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American Airlines Inaugural JFK-LAX A321 Flight in First Class

American Airlines Inaugural JFK-LAX A321 Flight in First Class

Old Jan 7, 14, 10:06 pm
  #1  
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American Airlines Inaugural JFK-LAX A321 Flight in First Class

American is retiring its 767-200s this year and replacing them with new 3 class A321s including five rows of 1-1 First Class seats. While UA has given up 3 class service, kudos to AA for deciding to not only keep three class F but to up the ante on the most lucrative US routes, JFK-LAX/SFO. Have never been on an inaugural flight and decided what the heck. I used 65,000 AAdvantage miles for an AAnytime First seat on the first JFK-LAX flight.

My 20 hour day began at DEN early this morning and a beautiful morning it was.



Just a little baggage backed up waiting for storm impacted pax.



With a quick stop at the Admirals Club where "champagne" and/or mimosas celebrated the AA/US merger.



Delta 1312
DEN-JFK
737-800
8:05A-1:45P (sked)
8:20A-1:40P (actual)
January 7, 2013


Great $109 DL nonstop flight to JFK with my PM upgrade clearing at the window.
Outstanding crew and a quick 2 hours and 50 minute flight today.



We've had three DL meals in the last four four days and IMO, they have stepped up their game and improved catering. The omelet was excellent and the fruit bowl much larger and fresher than before.







Wow, a 124 MPH tail wind!



On time arrival and a quick Air Train ride, I was at T-8 at 2PM. My first glimpse of the new combined AA/US Priority signs.



PreCheck was empty and I was in the Flagship Lounge at 2:05P where I met amolkold who was on the 4:45P A321. Pics of the FL.









Spartan offerings between lunch and dinner.








Last edited by SFO777; Jan 8, 14 at 10:48 am
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:06 pm
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amolkold and I headed out to Gate 44 at around T-50 to see if any festivities were planned.















Uh, good luck on that one today.



American 133
JFK-LAX
A321T (32B)
3:45P-7:15P (sked)
3:50P-8:00P (actual)
January 7, 2013

Lots of AA employees at the gate, in the jet bridge and on board
Boarding commenced with First pax and everyone was presented with a gift bag to celebrate the flight.





Wow, pretty sweet for a domestic F cabin with all the bells and whistles. Lots of pics...




















Last edited by SFO777; Jan 8, 14 at 2:34 am
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:07 pm
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Last edited by SFO777; Jan 8, 14 at 2:31 am
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:07 pm
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IFE is much improved but there are still bugs as my touch screen only worked intermittently. Fortunately, the hand controlled was working.





And our inaugural flight gift bag with a couple of cool things, other than the gratuitous WOLF T-shirt and poster.













OK, I get it that it's a brand new plane and the crew may not be totally familiar, but this crew was challenged from the get go. I kept waiting for PDB and the magic question, will AA finally dump the plastic. Not a good sign when the plastic is lined up ready to go.



The good news was we never saw those. The bad news is that the crew forgot PDBs until the door was closed and brought out the old standby. Yikes.



The F seat takes some getting used to but I really like it... indeed a step up from the 762 F seat.

As we taxied, our FA went to row 5 to take dinner orders. I heard "have you decided what you'd like for your entrée?" followed a few seconds later by "Oh, I forgot the menus". Uh-huh. Tonight's menu, nothing special just a variation of the same old theme. And pathetically, essentially the same options as J.













And the wines? Horrid. Who the hell is Ken Chase and why does he even have a job? Pure swill, one of which sells for $8 (the highest priced is a whopping $14) and none of which have a cellartracker rating higher then 86. The two reds were a choice of cab or cab/merlot... yeah that makes a lot of sense. Who wants a Pinot these days anyway?







Next up: Dinner

Last edited by SFO777; Jan 8, 14 at 2:32 am
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:18 pm
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After wandering around JFK taxi-ways for half an hour, we finally departed.













My usual G&T to start.



Puny BA sized towel.





Catering error left too few plates and/or lazy crew delivered both starter and salad at once on a tray.



Another crew failure on the Thai-seasoned chicken starter as they skimped on the best part, the Asian Mint dressing.



A far cry from how it should be served... from DFW-EZE a couple weeks ago.









The chicken was really tasty. ^







All in all, an enjoyable flight despite the challenged crew. And a big improvement over the 762s.

Last edited by SFO777; Jan 10, 14 at 6:01 am
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:19 pm
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I can't compete with this.

Though I had a better crew who actually got AApplause certificates not only from myself, but from another F passenger as well. I can't believe your crew didn't even point out the espresso/cappuccino machine in F! Not only did my crew use glassware for the PDB, they even came around with a 2nd round.

My trip report is coming up. Photos take a while. I don't know how SFO777 does it. Seriously, I am sitting across from him in the LAX FL and don't know how he does it!

By the way, I tried to pull an ShF (as you explained it) and run on to the plane first to get photos, but they weren't ready for me when I boarded and the line behind grew

Last edited by amolkold; Jan 7, 14 at 10:44 pm
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:25 pm
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Disappointing to see no real change in the soft product and same bad wines.

Hard product definitely great, but biz in the lie flat seems enough.

Not pining for this as a UA flier who is sitting on a bunch of AA miles now that PS is all lie-flat.

Delta remains the king on these flights for service. Too bad AA didn't use it as a benchmark...would have put a fire under UA.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:27 pm
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Time to leave UA

Looks like it's time to me to leave UA and go to AA instead. What a vastly superior product. What do you think, SFO777?
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:32 pm
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Thanks for sharing. Very detailed pictures, as always. ^ Few days ago I booked myself a F SAAver (37.5k Avios) for Jan 30th and looking forward to riding the new bird.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:45 pm
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Thank you for the great TR SFO777! The pictures look great and I can almost smell the new plane from behind the screen

Too bad I left my 4A seat on AA181 empty and did not join the first day inaugural FT crew, but seems that amolkold was in great company! Cheers
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Old Jan 7, 14, 11:13 pm
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Looks brilliant. Is this the best scheduled domestic seat in America and Europe?
The food looks very good too.

Thanks for the report SFO777.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 11:15 pm
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Amazing turnaround on the TR. Great photos and commentary, per usual!
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Old Jan 7, 14, 11:28 pm
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Nice plane, sad wine list. There's so much they could do, with so little more money.

But I'm glad you chimed in with this. Was hoping you would.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
Looks brilliant. Is this the best scheduled domestic seat in America and Europe?
One could argue. It is similar to international business seat on AA/CX/BR/others.

SFO777 noted the high tail winds going east, I flew LAX-JFK in under 5 hours last night. Those same winds were head winds going west and JFK-LAX was about 6h25m for me, well in the range of some international flights.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 11:56 pm
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I was hoping someone would review this and I got even more excited when I saw it was SFO777. Great TR!

Bankruptcy gives you a pretty nice product huh?
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