Review: American Business Class New York-JFK to Los Angeles

After an easy flight up to Toronto and a short hop in first class on an American CRJ-700, I found myself at New York’s JFK airport with three and half hours to kill before my evening flight across the country to Los Angeles.

This flight to LA was, of course en-route to Singapore.  Via Hong Kong.  Via Dallas.

Yes, I was flying from New York – to Los Angeles – to Dallas – to Hong Kong – and finally — to Singapore.  Just to spend two nights there and head back home the same way.

Why?  Because I wanted to maximize the miles from my routing.

Mission accomplished.

Anyways, I found myself at JFK in the American FlAAgship First Class Lounge where I had a light dinner and quite a few single malt scotches.  Eventually it was time to head to my gate to board my brand new A321-T for Los Angeles.


A Weekend in Southeast Asia


 

American Airlines (AA) 185
New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Aircraft:  Airbus A321T
Seat:  7A (Business)
Wednesday, February 4
8:55PM – 12:23AM
Duration:  6:28

We boarded the new A321T from door 1L allowing me to walk through the five luxurious rows of first class.  The first class cabin on this aircraft has seating that’s pretty much identical to the seats used in American’s new B777-300ER’s international business class.  I passed throughout he first class cabin to my cabin on this aircraft — business class.

First Class cabin on the American A321T

First Class cabin on the American A321T

My American eVIP Systemwide Upgrade had cleared a few days earlier for the Dallas to Hong Kong segment, so that also meant that my previous two segments would clear too if there was room.  Well, there was, so I happily made myself comfortable in seat 7A, a window seat in the 2X2 configured business class cabin on this immaculately clean and brand new aircraft.

Business Class Cabin on the American A321T

Business Class Cabin on the American A321T

The seat itself is pretty much identical to the seats used by United and several other carriers as its business class seats (on the pre-merger Continental B777s, B767s and B787 Dreamliners).  Simply put, this is a solid product offering for an international flight – but it’s just excellent for a cross-country trip.

Seat 7A on the American A321T

Seat 7A on the American A321T

Business Class on the American A321T

Business Class on the American A321T

After boarding, I was offered a glass of champagne and dinner menus, both of which I happily accepted.   Boarding was completed quickly, but there was a maintenance issue with one of the lavs, so we had to wait for maintenance to complete its ever-annoying “paperwork.”  I started sweating a bit since I only had an hour to make my connection at LAX back to Dallas, but we got underway after about twenty minutes.

Menu

Menu

I ordered the Grilled Chicken Tapenade and was brought out a scotch on the rocks along with some warm nuts as I fired up a movie on the robust inflight entertainment (IFE) system.  The screen was plenty huge and had a fantastic selection of movies and TV shows.  While the controller was on the fritz, I was able to control the IFE by touching the screen.  No big deal, but slightly annoying for a new airplane.

Scotch and Warm Nuts

Scotch and Warm Nuts

Dinner was presented at once — with the appetizer and main on the same tray.  The sweet potato red curry soup was absolutely delicious.  I was brought several rolls and pieces of garlic bread during the meal, which went great with the soup.

The chicken was pretty decent, as was the orzo and broccolini.  The soup though – it stole the show.

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Sweet Potato Red Curry Soup with Scallions and Grilled Chicken Tapenade with orzo pilaf and broccolini

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Dinner and a Movie!

After the main course, I polished off some ice cream and another scotch before nodding off for some sleep.  I must have been out for about two to three hours, because I was awoken by the flight attendant was we were preparing for descent into Los Angeles.

We landed in Los Angeles about twenty minutes late.  I quickly made my way off the plane and hoofed it down the American Airlines concourse at LAX to my gate where my flight for Dallas was already boarding.

Three flights down.  Lots to go.  Lots…

The Verdict…

This was my first time flying JFK-LAX on American.  And I really was quite impressed.  I can’t really envision a more comfortable way to cross the country (unless I was in first class, of course).  The plane itself was insanely nice.   The service was provided in a very kind and attentive manner, as the flight attendants were fantastic.  The catering was decently good, though the chicken could have probably used some work.   Overall, I think American has hit a home run with these new A321T planes that serve their premium heavy JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO routes.

How I Booked It…

This was the second leg of a convoluted routing to Singapore:

(DCA)- YYZ-JFK-LAX-DFW-HKG-SIN-HKG-DFW-LAX-JFK(-DCA)

I booked it on American’s website using the multi-city flight search feature.

9 Thoughts on “Review: American Business Class New York-JFK to Los Angeles

  1. The seats are lie flat in business also yes? I’m planning on getting this but don’t want to end up with typical domestic business class with just slightly big seats

    • Sean on May 11, 2015 at 10:19 pm said:

      Yes, the seats are lie-flat in business class too. Sorry I didn’t get a better picture of the flat bed, but it does indeed lie 180-degrees flat. All JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights on AA have this configuration. Look for the A321T as the operating aircraft.

  2. rick b on May 11, 2015 at 10:36 pm said:

    Scotch drowned in ice and with a straw? What a travesty.

    • Sean on May 11, 2015 at 10:39 pm said:

      It was Dewars White Label — it needed some help.

      • rick b on May 12, 2015 at 12:05 am said:

        Haha, it’s decent I suppose, although considering the cost of these biz tickets, it’s a shame they can’t splurge on a good mid-range single malt. They’re not that much more expensive.

        • Sean on May 12, 2015 at 12:29 am said:

          I could not agree more with you. This is a huge pet-peeve of mine. Petty? Yes. But like you said — these aren’t cheap tickets, typically. Couldn’t they at least splurge for some Glenlivet 12? Some of the foreign carriers have it right… ANA served Suntory Hibiki 21 yr old in First… that was pretty excellent.

          • rick b on May 12, 2015 at 1:32 am said:

            They can easily afford to carry bottles worth up to $100 at retail which should cover almost all good whiskys, and still not suffer much of the bottom line. I’ll drink some Craigellachie 13 to that!

  3. Dave on May 11, 2015 at 10:36 pm said:

    How did you get into the Flagship Lounge on a Business Class ticket? I thought you needed a First Class seat to enter?

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