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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: AA Business Class Flagship Lounge Miami

Intro


Following a terrific flight with American Airlines from Havana to Miami, I made my way to the Flagship Lounge in Miami. Due to my same day flight consisting of a business class ticket from New York-Los Angeles, I had access on the 4-hour layover before my flight to New York. Just to be clear, if I were flying Miami-New York only in business, I wouldn't have had access.


This lounge is the best business-class lounge I have experienced from American Airlines (The Chelsea lounge is better but F). The space is large, the service is incredible, the food is decent, and the free-flowing Piper Heidsick is a nice touch!


Location


After my record breaking time of going through passport control, I made my way back through security. When connecting in Miami there is no TSA precheck line in the connection part, so I walked around to Checkpoint 4.


Touch wood this happens again

Once clearing security in less than 5 minutes, I made the long walk over to the lounge, located by gate D30.


Just a little bit longer

If coming from security, the lounge is located on the right-hand side. It's quite hard to miss as there are signs everywhere.


Lobby of the lounge

The attendant checked my boarding pass, surprisingly she scanned my New York-Los Angeles one, not the Miami-New York. After 30 seconds and a few good laughs, I was handed a black printed card that read, "Flagship Lounge, You're Invited"!


a good time was to be had shortly

These cards are because the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge are located next to each other upstairs. I headed up the elevators, located right next to where the agent checked me in.


I'll pass on the AA card, thanks though!

After exiting the elevator, an agent took my card and showed me into the Flagship Lounge!


Piper Heidsick!


Upon entering the lounge, I was pleasantly surprised to see a Piper Heidsick station, where staff were serving glasses to anybody in the lounge!


Pretty, uppin their game

During COVID-19, before I was 21😒, I saw a version of this when it started in the Flagship Lounge in New York. Back then AA didn't care as much about the age (I'm English and BA would serve me champagne at 12😂). However, I was asked 4 times in a total of 4 hours if I was over the age of 21. The attendant served me a glass of Piper Heidsick accompanied by a flagship napkin.


Perfect way to reel in the morning

For those that don't want to bother an attendant, there were bottles of champagne in multiple parts of the lounge that were self-service. I found most of the open bottles to be flat sadly😩.


Piper Heidsick at MIA

The Seating


The Flagship Lounge is large, I didn't even realize there was an additional part until I was leaving. On the left-hand side when you walk in, there is a cinema room which plays live sports. Throughout my time here, it seemed quite quiet with only a few people occupying it.


Pretty design

Outside of the cinema room, there are some bar stools.


Elegant

Not so sure if I would like to spend 4 hours sitting on a bar stool, but to each their own I suppose.


AA lounge seating

Continuing down the left was a series of different seating options. When I first arrived it wasn't too busy, but as 3pm rolled around it started to fill up.


AA lounge seating

Whether you are traveling solo or with family, there are plenty of different options.


Sleek design

There was a space to the left that featured views out over the tarmac and a 777 that was getting prepped to fly to Europe.


This was my seating later

Mini bars around the lounge meant you didn't have to walk too far if you were hungry or thirsty.



On the other side of the lounge, I found comfortable dining seating. This is perfect if you are planning on having a meal with a guest of yours.


Too exposed for me

I took a seat to the left of when you first walked in, before the cinema room.



Surprisingly, no one else came into this section of the lounge until 10 minutes before I left. I found this room to be sleek, elegant, and the most private of them all. Take a look at those staple red chairs making the room pop.


The iconic picture

Power sockets were at every seat and table, meaning I had everything I needed for this 4-hour layover.


The seating of 4 was too exposed for my liking

Lastly, regarding seating, I felt safe enough to leave my belongings when going to the toilet. Some lounges I feel safe enough, and others I don't.


In my last 10 minutes, before I left the lounge, I reconvened to the tarmac views to enjoy one last glass of champagne.


Two bottles of water were in order

I stared out at the 772 that was getting loaded up for its departure.



Planes were departing to the East which meant I got to see this Caribbean 737 taking off, an airlines that is planning to be flown later this year as I visit every country in the Caribbean!


We shall see

Food & Drinks


Located in the back of the lounge lies the food station. While there is a flagship First Dining facility, that is only for First Class customers which I am not today😒. This is where the Polaris lounge has AA beat, AA don't offer a sit down style restaurant.


Still tasty

Even if AA doesn't offer a sit-down concept. I found the options to be plentiful and extremely good. The chicken and mahi mahi were the highlights.


Chicken was incredible

After loading up on some bread rolls, I munched down this decent lunch.



Of course, with another glass of champagne😅, when in Rome am I right (I guess Miami).


Much too much coffee was consumed

Next to the buffet, had a couple of great drink options. The first consisted of a soda fountain.



More importantly, there was a fantastic coffee machine that was not only easy to use but made terrific coffee.


I like how simple AA makes it

All in all, it is an extremely solid offering from a food and drinks perspective. The only letdown was not having a sit-down-style restaurant like United does, but then again transcon hops aren't eligible for access to the lounge.


Facilities


A quick note for those who need access to a computer. Located in the tarmac room, there was an IMac that could be used for free. I also saw a printer but I'm unsure as to if it worked or not since I didn't try it (my guess would be yes).


A great touch here AA

Showers


About 45 minutes before my scheduled boarding time, I enquired about taking a shower (I didn't want to smell on the plane😒). I headed over to the desk where they asked for my boarding pass and handed me the key to the showers (they also told me where they were).


I love this design

After my previous experience of showering in the Chelsea Lounge in New York, I wasn't expecting much.


Here we go😒

Boy, was I wrong, these showers were beautiful! The shower rooms are sleekly designed and modern. The sink was beautiful, there was a vanity mirror, and a functioning hairdryer ready for use.


I am shocked

Polar opposite to the lounge in New York. The shower was easy to use and had good water pressure. Combined with the nice hot water, I felt like a new man boarding my second leg to New York!


Shampoo, conditioner and body wash were provided

There was a small bench at the end of the shower, reminding me of my childhood home as I used to sit on the bench for 30 minutes in the shower😅.


Underrated feature

Lastly, there was a toilet. Just a toilet nothing more. Props to you AA, as even the toilet paper was folded, I am extremely impressed!


Cleanliness of a Japanese lounge!

Wow, I am flabbergasted about this experience that AA offers in their flagship lounge in Miami. There is no need to worry about taking a shower at home when you can here!


Overall Service


The service here was stellar, the best service I have had from any lounge in the USA. Here are a few aspects that stood out to me.

  1. When entering the lounge I was proactively offered a glass of champagne.

  2. Even though I was asked if I was over 21 multiple times, we were able to laugh about it (friendly)

  3. When I went to the bathroom, my empty dishes would be gone by the time I got back.

When it came to leaving, I enquired about an upgrade cost (New York-Los Angeles leg) at the desk outside of the Flagship Lounge. The woman (an absolute gem) showed that she wasn't able to get the price, so she called up the New York office to see if they could. In the end, it turned out that I would have to enquire in New York but she went above and beyond. She even placed me on the list of "wanting an upgrade", which in turn would malfunction the system into letting me into the Chelsea Lounge (review coming soon) in New York😉. Whoever you were, you gifted me the git of free Krug champage🥰.


Final Thoughts


Wow! The AA Flagship Lounge in Miami is nothing short of spectacular. The only downside is that there isn't a sit-down restaurant, but I sort of understand the amount of people who have access. The positives though are endless: Piper Heidsick champagne station when entering, seating is fantastic, the service is flawless (some of the best in the US), the food is still good, and the showers, fabulous! My 4-hour layover in Miami felt like 30 minutes thanks to this lounge!

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