must be the same-day (or before 6 a.m. the following day).

  14. This will be a good addition at JFK. I was reading in the comments about Ted’s experience flying Cathay Pacific in First. It sounds like that was an exceptional ground experience. You definitely do not receive that at LAX or ORD.

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