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AA begins A321T 3 class Flagship transcon 2x a day BOS-LAX 2 Apr 2019

AA begins A321T 3 class Flagship transcon 2x a day BOS-LAX 2 Apr 2019

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Old May 8, 19, 9:31 pm
  #136  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Programs: AA EXP, Amex Plat
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LAX-BOS -- QF Lounge Access

If I recall correctly, there was some ambiguity whether F on LAX-BOS on the A321T gets access to the QF lounge. Well, I accessed both the QF F and J lounges with my LAX-BOS F ticket. The QF F attendant questioned it initially, then let me in fairly easily. I then went to the J lounge, and they gave me a very hard time at first, but then after I pushed back, they let me in after calling a supervisor. While far from an "official" policy, it is one data point to add to the thread.

That being said, I'm not sure which lounge I'd rather wait in. I had about 4 hours in each (long layover!). Some pluses and minuses (I'd say the quality of the food was equal at both):

QF F Lounge:
(+): Pretty large and not very busy from 2-6pm
(+): Menu was more varied than AA lounge--more international dishes
(+): More relaxing seating options such as loungers (i.e., not just dinner tables or the bar)
(-): Drink list is just mediocre for an F lounge, in my opinion
(-): No good snack mixes (I love me some snack mix!!)
(-): Far from AA gates

AA FFD (note I'm comparing FFD, not just the Flagship Lounge):
(+): Good drink list, including Krug bubbly
(+): Close to gates
(+): Have easy access to the FL buffet (sometimes you don't feel like a menu-meal!!)
(+): They have that cheesy/peanut/sesame stick snack mix (is there a support group for people addicted to snack mix?)
(-): A little too quiet.
(-): While the quality of the food was good, the menu options were just ok.
(-): Limited seating options (table or bar, though I could have gone out into the flagship lounge, but then there's no premium drinks like Krug)
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Last edited by tacostuff; May 9, 19 at 1:10 pm
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Old May 8, 19, 10:12 pm
  #137  
 
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Originally Posted by lightbulbs View Post
As for Boston based flyers:
1) wouldn’t have imagined it is a market that would better monetize three class aircraft any more than some of the other large metros that AA serves and less than LA based flyers

A couple of things:
  1. If I fly BOS to Asia/AU/NZ, I previously had to to fly a OW partner to get a lie-flat seat the whole way. Now I can do that through LAX (albeit the timing of the flights is less than ideal). I previously flew QR for my flights from BOS to those destinations, but now I would seriously consider AA the whole way (though the QR hard and soft product is still 10x better than AA).
  2. While all metro areas have pockets of high-net worth individuals, I think that Boston is near the top of the list for wealth in the US (this is a gut feeling from living there compared with other places--I have no hard data to back this up). I also think that due to the startup/technology scene in Boston/Cambridge that it attracts wealth from other places too. That coupled with the fact that it is a 6.5 hour block time for BOS-LAX (basically the same time for BOS-LHR), there are definitely people that would pay this (I have, and my last firm easily would have if it allowed me to bill more time to the client).
  3. As another data point, I can fly BOS-LHR RT in J for about $6k (average) versus $3k (average) to fly BOS-LAX RT in F, so it feels "cheap" for two flights that are the same length.
4) with B6 strong presence in Boston I imagine Boston based flyers wanting to fly west in premium cabins have some good choices already on B6

I won't lie, B6 Mint is pretty solid. But, I'm oneworld-captive like many others. If I were a a free-agent, I would probably pick B6 over AA for most of my domestic flying. The soft-product is much better (they actually smile and are friendly...), and the B6 Mint hard product is much better than the AA J hard-product (though, I'd say that the AA F hard-product on the A321T still wins over B6).

Last edited by tacostuff; May 9, 19 at 1:19 pm
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Old May 10, 19, 11:28 pm
  #138  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by DWFI View Post
Speculating, it is also possible that AA knows they will never sell F and knows that 30 seats is too many, and they're merely using this as an experiment (because they have no spare 75Ls) to test revenue premiums in the J cabin on the route to explore viability of a 321 16J subfleet for this route and others (JFK-SAN/SEA/LAS, etc).
They sell F, but I don't think anybody ever buys it. Ancedotal I know, but my experience on taking AA2542 five times and AA211 twice since this plane showed up on the route:

All 7 flights I was upgraded to J at 100 hours (more like 104 usually for some reason). All 7 times all 20 seats in J showed occupied a few hours before departure, and all 7 times there were two or frewer seats assigned in F.

Expertflyer showed F7 J7 Y7 - so they were willing to oversell an already full J cabin by at least the number of seats available in F.

Rollups on this route have been 100% for me.

Today, 8 J pax (I don't know the breakdown of purchased versus upgrades or 12 month REQD if it matters, but I'm EXP upgraded from Y with a REQD of just over $36k) were rolled to F, 5 pax were upgraded off of the waitlist into J, and 4 very lucky people who didn't have seat assignments at all in Y were op-upped into J and F. For all I know, they were on BE fares.

