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A great IFE goes a long way.
I flew roundtrip to New York earlier in the year and credited the flights to Alaska. By doing so, my Executive Platinum status didn’t do anything to help me get an upgrade, and I was left to fend for myself with just a Business Extra upgrade that didn’t clear. As a result, I flew in a very comfortable economy cabin that provided a snack en route. I’ve flown this route several times in economy, but thought a review would be nice for those of you choosing between it and a competitor. Here’s American Airlines A32T Economy New York to Los Angeles
- When: October 2017
- Where: JFK to LA
- Loyalty: Alaska MVP Gold 75k
- Flight time: 6h 15mins
- Seat: 16D
The A321T has a special configuration…
It’s a true 3 cabin plane with First, Business, and Economy ( split into main cabin extra and normal econ). Since American still recognizes Alaska elite status, my MVP Gold 75k gave me access to the MCE. The other thing I could have done was add my Aadvantage number, select seats, and then change them once seated. I’m currently testing out a strategy whereby I have my Executive Platinum status attached to a reservation to Shanghai with a SWU applied. Once the SWU clears, I’ll change the loyalty back to Alaska to acrue EQM with their program. Anyways…
This is the longest, yet shortest walk to economy – it’s filled with fits of envy and jealousy 😉
Past first class
And then business
Row 16. Main Cabin Extra
With 35inches of pitch ( the distance between rows I found the seats to be adequate when it came to leg room. The entire row was full, and at 6′ 170lbs I was the smallest of the guys in my row. Shoulder room was hard to come by, which is exactly why I chose the aisle. I’ve flown this route with my girlfriend and we had plenty of room next to one another. I’ve said it before, but I do think American has one of the best inventories of entertainment on their IFE. It’s great that they are all free, too.
I’ve said it before, but I do think American has one of the best inventories of entertainment on their IFE. It’s great that they are all free, too. As you can see there is a headphone jack, USB, and every seat gets its own power.
This route doesn’t sell snacks, etc. Instead, they provide you with a free option.
I think this is a nice touch. The flight is 5+ hours in either direction, with a three cabin plane, and this makes it feel more like an international journey than a domestic one. It’s not that much shorter than the JFK to LHR flight
I’m not a huge breakfast guy, and this suited me great. Yogurt, muffin, granola, and an apple. Give me a coffee and I wouldn’t want much more. I’ve found that regardless of class of service, airplane breakfast is never really very good, and this option, while maybe not THE HEALTHIEST, tasted very nice.
Looking forward towards business and first.
Main Cabin Extra is definitely worth the premium on a route this long if you’re anything over 5’6. It provides about 4 inches of additional legroom, and without it, you’ll end up feeling quite cramped on such a long journey. The IFE works great, food was served, and the WIFI was fairly decent. While flying in the forward cabins, business and first, are considerably nicer, I would fly this plane, in the cabin, without blinking an eye.
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