I had been giddy as a school girl for about four weeks from the day I had booked this trip to New York. I was so excited to fly on American Airlines Airbus 321-Transcon flight. American introduced these new planes almost a year ago replacing the three class Boeing 767’s on the SFO/LAX to JFK route. Sure they cut down capacity by doing this, but when you can offer a true three class product on a new plane with internationally configured First class and Business class how can you go wrong.
When I booked this ticket, I specifically looked for flights that I could upgrade from Coach to Business class at time of booking. My understating is that with reduced capacity, and a penchant for people willing to pay for Business, getting an upgrade can be very tough. So bedding able to find a flight that I could confirm with my EVIPS, at time of booking was key. Besides these First/Business seats are fully lie-flat seats, and if you’ve ever been lucky to fly on the new Airbus 77W’s that American owns in Business class, the First class seats on the A321-T are exactly the same. Plus on this narrow body aircraft they only offer 10 of them in a 1-1 configuration. The Business class seats are in a 2-2 configuration so the window seats don’t have direct isle access but because they are lie-flat too, you can’t turn these down either. Plus they only have 5 rows of 4 seats. I would say these seats are very similar to the Business class seats that United now offers on its Transcon and Internationally configured 757’s . They are just newer and I slightly more spacious. Lastly the coach section only has 72 seats in a 3-3 set up.
I don’t have any stats to back this up but, I know that the Transcon market space is very lucrative and for the rich and famous and business traveler, is hyper competitive. There are only so many airlines that do the non-stop thing from SFO/LAX to New York. You have Jet Blue, Virgin America, United, Delta and American. And the only ones that offer three class service are Delta and American. So for the people that need a real First or Business class your choices fall to Delta or American, although Jet Blue now has a first class called Mint that appears to be the real deal too.
So let’s get down to brass tacks, I really loved the flight. I loved the seat, I loved the service and I was just a happy camper. This was the first of two roundtrips to JFK on AA in a two week period where I was lucky enough to upgrade to Business on three of the four flights. Sadly I had to endure coach on one of the flights, boo hoo.
The seat is comfortable, it was good in the fully upright position and all the way down to lie-flat. I found it perfectly comfortable for my needs, there was enough space to work, eat, and relax. Which between three flights I did all three of. I also found the service to be really good. That being said I rarely find a flight on American that I don’t like the staff. Period. I spend a ton of time on planes and over the past three years a ton of time on American flights and the staff are really real and down to earth. I feel that as a whole they love their jobs and genuinely want to assist you. And that just makes me like to fly them. Prior to my allegiance to AA I spent a LOT of time on United some 1,000,000 miles and sadly since the 2010 merger with Continental they enthusiasm had just went the way of the Doo Doo Bird. Anyhow enough about the competition, if you want good service and a comfortable seat make sure you fly American.