A First Class Passage To India – Admirals Club And Flagship Lounges

A First Class Passage To India – Admirals Club And Flagship Lounges

Million Mile SecretsA First Class Passage To India – Admirals Club And Flagship LoungesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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This is a continuation of our recent First Class trip to India, a journey where we had Big Travel with Small Money.

Flagship Lounge - Chicago
Emily In The American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago

Trip Report Index:

We checked in at Kansas City and got our boarding passes for our flights from Kansas City to Mumbai.  We then went through security and went to the Admirals Club Lounge by our gate.

Admirals Club Lounge – Kansas City

The lounge was very small, but we were warmly greeted as we entered.

AA Admiral Lounge - Kansas City
American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge – Kansas City

There was a small bar in the lounge.

AA Admiral Lounge - Kansas City
Bar In The American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge – Kansas City

I asked for an internet access card and logged onto the web.  Emily used one of the 2 computers in the lounge to check her email.

The lounge was very small and the picture below is literally about 50% of the lounge area!

AA Admiral Lounge 3 - Kansas City
Computers In The American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge – Kansas City

After spending ~45 minutes in the lounge, we headed to our gate and boarded our flight from Kansas City to Chicago.

We were in domestic First Class, and the short flight to Kansas City was uneventful.  I would have liked to have posted pictures of our flight, but I didn’t take any since I wasn’t blogging at the time.

Flagship Lounge – Chicago

We landed in Chicago and made our way to American Airline’s Flagship Lounge.

AA Flagship Lounge 2 - Chicago
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago

American Airline’s Flagship Lounges are restricted to First Class International passengers, First Class Transcontinental customers, and to oneworld Emerald International customers traveling on eligible  oneworld flights.

The Flagship Lounge is supposed to be a “premium” First Class lounge, but I found it to be just okay.  The service was great, but the food offerings (processed cheese and vegetables with ranch sauce) and decor were below par.

I am being critical here, because American Airline sells International First Class tickets for tens of thousands of dollars – and for that type of money I would expect a lot more than a self-service bar and a few finger foods served with packets of ketchup and mustard!

In comparison, the Concorde Lounge in London most certainly was a “premium” First Class lounge! But more about that later…

AA Flagship Lounge - Chicago
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago

Cheese and crackers with regular cutlery and crockery!

AA Flagship Lounge - Chicago
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago – Cheese and Crackers

There were self-service beverages available.

AA Flagship Lounge 5 - Chicago
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago – Self Service Bar

We helped ourselves to a Bailey’s on the rocks and checked our email.

AA Flagship Lounge - Chicago
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago – Beverages

We decided to graze on some fruits and sandwiches.

AA Flagship Lounge 6 - Chicago
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago – Food Offerings

I decided to have a shower before we boarded our flight to London, so I left the Flagship Lounge (which didn’t have any showers) and walked to the showers in the Admirals Club Lounge.

AA Admiral Lounge - Chicago
American Airlines Admiral Club Lounge – Chicago – Showers

The private shower room was great – water pressure good, clean towels, and toiletries were provided.

AA Flagship Lounge - Chicago
American Airlines Admiral Club Lounge – Chicago – Showers

After my shower, I trudged back to the Flagship Lounge and soon it was time to board our flight from Chicago to London.

The walk from the Flagship Lounge to our gate was very short and soon we were in the First Class cabin of an American Airlines 777 heading to London!

Bottom Line: We did have a nice time together exploring the 3 American Airline lounges in Kansas City and Chicago and looked forward to our flights to India.

What do you think?

Was I *too* critical of the First Class Flagship Lounge in Chicago?

Should I expect the lounge to be of a very high standard – given the retail price of a First Class ticket – even though I redeemed miles for my ticket?

Tell us about it in the comments!

Last Day!

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wow. this looks like a First Class Lounge in a very small regional Port. Check out the First Class Lounge in my home port of Sydney. These guys need to pick up their socks!

I am fortunate to fly only Business or First these days.

The first-class Qantas lounge in Sydney rivals (and I think, surpasses) the Concorde lounge at Heathrow.

The next best first-class lounge is Cathay in Hong Kong.

I loathe flying on any American airline. The "service" is non-existent, the seats are invariably uncomfortable, and the entertainment systems are a joke.

I have always been amused by how poor the lounges in the US are. Is this because in the US airlines are looked on more as a bus service with people commuting around more so than we do in Europe? Then again the pictures of the Flagship Lounge do remind me of some of the dodgier airport lounges in Europe, maybe that is where AA got the design ideas!

To have a cash register at the bar is just unheard of over here! And then you have to tip the barman for every drink s/he pours you! A bad habit not to bring to Europe please!

As a BA regular we are very spoilt. With the Club Lounges in LHR T5 always having an excellent range of food and drinks (champagne if you ask a catering staff member - sshhh don't tell anyone) you do get annoyed when you get to another lounge, hungry and nothing but biscuits and cheese to eat.

Look forward to your Concorde Lounge review! I'll be back there near the end of July!

Million Mile Secrets

@RichUK - I share your amusement at the US lounges. I suspect that US lounges aren't terribly attractive because not many folks actually BUY domestic First Class tickets in the US (most First class seats are filled with upgraded elites) with the result that all you get is just a (slightly) wider seat and an extra drink or two.

You BA regulars are most certainly spoilt rotten! In future, I'll gladly pay BA's taxes and fees for a better First Class product and access to those terrific lounges!

For a lounge specifically for First Class passengers, it should be up to par with competitors.

As far as First Class lounges, up until recently, I've only visited the AA Flagship lounge at JFK, which I thought was pretty nice until I had the opportunity to visit the BA Concorde Lounge at Heathrow.

Compared to AA, the Concorde Lounge was definitely knock-your-socks-off with several menus of food to choose from and sit-down table service for dinner if you are so inclined.

Taking a walk through LHR Terminal 5, we also checked out the two BA business class lounges, which were nice, but slightly crowded. They had nice hot and cold buffet spreads -- but nothing like the choose-from-a-menu waitress service at the Concorde lounge, which was more like eating very fine gourmet food in a private club.

Million Mile Secrets

@Megan - Glad you like the pictures! US airlines typically don't give lounge access to their First Class domestic customers, since they want you to buy lounge membership. However, most airlines do offer international First and Business class customers lounge access. Generally, the First Class lounges are better than the Business class lounges and Lufthansa even has a separate First Class terminal for their First Class passengers in Frankfurt and Munich!

You're right - exploring the lounges makes the First Class experience even more enjoyable!

@Max Jones - I agree with you that AA is slipping in terms of their service and quality of their offerings. However, they do give unlimited upgrades to all Executive Platinum (top tiers) along with 8 system wide upgrades which can be used on most cheap fares. But that doesn't make up for a bad product!

@Craig - I completely agree with you that the Concorde lounge is truly spectacular. I just wish I had taken more pictures!

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