Last weekend I shared the rumor that American is going to build a new Flagship first class lounge at DFW airport in terminal D. I also mentioned that the airport has had plans for a new shared premium lounge.
I believe that I can now confirm both of those things are at least in the planning stages, they aren’t just rumors. According to an airport spokesperson,
[T]he new premium lounge in terminal D is still under development… The premium lounge does remain very separate and distinct from the AA Flagship lounge in terminal D.”
Regarding the premium lounge, I wrote a week ago,
DFW airport has been looking to bring a premium experience lounge to the D terminal. The plan was to consolidate the independent lounges hosting several carriers in the terminal, build a new premium lounge, and even co-brand with a hotel possibly to run it. The most recent action taken, that I can see from the airport website, is increasing the contract ceiling for consulting services to the firm advising them on the project back in March (from $1.2 million to $1.24 million, having at that point spent $1.138mm).
Here’s a .pdf of the plan that DFW airport was shopping at the beginning of the year. Ignore the November 2015 projected opening date, it doesn’t appear to me to be on track for that. Indeed, the airport spokesperson writes to me, “I do not have any time frame at this time regarding the progress of the premium lounge…”
DFW airport, though, believes the lounge experience for international carriers operating out of terminal D is quite poor.
Their surveys suggest that passengers agree.
The Club at DFW, which can be accessed by Priority Pass members, serves as an independent lounge and also as the lounge for several of the foreign airlines operating out of terminal D. There are separate rooms for each of British Airways, Qantas, Korean Air, and Lufthansa.
Those rooms are fairly small. The idea is to consolidate the lounge operations at gate D21 into a single premium lounge that would be about twice as large as the DFW Centurion lounge.
I haven’t heard anything about the airport’s desire for a hotel partner to brand and run the lounge.
Meanwhile, American used to have a first class lounge in the A terminal. But when the D terminal opened as the new international terminal in 2005, American opened an Admirals Club but not a Flagship lounge.
As American has moved away from international first class (and indeed, first class onboard their Boeing 777-300ERs isn’t that much better than their business class which is very good) it seems strange that they would open a first class lounge. But perhaps it’s a signal and response to the competition.
I haven’t seen a lease for new space yet, or construction plans, so this isn’t done. And everything involving airports gets complicated. But the airport, at least, things the new Flagship lounge is in the pipeline. Where is stands with contracting, including with American’s capital committee, let alone construction is another matter. But I’ll certainly be checking board and concessions committee actions to learn more.