AA Flagship Check-in problem update.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I wrote in October about my experience being turned away from the Flagship Check-in at JFK, despite being travelling in First on a three-class transcontinental aircraft.

When in the lounge at JFK the staff indicated that this was because I was not on a full-fare ticket.

The AA web site says that the following people are able to use the check-in:

18-11-2014 06-15-46

As you can see I should have secured access on the third criteria.

Immediately after this I tweeted the AA web team. They sent off an enquiry to the manager responsible and after 4 weeks I secured a reply. AA played with me at first:


18-11-2014 06-13-53


Phew! So it was just a mistake on that day. But then they tweeted again:

18-11-2014 06-14-14

Ah! So although the web site doesn’t say that the First Class travel has to be revenue, this appears to be the rule.

I suppose at least they clarified!


Invalid request error occurred.


  1. Well, sort of. The website still doesn’t say that. I’ve found the Twitter team to be more wrong that right lately. Check my feed for the back-and-forth on the new BusinessExtraa ASIA2014 promo. @thatmikereed

  2. I chatted with AA via facebook.
    They informed me that it doesn’t matter if it was on an award ticket or paid, that I would be eligible.

  3. @milesfromblighty- yea I know. I’ve called in about 3 times to get clarification and have gotten similar response. “we don’t have anybody specific department to ask, but according to the website.. you are eligible”.

    I have a flight in 2 weeks. wish me luck

    lax-sfo aa domestic 2 class first
    sfo-hnd Jal international 4 class first

  4. Perhaps tell them to update their website with this new information? I think you had the right to be checked in at the AA flagship lounge given what was stated on the site.
    Hmmm as for ‘research’ — it only takes 2 seconds to go to that webpage where it explicitly states 1st class passengers in 3 cabin flights are eligible. 😉

  5. I flew LAX – JFK in first two weeks ago on an award ticket and had no problem using Flagship checking there. Quite nice and through everything in a minute

  6. Regarding the conclusion to your post – a ticket purchased with miles IS a revenue ticket. Examples of non-revenue tickets would be airline employee/family travel, “buddy passes”, interline zed fares, and other NRSA ticketing.

  7. I flew MIA-LHR-MIA last summer on award tickets in first and had no problem with Flagship checkin at either MIA or LHR.

  8. As Mike R observed, I’ve also seen an absolute and definite deterioration in service from AA’s Twitter team lately. In the past, I always found them pro-active, intelligent and excellent problem solvers. But in the past couple of months, I’ve noticed that all they seem to do is quote policy and procedure or ‘state the obvious’. And even then, the information they provide is often inaccurate and accompanied by an apology for my disappointment. It seems that the superbly skilled team that used to be in this department have moved elsewhere.

  9. @davep – For me, both being turned away and being told by the lounge staff that this was because I was not on full fare suggested that the entry criteria are confused even within AA.

  10. I have never been turned down on AA when traveling in international first class and every tickets I have flown was an award ticket. They have told me repeatedly that award tickets qualify for lounge access. Somebody is trying to cover up a screw up.

Comments are closed.