LHR: London Heathrow American Airlines Flagship Lounge - First Class Lounge
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NEWS: American Airlines has enhanced the Flagship Lounge Lounge and Flagship Lounge at London Heathrow Airport. It has added Wifi, HP PCs, and an enhanced food and beverage offering. The Flagship Lounge has just been refreshed, doubled in size. There is a new menu by London's renowned "rhubarb" Restaurant & Catering, a new Business Centre and new power sockets.
As the only Flagship Lounge outside the US (the three others are at Chicago, LA and JFK) the American Airlines Flagship Lounge Heathrow should be a delight. Alas, in the recent refresh the bizarre decision was taken to stick with the outdated AA colours with drab grey and brown fake-leather seats, and antiseptic tiles and walls. Looking rather like an out of work motorway service station, inspiring, it is not.
However, the revamp gave the Heathrow American Airlines Flagship Lounge plenty of space: you may not think it needs it with only a few flights out of London still having First Class, however the number of Platinum's on the route, and other oneworld Elites, means that the lounge can get packed at peak time around lunchtime. Towards evening, it gets empty, and when the last flight with First leaves at 6pm, the lounge closes and you have to make your way into the dreadful Admirals Club next door.
There are three main areas to the American Airlines Flagship Lounge Heathrow. As you walk in there is the food and bar area on the right: there are four dining table here too, and a large high bar area with some very uncomfortable high stools.
Beyond this there are high round tables with swivel chairs. Then on the new upper level of the AA First Lounge LHR there are much more comfortable armchairs, each of which has a small flip-out table attached. Finally by the windows are a few more comfortable chairs: the view incidentally is superb, of the apron at London Heathrow and the 27L runway.
Inwards of the lounge are the bathrooms, and the small cinema. This is really good: there is a widescreen TV with Freeview, and some good recliners.
Right on the far left of the lounge there's a separate children's room with a few toys.
FoodThe food in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge Heathrow is much better than in the Admirals Club, but that isn't saying much. Forget having a hot breakfast for a start!
Food is split into segments, starting with "The Fresh Start" (Continental Breakfast – basically croissants and jam), then the "Flagship Café" (a light lunch with sandwiches), "Afternoon Tea" (some really good cakes) and then the "Flagship Supper": preflight dining, but not with much. Basically, the sandwiches come out again, along with bagels.
There is hot food, provided by London's renowned "rhubarb" Restaurant & Catering who also run the Food Bar at Terminal Three. If you miss the diet of America lounges however there are carrots and celery and what is enticingly called Ranch Dip.
The deserts in the AA First Lounge LHR are however very good indeed, with a great cheesecake selection.
BarSo, the food in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge Heathrow isn't up to much. But what of the bar? The good news is that it is free pour and free flowing. The bad news is that wine is pretty poor and almost a free giveaway: the selection would retail for about a fiver a bottle at Tescos.
The wine is on the worktop behind the food, and in the fridge, with two types of red and white. At least there is a sparkling wine in the fridge!
Beer in the AA First Lounge LHR is basic Carlsberg or Heineken, in cans.
At least the spirit selection is worthy of note, with 20 bottles including everything from Baileys to Jack Daniels.
BathroomsThere are good private bathrooms with a toilet and spa-like showers. These, unlike the rest of the lounge, are new and trendy, and genuinely good places to refresh.
The showers have shower gel and shampoo, but they are fairly cheap and aren't especially pleasant.
Business FacilitiesComputer and wifi facilities in the LHR American Airlines Flagship Lounge are superb.
There is free wifi and it is very fast indeed: definitely the best you will find anywhere in Heathrow.
There are computers too – six brand new HP PCs, but they are placed in the most stupid location: on the high bar, right next to the food area, so that everyone nipping up to get a new carrot looks over your shoulder at what you are doing. Not good.
There are newspapers in the lounge, with a good selection of UK papers and few US papers. There is also a fine magazine selection – so long as you like your magazines to be of the ‘How to get an MBA and become a CEO' type.
AccessIf you have access to the American Airlines Flagship Lounge London Heathrow – don't use it. There are much better lounges at Terminal 3 which you have access to, thanks to oneworld access rules. The Cathay Pacific lounge has a superb noodle bar and great champagne. Or there is the British Airways First Class lounge, which has a separate First dining room. You can access these with an AA First Class ticket, or as a oneworld Emerald.
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