American Airlines A321T First Class Flight 116 – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 11 February 2014
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American Airlines, with the launch of its new Airbus A321T fleet that will serve its premium transcon routes linking New York with Los Angeles and San Francisco, will offer passengers shuttle-like service on the nation’s most popular domestic route as well as its most competitive, New York-Los Angeles, with 13 daily flights in each direction.  Flights will depart at the top of the hour mornings and at the bottom of the hour later in the day.

My second flight on American Airlines’ brand new Airbus A321T came roughly 12 or so hours after my first.    The taxi dropped me off at the Flagship check-in entrance at 5:45 a.m.  At the door, which looked unlike any one would expect at an airport but resembled the entrance to a private club, was watched over by a friendly doorman dressed in a red waistcoat and a woman who was checking off names evocative of admission protocol at an exclusive club (albeit minus the velvet rope).

Little was said and I was the only passenger there at the time.

The author's seat, 1F

The author’s seat, 1F

The agent issued me a new boarding pass, and the doorman escorted me to a private elevator that transported me to the security checkpoint. He then opened a real rope and I found myself at the very front of the Pre-Check line.

The security checkpoint formalities took mere seconds and I was soon enjoying the breakfast buffet at American’s Flagship Lounge.


Boarding for the 7 a.m. flight started around 6:30.  American invites first-class passengers to board first, followed by business-class passengers.  Boarding had already begun by the time I arrived at the gate (even though it was close to the lounge), so I used the Priority AAccess lane, available to first- and business-class passengers as well as higher-level elite members of American’s AAdvantage program and incurred no wait at all.

The crew recognized me from the previous day’s flight, which had been the A321T’s launch flight, and welcomed me warmly.  In first and business, the flight attendants were hanging up coats and offering pre-departure drinks.

Click here to continue to Page 2Flight Plan, In-Flight Service, and Dining

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