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Flagship First LAX-JFK-LAX A321T experience

Flagship First LAX-JFK-LAX A321T experience

Old Jan 18, 18, 12:55 pm
  #1  
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Flagship First LAX-JFK-LAX A321T experience

Just wanted to report back on a very quick round trip I took in flagship first (paid one way, miles the other, for what it's worth)

Great experience on the ground at LAX- being escorted to the front of pre-check, I was from car to the lounge in <8 mins. Breakfast in flagship first dining was excellent although you can tell they're still working out some kinks.

Service from LAX-JFK was poor. Flight attendant did the minimal amount of work and...this was a first for me.. I walked up to the galley request another cup of water and she was SLEEPING in the jump seat. I cannot believe she was sleeping on duty (this is not a flight that is long enough for a break and even if it were they should never be sleeping in the jump seat?!). Considering reporting this to AA as I think its beyond unsafe and unprofessional.

The final straw was that IFE and wifi were not working and several F cabin passengers were pretty upset. The flight attendant was so dismissive and simply said "it's not my fault" - I guess she needed a nap!

JFK-LAX return, Flagship lounge was very nice. Dining was a disappointment. I waited nearly an hour for the burger and it arrived without a bun with no explanation. When I asked, the waitress said all of the bread and fruit had to be thrown away because of health inspections?! I can't believe she told me this and the situation was not addressed more professionally.

Service on the return flight was better, although a very well known celebrity was in the F cabin with his wife and it was clear the lead FA was focused on them, which was mostly fine. Four non revs also in the F cabin and I noticed two Concierge Key members in J after boarding...not sure how I feel about that.

Just had to share what I thought was a pretty bizarre and mixed experience.

Last edited by nw6338; Jan 18, 18 at 1:32 pm
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Old Jan 18, 18, 1:45 pm
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The Sad State Of Service On American Airlines - One Mile at a Time
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Old Jan 18, 18, 1:51 pm
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@AANYC1981

Was literally just reading this! Resonates all too well..
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Old Jan 18, 18, 2:06 pm
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I wish AA would start to utilize the Junior FA's (ones with less than 3 years experience) in Premium Cabins on these routes as they have been miles ahead in terms of service in my experience. I had some very junior FA's work business on my MXP-MIA flight in Biz in December and they were amazing. But, I get it, seniority rules and that case I just documented is outside the norm. Oh well, wishful thinking.
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Old Jan 18, 18, 4:35 pm
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OPís experience sounds about par for the course.

Iím flying LAX-JFK F in a few weeks and itís sad that one flying in first class on AAís flagship route has to worry about if youíll actually get a proper meal, if youíll have a working seat/IFE, if youíll even get a transcon A321 (know some people who have been swapped to regular domestic 321ís on this route) and if the FA has gotten up on the right side of the bed that morning. The ďprimarily here for your safetyĒ excuse is really being exploited by some of the FAís. Itís sad to see people not take pride in their job; if your mad at your employer either quit or take you anger out on them, donít take it out on your customer.
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Old Jan 18, 18, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by nw6338 View Post
I walked up to the galley request another cup of water and she was SLEEPING in the jump seat.
That's what smartphone cameras are for.
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Old Jan 18, 18, 6:45 pm
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It's so hit or miss on this route. I've had both some tremendous flight attendants and some terrible flight attendants in both J and F. You should write into customer relations and you'll certainly get miles or eVoucher (if you ask) for the IFE and wifi being inoperable.

I am surprised about your dining experience though - was it crowded? My experience in flagship dining was excellent, food took slightly longer than a restaurant, but definitely wasn't starting at the clock asking "where's my food?"
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Old Jan 18, 18, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by MCI777 View Post
I wish AA would start to utilize the Junior FA's (ones with less than 3 years experience) in Premium Cabins on these routes as they have been miles ahead in terms of service in my experience. I had some very junior FA's work business on my MXP-MIA flight in Biz in December and they were amazing. But, I get it, seniority rules and that case I just documented is outside the norm. Oh well, wishful thinking.
It's defined in the industry as "Protected Class". Once you have 25 years in and are over a certain age, you simply cannot be terminated unless you exit the plane on the emergency slide. Truly.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 1:56 am
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Originally Posted by MCI777 View Post
I wish AA would start to utilize the Junior FA's (ones with less than 3 years experience) in Premium Cabins on these routes as they have been miles ahead in terms of service in my experience. I had some very junior FA's work business on my MXP-MIA flight in Biz in December and they were amazing. But, I get it, seniority rules and that case I just documented is outside the norm. Oh well, wishful thinking.
I took an Emirates F flight a bit over a year ago. I'm 28 and the FA looking after me was obviously younger than me, couldn't have been more than 2-3 years out of college. She was the best FA I've ever had. Great service, anticipating requests before I even had to ask, etc. Absolutely fantastic.

