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Access to American's Flagship Lounge at JFK on Arrival

I arrived at JFK a few minutes before our scheduled arrival of 8:33am. I chose not to be woken up for breakfast on the flight, and I was hungry.  

I headed to the Concourse B Admirals Club, thinking I would at least have some small bites and decent coffee (I love the new coffee machines, which allow you to make an iced latte!).

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I also knew that American had recently opened its Flagship First Dining area at JFK, but I did not hold out hope for access — in my experience, Flagship Lounge access itself is limited to departures only. 

(As an aside: Hey, American Airlines — can we get an arrivals lounge landside at JFK, please? It would be a huge help with premium passengers on early arrival international flights, like from São Paulo!)

I walked up to the agent, and instead of asking whether I had access to the Flagship Lounge, I simply handed her my transcon first class boarding pass.

Her response: "Did you want to try the Flagship breakfast this morning?"

Score! I'm not sure I was supposed to be granted access, but I'm not complaining. If it's not official policy, it would be nice if American would grant Flagship Lounge access to premium passengers getting off red eyes. I accepted the invitation, and the agent took a white card and wrote down my name and incoming flight info. She handed the card to me for admission to Flagship First Dining.

I turned left from the counters and down the long hallway. For those who had seen the newly renovated Flagship Lounge before Flagship First Dining was unveiled, the long temporary white wall on the right hand side has been replaced with something with more art: 

 Before

Before

 After

After

At the end of this hall, take a hard right, and you'll find the entrance to Flagship First Dining:

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I walked in and handed the white card to a hostess, who led me to a table by the window overlooking the aircraft I had arrived on (N111ZM).

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I ordered an iced coffee, a fruit plate, and the steak with eggs and frites. I'm a huge fan of Pamela Wiznitzer and her cocktails, but given it was the start of a work day, I couldn't bring myself to order a cocktail at 8:30am. 

The fruit plate was fresh, and came with a ginger and lime zest Greek yogurt sauce for dipping. It was perfectly balanced — not too gingery.  

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The steak, eggs, and frites were delicious, too. The meat was so tender, and a merlot hollandaise sauce topped it off. The potatoes were crispy, but otherwise nothing terribly special. 

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I finished my meal, thanked the server (he had recommended the steak, eggs, and frites), left a $20 tip, then headed back to the main part of the Flagship Lounge to get some work done and handle a call.  

I can't wait to try Flagship First Dining on an evening flight so I can try dinner. Kudos to American Airlines for creating something worth showing up to the airport early for! 

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