American Airlines A321T First Class Review: JFK-LAX

American Airline A321T

I’ve been craving to fly American Airlines A321T transcontinental plane for quite some time. Specifically, I’ve been yearning to sit in First Class. Let me start this post off by flat out saying this was the best flight I’ve ever taken, and I had the most extraordinary crew in the history of aviation.

Stepping back a few months, I booked this trip early this year when American was running a $400ish one-way fare between New York and Los Angeles, in First Class. It was on sporadic days, but I found a nice weekend same day turn flight that worked for my schedule, so booked the trip. The catch was that the $400 First Class ticket was on the 6am departure, which meant having to leave my relatives house on Long Island somewhere in the neighborhood of 3am. Ouch. While it was early, I’ll say it was entirely worth it just to experience this flight.

After arriving at JFK, I made my way to the Flagship check-in, where I was promptly directed through security and off to the AAdmiral’s Club and Flagship Lounge.

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The Flagship Lounge is located within the Admiral’s Club, and the attendant inside will let you in once she acknowledges your credentials.

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At the hour I visited, there was not one person inside. Literally, I was the only one. While it was nice to have the lounge to myself, I didn’t really get to experience it during peak hours, so can’t say how it compares to a normal day to day operation.

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There’s plenty of seating options, so I can’t imagine it being impossible to find a seat mid-day. To the far end, there’s plenty of beverage options, with coffee and an array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks inside.

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There’s also plenty of food options, too. Since I was visiting around 5am, not everything was put out yet, which was disappointing. At that hour, it is more of a continental breakfast than a full breakfast.

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About 45 minutes prior to departure, I made by way to the gate and boarded the plane. Initially, I was in awe at how beautiful it was inside. Everything was crisp clean, and “just right.” I was in seat 3A, to the rightist of the aircraft, towards the center. All seats in First Class are aisle seats, which is great. The cabin is laid out in a 1×1 set-up.

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At each seat was a blanket, pillow and amenity kit.

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I decided to test out the legroom of the seat, and boy was it roomy. The seat extends into a fully flat position, but there’s also plenty of room when seated upright, too.

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Once air born, I decided to take a look at the inflight entertainment options which were plentiful. An inflight entertainment screen pops out, and extends into place for proper viewing. It’s a very large screen and angles forward and back for optimal viewing.

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After a short while, the purser distributed breakfast menus.

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I opted for the steal-cut oatmeal, which was delicious. First, though, a signature nonfat cappuccino, made onboard.

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Then, a fruit plate.

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Afterwards, a warm bagel was served from a bread basket.

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Then, the oatmeal.

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Following breakfast, I finished the movie that I was watching, and was able to catch about a 2-3 hour extended nap. With my seat fully reclined, I had an excellent sleep, and didn’t have any trouble moving or getting up to use the restroom.

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About a half hour prior to landing, the cabin crew came around with warm cookies and milk. I couldn’t resist. 🙂

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I was disappointed that I forgot to catch the purser’s name on this flight, since he was by far the best flight attendant I’ve experienced in the industry. He was cheery, even at 6am, was beyond helpful with service, and went so far to greet each passenger and explain how the seat and controls operated. I couldn’t say enough good things about him. After landing in LAX and running up to the AAdmiral’s Club to use the bathroom, I came down to find him walking through the terminal. I again thanked him for the best service I’ve ever received in the sky, and he thanked me for my comments and said he’s passionate about his job. Clearly, it showed, and I regret not taking his name so I could let customer service know of his valiant efforts.

As we taxied to the gate at LAX, I took a short video, highlighting some of the great pop piano music aboard American Airlines:

I absolutely loved the As321T, and would fly it in a heartbeat again. I really wish the plane operated on international routes, as it is something I would go out of my way for to experience. I HIGHLY recommend flying this plane, if you have the chance. While fares for the route, in First Class, can run in the several thousand’s of dollars, you may be able to find a once in a while sale, or use miles to defray the cost.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Robert says

    I will be flying the 321 transcon in First on miles. Do I still have access to the Flagship Lounge at JFK? On arrival? Anyone able to comment on this. Thanks!

    • Steve says

      I flew first to London using miles and they allowed me in the Flagship lounge. It was alright, but not that great compared to the Concorde Room at London Heathrow!

  2. Brian says

    @Marc is a little harsh in his assessment. It’s a great trip report. Videos taken from the vertical orientation are, however, a pet peeve of mine as well. Remember to rotate next time.

  3. says

    Nice report. The A321T was my favorite spend of US Airways miles. 🙂

    @Robert, I was permitted into the LAX Flagship Lounge upon arrival from JFK. It should work out that way in the other direction too.

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