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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: Airbus A321 Transcon / A321T / "32B" 3 class (master thread)
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AA Transcontinental Three Class Service Airbus A321 "A321T"

NOTE: The "32B" designation is used by ICAO for A321 (-100 and -200) family with "Sharklet" wingtips; the use of "32B" by AA has been applied to "321T", the three class aircraft described here and used on transcon service, and for the "A321", the two class A321S used in "normal" service as well as the A321H ETOPS version used on West Coast-Hawai'i service. ("321" is used by AA to describe non-Sharklets equipped LUS A321s.)

A subset of A321-200 aircraft has a three class configuration (with First and Business with horizontal full flat seats, as well as Main Cabin Extra and Main Cabin) for use on transcontinental JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights. First delivery was N101NN, Fleet No. 783, 21 Nov 2013. Inaugural flights were AA118 Lv LAX 0700 Ar JFK 1530 Tue 7 Jan 2014 and AA133 Lv JFK 1545 Ar LAX 1925. SFO-LAX began 6 Mar 2014.

These aircraft, referred to as "A321T" or "321T", have 10F in 1 + 1 layout, 20J in 2 + 2, and 72Y in 3 + 3 configuration (MCE rows 11-16); coded "321T" (32B in timetables). F has SICMA solo seats similar to 77W Business suites, J have B/E Aerospace horizontal lie flat seats; MCE and Main Cabin Recaro slimline seats. Pets have two small cabins flanking the aisle forward in F, called "Cuddle Class".

In Flight Entertainment is Audio-Video on Demand (AVOD), provided by Thales in its TopSeries system, with 15.4" touch screens offering "200 movies, 180 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections, up to 20 games, and 3-D moving maps" free in F and J, and $4.00 for most movies and TV in Y on an 8.9" touch screen. These are also controlled by universal remote controls. Bose QuietComfort headsets are provided in F and J; these are recovered by crew about an hour from your destination. (Unfortunately, the IFE system has turned out to be extremely unreliable; currently, do not expect to experience seamless AVOD on these aircraft. Some have reported successfully resetting by holding down "O" button over ten seconds on remote and the same procedure for the screen power on button.)

WiFi is provided by GoGo ATG-4 (cellular) service, and is not very fast. At seat power includes USB 5 VDC and universal 110 VAC outlets. The outlets are awkwardly placed by your head in J, in the seatback in front of you in coach.

Link to SeatGuru seat chart for AA A321T.


10 1st class seats by SICMA c/o business traveler.com


20 lie-flat Business Class seat pairs by B/E Aerospace


Business Class from the side


36 3 x 3 Recaro slimlines across MCE with enhanced seat pitch, IFE and


36 3 x 3 Recaro slimline Economy seats with seat-back IFE screens

First includes rows 1-5, and "Cuddle Class" pet cabins immediately in front of 1A and 1F. Business includes rows 6-10; MCE 11-16 have generous 35-37" pitch, Main Cabin 17-22" wide and 31-32" pitch.

In Main Cabin / Economy bulkhead row 11 has most legroom, but no window due to 3L and R doors and no underseat storage as there are no seats ahead of them.

Row 22 is the farthest aft and seats have limited recline.

Also note: Airbus A320 family - 156 inches (395 cm) outside width
Boeing 737 /757 - 148 inches (380 cm) outside diameter.

Older posts (2012, 2013, 2014) may be read in ARCHIVE: Airbus A321 Transcon / A321T / "32B" 3 class (consolidated 2012-2014).

Updated 2 Feb 2017 - JDiver

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Old Sep 20, 16, 3:53 pm   #271
  
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Awesome thanks for the feedback everyone!

I think I'm going to go ahead and book the Y fares and take my chances w/ the upgrade. The flight is actually for New Years Day so I'm not sure if that helps/hurts my chances.

