American’s Flagship Lounge In Chicago To Open Next Month

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

This is only the first renovated Flagship Lounge that American plans on introducing, and as each new lounge opens, the entry requirements for it will change as well. Under the old rules, only international first class passengers and oneworld Emerald members have access, while under the new rules, international business class passengers and oneworld Sapphire members will have access as well.

We know that American plans to open new Flagship Lounges in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia.

We now have an update on when the next Flagship Lounge will be opening. American intends to open their next Flagship Lounge at Chicago O’Hare in September, so we’re only a few weeks from the next one opening. The lounge will be roughly 17,000 square feet, so it’s a pretty big lounge. American’s old Flagship Lounge in Chicago wasn’t great at all, so I’m happy to see them replace it (the lounge isn’t even taking over the same space — it’s in a completely different area of the terminal).

Meanwhile we can expect Flagship Lounges in Los Angeles and Miami to open later this year, and hopefully the remaining ones to open next year.

It’s interesting to see Chicago be the second city to get a new Flagship Lounge. This might just be a function of the speed at which they were able to do construction, but in general Chicago is a hub that American doesn’t otherwise seem to be focusing much on lately. In fairness, though, Chicago is the only airport to have a United Polaris Lounge so far (which they’re in the process of expanding), so I guess they could also be trying to compete with that.

I look forward to checking out American’s new Flagship Lounge in Chicago! Unfortunately unlike New York, the lounge won’t have Flagship First Dining, but that’s hardly a surprise, given that American doesn’t offer any international first class out of Chicago.


American’s new Flagship First Dining JFK

Anyone excited to check out American’s new Flagship Lounge in Chicago?

Comments

  1. Cool! Is there a specific date set yet? I have a qualifying itinerary in September and would like to take a look!

  2. I hope to check this out as well, any idea if this is mid Sept or what? We have a qualifying itinerary ORD – CDG in J at the end of Sept so would love to have a look!

  3. I was chatting with the bartender at the AC in PHL last month. She said they are expecting to start work on converting the old Envoy Lounge part of the A-West club to a FL sometime soon (I imagine after the peak summer season). She also heard the entire lounge would be closing during construction which will certainly suck if you’ve got a flight out of A-West.

  4. @ Ivan — You sure would, though the terminal might be different, so might require clearing security twice.

  5. I’m flying ORD to Cancun in spring of next year in business class on American. Will I have access to this lounge?

  6. The current FL is a bit of a trek unless you come in at K or H5 – H9. And as I’m always there in the morning when the JAL flight is getting ready to leave, it is very crowded (although nobody ever goes into the quiet lounge (the former smoking room) – I’m always alone in there.

    Looking forward to the new location!

  7. I really love the old Flagship Lounge in Chicago, I found the staff friendly and helpful, and I enjoyed the feeling of a private, intimate, out-of-the-way club. But I am excited to see the new one, too: not least because it will be more conveniently located, by the massive Admiral’s Club Lounge, in the middle of Concourse H/K instead of waaay down at the end of Concourse K. Since I’m typically flying domestically – to unsexy places like CMH or AZO – and therefore flying into gates in Concourses G or L, it will be nice to have it closer.

  8. The source on this is actually the many contributors at FT and the Chicago Business Journal in July! The planned open dates for both Miami and Chicago Flagship lounges has long been reported. Both were planned for late August and pushed to early September.

    So tip of the hat for the information from FT and CBJ.

  9. @Jason – exactly the old ORD FL was great. It was always quiet, rarely crowded and had awesome staff. This new FL will look shiny – but it will be crowded and busy (thanks to the new access policy), hopefully the staff will be the same.

    Any idea what is happening with the old space?

  10. @Lucky – you pointed out that AA doesn’t offer 1st Class out of ORD on international routes; this being the case why did they have an FL in the first place? Just for Emeralds, etc?

  11. @ Nick in Chicago — Partly for Emeralds, and partly because they used to have tons of flights with first class (the 777-200s used to feature 16 first class seats each, while now they don’t have first class at all).

  12. If I am flying from FCO to LAX in business, connecting in ORD and then on to LAX, would I have access to the lounge or does the connection kill that opportunity?

  13. I’m here now. Agent at H/K told me September 14th. Went up to the club and it was a nightmare. Came over to L club and asked again. Again, told September 14 and “Thank god, we need the space!” Took pictures when I arrived Sunday night and it was empty. Looks nice.

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