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Old Mar 8, 10, 7:47 am   #1
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AA First Class on 3-class 762 SFO-JFK with pics

For a quick theatre/shopping weekend in NYC, I decided to try AA's 762 First Class SFO-JFK transcon. I used 32.5K miles for Mrs. SFO and burned an eVIP on a $1,100 Business I fare. Since Mrs. SFO wanted to check her bag (welcome to my world ) we had to stop at the check-in counter, which at SFO is a combined First, Business, any Priority status lane.

Security lines at just after 11AM were out to the start of the lanes, but the priority lane had its own ID checker this morning, so the line moved pretty quickly and we were through in less than 10 minutes.

We stopped at the AC where the "AAngel" and I use the term loosely, was clearly not impressed with my transcon First BP, inquiring "how are you accessing the club this morning?". When I asked whether transcon First was enough for entry, she replied "not A class, only Z class". She seemed a little put-off when I suggested that perhaps we use my wife's Z class BP and I'd be her guest , or you can take my Amex Platinum card. Perhaps its the cramped space and I know other FTers would disagree, but other than Gita, none of the SFO Angels have ever given me the impression that they really enjoy their jobs.

After a brief visit, we strolled down to Gate 66 where Priority boarding had just begun. Once we had settled into our second row 3AB seats, our terrific Purser Sue immediately came over and retrieved our coats. Shortly thereafter, she reappeared offering water, juice or Gloria Ferrer "champagne". Although the seats are dated and only an inch wider than the J seats, they are much more spacious and more comfortable as the arm rest and divider are substantially wider.





First was booked 6/10 today and once all the J and Y pax had boarded, the spacious two row F cabin was a calm and intimate oasis, prompting Mrs. SFO to say she'd travel more domestically if we could fly like this.

Once most of the other pax had boarded, Purser Sue came over to introduce herself, addressing us by name, and handing us our menus.







Again before push back, she came back to inquire about our drink order for once we were airborne, and asked about our lunch choice.

After take-off, the F-J divider curtain was quickly closed discouraging most of the J pax from trying to use the F lav. Drink service including warm mixed nuts and antipasto selection.



After drinks, Sue was back to begin lunch service with hot towel and table cloth. From the cart, fresh seasonal greens with an assortment of fresh vegetables offered with Caesar dressing or Sapori d'Arte olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sliced chipotle chicken breast.



Unfortunately, the plate was so full of greens that is was difficult for the Caesar dressing to be properly mixed. And I decided to go against my norm and try the inflight wine offerings. With salad, I tried the Foris Pinot Gris which was surprisingly pleasant.



Beet Pot Pie, savory beef and assorted vegetables served with rich gravy in a flaky crust. Actually pretty tasty, although I only got to eat half as my wife decided she liked it better than her choice, a rather strange looking and tasting breaded chicken. "I didn't realize it was going to be cold chicken" was her comment, apparently missing that part on the menu. Switched to an unremarkable Buena Vista Pinot which, for better or worse, was delivered in a full size wine glass.



Unwrapped...



Hot fudge Breyers sundae with nuts and a nice Graham's Port was a pleasant way to end the meal, and warm chocolate chip cookies and milk were offered about an hour before landing.



Service from our inflight crew was outstanding... friendly, personalized yet highly professional. They were also very diligent about evicting the occasional J class interloper who tried to sneak in thru the curtain to use the F lav.

Once at JFK, we waited 30 minutes for bags from our flight to appear. But, the Priority tag system was working and her bag was the fourth one off.

In summary, a most comfortable domestic transcon flight with a First cabin that is more intimate than the 30 seat First cabin on the 763. It is certainly a better experience than regular First, but not worth anywhere near the $1,500+ one way retail price premium. Although the service was more personal and wines perhaps a slight cut above the swill generally offered in J (or regular two class F), the food was essentially the same as business class, and clearly not anything that any Asian carrier would even think of serving on a 5 hour flight.

Memo to AA: If you want more people to actually pay for three class First, spend a little more per pax and make a definite distinction between F and J. That UA serves the same crappy food in p.s. First as it does in p.s. Business is no excuse. If this is representative of AA three class First, why would one even consider paying actual retail for TPAC/TATL First when one can fly airlines (SQ, CX, LH and LX) that understand and offer true First Class service?

