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Review: AA Business Class A321T JFK-LAX
Upgrades, upgrades, upgrades. Getting an upgrade is like a first kiss. God you want it so bad. All you can think about is that moment when it happens. Your palms are sweaty, heart racing… yeah, you’re eating dinner and having a drink but you’re not actually there, there…you want to 32x fast forward and get to the good stuff. AND….THEN IT HAPPENS! One of the great things about having American Airlines Executive Platinum status is constant
first kisses upgrades – it’s like being a rock star and first class seats are your groupies. Now, normally, those upgrades are to larger recliner seats and while it’s nice, I don’t really think there is THAT much of a difference between them and say Main Cabin Extra. Don’t get me wrong…I want the first kiss upgrade, but it’s like a chair to a larger chair with free food. While that’s nice, it isn’t dramatic. What is dramatic? Getting upgraded on a transcon flight where the difference between coach and business class is a chair to a BED. Let’s be honest, a first kiss is great, but a first kiss in bed?!?! an upgrade is great, but an upgrade to a bed? WAYOOOOOOO! Let’s take a look at our AA Business Class flight on the A321T from JFK-LAX that was divinely supine.
Upon Boarding you will pass First Class…which is essentially the same seat featured on American’s 77W business class – I’ve reviewed that several times.
I love surprise trips. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I love hearing the guesses, the anticipation, and ultimately seeing the reaction when we go. The last surprise trip my girlfriend and I took was to Austin for her birthday.
When American Airlines dropped fares to New York to $250 roundtrip I snagged two and planned a surprise Valentine’s day trip. BYAH! I knew we’d be on their A321T which offers 3 cabins of service and lie-flat business class. I was stoked to whisk her away to NYC on a weekend trip. I added on a stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue with a suite upgrade, and before we landed in NYC we had been upgraded on our return flight back to LAX. We were top of the list to upgrade on the outbound, but alas, we didn’t clear.
- When: Feb 2017
- Where: JFK-LAX
- Loyalty: American Airlines Aadvantage
- Status: Executive Platinum
- EQM: 2475
- Upgrade: Complimentary via Executive Platinum Status
- Seat: 6A
Clearing for the upgrade
Both my girlfriend and I are Executive Platinum so I didn’t have to use any 500 mile upgrades for her to clear. American’s transcon flights are the most difficult flights to clear on – it’s chalked full of elites, full fare business passengers, and everyone wants the upgrade. However…I think we would have had much better luck clearing as two individual EPs than 2 on one reservation. There were SOOOOO many open seats on the LAX-JFK flight, but we didn’t clear. In fact, someone passed us on the upgrade list when just one seat opened up. I believe, had we booked separate reservations, we would have both cleared as singles.
If I had my choice it would have been to clear heading out to NYC, but was a super fun surprise to fly Business back. It’s a long flight, and longer going west than east.
It’s a good upgrade when your consciousness is almost guaranteed to change.
We were lucky that both of us cleared, but even luckier that 2 seats were available next to one another and thus avoided the whole ” hey can we switch with you” situation on board.
While the seats ( B/E Diamond) aren’t the best for people who don’t know eachother, they work pretty well for couples. Both seats recline fully to lie-flat. AHHHHH LIE-FLAT. I think the jump from coach to a lie-flat seat is the LARGEST jump you can make in flight. Arguably…business class to a suite with doors that close or the Residence is pretty massive as well…but the difference between sitting and laying flat can be the difference in your consciousness.
Amenity kits and IFE
I think the IFE systems on the retro-fit AA planes that have in-seat tvs are great whether you’re in economy, biz, or first. Is there is difference between Economy and the premium cabins? Yes…but now that AA offers all the entertainment free ( it used to charge econ and provide it free for those in biz or first) it’s narrowed the spread. The tvs in business are much larger and you receive a remote.
The Bose headphones are great.
The Food and Service
We had a quirky, but very nice and fun flight attendant. Before getting into the meals she was asking about Miles. Lemme tell you, Miles is a talker and he found out that…lo and behold – She actually travels around with a Coyote…Miles took it as an opportunity for a photo op.
After social hour was over we checked out the menus.
After the chit-chat ended we had a ginger ale and some warm nuts followed by Smoke Salmon and the Thai Curry Shrimp.
Everything I ate was very good. AA has upped their food game in the last 18-24 months. I remember the meal I had in First Class from Tokyo to LA in 2015 and it was terrible. My comparison is ready meals you can buy in the supermarket. There is no reason for airplane food to be worse than what you can buy in the freezer. This was marketedly better than anything I’d have from say…Amy’s.
A snack tray was laid out not long after meal service ended.