Fort Worth-based American Airlines is preparing to reopen its flagship airport lounges, with help from celebrity chefs including DFW’s Tiffany Derry.
According to a statement, American will kick off the reopening of five flagship lounges with Flagship First Dining this fall, starting with John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, where the lounge will reopen on September 4.
The DFW Airport Lounge will reopen later this fall.
The flagship lounges and restaurants provide an upscale dining experience on the ground where customers can drink and dine while waiting for their flight, and are American’s most exclusive airport offering.
American became the first airline to open a restaurant-style dining experience on the ground in 2017.
The airline has also reopened its Admirals Club lounges in US cities and select international locations. Customers traveling on an American Airlines flight can purchase an Admiral’s Club day pass.
To give the reopening the proper fanfare, the lounges will feature new regionally inspired menu items executed by four notable chefs.
Each location – New York, DFW, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles – will feature an acclaimed local chef with offerings designed exclusively for their hometown salon, as follows:
DFW, Chief Tiffany Derry. The Top Chef fan favorite and chef and owner of a new restaurant, Roots Southern Table, will bring an upscale twist to her family’s classic southern recipes. In addition to being a celebrity chef and television host, Chef Tiffany has served as a sustainability spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation and worked with the Dallas School District Lunch Program.
Its menu items include:
- Shrimp and grits
- corn bread
- Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
MIA, Chief Timon Balloo: Local ingredients and bold flavors fuel the spirit of dishes created by Miami chef Timon Balloo. Chef Timon was named “Chef of the Year” by Eater for his work at Miami’s Sugarcane, and is currently developing his own brand with concepts such as Ms. Balloo, an Asian-inspired food truck, Balloo Wallah, only in delivery, and Balloo, for which he was named Best Chef: South by the James Beard Foundation in 2020.
JFK, Chief Ayesha Nurdjaja: Born and raised in Brooklyn, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja’s Indonesian and Italian heritage has always been an inspiration. Drawing inspiration from the rustic, vibrant flavors of Italy, Morocco and Tunisia, his menus at New York’s Shuka and newly launched Shukette combine Eastern Mediterranean recipes with his own bold signature.
DSB, Chief Sarah Grueneberg: Chef Sarah Grueneberg is the award-winning chef and owner of Chicago’s Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio. She has won several awards, including the winner of the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Grueneberg created soulful Italian dishes for US flights in 2019 and will now showcase his talents in our Flagship Lounge located in his hometown at ORD.
The chef who creates menu items for LAX has yet to be named.
Customers can access the Flagship Lounge depending on their elite status or if they are traveling in a premium cabin on an eligible flight. New eligible customers traveling to Hawaii in Flagship First and Flagship Business are new to the list. Customers traveling in Flagship First on eligible international or transcontinental flights also have access to Flagship First Dining located in the Flagship Lounge.
The reopening schedule is as follows:
Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Flagship show: September 14
First flagship dinner: September 16
Concourse D at Miami International Airport (MIA)
Flagship show: September 28
First Flagship Meal: September 30
Terminal 4 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Terminal D at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Terminal 3 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) will reopen later this autumn.
Other new improvements to flagship lounge locations include:
- DS & Durga hand soap and lotions in the washrooms
- Shower suites will now include Dyson Supersonic hairdryers in shower suites
- amenity kits for premium cabin customers in partnership with Shinola and DS & Durga
“With revamped menus designed in collaboration with awesome chefs and even more ways to access the lounge, we look forward to opening the doors and serving our customers this fall,” said Clarissa Sebastian, General Manager of the premium customer and onboard experience. Products, in a press release.