I will take the advice to book it all on one itinerary and call in to explain to upgrade situation. Also I would prefer that they take the miles away from my kid's accounts rather than me or my wife's.
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Old Oct 29, 16, 3:31 am   #272
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Some posts that weren't really about this aircraft have been given a more appropriate home in this thread.

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Old Jan 24, 17, 6:16 pm   #273
  
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I took this flight in business class from JFK to LAX and I'm on a flight back in first to JFK now. This route is one of the reasons I switched to American from Delta as my company has a preferred contract with American on this route and I like the flight. Here are a few thoughts on business vs first.

Business class offers most of the hard and soft product of first. It has a lie flat seat, same blanket/pillow, plenty of space, good IFE, etc. The food and drink in business is very good - aside from prosecco vs champagne, you get most of what you get in first. Currently, the amenity kits are also the same.

First gives you a bigger seat, champagne and apparently better wine selection, a "starter" before your salad, a few extra entree and desert items, etc. The IFE screen is larger. More space for storage. A dedicated FA who makes sure you are taken care of, etc.

Does AA make enough differentiation between First and Business in the soft product? Probably not to justify thousands of dollars premium. I upgraded on my current flight via miles without a copay.

The main difference is privacy and crowding. The business class cabin on this route feels full generally. Meaning you always have 20 passengers in business (its always sold out) using all of the soft product. First feels more secluded. Even on my current flight (only two empty F seats), it feels like a quiet, private cabin. No seatmate you don't know next to you.

How much that privacy and quiet is worth is up to you. I don't think it would be worth it if you have a traveling companion. But it makes a noticeable difference given the popularity of business on this route. On many of my domestic first class flights, there are empty F seats, for example, and it doesn't feel busy in first. The business class cabin in this flight always is full and has people walking around and such. I think F could be worth it when using miles, SWU, whatever if you want the privacy. I wouldn't pay cash out of pocket for it.

Another funny thing is passenger reaction to the F (and J) cabins. These transcon routes are actually among the most inexpensive for the miles flown in coach. Round trip costs $300-$400. So you have a lot of value customers ogling the first and business class cabins. This has continued since the day they debuted this plane.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 8:28 am   #274
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I'm taking my first flight on the 321T in about three weeks, JFK-LAX-JFK in J both ways. Travelling with the OH and have picked 7D/7F on the westbound, 7A/7C on the eastbound (the 4.30pm flight that gets into JFK late).

I've looked at Seatguru and poked about a bit and it seems I've not made any rookie mistakes but looking for confirmation The JFK-LAX is already completed booked out in J, but the LAX-JFK I could still move to 6D/F, 9A/C or 10D/F if anyone thinks those are preferable.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 25, 17, 9:38 am   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
I'm taking my first flight on the 321T in about three weeks, JFK-LAX-JFK in J both ways. Travelling with the OH and have picked 7D/7F on the westbound, 7A/7C on the eastbound (the 4.30pm flight that gets into JFK late).

I've looked at Seatguru and poked about a bit and it seems I've not made any rookie mistakes but looking for confirmation The JFK-LAX is already completed booked out in J, but the LAX-JFK I could still move to 6D/F, 9A/C or 10D/F if anyone thinks those are preferable.

Thanks!
I usually fly in 7C. I tried row 6 once and I'm convinced there was less leg room.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:49 am   #276
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Housekeeping note: Off-topic posts have been removed from this thread.

For discussion of AA fares, international food & beverage service, and corporate contracts, please feel free to start a new thread or refer to one of the existing threads on those topics. Thanks. /Moderator
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:30 pm   #277
  
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Originally Posted by mmgm View Post
I usually fly in 7C. I tried row 6 once and I'm convinced there was less leg room.
Row 6 has different footrests; they're wider but maybe a little less long. Some people might prefer one or the other.

Row 6 has the best view; 7 is OK; the rest pretty much just overlook the wings.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 2:37 pm   #278
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I took this flight in business class from JFK to LAX and I'm on a flight back in first to JFK now. This route is one of the reasons I switched to American from Delta as my company has a preferred contract with American on this route and I like the flight. Here are a few thoughts on business vs first.

