Fort Worth-based American Airlines is getting ready to reopen its airport-based flagship lounges, with help from celebrity chefs — including DFW's Tiffany Derry.
According to a release, American will initiate the reopening of five Flagship Lounges with Flagship First Dining this fall, beginning with John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, where the lounge will reopen on September 4.
The lounge at DFW Airport will reopen later this fall.
Flagship Lounges and Dining offer a premium dining experience on the ground where customers can wine and dine while waiting for their flights, 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 U.S. cities and select international locations. Customers traveling on an American Airlines flight can purchase a day pass to an Admiral’s Club.
To give the reopening the proper fanfare, the lounges will feature new regionally inspired menu items executed by four noteworthy chefs.
Each location — New York, DFW, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles — will feature an acclaimed local chef with offerings designed exclusively for their hometown lounge, as follows:
DFW, Chef Tiffany Derry. The Top Chef fan favorite and chef and owner of a new restaurant, Roots Southern Table, will bring a high-end twist to her family's classic Southern recipes. In addition to being a celebrated chef and television host, Chef Tiffany has been a sustainability spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation and has worked with the Dallas school district’s lunch program.
Her menu items include:
- Shrimp & Grits
- Black-eyed pea hummus
MIA, Chef Timon Balloo: Local ingredients and bold flavors fuel the spirit of dishes created by Miami Chef Timon Balloo. Chef Timon has been called “Chef of the Year" by Eater for his work at Miami’s Sugarcane, and is now building out his own brand with concepts like Mrs. Balloo, an Asian cuisine-inspired food truck, delivery-only Balloo Wallah, and Balloo, for which he was nominated Best Chef: South by the James Beard Foundation in 2020.
JFK, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja: Born and raised in Brooklyn, Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja’s Indonesian and Italian heritage have always been a source of inspiration. Drawing on the rustic, vibrant flavors found throughout Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia, her menus at New York City’s Shuka and the brand new Shukette combine Eastern Mediterranean recipes with her own bold signature.
ORD, Chef 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 2017 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Grueneberg created soulful Italian dishes for American flights in 2019 and will now showcase her talents at our Flagship Lounge located in her hometown at ORD.
The chef creating menu items for LAX is still to be named.
Customers can access the Flagship Lounge depending on elite status or if they are traveling in a premium cabin on a qualifying flight. New to the list are eligible customers traveling to Hawaii in Flagship First and Flagship Business. Customers flying in Flagship First on qualifying international or transcontinental flights also have access to Flagship First Dining located within the Flagship Lounge.
The reopening schedule is as follows:
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8
Flagship Lounge: September 14
Flagship First Dining: September 16
Miami International Airport (MIA) Concourse D
Flagship Lounge: September 28
Flagship First Dining: September 30
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Terminal 4, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Terminal D, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Terminal 3 will reopen later this fall.
Other new enhancements to Flagship Lounge locations include:
- D.S. & Durga hand soap and lotions in the restrooms
- Shower suites will now feature Dyson Supersonic hair dryers in the shower suites
- amenity kits for premium cabin customers in partnership with Shinola and D.S. & Durga
"With revamped menus designed in collaboration with awe-inspiring chefs and even more ways to access the lounge, we can’t wait to open the doors and serve our customers this fall," says Clarissa Sebastian, Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products, in a statement.