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American Airlines Set to Reopen Industry-Leading Premium Flagship Lounges

Airline will welcome back customers with new menus inspired by chefs from the James Beard Foundation

  • Flagship Lounges will begin reopening in September.
  • American collaborates with James Beard Foundation and awe-inspiring local chefs on regionally inspired menu items.
  • Customers traveling to Hawaii in Flagship First and Flagship Business will be able to access the Flagship experience.

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is ready to reconnect customers to a premium dining experience on the ground with the reopening of its Flagship lounges, where customers can wine, dine and retreat during travel. Throughout the fall, American will begin reopening Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining, with the first location opening Sept. 14, 2021, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). As customers return to the lounges, they will experience new menus from James Beard Foundation chefs, more ways to access the lounges and recognizable touches from the inflight experience.

“The Flagship Lounge and Flagship Dining experience brings a whole new level of luxury to our customers’ journey, and we are thrilled to showcase our new offerings,” said Clarissa Sebastian, Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products. “With revamped menus designed in collaboration with awe-inspiring chefs and even more ways to access the lounge, we can’t wait to open the doors and serve our customers this fall.”

Projected reopening schedule:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8
    • Flagship Lounge: Sept. 14
    • Flagship First Dining: Sept. 16
  • Miami International Airport (MIA) Concourse D
    • Flagship Lounge: Sept. 28
    • Flagship First Dining: Sept. 30

Later this fall, locations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Terminal 4, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Terminal D and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Terminal 3 will reopen.

Meet the Chefs bringing regional flavors to menu items

American is bringing celebrated chefs to Flagship Lounges and Flagship First Dining to serve up delicious and creative menu offerings. This program is in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, an organization with a mission to celebrate, support and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity and sustainability. Each location will feature an acclaimed local chef with offerings designed exclusively for their hometown lounge.


DFW, Chef Tiffany Derry


MIA, Chef Timon Balloo


JFK, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja


ORD, Chef Sarah Grueneberg

DFW, Chef Tiffany Derry: The Top Chef fan favorite and chef and owner of the new Dallas hotspot, Roots Southern Table, will bring American customers a high-end twist to her family’s classic southern recipes. In addition to being a celebrated chef and television host, Chef Tiffany has been a sustainability spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation and has worked with the Dallas school district’s lunch program.

MIA, Chef Timon Balloo: Local ingredients and bold flavors fuel the spirit of dishes created by Miami Chef Timon Balloo. Chef Timon has been called “Chef of the Year" by Eater for his work at Miami’s SUGARCANE and is now building out his own brand with concepts like Mrs. Balloo, an Asian cuisine-inspired food truck, delivery-only Balloo Wallah and Balloo, for which he was nominated Best Chef: South by the James Beard Foundation in 2020.

JFK, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja’s Indonesian and Italian heritage have always been a source of inspiration. Drawing on the rustic, vibrant flavors found throughout Italy, Morocco and Tunisia, her menus at New York City’s Shuka and the brand new Shukette combine Eastern Mediterranean recipes with her own bold signature.

ORD, Chef Sarah Grueneberg: Chef Sarah Grueneberg is the award-winning chef and owner of Chicago's Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio. She has won several awards, including the 2017 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Grueneberg created soulful Italian dishes for American flights in 2019 and will now showcase her talents at our Flagship Lounge located in her hometown at ORD.

The chef creating menu items for LAX will be named soon.

Accessing American Airlines exclusive clubs on the ground

American’s Flagship Lounge features premium amenities and services, including the dishes created in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. Customers can access the Flagship Lounge depending on elite status or if they are traveling in a premium cabin on a qualifying flight. New to the list, eligible customers traveling to Hawaii in Flagship® First and Flagship® Business will be able to access the Flagship experience

Customers flying in Flagship First on qualifying international or transcontinental flights also have access to Flagship First Dining located within the Flagship Lounge. Flagship First Dining offers a full service restaurant dining experience featuring locally inspired menus designed by the James Beard Foundation chefs. American became the first airline to open a restaurant-style dining experience on the ground in 2017.

While Flagship Lounges and Dining are its most exclusive, the airline has also reopened its Admirals Club lounges in U.S. cities and select international locations, customers traveling on an American Airlines or oneworld alliance® ticketed flight may also purchase a day pass to an Admiral’s Club.

New enhancements to Flagship Lounge locations

Customers will soon notice D.S. & Durga before takeoff, with hand soap and lotions featured in the restrooms. Shower suites will now feature Dyson Supersonic hair dryers to enhance the premium guest experience. This summer, American introduced new amenity kits for premium cabin customers in partnership with Shinola and D.S. & Durga.

About American Airlines Group
American’s purpose is to care for people on life’s journey. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at

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