Business class offers most of the hard and soft product of first. It has a lie flat seat, same blanket/pillow, plenty of space, good IFE, etc. The food and drink in business is very good - aside from prosecco vs champagne, you get most of what you get in first. Currently, the amenity kits are also the same.

First gives you a bigger seat, champagne and apparently better wine selection, a "starter" before your salad, a few extra entree and desert items, etc. The IFE screen is larger. More space for storage. A dedicated FA who makes sure you are taken care of, etc.

Does AA make enough differentiation between First and Business in the soft product? Probably not to justify thousands of dollars premium. I upgraded on my current flight via miles without a copay.

The main difference is privacy and crowding. The business class cabin on this route feels full generally. Meaning you always have 20 passengers in business (its always sold out) using all of the soft product. First feels more secluded. Even on my current flight (only two empty F seats), it feels like a quiet, private cabin. No seatmate you don't know next to you.

How much that privacy and quiet is worth is up to you. I don't think it would be worth it if you have a traveling companion. But it makes a noticeable difference given the popularity of business on this route. On many of my domestic first class flights, there are empty F seats, for example, and it doesn't feel busy in first. The business class cabin in this flight always is full and has people walking around and such. I think F could be worth it when using miles, SWU, whatever if you want the privacy. I wouldn't pay cash out of pocket for it.

Another funny thing is passenger reaction to the F (and J) cabins. These transcon routes are actually among the most inexpensive for the miles flown in coach. Round trip costs $300-$400. So you have a lot of value customers ogling the first and business class cabins. This has continued since the day they debuted this plane.
a very good comparison of the two cabins - I would also suggest the F cabin privacy especially at 1A and 1F (if traveling with someone) and the FA dealing with less customers, are the key differentials. So if that isnt what you look for in a flight, then Biz is just as good.

I have spoken with others who travel together - they prefer Biz, so each to their own , I for one, much prefer 1af. And the crew have always been great when sitting there, even tho sometimes, they have to leave the fruit and snacks and do their paperwork at the front sometimes.
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Old Feb 2, 17, 6:29 am   #279
  
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I am planning a California leisure trip for the late summer:

JFK to LAX
LAX to SFO (I may take Alaska or Delta for this flight)
SFO to JFK

I'm seeing business class one way flights for about $1,000 and first class for about $1,300 for August. Are first class fares normally that small of a premium to business this far out?
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Old Feb 2, 17, 6:42 am   #280
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I am planning a California leisure trip for the late summer:

JFK to LAX
LAX to SFO (I may take Alaska or Delta for this flight)
SFO to JFK

I'm seeing business class one way flights for about $1,000 and first class for about $1,300 for August. Are first class fares normally that small of a premium to business this far out?
IME yes.....sometimes I see First priced less than J too.
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Old Feb 2, 17, 7:55 am   #281
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I'm seeing business class one way flights for about $1,000 and first class for about $1,300 for August. Are first class fares normally that small of a premium to business this far out?
Yeah, I don't think it's all that unusual. Probably worth paying for F, especially if you're flying alone.
Although the better routing would be JFK-SFO//LAX-JFK, since you'd then get Flagship Lounge access (or whatever it'll be called then) and Flagship check-in at both departure points. Don't think SFO has either.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 1:31 pm   #282
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I am planning a California leisure trip for the late summer:

JFK to LAX
LAX to SFO (I may take Alaska or Delta for this flight)
SFO to JFK

I'm seeing business class one way flights for about $1,000 and first class for about $1,300 for August. Are first class fares normally that small of a premium to business this far out?
Nice, when I booked the other day for a summer flight the differential was 1000 bucks.
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Old Mar 23, 17, 4:45 pm   #283
  
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Flying LAX-JFK.
All main cabin extra seats free on A321T.

I'm a window guy, could have had the nice space in tow 11, but went with 13A
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