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American Airlines First Class Los Angeles to New York Trip Report – Airbus A321T – AA2

26th June 2015
American Airlines Flight 2
Depart : Los Angeles (LAX)
Arrive : New York (JFK)
Departure time : 9:00am (Actual 9:11am)
Arrival Time : 5:08pm (Actual 5:07pm)
Airbus A321T Transcon
Seat : 1A (First Class)
Flight Time : 4 Hours 56 Minutes
Meal Service : Breakfast

Full Video Trip Report


Today I was looking forward to trying American Airlines new transcontinental First Class service from Los Angeles to New York.
American started offering this new Three Cabin Service from January 2014 and I’ve only heard great things about it.

The flight is operated by an Airbus A321 T aircraft and has a fairly unique configuration.

10 First Class Seats
20 Business Class Seats
72 Economy Seats

Below is a seat map of the first class cabin


I had booked this flight one way using 32,500 AA Advantage miles and $5.60 In Tax
The usual one way purchase cost is anywhere between $2000 – $5000 one way.

I woke up around 4am and check the status of my flight to make sure it was running on time.


I arrived at the airport around 6.30am and my flight was due to depart at 9:00am.

I used the Flagship first private check in at LAX terminal and it was really nice experience, I was the only person using it when I checked in and the process was very quick, After I was checked In I was escorted into an elevator which took me to the second floor of Terminal 4 at LAX and I almost instantly found myself at the front of TSA line getting some dirty looks from other passengers.

I checked the departures board to make sure my flight was running on time.


 After getting through the security check point I went straight to the American Airlines Admiral club so I could enjoy some breakfast and coffee before boarding the plane, and it’s always a lot more relaxing being in a lounge compared to the airport.

Upon entering the Admirals lounge I was given a key card which gave me access to the Flagship lounge which was located within the Admirals lounge.
I took a few pictures of the Admirals lounge before making my way to the Flagship lounge





I then went to the Flagship lounge to relax.




The flagship lounge had a much more exclusive feel, it can only be used by International First class passengers or people flying in First class from LAX – JFK. It was a lot less cramped that the Admirals lounge which was packed with people.



I settled with a cup of coffee and an English muffin for my pre flight snack, I had after all been up since 4am and had become fairly hungry.

I then left the lounge around 8.25am and walked towards my gate. I arrived and boarding was just about to begin, so I snapped a picture of our aircraft for the journey.



Boarding was called right on time, the First class passengers were called and I walked up, I wanted to board early so I could take a few pictures of the cabin, but within seconds people were crowding from 1st to try and get on also.

Upon being greeted and entering the cabin I found my seat 1A and took some pictures of the cabin and seat.




I do love the first class seats on the A321T. For a domestic product I feel they are one of the best you can fly on for a trans-con.

The first class seat has over 60 inches of leg room and a width of around 21 inches. It comes with a 15.4 inch Touch screen Tv, Multiple charging and power ports, tons of entertainment options and is around 82 inches when the bed is fully flat.

I settled in and took some pictures of my seat





After a few minutes of looking around my seat I was offered a pre departure drink, it was a Friday so I went with the Champagne (*sparking wine really)


I enjoyed my drink quickly and before I knew it we had started our taxi to the gate.


As we passed by the United terminal at LAX , The cabin crew instructed us that they would be playing the safety video before take off. The safety video started over twice, both times without sound and I could hear the cabin crew talking about how it had no sound, they then decided to stop the Video and do a manual presentation due to no sound.

We lined up and took off into the overcast sky, after about 1 minute we cut through the clouds into clear blue sky.


We reached 12,000 FT and the ding for the cabin crew to get up went, within a few seconds I was given a first class menu to look over.






I decided that I would go with Tomato, Leak & Bacon Strata since I was in the mood for a more hearty breakfast.
Before meal service began I was offered another drink and decided to just have a glass of water, which came with a biscotti.



About 40 minutes into the flight the meal service began and my table was laid.


I was then given a hot towel


I was then given a rather poor attempt at what I call a fruit plate


I would say this was a bit of an embarrassment and hardly a serving size. Either way I enjoyed it for the 5 seconds it took me to eat it.

Anyway onto the main part of breakfast…..


Now the Strata was pretty good and the potatoes also, I was not a fan of the Chicken Sausage, but the worst part was that I was not offered any condiments at all, half way through eating it my mouth was becoming fairly dry, but still no offer of condiments at all. For the first half of the flight the crew seemed as if they were not that interested in being friendly and I just about gave up trying to get their attention.

After the main course I was given a small dessert plate



I enjoyed a glass of the Merlot with this desert.
Overall I found the breakfast service a little bare, and for a first class product it was fairly disappointing.

I mean don’t get me wrong, the seat is fantastic and really up there and makes the hard product great, but the quality of the food was lacking and the sad faces from the crew. Only one of the flight attendants on my flight was happy to be there and I had a chat with him and he had been working for AA for over 20 years, after our chat he become a lot more friendly and kept coming back all the time to offer me more wine.

I checked out the air show to pass some time, I really like this version as it gives great views on the screen. After breakfast service we had covered about half the distance.




I then decided to check out the new Retro amenity kits that AA have been offering lately, it contained the usual items.
Toothbrush & Paste, Lip Balm, Eye shade, Ear Plugs, Socks



I have really enjoyed collecting these kits so far.

I then wanted to take a few pictures of the bed in the fully flat position so reclined it to check it out.



I then zoned out for about the next hour just drinking some wine and listening to Music. I decided to give AA’s music selection a try so I could use the complimentary Bose noise cancelling headphones.



With about 1 hour and 30 minutes remaining in the flight I was given a bottle of water, shame that its still Dasani. I don’t know why AA does not change this to at least something that’s not just purified water.


We then started passing over Chicago which had some rough weather as of late and the Captain gave an announcement. We had been cruising along at 33,000 Ft most of the flight and the Captain said the weather coming up would be fairly bumpy and that the aircraft was too heavy to fly any higher, which surprised me as we only had just over an hour to go. He informed us we would just have to fly into it and there would be some chop.

Fine, not a problem with me, but after 20 minutes of being bumped around It was getting fairly annoying, at this point I noticed we started descending and the air become much more smooth and we leveled off at around 24,000 FT.

With just over 45 minutes left I decided to have an Espresso. Now this is one great feature of the A321 T. An on board coffee machine that can make actual espresso is a great feature.



We then began our final decent into JFK and the cabin crew took their seats for landing. It was a fairly clear day with some scattered clouds and we had a smooth decent, the pilot landed the plane with a fair thump into the runway, but it was nothing unusual.

We pulled off to the right of the runway and taxied to our gate. I snapped a few pictures during the taxi






For me it had been a fairly enjoyable flight. The food was standard and could have been a lot better and the older crew could have been a bit happier to be doing their job, most of the flight was nice and smooth apart from the weather over Chicago and we landed on time into New York.

I would probably be fairly upset if I had spent a small fortune on this flight and received sub par first class service.

I was interested to see what the Business class would be like on my return in two days time.


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