Last edited by SFO777; Nov 7, 10 at 12:12 pm.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 12:11 pm   #2
 
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Fantastic trip report! I've never flown AA before so therefore I didn't realize they offered a three class service domesticly. I'm assuming to complete with UA's P.S flights.

The beef pot pie looked really good! That would of been my first choice for sure.

Thanks again for the great Trip Report. I hope you post your return flight.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 2:17 pm   #3
 
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Thats for your report - it was informative and gave a good level of detail.

The AA F product looks awful - this is one reason why I don't want to go to the US. Thew food looks notably foul. I find it interesting that this product is the "good" F class...

Cheers
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Old Mar 8, 10, 3:10 pm   #4
 
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PS has more style - though I do love the widebody.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 3:49 pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
was clearly not impressed with my transcon First BP
I know you can't see it, but I am bowing down to your false sense of greatness. No, really, I am.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 3:53 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by ConciergeMike View Post
I know you can't see it, but I am bowing down to your false sense of greatness. No, really, I am.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 4:06 pm   #7
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"Crappy Food on p.s. Flights"

I always love when non UA elites trash UA. It further validates their lack of a specific product or service by them...
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Old Mar 8, 10, 4:44 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by I_Hate_US_Airways View Post
I always love when non UA elites trash UA...
Hey, I'm not saying AA food is great. I wouldn't fly either TATL/TPAC. But exactly what is the food service difference between today's p.s. First and p.s. Business? The carved tenderloin is long gone.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 5:05 pm   #9
 
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Excellent trip report. I'm not really sure about serving "pot pie" in the premium cabins, though. I know that the homey foods are popular on AA, but still, yuck (IMO).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotboy1985YYC View Post
Fantastic trip report! I've never flown AA before so therefore I didn't realize they offered a three class service domesticly. I'm assuming to complete with UA's P.S flights.
Other way around. UA introduced p.s. to more effective compete with AA's three-class JFK-LAX/SFO service. AA also has 3-class on MIA-LAX, but nothing else domestic.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 6:55 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post
Other way around. UA introduced p.s. to more effective compete with AA's three-class JFK-LAX/SFO service.
Not quite, UA had 3-class service before the introduction of 'ps' -- and ps was a significant downgrade to the soft product that they used to offer in F on the 762s.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 8:49 pm   #11
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Not quite, UA had 3-class service before the introduction of 'ps' -- and ps was a significant downgrade to the soft product that they used to offer in F on the 762s.
At the beginning, p.s. First was very good and a real First Class, a far cry from today's glorified p.s. business meal service in a worn out First seat. I agree with many in the UA forum, that p.s. business might be preferable to p.s. First. And yes, I have flown both.

Last edited by SFO777; Mar 9, 10 at 9:08 am.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 8:52 pm   #12
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Our return yesterday was First on a two class 763. Excellent crew, although essentially the same meal service as First on the three-class 762, but without the personalized service, better seats and intimate cabin.

Chicken and corn appetizer (yuck!), mixed greens, peas and artichoke salad with choice of vinaigrette (better choice) or peppercorn ranch dressing...



Ricotta and spinach ravioli... might have been better without the ricotta and spinach, and with a little more seasoning.


Last edited by SFO777; Nov 7, 10 at 12:12 pm.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 8:57 pm   #13
 
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Nice trip report SFO777, 3 class F still looks decent for a transcon product

I'm surprised you did 3 class F on SFO-JFK since reverse would've allowed you FL access at JFK. But to each to its own, now I wanna do 3 class F again, I've only done JFK-LAX on AA F once, loved the width on that seat and all that food!
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Old Mar 8, 10, 9:24 pm   #14
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beef pot pie? really? REALLY?
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Old Mar 8, 10, 10:37 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by Short hair Francis View Post
I'm surprised you did 3 class F on SFO-JFK since reverse would've allowed you FL access at JFK.
Yeah, thought about that, but I picked the flights based on convenient departure times. The noon SFO-JFK departure got us there in time for a late dinner Friday, and the 3:15PM JFK-SFO return (the lone two class) let us sleep in, have lunch before heading to the airport and still get home early evening.

AA's JFK T-8 is quite a nice facility with separate First/Business/Elite check-in area, and a spacious AC just inside security.
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