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Transcon A321T J / F differences & "worth it?"

Transcon A321T J / F differences & "worth it?"

Old Aug 31, 17, 7:34 am
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Transcon A321T J / F differences & "worth it?"

First time booking with AA (rarely visit the U.S.) and was wondering if the premium on a business fare from JFK-SFO to their Flagship First is worth it? Is the difference essentially the 1-1 seating on the A321T as well as the Flagship check-in?

Cheers in advance
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Old Aug 31, 17, 7:46 am
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I think the biggest difference between F and J on the transcon 321T is the "seatmate" configuration. J window seats do not have direct aisle access, so J window seat pax have to climb over sleeping J aisle seatmates to get to the bathroom.

That said, both J and F have lie flat seating and, in my experience, similar food and drink.

I should also observe that F seats are cheaper than J seats with some frequency due, I suspect, to corporate flyer guidelines that forbid F seats when J seats are available.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 8:38 am
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Only you can decide if it is worth it. Your status with CX will make a few differences.

Differences between F and J:

Check-in: You can use the Flagship check-in at JFK which will provide you with an escort to the front of the security line. If you are oneworld Emerald you will get this already/

Lounge: If in F you can use the separate Flagship First Dining section within the Flagship Lounge at JFK.

Onboard: First to board (after Concierge Keys) and 1-1 seating.

F&B: Upgraded catering with champagne (not Prosecco as in J)

As to whether it is worth it only you can decide that. I have only done transcon J with my other half so sitting next to someone wasn't as bad as if it were a stranger so that somewhat diminishes the value of F over J slightly. I have done the same seats on other flights and it wasn't so bad having someone beside you but obviously 1-1 is preferable.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Fraser View Post

F&B: Upgraded catering with champagne (not Prosecco as in J)
When did Dougie enhance the champagne out of J?
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Old Aug 31, 17, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by N1120A View Post
When did Dougie enhance the champagne out of J?
I was flying LAX-JFK last week and I thought the J menu listed a champagne, but when I asked for some I was served prosecco.

I like prosecco but this one wasn't good! I asked if they had any other sparkling wine options and the crew member kindly went and opened a bottle of Lanson (which wasn't the champagne on the J menu) from F for me, and was pretty liberal with top ups. Good service in the end I thought.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 6:12 pm
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Thanks for the opinions!

Going to be traveling with 2 pax including myself, so I guess the 2-2 config isn't too bad. Looking up the fare difference on my booking+hotel, it was something along the lines of a A$5000 premium on J.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by rli987123 View Post
...A$5000 premium on J.
That's a lot! If that is just the difference between J and F, that would be essentially US$1000 per person each way, which is probably about the most it ever is (J seats can be had for $559 per person each way, or $659, or $1059 as capacity shrinks... sometimes I see the J fare at $559 but the F fare at $1899, which I think is the biggest "normal" spread between the two.)

On a good day, the J fare is $559 and the F fare is $859. (See, e.g., all day Saturday December 2.) Traveling solo, the $300 upfare to F would be well worth it to me because of the private seat, the very nice Flagship First Dining at the lounge, and the chance for a slightly better experience onboard. But with a +1 it's a closer call because the F cabin isn't built well for traveling with a companion.

Anything higher than the $300 though... probably not worth it, the J seat is a very good product for a 5-6 hour domestic flight.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 12:23 am
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Originally Posted by woglet86 View Post
I was flying LAX-JFK last week and I thought the J menu listed a champagne, but when I asked for some I was served prosecco.

I like prosecco but this one wasn't good! I asked if they had any other sparkling wine options and the crew member kindly went and opened a bottle of Lanson (which wasn't the champagne on the J menu) from F for me, and was pretty liberal with top ups. Good service in the end I thought.
Maybe the prosecco was for a catering flub? Nice that you got the Lanson - that's tasty stuff.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 8:29 am
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I'm a big fan of the F service on this route. The amenity that put it over the top for me was access to the Flagship dining or whatever it's called. I had a long layover @ JFK and pretty much slept the entire way from LAX. So, it was nice to be able to go there, chill out and eat something decent.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 9:36 am
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I'm not a fan of the F cabin. The seats vibrate a lot whenever someone walks by the aisle, and the cabin seems noisier and have more activity than the J cabin. For flights in which I don't plan to sleep, certainly I'd pick F. But for sleeping flights, I'd pick the J cabin, especially if traveling with someone else.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by N1120A View Post
When did Dougie enhance the champagne out of J?
AFAIK, I've never gotten Champagne on a domestic J flight (or 2-class F), only the 3-class F.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
AFAIK, I've never gotten Champagne on a domestic J flight (or 2-class F), only the 3-class F.
I've definitely gotten champagne on 3 class J domestic.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 3:50 pm
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I think FAs are supposed to serve Prosecco in J and champagne in F. On a lot of these flights, the service level lines are blurred

The perks for F over J are Flagship dining, champagne vs prosecco, one extra course for the meal (this is somewhat inconsistent) and more privacy for the seat (the seat itself isn't more comfortable in F). Service is also generally a bit more personalized in F. You can price these out individually and come to your own conclusion. IMO these benefits aren't worth a huge cash premium unless you need a specific benefit for a specific reason. I'll do mileage upgrades occasionally just for giggles but it's never really been necessary for me.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by FlytheTail View Post
I'm not a fan of the F cabin. The seats vibrate a lot whenever someone walks by the aisle, and the cabin seems noisier and have more activity than the J cabin. For flights in which I don't plan to sleep, certainly I'd pick F. But for sleeping flights, I'd pick the J cabin, especially if traveling with someone else.
I will also add that I find the F seats to be less comfortable for lounging and arguably sleeping as compared to the standard reverse herringbone J seats AA (and others) has on their widebody planes. They are at more of an angle than the others which means you cannot put you legs up as easily as the seat in front encroaches.

The biggest perk of F for for me, is the privacy you get vs J. The better ground experience is a close second (although if you are leaving from SFO is negligible).
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Old Sep 4, 17, 5:38 pm
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
That's a lot! If that is just the difference between J and F, that would be essentially US$1000 per person each way, which is probably about the most it ever is (J seats can be had for $559 per person each way, or $659, or $1059 as capacity shrinks... sometimes I see the J fare at $559 but the F fare at $1899, which I think is the biggest "normal" spread between the two.)

On a good day, the J fare is $559 and the F fare is $859. (See, e.g., all day Saturday December 2.) Traveling solo, the $300 upfare to F would be well worth it to me because of the private seat, the very nice Flagship First Dining at the lounge, and the chance for a slightly better experience onboard. But with a +1 it's a closer call because the F cabin isn't built well for traveling with a companion.

Anything higher than the $300 though... probably not worth it, the J seat is a very good product for a 5-6 hour domestic flight.
Wishful of me to expect to have found such a deal on the transcon for a J fare. Just searched on December 2nd and the going rate is $1100-ish for J and $1400-ish for F.

But what I did discover, may be old news though, was that by purchasing Y outbound, my inbound prices for J and F were lower than if I had selected J or F for the outbound.

I've been wondering why it's always "cheaper" to return to SFO in F than purchase an entire F tix from the get go!

Case and point from above example:

Purchasing a Y tix outbound: $650-ish, the return in J or F was $750-ish and $1000-ish respectively! Work it to go outbound in Y, hope for upgrade. But have a J or F tix for the return in my opinion.
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