If they made a 24J, 36MCE, 48Y version of the A321T, that would hit the sweet spot for this route. F is functionally no different than J aside from the food offferings and a slightly more private seat - not worth the premium. This A321T2 would also be able to turn BOS/DCA/IAD/MIA/PHL/JFK-LAX/SAN/SFO/SEA into actual Flagship Transcon routes.
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Old May 10, 19, 11:38 pm
  #139  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Originally Posted by AA2070 View Post
4 very lucky people who didn't have seat assignments at all in Y were op-upped into J and F. For all I know, they were on BE fares.
How do you know they weren't nonrevs?
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Old May 10, 19, 11:42 pm
  #140  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Might have been, I didn't ask to see their badges or anything. The weird part was the GA brought them all on the plane and said "you sit here" (pointed to a seat, wrote the person's name and seat number down) for these four, then returned with boarding passes for them.
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Old May 10, 19, 11:48 pm
  #141  
 
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Originally Posted by AA2070 View Post
Might have been, I didn't ask to see their badges or anything. The weird part was the GA brought them all on the plane and said "you sit here" (pointed to a seat, wrote the person's name and seat number down) for these four, then returned with boarding passes for them.
Huh, that's interesting.

My guess is nonrevs because it's been reported before that nonrevs often manage to make their way to F on these premium routes, and you mentioned that some J pax had been op-upped already, but I guess you never know.
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Old May 10, 19, 11:53 pm
  #142  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Originally Posted by AA2070 View Post

Rollups on this route have been 100% for me.
Also, do you mean you yourself have been rolled up to F every time?

Has this been on a particular day of the week? I've only flown this route once (AA2455 LAX->BOS) and actually didn't get op-upped (but did get the J upgrade). I'm also batting highly this year on EQDs and I've been op-upped after a regular J comp upgrade on JFK->LAX when I flew it a few months ago, so I'm trying to see how I can maximize my chances on this route (if you don't mind the competition -- although I'm not as high as you on EQDs )
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Old May 11, 19, 12:00 am
  #143  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by SEA737 View Post
Also, do you mean you yourself have been rolled up to F every time?

Has this been on a particular day of the week? I've only flown this route once (AA2455 LAX->BOS) and actually didn't get op-upped (but did get the J upgrade). I'm also batting highly this year on EQDs and I've been op-upped after a regular J comp upgrade on JFK->LAX when I flew it a few months ago, so I'm trying to see how I can maximize my chances on this route (if you don't mind the competition -- although I'm not as high as you on EQDs )
It's Fridays. Which probably helps with the overselling and the need to rollup - remember these birds are nearly 30% premium seats and only 104 total seats. But yes, 5 times on 2542 and 2 times on 211 I've been upgraded to J at the earliest possible moment and been given the opup at the gate. I never asked for it, it was just given. Today I was actually turned away from the gate (late boarding, late incoming connection) when I scanned my 10F boarding pass and it said Seat Duplicate - the agent assumed I'd already been reaccomodated - before the gate supervisor chased me down on the way to the AC yelling my name and saying I'd actually been moved to 3A.
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Old May 11, 19, 12:07 am
  #144  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Originally Posted by AA2070 View Post
It's Fridays. Which probably helps with the overselling and the need to rollup - remember these birds are nearly 30% premium seats and only 104 total seats. But yes, 5 times on 2542 and 2 times on 211 I've been upgraded to J at the earliest possible moment and been given the opup at the gate. I never asked for it, it was just given. Today I was actually turned away from the gate (late boarding, late incoming connection) when I scanned my 10F boarding pass and it said Seat Duplicate - the agent assumed I'd already been reaccomodated - before the gate supervisor chased me down on the way to the AC yelling my name and saying I'd actually been moved to 3A.
That's crazy. But yeah, Friday makes for a full flight and need to rollup.

No experience on what op ups look like for you the way back to Boston?

Although I actually think BOS->LAX is the much more valuable op-up because you get access to FFD on arrival, which IMO is the biggest differentiator between J and F on these birds (although understandably some don't value it as much). And I guess the F seat is also more valuable LAX-bound. I find I sleep as well in the J and F seats, but I don't mind direct aisle access when awake.
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Old May 11, 19, 12:10 am
  #145  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by SEA737 View Post
... what op ups look like for you the way back to Boston?
I actually route back via DFW because the times on the directs dont work and I get to ride the 789 - another route where the upgrade clears 100+ out.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 3:14 pm
  #146  
 
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Look like AA is not flying 2455 during July and August?
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Old Jun 14, 19, 9:14 am
  #147  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Looks like there's a gap from 9/4-10/3 when they're not flying the A321Ts (departure time is off by 5 minutes as well). It's pretty funny for me as I'm looking to fly right on 10/3 or the day before, and 10/4 doesn't work.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 2:04 pm
  #148  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
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No wonder American can't seem to make some routes work (or in this case, the a321T on this route). FF on this route will go with B6 or UA if they can't expect consistency on AA. Same issue with JFK as a whole.
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