American Airlines to Reopen Flagship Lounges. Review of Miami Lounge Included.
I was at the Flagship Lounge at Miami International Airport in September of 2019 — which is almost two years ago — and what better way for me to celebrate its reopening than have an article which contains a review of this Flagship Lounge which had never been released?
After entering through the doors of the Flagship Lounge, one walks down a circular staircase past — and around — a large decorative chandelier…
…or one can take one of two elevators instead and bypass the stairs.
Four places are available to check into the Flagship Lounge. Three were manned — or womanned — on the day when I was there.
The Flagship Lounge at Miami International Airport is large and spacious, with numerous areas and rooms where one can relax.
Windows are available in some of the areas of the lounge.
Plenty of electrical outlets and Universal Serial Bus — which are more popularly known as USB — ports are available near many seats.
Plenty of seating is also available near the main area of where food and beverages are offered.
American Airlines 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, which is an organization with a mission to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind the food culture of the United States; 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 Flagship Lounge — but in the meantime, what was offered in 2019 for breakfast included smoked salmon with sliced hard boiled eggs, sliced tomatoes, sliced red peppers, and capers; mango and Brazilian nut salad; seasonal fresh fruit; a Venezuelan guasacaca salad; and little plates of Serrano asparagus.
Because I was in the Flagship Lounge in the morning, breakfast items were available — such as melon and quark cheese, a platter of local and imported cheeses, a platter of domestic and imported charcuterie, and assorted bread products.
Yukon breakfast potatoes, purple breakfast potatoes, fried potatoes, and rolls were also offered…
…as well as crispy bacon and soft scrambled eggs.
Oatmeal and hot breakfast cereals were offered on a counter at the far end of the main dining area — as well as orange juice, water, coffee, and tea.
At the end of that counter is a station where a chef prepareed sweet crèpes which were made to order — as well as English muffins and little pastries.
In addition to fresh grapes and sliced strawberries, offerings on the counter also included locally selected charcuterie, locally sourced cheeses, and South Beach breakfast salad.
One station in a different part of the Flagship Lounge has a small assortment of candies, fresh fruit, and miniature pretzels.
Hot and cold beverages are located on the same counter near the candies and pretzels.
In fact, several beverage stations are located throughout the Flagship Lounge; so guests are never too far away from hot or cold drinks, fruit, or snacks.
Behind the well-stocked main bar was the entrance to the area of Flagship First Dining, which is only accessible to customers who fly as passengers in Flagship First on qualifying international or transcontinental flights. Flagship First Dining offers a full service restaurant dining experience featuring locally inspired menus designed by the James Beard Foundation chefs. American Airlines became the first airline to open a restaurant-style dining experience on the ground in 2017.
Even though breakfast is my least favorite meal, I have had some good breakfasts in airport lounges and hotel lounges in the past — but the food was unremarkable at what is supposed to be a Flagship Lounge. I can only hope that the food improves with the menus of the aforementioned chefs.
Plenty of newspapers and magazines were available — including Global Traveler, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. The official magazine of American Airlines — which is known as American Way — is still being published and is one of the few remaining airline publications.
A business center contains several partitioned computer stations, at least two printers — one of which was out of order during the morning when I was there, and a limited amount of office supplies.
One room contains a theater area in which guests can sit comfortably and watch television.
Shower suites will feature Dyson Supersonic hair dryers to enhance the premium guest experience. The toilet stalls are completely private.
The hand wash and hand lotion by C.O. Bigelow will be replaced with products which are manufactured by D.S. & Durga in the washrooms of the Flagship Lounges effective as of next month.
One can view some of the public areas of Concourse D at the airport from multiple windows of the Flagship Lounge.
Final Boarding Call
Although I did like many aspects of the Flagship Lounge at Miami International Airport and would certainly return again when the opportunity presents itself, I was not impressed overall with the offerings — but perhaps the improvements which are supposed to be implemented as of next month will mean a better experience.
On my return trip, I did have a chance to sample the offerings at dinner time. Were they any better? That will be revealed in a future article and review…