American Airlines – JFK to Los Angeles – First Class revisited


Rockaway from AA flight

Some weeks ago I wrote about my disappointing experiences onboard American’s three class A321 transcontinental service. You can read about the two flights here and here. After a problem with being denied Flagship Check-in at JFK I went to the lounge before boarding.

The gate was in the furthest part of the terminal from the lounge and so the walk took about 10 minutes.

Boarding started with the First Class cabin, after people with disabilities had boarded. The First Class cabin was pretty empty, with about half of the seats occupied. There was a lovely ‘little old lady’ in front of me who had been treated by her kids to the trip to LA and was clearly surprised that they had paid for her to go First Class. Her wide-eyed enjoyment of the whole service was lovely to behold.

I was on an Avios ticket for which I had paid 37,500 miles and about $5 in taxes and booked only a couple of days before travel. It does seem that AA controls availability but if you can (dare) wait to nearly the day, you may catch a decent cabin also.

There were some pretty good views of New York as we took of from JFK.

Manhattan after take off from JFK early morning

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New York after take off from JFK early morning

Breakfast had not changed from the previous trip – Parfait with fruit to start, followed by am omelette.

American Airlines First Class Breakfast JFK to Los Angeles

American Airlines First Class Breakfast JFK to Los Angeles

The videos had not changed significantly so I ran through one movie that I wanted to watch and then had a nap. I awoke to the very strange site of what appeared to be a passenger on the cockpit side of the food cart that was being used to block the aisle to allow the pilots to pee. Watching for a moment it turned out that it was an off-duty crew member, out of uniform. Very odd!

Before landing there were the typical AA snack basket, more drinks and then we were coming in to LAX over the city, as normal.

Coming in to land at LAX

We arrived early and there was no gate for us so we had to wait a good 15 minutes before we could taxi in and get off.

This crew were more attentive than the last. I just miss the old B767-200 crews who used to make it feel like a special flight. Now it’s just a nice seat, a bigger screen and no annoying neighbour. Hey, perhaps that’s AA should be selling this!


  1. Doesn’t really seem like you had much substantive to add. Did you really think the meals would be different? Was an update really necessary?

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