Review: AA Business Class A321T JFK-LAX ( written & video )

a seat on an airplane
AA A321T and 757 Business Class JFK-LAX

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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!

That’s how upgrades usually happen.

BUT…if you’re using Business Extra upgrades, you can simply search for space, guarantee it ahead of time…and voila. You skip right to the kiss the upgrade, and in this case…a very sweet one. A lie flat seat, across the America, lasting right at 6 hours.

If you want to skip right to the chase…check our our YouTube review. We even give you a tutorial on Business Extra and Same Day Change at the end.


Let’s take a quick look at how we upgraded into an AA Business Class that was divinely supine.

The Background:

The last time I reviewed American’s Business Class from JFK to LAX I’d surprised my girlfriend for a romantic Valentine’s day trip to NYC from LA. This time…we were in NYC as a result of her work, and she had a biz seat as part of the package. We were searching for a flight that had “C” inventory which would allow me to call in, upgrade with a 650 business extra certificate, and voila, lie-flat next to one another.

As luck would have it, within 24 hours of departure, a flight with both “C” and “E” inventory opened up. This is great because it allows you to make great use of AA’s $75 same day flight change, and upgrade all in one fell swoop. This is exactly what we did, and I moved out of the cheap econ ticket I had found, and into a flight with upgrade space, she did the same – fee free.

You can search for this space with ExpertFlyer.

a screenshot of a computer screen

And you’ll hopefully see something like this:

a white rectangular object with black text

The Deets:

  • When: August 2019
  • Where: JFK-LAX
  • Loyalty: American Airlines Aadvantage
  • Status: Qualified for AA Gold via Hyatt challenge
  • Upgrade: Business Extra ( 650 points )
  • Seat: 8A

Let’s get to it.

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. You can check out our first class review on this route here as well to see how it compares with the biz cabin behind it.

a row of seats on an airplane

This is the best use of Business Extra points…in our humble opinion

When an upgrade changes your mood…you know it’s good. American utilizes completely lie flat seats in a 2-2 configuration on this route. It’s absolutely sublime.

Here’s a peek at the business class cabin from the rear of the cabin.

a person lying on the back of a plane with a television set

The cabin is comprised of 5 rows or 2-2 seating, or 20 seats that look something like this:

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.  I think the jump from coach to a lie-flat seat is the LARGEST jump you can make in flight. This is a snap of Miles in 6A from a prior flight, but 8A is basically the same.

AA business class jfk to lax lie flat seat
AA business class jfk to lax lie flat seat

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?  The tvs in business are much larger and you receive a remote.

The Bang and Olufsen headphones are great which are different from what used to be given, Bose.

The Food and Service

We had an great crew on board who kept tempting me with Mimosas. I also had multiple cameras out and not once, was there ever a discussion about photographs or video. Amazing.

AA business class jfk to lax
AA business class jfk to lax Mimosa and Nuts

Everything I ate was very good. AA upped their food game back in 2017 and I maintain that it’s still quite tasty. 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 markedly better than anything I’d have from say…Amy’s.

I had the grilled Salmon for a main, an incredibly tasty Burrata salad with roasted tomatoes, and of course, an Ice Cream Sundae with all the fixins’

So how was American’s Transcon Business Class from New York to Los Angeles?

Fantastic. If you have 500 mile upgrades or Business Extra upgrades this would be arguably your best use ( there is a flight from LA to Miami that offers the 77W). If you’re an elite, good luck. I’ve cleared when I was Executive Platinum in the past, but I’d argue this route is the single hardest to clear. Perhaps, if you are flying on a late night redeye, you’d have a better chance, but if you’re lucky enough to catch this upgrade, you’re in for a quite domestic treat.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.