Monday, March 13, 2023

Report from the LAX AA Flagship Lounge

Our flight from Tokyo HND to LAX was okay, although too warm and still feeling a little crowded with seven-across seating.

We both passed on the fishy portion of our appetizers, preferring food that doesn’t stare back at us.

The Wagyu beef was good, although the sweetish brown gravy did not enhance it.

Brian slept a few hours but Kathy didn’t. We landed nearly an hour late, but Global Entry and TSA PreCheck were quick.

We arrived at the gate with 40 minutes to spare and had time to spend a few minutes in the soon-to-be discontinued Flagship Lounge upstairs in Terminal 4.

Just as we were readying not leave, we happened to notice that our boarding passes now read Delayed and Departing at 7:30 PM. Huh?

We headed back to the gate with another disgruntled passenger, and took a look at the crowd of sullen passengers. A six-hour mechanical delay for one of the world’s largest airlines in one of the world’s major airports? Apparently so.

Brian immediately called the American Airlines Executive Platinum line and miraculously was connected with a competent agent right away..

That agent booked us into first class on AA #4, a three-class Flagship Service originally due to leave at 10 AM, but now ironically delayed to 2:45 PM. If our luck holds, we’ll land at JFK before Midnight, giving us the chance of a few hours of sleep before catching our 9:30 AM Alaska flight to Seattle.

That clearly beats the new timing of our original flight, now a redeye landing after 4:00 AM. We’ll wait with interest to find out how it all actually turns out.

It’s another reminder to attempt to contact an airline phone agent when a trip goes sour, even if you’re standing in line at an airline service center at the airport. 

At this point, it appears we’ve made it. These are A321s configured for Flagship Service. It will be fun to experience it in first class before they discontinue it.

Update: We landed at JFK about 11:00 PM. Next stop is our JFK Hilton for a few hours of sleep. The pilot announced that the A321s with the Flagship configuration are in heavy use, so problems tend to have a ripple effect.

Update: It’s 7:30 Tuesday morning in Terminal 7 and we’re enjoying a Cappuccino in the Alaska Lounge before a 9:30 departure to SEA on AS 21, already upgraded to F.

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