Back to the thread, I'm not a big AA flyer, but when I am I am almost always disappointed with their F cabin service. Much like described in Lucky's blog post, I had a IAH-DFW flight last year that was ahead of schedule and the FAs refused to perform a PDB service despite there being time. Another AA F experience (IAH-LAX) they "forgot" to load the food for F. I almost think they "forgot" to load a FA because the one for F spent the whole time in economy, thankfully she responded to the call button.

I have no hesitation ranking AA as the worst airline for US domestic first class. In my experience UA and DL both have far better service, food, and overall experience. The only good AA F flight I've had was DFW-MIA. The promised food was there, the FAs were within 1 generation of me, and everything worked.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 11:22 am
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As always, YMMV, but I've done quite a few JFK-LAX trips in F over the last few months (and an equal number of LAX-JFK in Business) on 321T and my experience was always stellar. I appreciate the sort of discreet Flagship First check-in at JFK and quick access through security, as well as the exclusive nature of the Flagship First dining at JFK (haven't been to the LAX experience yet). My first time at Flagship First Dining at JFK, I was the only person in the dining area, and was unaware the food/beverages were complimentary. I was encouraged to try as much as I could from the menu, and the food was spectacular.

Recognizing this post is about the in-flight experience, I have to say my F trips from JFK-LAX have always blown me away. I appreciate the first-name basis that the FA use in F (constantly being called Mr. So and So even though I never introduced myself), and while I never had any issues with the IFE, any nearby passengers that did I always observed being handled courteously. Since it's a provided benefit, it should be fully functional, and certainly compensated if not, though I'm certainly a big believer in bringing along my iPad stocked full of media so I can watch more discreetly. One thing I will say, though, is that on my LAX-JFK and JFK-LAX flights over the last few months, the sundae desert (both in F and Business) have been absent. LAX had that food issue back in November, but never got an explanation why JFK-LAX was missing it. I know I can go buy a $4 sundae for 31 Flavors, but I love my in-flight sundae and miss those.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by MCI777 View Post
I wish AA would start to utilize the Junior FA's (ones with less than 3 years experience) in Premium Cabins on these routes as they have been miles ahead in terms of service in my experience. I had some very junior FA's work business on my MXP-MIA flight in Biz in December and they were amazing. But, I get it, seniority rules and that case I just documented is outside the norm. Oh well, wishful thinking.
Years of experience have no correlation to quality of service. I've had great senior FAs and not-so-great junior FAs. In fact, the most surly FAs I've encountered were very junior.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 11:39 am
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Just got off JFK-LAX but I was in J......I could tell the entire crew were top notch.....very professional service in all cabins and very attentive. Glad to see this from AA. The FL breakfast spread pre-flight was also impressive.....never seen that JFK FL so empty (granted it was at 6am)!
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by MCI777 View Post
I wish AA would start to utilize the Junior FA's (ones with less than 3 years experience) in Premium Cabins on these routes as they have been miles ahead in terms of service in my experience.
They won't. I'm growing more and more convinced that AA management does not care about the service they provide. It's truly a luck-of-the-draw thing.

Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
That's what smartphone cameras are for.
Unfortunately, I don't think a photo would do much. It's against policy to film/photograph employees, so I don't think the image could be used to get the employee in any sort of trouble. I've heard that the union would instead spend time arguing that the photo shouldn't have been taken in the first place, making that a bigger issue.

It is frightening that someone who bills themselves primarily as a safety professional would be sleeping in flight. That's certainly not very safe.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by brewdog11 View Post
They won't. I'm growing more and more convinced that AA management does not care about the service they provide. It's truly a luck-of-the-draw thing.



Unfortunately, I don't think a photo would do much. It's against policy to film/photograph employees, so I don't think the image could be used to get the employee in any sort of trouble. I've heard that the union would instead spend time arguing that the photo shouldn't have been taken in the first place, making that a bigger issue.

It is frightening that someone who bills themselves primarily as a safety professional would be sleeping in flight. That's certainly not very safe.
It may be policy for AA employees not to intentionally pose in photographs while they are on duty, there's nothing that says a passenger can't take a photo on board an AA aircraft that happens to have an AA employee in the frame. I don't think they could pretend that the photo didn't exist and therefore the incident never happened and not address it. FA probably won't be terminated but there should be a serious discussion about how sleeping while on duty is unacceptable from a safety and professionalism standpoint.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 5:35 pm
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Plus, I doubt the FAA cares much about an AA policy about taking photos of crew members. Nor are we talking about a criminal trial and admissibility of evidence.
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