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AA A321T Flagship First JFK-LAX AA1: Surprisingly un-AA

A review on my trip on board American Airlines Airbus 321T in Flagship First Class from JFK-LAX.

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How the trip was booked: 25K Etihad miles +5.6$ taxes. I got lucky here - AA is usually stingy about releasing award space...

Boarding started on time. I arrived late again. But fortunately, the jet bridge was not crowded due to the 108-seat configuration of this A321 T, so boarding was smooth nevertheless.

When I walked into the 321T, I was surprised by how wide the aisles were and how spacious the cabin felt.

Here was my seat for the day. 4A.

Settling down, I realized this is one of the most spacious reverse herringbone configurations. It felt much more spacious than the ones used for business class (CX, BR, AA).

Waiting at my seat was a Cole Haan Amenity Kit, a menu, Casper Bedding, a blanket and a Bose Headset.

I was soon served a pre-departure drink. I chose orange juice.

Here was what the menu looked like.

The crew took (confirmed) order as well. I pre-booked the chicken and waffles option on the website. The functionality is quite useful - no surprises on what you will be eating on the flight.

Wanting to catch some sleep on this transcontinental flight, I brought my beloved CX PJ...

We pushed back on time. During taxi, I opened the Amenity Kit and here was what it contained inside. Lack-luster for international business class, but more than sufficient for medium haul transcontinental.

Our taxi was long, but normal for JFK departure - we took off 30 minutes behind schedule. Yet, surprisingly, it would still put us in LAX early.

Again, the legroom was massive.

Service soon started after take off. I was served a cup of mint tea and some biscotti.

Shortly after, the table was set. I was presented with a smoothie, a plate of fresh fruit, as well as some breakfast pastry. Everything tasted great especially the smoothie (which was AMAZING - extremely tangy and tasty - I think it was better than cathay delight - and if you know me, you know how much I love cathay delight)!!!

The fruit was cleared and the main dish was brought up. I preordered the Chicken Waffles. The waffles were very crispy - AA surprised me here again! The whole dish tasted pretty good although arguably there were too much condiments on the chicken and it had lost its crisp.

Throughout the meal, the crew kept refilling drinks - attentive service (again, un-AA)! The meal was well-paced. I declined the hot beverage service that came after the meal and reclined my seat.

The Casper Bedding was extremely comfortable - I fell asleep within minutes and slept the whole way through - a true achievement for me!!

I woke up before the descend when the crew was passing through the cabin with sparkling water and some snacks.

We started our descend soon and we arrived at LAX 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

Then off my way to Flagship Lounge LAX. A thing to note - Flagship Dining is available on arrival for transcontinental flights - so be sure not to miss out!

If there is one word to describe the flight, it must be consistent. The service was very comfortable, making the flight an easier one. Because of the fact that I live near DC, I might not be able to fly this route often in the future - but wow, AA’s Flagship product did impress me - I would definitely fly it again if I have the chance to. Spacious seat, good service, nice food - great way to cross the continent.

Overall- A

Seat- 9.5/10

Perfect for transcontinental. Modified reverse herringbone.

IFE- 9/10

Good quality entertainment options, fair design.

Food- 8.5/10

Breakfast service. Can be a bit more elaborate - but great for US carrier.

Service- 8/10

One FA service. Slightly slow-paced.

Timeliness- 9/10

Late departure, long taxi, but early arrival into LAX

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