Airport Lounges

New American Airlines Flagship Lounge open at Chicago ORD – Do you have access tho?

a row of seats on an airplane

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

American is, no doubt, upping it’s game. But are too many people on the playing field?

American is renovating and refurbishing lounges here, there, and everywhere. The latest and greatest of these lounges is in one of their biggest hubs, Chicago. I currently have a One World flight on the books from Chicago to Europe just after Christmas and this means…I’ll be able to check this bad boy out. Hopefully I’ll be able to actually get a seat. Entrance seems to be pretty wide open for a first class lounge.

Having just been to the Qantas First lounge at LAX this month, it’ll be a great comparison of top-flight US lounges with sit down meal service. It’s also looking likely that I’ll be flying Transcon business in October and have a chance to review the new Flagship Lounge in New York ( JFK ) as well. Miles is ready to drop some bows to get a seat… Let’s take a look at what AA has in the works for their new Flagship First lounge in Chicago.

a group of people sitting in a lounge

A peek at what they will offer.

a collage of different types of people in a restaurant

You may need to bring along a little Southern Hospitality…to get a seat.

The entrance restrictions to this lounge are fairly liberal and I think they’ll surprise most of you who haven’t investigated the details.

a close up of words

Obviously if you’re flying in International First you’re going to get in. But also if you’re flying First in any 3 cabin, Transcon First Class, domestically.

The biggest difference there is if you would like to bring in a guest. Guests are only allowed if you’re traveling internationally. To compare…you do not get in other First Class lounges with domestic flights.

a screenshot of a flight

Here’s where things could get a little crowded. You also have access if you’re flying in business class.

Yep. International or Transcon ( described below) Business Class gains you entrance. Same guest limitation as First.

a screenshot of a computer

Flying International in a cabin lower than Business? Doesn’t limit if you if you have at least Mid Tier, Platinum, Status. My goodness, is it getting hot in here?

That’s right. You can gain Flagship access if you just have Platinum status.

a screenshot of a computer

Are you serious…I just want some hummus and to put my feet up. Here’s where all the ex-American One World status holders have an upper hand. Domestic access in coach.

If you maintain status in an ANY One World airline other than American Airlines, you can access Flagship lounges when flying domestically…in any class of service. And you can bring a guest. BAM!
a white background with black text

A little heads up

While you gain access to the Flagship lounge, only those seated in First Class ( International or transcon) on American will have access to the Flagship First Class sit down dining facility.

I’ll be sure to report back.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  • Beck September 21, 2017

    Thanks. Our bags will be checked through (though I know we’ll have to collect and re-check) so maybe that can help with the fluidity of those PNRs.

  • Beck September 18, 2017

    So we are inbound on CX from HKG in J then outbound on AA in coach on separate PNR. Will we have access? And/or what’s the best lounge we’d be able to acces?

    • Miles September 19, 2017

      Beck – Great question. Ordinarily you’d receive access based off of your arriving flight regardless of the cabin that you are continuing onward in. In this situation, since you’re booked into separate PNRs I think it would come down to the rep you get upon entering the lounge. I’d certainly try and explain the situation that the PNRs were split and you’re just arriving in J, but my fear is that your J reservation doesn’t grant you access because there is no continuing flight on the PNR. My guess is if you’re nice you’ll get access. Also…I would get your inbound tickets issued on AA stock ( simply check in at the AA counter) which may help your cause at the lounge. I’d guess the new Flagship Lounge is going to be the nicest…it grants access to biz travelers. ( BA has capacity controls and i’ve heard varying reports on its quality)

  • Zack September 18, 2017

    I would not worry too much about it. The old lounge used to be empty all the time. Keep in mind the TransCon flights do not originate at ORD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.