Once through security, the lift to the American Airlines lounge complex is ahead to the left. These lounges are accessible to passengers flying in business and first, as well as oneWorld Sapphire and Emerald.
As I was flying on American’s flagship First service from New York to Los Angeles on the Airbus 321T, a single aisle, three-class aircraft, I was eligible to access their Flagship First Dining room. This is a lounge within the lounge where there is some excellent food and drink on offer.
I arrived at the lounge entrance and had my boarding passes checked. I was the given a special card which gives access to the inner sanctum.
The lounge has some fabulous views overlooking the tarmac. The tables for one are the best place to sit if you are solo traveller.
There are tables which are more restaurant style and these can be put together if you’re travelling in a larger group. There are some booths at the back as well which are great for couples.
There is an lovely bar with an extensive cocktail menu.
To begin with and I had a Gin Basil Lemonade.
The menu is really exceptional. It is small but everything I had was absolutely fantastic and beautifully presented.
To start with I had the Wasabi Lobster Cocktail.
For main course. I went with the Rock Shrimp Stir Fry. Not eating meat does limit my options but this was not a problem.
For desert I had a cheese plate and was suitable replete.
Whilst I was eating in the dining room, I was approached by a member of American Airlines ground crew. She introduced herself as a member of their special services team and said that she would be able to escort me to the plane. She was very polite and said she would find me in the lounge when it was time to go. I left the dining room and had a shower before relaxing in the Flagship First lounge.
Around an hour before departure, the lady came to find me and proceeded to take me down to The tarmac where the Cadillac was waiting.
This was absolutely incredible and I was driven across the tarmac and arrange with the aircraft to our gate.
We then went up in the lift to the departure area and she waited with me until I was first board the aircraft. It was an incredible experience and one which I enjoyed very much. I asked her why she had done this for me and was told that when she is not busy with celebs and VIPs, she looks out for people arriving or connection onto First Class flights, particularly those departing from the other side of the terminal to make the trip across the apron worth while.
There is no way to pre-book this – you just have to hope that you get lucky like I did!