In the Air for the Holidays: American Airlines First Class A321T New York-San Francisco – Flight Review

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The author's seat, 1A

The author’s seat, 1A


We pushed back from the gate 20 minutes late at 8:05 a.m. and the foggy warm weather delayed our takeoff until 9:03 a.m.

Once airborne, we proceeded in a southwesterly direction over the Atlantic ocean to the mainland, continuing westward over Central New Jersey and Southern Pennsylvania. We continued west over Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, the southernmost part of Iowa, and Nebraska, changing to a southwesterly heading over Wyoming. Our route took us southwest over Utah, Nevada, and we entered California airspace after passing over Carson City, Nevada. Soon we were making our final approach to San Francisco International Airport.


American’s A321T is, in my opinion, on of the most comfortable planes to fly in up front and American is the only carrier that offers a true first class product on premium transcon flights. In the A321T’s first-class cabin, seats are in a 1-1 configuration, with a generous amount of personal space and privacy accorded to each passenger. As Jonathan Spira noted in his review from the launch flight in early 2014, flying in the A321T’s first-class cabin has a private jet-like feel.

Controls include a tablet for the IFE, seat controls, lots of outlets, and a reading lamp

Controls include a tablet for the IFE, seat controls, lots of outlets, and a reading lamp

My seat, 1A in the first row, when extended into a lie-flat bed, had an overall length of 82.5” (this is longer than those in the Flagship Suite on American’s new 777-300ER). With the armrest up, its width was 21”. Lowering the armrest added a few inches to the width.

The individual seats are provided with small footrests that become part of the bed when it is fully extended. The seats themselves are upholstered in a combination of cloth and leather, and have a posh yet decidedly modern feel to them. I found the seat extremely comfortable and the seat controls make it possible to fine tune the position for added comfort.

At each first-class seat are a variety of outlets and controls, including a small LCD tablet that controls the in-flight entertainment system, which features a 15.4” touchscreen display, as well as reading lights and the flight attendant call button. I set the tablet to view the moving map and navigated the movie on the touchscreen directly.

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